The New Haven Register did NOT say in its editorial that U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal ought not to be raising campaign funds from atop the bodies of 20 slain school children; this would have been irregular and, perhaps worst, impolite.
The editorial said that U.S. Representative Chris Murphy and Governor Dannel Malloy were “helping give voice to the victims’ families” in Washington D.C. preceding a vote on a gun regulation bill, necessary efforts on an important issue.
However, the paper noted, “The issue took a disgusting political turn on Thursday, though, when U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., used Sandy Hook to raise money. The money is not for one of the relief funds set up to help victims’ families, or to fund mental health services, or to support autism research… In the wake of the horror of the December 14, 2012, massacre of 20 beautiful children and 6 dedicated educators, Blumenthal is asking supporters to send money to his 2016 re-election campaign!... Using the ‘horror’ of the ‘massacre of 20 beautiful children’ at a time when critical legislation honoring their memory is at stake to beg for $5 for your next political campaign is as tasteless as it gets.”
Mr. Blumenthal, the eighth richest millionaire senator in congress, wrote in an auto-appeal to his prospective campaign contributors – some of whom may reside in stricken Newtown -- “In the wake of the horror of the December 14, 2012, massacre of 20 beautiful children and 6 dedicated educators… As your senator, I will continue fighting for the rights of all the people, not the special interests. But I need your help, Please contribute $5 now as the Senate debate continues on common-sense gun reform legislation this week.”
Mr. Murphy later defended Mr. Blumenthal’s poorly timed campaign pitch: “People want to support the work that we do and right now people supporting the work we are doing is on this bill.”
Asked by a reporter if using the Sandy Hook slaughter as a pitch for money was insensitive, Mr. Blumenthal, avoiding a direct answer, responded “I am committed to working with the families in fighting for the cause of gun violence prevention.”
In the past, Mr. Blumenthal several times claimed before various select groups – inadvertently, of course – that he had served in the military in Vietnam. The false claims were picked up by the New York Times and used by Linda McMahon, then running as a Republican for the U .S. Senate, as a battering ram against the impregnable Mr. Blumenthal, whom suffered the minor annoyance with great tolerance, went into hiding near the end of his campaign and finally emerged victorious. After 20 years handling press inquiries as Connecticut’s crusading attorney general, Mr. Blumenthal has got the dodge dance down pat: When confronted with a hostile question, answer the question you wished you had been asked; then shut up and go away.