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Lieberman presses rival to denounce blackface photo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The bitter Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut erupted in fresh controversy yesterday over a doctored photo of Senator Joseph Lieberman in blackface that was posted by a blogger who has been an influential promoter of rival candidate Ned Lamont.

Lieberman angrily demanded that Lamont denounce the action and sever all ties with Jane Hamsher, the founder of the Web log Firedoglake, who posted the photo on another blog,

She travels along with the campaign with other bloggers. She is not on the campaign staff but has actively promoted Lamont's candidacy and helped raise money for him through her blog.

The photo, showing former president Bill Clinton in dark glasses and Lieberman in blackface, appeared early yesterday, accompanied by a dispatch attacking Lieberman, his supporters, and some news organizations.

Lamont campaigned yesterday with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The intersection of events focused attention on two critical aspects of the Senate primary fight: the influence of the bloggers on Lamont's antiwar candidacy and the importance of the African-American vote in determining the outcome on Tuesday.

Lieberman called on Lamont to ban Hamsher from traveling with the campaign, refuse to take any money raised by Hamsher, and remove any links to her postings on his Web site.

Lamont brushed past reporters last night saying: ``I don't know anything about the blogs. I'm not responsible for those. I have no comment on them."

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