Joe Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67 really is an independent.

Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent U.S. Senator, has drawn criticism from Democratic officials for openly courting Republican hopefuls, according to an article in the New York Times. who seek his congressional seat. Since announcing this January that he will not be running for reelection in 2012, Lieberman has conferred with former wrestling magnate and Republican Linda McMahon, who lost in last year’s Senate election to U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73.

“Some of what [Lieberman] does seems designed to make it hard for progressives and the Democratic establishment to ignore him,” Jon Green, director of the Working Families Party in Connecticut, told the Times. Other Democratic officials have accused Lieberman of holding resentment towards the party for personal reasons.

Democratic hopefuls for Lieberman’s senate seat — including Christopher Murphy, the Representative from Conn.’s 5th District, and Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut’s former secretary of the state — say that they will not be looking for Lieberman’s support, believing it would not help them in as staunchly-Democratic a state as Connecticut.

“Senator Lieberman’s endorsement would not be helpful,” Bysiewicz told the Times, adding that she believes he more closely identifies with Republicans.

On the Democratic side, there are currently four declared candidates in the race for Lieberman’s seat, including Bysiewicz, Murphy, state rep. William Tong and Lee Whitnum, an outspoken critical of the Israeli lobby.