Connecticut Democratic Party Blog

ROUNDUP: Democrats Call Out Trump And Connecticut Republicans

With Donald Trump making a head-scratching visit to Connecticut today, Democrats have kept the heat on the GOP nominee, calling him out for his hateful and divisive rhetoric, his racism, and his temperamental unfitness to serve as president of the United States.

Democrats also called out J.R. Romano and the Connecticut Republican Party for continuing to defend and support Trump despite his inciting violence, attacking Gold Star families, and outright mocking of people with disabilities, among many, many other transgressions.


CONNECTICUT POST: On eve of Trump visit, Democrats say he’s ‘unfit’

“Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and simply lacks the judgment to be president of the United States,” said Nancy DiNardo of Trumbull, the former state chairman who is now vice chairman. “He has mocked people with disabilities. He’s attacked Gold Star families who have sacrificed so much to protect this nation. He has tried to incite violence against his political opponents. And he has consistently and purposefully lied to the American people throughout the campaign.”

CT NEWS JUNKIE: Dems Call On Connecticut Republicans To Denounce Trump

“At times like this people should be judged by their silence, as well as about what they say,” [Hartford Mayor Luke] Bronin said.

HUFFINGTON POST HEADLINE: Why The Hell Is Donald Trump Campaigning In Democratic Connecticut?

HARTFORD COURANT: Democrats Say Trump Is Wasting His Time In Connecticut

“The fact that Donald Trump is coming to campaign in Connecticut this weekend is an indication of a presidential campaign that’s grasping at straws,” said state Rep. James Albis, D-East Haven.



Chris Shays: Why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton

CT Dems’ Reaction: “We are glad to see Congressman Shays step forward and put country before party. Unfortunately, current Connecticut GOP elected officials refuse to show the same courage. Donald Trump clearly lacks the temperament to serve as president. He has spent the past day inciting violence and the past week insulting a Gold Star family. Yet Connecticut Republicans – including House GOP leader Themis Klarides, congressional candidate Clay Cope, and state party Chairman J.R. Romano – continue to defend their nominee. I want to be very clear: Anything short of a full disavowal of Donald Trump constitutes a full embrace of his backwards policies and inflammatory rhetoric.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto

CNN: Chris Shays: Why I’m voting for Hillary Clinton

By Christopher Shays

During the 34 years I served as a Republican elected official in Connecticut, 13 years in the State House of Representatives, and 21 years in Congress, I always voted for our Republican candidate for governor and our Republican candidate for president.

Always, but not this time.

Donald Trump lost me a long time ago.

Read more…

Obama: It’s time for Republican leaders to denounce Trump

President Obama has called on GOP leaders to denounce Donald Trump. We couldn’t agree more. While Trump has continuously attempted to divide the nation to score cheap political points – most recently attacking a Gold Star family – Connecticut Republican leaders have, for the most part, either stayed silent or defended Trump.

According to the Hartford Courant:

  • House GOP leader Themis Klarides attempted to blame “media bias” for making an issue of the Republican nominee attacking the family of an American soldier killed in combat.
  • Her comments echoed GOP Chairman J.R. Romano’s bizarre defense of Trump in which he called three days of Trump attacking the Khan family a “gaffe” and also blamed media bias.
  • And GOP congressional candidate Clay Cope refused to even acknowledge that Trump’s attacks on a Gold Star family were wrong, instead trying to deflect the blame toward President Obama and Secretary Clinton.

“President Obama is exactly right. It is time for the Connecticut Republicans supporting Donald Trump to not just disavow his disgusting comments about the Khan family, but denounce his candidacy. Clearly, someone who would ban an entire religion from entering the country and attack the family of a fallen American hero is unfit to serve as our commander-in-chief. Connecticut Republicans who have defended Trump, including Themis Klarides, J.R. Romano, and Clay Cope, need to stop putting the Republican Party before our country. There is no excuse for continuing to apologize for Donald Trump’s hatred and division.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

GOP Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) today announced he will support Hillary Clinton for president over Donald Trump. We welcome Connecticut Republicans to do the same.

The Hill: Obama: It’s time for Republican leaders to denounce Trump

By Jesse Byrnes

President Obama on Tuesday called out Republican leaders for their continued support of Donald Trump.

Obama at a news conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore lashed out at Trump over the Republican presidential nominee’s feud with the parents of a Muslim U.S. Army captain who killed in Iraq.

Read more… 

Republican challenger for Senate seeks constituent email database

Key Points:

  • Len Suzio, who loves talking to the camera when trying to score his own political points, is nowhere to be found when facing tough questions.
  • GOP Sen. Henri Martin’s campaign manager Jeff Caggiano admitted they are using freedom of information requests to obtain personal information including emails and cell phones of voters to be contacted by the campaign.
  • Reacting to the report, Tom Swan of the Connecticut Citizens Action Group said Senate Republicans are “attempting to exploit people’s participation in the political process for their personal gain” and called the practice “absolutely terrifying.” 

CT Dems’ Reaction: This is shameful. Senate Republicans are once again blurringthe lines between their official offices and their campaigns. They are exploiting the personal information of constituents who chose to make their voices heard for their own political gain. It’s sad that, rather than running a real grassroots campaign, the Senate GOP is resorting to cheap political tricks.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

Meriden Record Journal: Republican challenger for Senate seeks constituent email database

By Mike Savino

MERIDEN — The campaign for a Republican Senate candidate is seeking the release of a database of email addresses that state Sen. Dante Bartolomeo has compiled for constituency outreach.

Three Senate Republicans seeking re-election used a similar tactic to obtain databases maintained by their own offices, but city resident Len Suzio is the only Senate candidate from either party to request one from an opponent, according to records obtained by the Record-Journal through a Freedom of Information Request.

The Record-Journal is also seeking FOI requests for email address requests submitted to House Democrats and Republicans, but neither office respondedWednesday.

Anna Neumon’s request for email address and names of residents receiving an electronic newsletter from Bartolomeo is one of two requests Meriden residents made to her office. Guy Beeman and Lois DeMayo also filed in a request in March for copies of signed petitions circulated by Bartolomeo seeking support from residents opposed to some of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget cuts.

Neumon, who has worked in the past as Suzio’s campaign manager, said she filed the request on behalf of his campaign, but doesn’t know what he plans to do with the information. Suzio didn’t respond to multiple calls and an email seeking comment.

Other Republicans employing the practice defended the tactic, though. Sen. Joseph Markley, R-Southington, said he doesn’t believe constituents on his newsletter list would object to getting emails from his campaign, noting they have already asked for information about his work on his behalf.

He also said recipients do have the ability to opt out of future emails. Individuals submitted requests to the offices of Markley, and Sens. Henri Martin, of Bristol, and Art Linares, of Westbrook, for email addresses.

Jeff Caggiano, Martin’s campaign manager, said he sought the list out of “curiosity to see what people are interested.” He said the campaign hadn’t yet decided what to do with the information, although he eventually relented that the request was made with the intention of using it in some capacity.

“I do believe the future of campaigning is going toward emails, going toward cell phones,” he also said.

The tactic drew criticism from Bartolomeo, whose office has yet to turn over email addresses, who said “never even considered using this information because I though it wasn’t allowed.”

Tom Swan, executive director for the Connecticut Citizens Action Group, echoed the sentiment, saying candidates are “attempting to exploit people’s participation in the political process for their personal gain.” He called the practice “absolutely terrifying,” and said it’s part of a larger pattern of behavior by campaigns to use information people may not realize is public.

Caggiano said the information is “free game for anybody” to obtain, noting that nothing in state law shields the information from disclosure or prohibits candidates from using it for campaign purposes.

Markley also questioned critics, noting lawmakers have met opposition when trying to shield similar information in the past from people who want to use the information for personal or commercial reasons, and not to hold public officials accountable.

Senate Minority Leader Leonard Fasano, R-North Haven, also said that uses of public records can get “unwieldy and have a detrimental effect,” and he thinks lawmakers will try to address issue in the future.

“Where do you draw the line?” he asked, referencing the difficulty in balancing people’s expectation of privacy with their right to public records. “How do you draw that is probably a difficult question?”

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