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AGAIN: Senate Republicans Using Taxpayer Resources To Campaign

Yesterday Connecticut Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano continued his caucus’s long history of blurring the line between campaigns and official business. In an official press conference at the Capitol, the Senate GOP outlined an unambiguous campaign platform thinly veiled as a “legislative agenda” released less than two months before Election Day.

The idea that Senate Republicans were not using this “agenda” – which is now postedon the Connecticut Senate Republicans’ official website – to promote their campaigns is laughable. Sen. Art Linares – who attended the official press conference – today issued a campaign press release to promote the very same agenda as his re-election platform.

“Senate Republicans, once again, are using taxpayer resources to benefit their campaigns. This is a clear violation of public trust and further proof that Connecticut Republicans are far more interested in scoring cheap political points than effectively governing. Even as Republicans rehash the same tired talking points this year in an attempt at relevancy, there is no rationale that makes this ethical.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

Donald Trump’s Birtherism. Where Do Republicans Stand?

Donald Trump’s ascendance in the political arena was fueled by his prominent birtherism – widely considered racist – before the 2012 election. Over the past several weeks his campaign has attempted to backtrack, claiming that Trump now believes that President Obama was born in the United States, and today – after five years – he finally acknowledged that fact. He did not apologize, express regret for peddling this ridiculous lie, or offer any explanation for changing his mind less than two months before Election Day.

In an interview with the Washington Post just this past Wednesday, however, Trump continued to promulgate birtherism, refusing to say whether he accepted the fact that the President was born in Hawaii. It was far from the first time he has brought the birther issue up in the 2016 campaign.

While Connecticut Republicans have in recent days distanced themselves from Trump, they remain inextricably linked. The vast majority of GOP legislators in the state support his campaign, and the House minority leader, as well as several prominent Republican leaders, attended the Republican National Convention as a Trump delegate.

Democrats believe that Connecticut Republicans must be clear about whether they agree with Trump’s birtherism. Polls have shown that as many as 61 percent of Trump supporters believe that President Obama was born in another country. GOP candidates and elected officials need to make clear whether they stand with Trump and his supporters on this politically charged issue.

“President Obama was born in the United States. Donald Trump’s continued willingness to stoke the flames of racism that have defined the birther movement is yet another reminder of the GOP nominee’s penchant for playing the politics of hatred and fear. Donald Trump is, quite simply, unfit to serve as president and commander-in-chief.

“As they have done throughout this campaign – when Trump insulted prisoners of war, threatened to ban Muslims from entering the country, attacked a Gold Star family, and countless other transgressions – Connecticut Republicans will, I’m sure, remain silent, hoping not to answer for their nominee. It is up to the Connecticut media to hold these GOP candidates and officeholders accountable for their party’s standard bearer. To accept Trump’s racism and bigotry as a common occurrence of this campaign and to fail to ask tough questions of his supporters is to normalize it.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

CT Dems’ Statement on Republicans Campaigning on the Capitol Steps

From Executive Director Michael Mandell: “Actions speak far louder than words, and Connecticut Republicans leave no doubt they are the party of Donald Trump. The top House Republican and GOP legislators from both chambers attended the Republican National Convention as Trump delegates, and the vast majority of GOP legislators have declared their support for his hateful, divisive campaign. This attempt to change the narrative is disingenuous.

“Unfortunately, this is what we have come to expect from legislative Republicans. They have offered no real solutions while loudly rooting for Connecticut’s failure.  At the same time, Democrats have made the hard choices necessary to move our state forward, and the results have been real. We have the highest graduation rate in our state’s history, the lowest number of inmates in 20 years, an uninsured rate of 6%, and over 100,000 private sector jobs created since Governor Malloy took office.

“The Republicans are attempting to distract from their record – and for good reason. Their record, simply put, continues to place politics over making hard choices for the people of Connecticut.”

Trump Pays Lip Service To Paid Family Leave

In a speech tonight, Donald Trump is expected to pay lip service to a federal paid maternity leave policy. Although Trump’s ‘family friendly’ proposals would likely make matters worse for working families while benefiting wealthy parents, Connecticut Democrats expect Republicans in the state to support Trump’s plan while distancing themselves from their nominee’s more controversial rhetoric and proposals.

“This is another Donald Trump proposal. It’s aimed at convincing working people to vote for him, but in reality – like just about every policy he has released so far – it would do much more harm than good. He also has no real way to pay for it.

“Despite the plan’s complete impracticability, we predict that Republicans running for Congress in Connecticut will express their support while continuing to maintain their distance from the underlying agenda, attempting to avoid having to answer for their party’s nominee. In reality, the vast majority of Connecticut Republican politicians support Trump and should be held accountable.

“Democrats like Rosa DeLauro have fought for years to pass paid family leave – not just maternity leave – at the federal level. We will continue that fight long after Republicans have moved on from pandering.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Communications Director Leigh Appleby