Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Newtown Massacre & The Courant’s Endorsement of McKinney

According to the August 2nd article in the Hartford Courant titled McKinney Over Foley in Republican Primary for Governor, McKinney is the paper’s choice to remain in the Capitol because, among other things, in the immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook, McKinney voted for the controversial and intrusive gun safety bill.

The Hartford Courant has thrown its endorsement to McKinney because the Senate Minority leader ignored the Republican base and voted with the Democrats where, “he could engage in the process and try to influence the drafting of the law.”

It is unclear how McKinney influenced that legislation and, actually, it would be of some interest to the voters to know what specific role McKinney played in crafting the sweeping legislative language. While the gun restrictions are repugnant to many, Ablechild is more concerned about the other legislative measures included, specifically the costly increases in mental health services forced on taxpayers.

Recall that the legislation in question was hurriedly passed with little or no public input. More importantly, the investigative report on Sandy Hook had not been completed at the time of the vote and, therefore, lawmakers, including McKinney, literally were writing legislation based on the passions of the moment, not on supporting data.
In fact, a year-and-a-half later, there still is no data to support the costly mental health measures passed in that legislation. There is no publicly available evidence that Adam Lanza lacked mental health services. Frankly, there is no information publicly provided about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment after 2007 – five years prior to the shooting. Is this information not important to McKinney or even the Courant?

Given the obvious lack of information about Lanza’s mental health, does it not seem irresponsible that lawmakers, including McKinney, would rush the passage of costly mental health legislation? After all, there is a projected $1.4 billion deficit next year. How much of this deficit includes the newly passed increased mental health services?
Ablechild appreciates McKinney’s experience and could have used his “influence” when it sued the state for the release of Adam Lanza’s medical/mental health records and toxicology report. But there was no support from McKinney or any lawmaker. There was no, nor is there any, interest on the part of lawmakers to obtain any data about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment leading up to the shooting.

Yes, McKinney’s 15-years of experience is helpful, but how effective is that experience if those legislative efforts are not based in documentable necessity? One cannot help but wonder how many other legislative measures were passed with McKinney’s “influence” that were based on zero supporting information?

For that matter, one has to wonder why the Hartford Courant, clearly aware of the lack of documentation regarding Adam Lanza’s mental health, continually fails to address this point. Additionally, is it not odd that, prior to the release of the investigative report, the Courant was all over the shooting at Sandy Hook but has failed to report on investigative details that scream for answers.

Specifically, is the Courant not interested in the oddity of the envelope found in the Lanza home, addressed “for the young children of Sandy Hook Elementary” and, of which, the DNA of a known offender in New York was obtained. Is the Courant not interested in what information was contained in the stamped, addressed envelope? Is there no interest by this reporting entity as to how this piece of evidence found its way into the Lanza home?

It’s one thing for lawmakers to ignore investigative material, but when a leading press organization blatantly fails to report on important investigative details, the people of the state truly are not being served.


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