Richard Blumenthal

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Richard Blumenthal
Richard Blumenthal.jpg
U.S. Senate, Connecticut
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 3
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorChristopher Dodd (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First elected2010
Next generalNovember 2016
Campaign $$8,733,486
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Connecticut Attorney General
1991-2011
Connecticut State Senate
1987-1991
Connecticut House of Representatives
1984-1987
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corp Reserve
Years of service1970-1976
Personal
BirthdayFebruary 13, 1946
Place of birthBrooklyn, New York City, New York
Net worth$103,803,192
ReligionJewish
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Richard Blumenthal (b. February 13, 1946, in Brooklyn, New York) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from Connecticut.[1] Blumenthal was first elected to the Senate in 2010.

Blumenthal previously served as the Connecticut Attorney General from 1991 to 2011, as a member of the Connecticut State Senate from 1987 to 1991 and as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Blumenthal is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.

Biography

Blumenthal graduated from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude) and Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal.[3] From 1970 to 1976 he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.[4]

  • Education
    • Bachelor's degree, Harvard College (magna cum laude)
    • Trinity College, Cambridge
    • Juris Doctorate degree, Yale Law School

Career

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Blumenthal serves on the following Senate committees:[5]

2011-2012

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[7] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Blumenthal's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

John Brennan CIA nomination

Yea3.png Blumenthal voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[9]

Economy


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Farm bill

Nay3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[10] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[11] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[11] Blumenthal was one of nine Democratic senators who voted against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[12][13] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[13] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[14] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Blumenthal voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[12][13]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Blumenthal voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[16]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Yea3.png Blumenthal voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[9]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Nay3.png Blumenthal voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[9]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Yea3.png Blumenthal voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[9]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Blumenthal voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[17]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Richard Blumenthal's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Blumenthal is a Liberal Populist. Blumenthal received a score of 46 percent on social issues and 11 percent on economic issues.[18]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[19]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Strongly Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Favors Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Neutral
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Unknown
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[18]

National security

Military action in Iraq

In June 2014, Blumenthal commented that President Barack Obama should seek a congressional vote before any military involvement in Iraq. Blumenthal said, "He should seek a vote if he contemplates any involvement. And I mean any involvement or prolonged military forces there [in Iraq]."[20]

Controversy

Sanctions on Russian banks

On September 17, 2013, Blumenthal urged President Barack Obama’s administration to enforce sanctions on Russian banks that he said were helping to finance the Syrian government’s war against rebel groups.[21]

He said he sent a letter with three other senators - Kelly Ayotte, John Cornyn and Jeanne Shaheen – urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to target the banks, which he said were violating existing sanctions under U.S. executive orders.[21]

Attorney General

Controversy

Big East and ACC

The Connecticut Attorney General played a pivotal role in one of the most notable college athletic stories in the first decade of the new century - the expansion of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with the departures of Boston College, Miami University and Virginia Tech from the Big East. He led efforts on behalf of several Big East football universities (Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and West Virginia) in legal proceedings against the ACC, the University of Miami and Boston College "accusing the three schools of conspiring to weaken the Big East."[22]

After a suit against Miami University was thrown out because "attorneys could not prove the conference did enough business in Connecticut to warrant a state suit,"[23] ACC Vice President Donn Ward questioned whether the people of Connecticut believed their top law enforcer ought to pursue far more important issues. In time, all of the suits filed in court would fail. Despite this, however, a settlement was reached, which included each school receiving $1 million and the addition of nine football games between 2008 and 2012.[24]

Even though Blumenthal insisted in a statement that the settlement protected Connecticut taxpayers "critical investment in the UConn football program," press accounts detailed that the amount of the settlement covered less than half of the legal fees that each school incurred from participating in the litigation. Furthermore, the argument that the Big East would be weakened as a result of the expansion of the ACC fell apart over the years. Teams such as Rutgers and West Virginia not only survived but thrived as a direct result of the change.[25]

Gay Marriage

On May 17, 2004, Blumenthal released a legal opinion arguing that same-sex couples could not marry in Connecticut because the state's "statutes do not allow or authorize issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples."[26] He did suggest, however, that the law could be altered, but that responsibility was left up to the Connecticut General Assembly.

Interstate air pollution

In 1997, Blumenthal, in collaboration with then-Governor of Connecticut John G. Rowland, petitioned for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the issue of interstate air pollution from both the Midwest and Southeastern portions of the country. This petition was filed in accordance with Section 126 of the Clean Air Act, which allows a state to request pollution reductions from out-of-state sources that contribute significantly to its air quality problems.[27]

Richard Blumenthal for Senate Campaign logo

Six years later, Blumenthal, along with eleven other state attorneys general, filed suit to prevent what they argued were the "changes that threaten to gut the New Source Review (NSR) section of the federal Clean Air Act." Specifically, they objected to the "new regulation [that] states that any modification costing up to 20 percent of the replacement cost of the unit will be considered routine maintenance – and therefore exempt from pollution controls, even if the plant modification produces much higher levels of air pollution."[28] A number of local governments, including the New York City and various Connecticut municipalities, were also plaintiffs in the suit.

MySpace

In May 2007, Blumenthal demanded that the social networking website, MySpace, turn over a list of known sex offenders who used the site. After initially refusing, Blumenthal, in conjunction with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, both of whom co-chaired the state attorney general task force on social networking, issued a subpoena. In response, MySpace announced that "it has identified about 90,000 convicted registered sex offenders on the site, 40,000 more than previously acknowledged"[29] and that it would turn over the information to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation. Republican state chairman Chris Healy, a fervent Blumenthal critic, praised the state attorney general's action in this matter.[30]

Stanley Works

On May 10, 2002, both Blumenthal and Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier helped halt a hostile takeover of the New Britain-based hardware manufacturer Stanley Works, a major Connecticut employer, by filing a lawsuit alleging that a shareowner vote to reincorporate the company in Bermuda was ripe with 'irregularities' and that it "misrepresented how the move to Bermuda could affect shareowners."[31] The matter was referred to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 3 for further investigation. Twenty-two days later, Blumenthal testified before the United States House Ways and Means Committee arguing that "long-time American corporations with operations in other countries can dodge tens of millions of dollars in federal taxes by the device of reincorporating in another country" by "simply [filing] incorporation papers in a country with friendly tax laws, open a post-office box and hold an annual meeting there" and that Stanley Works, along with "Cooper Industries, Seagate Technologies, Ingersoll-Rand and PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, to name but a few, have also become pseudo-foreign corporations for the sole purpose of saving tax dollars." He stated that "Corporations proposing to reincorporate to Bermuda, such as Stanley, often tell shareholders that there is no material difference in the law"[32] but said that this was not the case and was misleading to their shareholders. In order to rectify this situation, Blumenthal championed House Resolution 3884: Corporate Patriot Enforcement Act of 2002 to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prevent corporations from avoiding the United States income tax by reincorporating in a foreign country.[33]

The cooperative efforts of Blumenthal and Nappier were not without criticism. An editorial appearing in the May 9, 2003, edition of the Wall Street Journal stated that "Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and GOP Congresswoman Nancy Johnson will no doubt now want to take some responsibility for the company's decision this week to lay off 1,000 workers and close nine facilities."[34]

Terrorist Surveillance Program

In October 2007, Blumenthal was only one of four state attorneys general lobbying Congress to reject proposals to provide immunity from litigation to telecommunication firms that cooperated with the federal government's terrorist surveillance program following the attacks on September 11, 2001. Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Blumenthal insisted that "granting immunity would short-circuit pending litigation seeking to allow Connecticut and other states to investigate whether telecommunications companies broke state privacy laws prohibiting release of caller information without warrants."[35] While liberal political activist groups like the ACLU and MoveOn.org pushed for suits against telecommunications firms, such action was opposed by both Bush administration officials and California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who held the pivotal vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[36]

ACORN

See also: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now

Blumenthal was one of six state attorneys general, all of whom belonged to the Democratic Party, who received the highest rating, a letter grade of A+, from the June 2008 Survey and Scorecard report published by the embattled liberal political organization, ACORN. The report was published in an effort to shine the spotlight on state attorneys general "leading the fight to protect homeowners from joining the flood of Americans losing their homes to foreclosure," according to the group.[37]

AIG Bonuses

It was revealed in March 2009 that American International Group (AIG), which had "received more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money from the Treasury and Federal Reserve," planned to pay out $165 million in bonuses to the same executives who had in the prior year brought the company to the brink of collapse.[38] Three days after this revelation, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd (D) "confessed to adding language to a spending cap in the stimulus bill last month that specifically excluded executive bonuses included in contracts signed before the bill's passage," including those for executives of AIG.[39] Though he passed the blame on Obama administration officials, specifically Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, for pressuring him to insert the language into the bill in the first place, it was revealed that the previous year Dodd had received over $280,000 in political contributions from AIG employees, making the American insurance company the fourth largest contributor to his campaign.[40]

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez faced charges of bribery, fabricating evidence, extortion, and conspiracy to fabricate evidence

Blumenthal went after AIG, demanding the insurance company provide his office a list of bonus amounts and recipients, in addition to copies of contracts and other information related to their payment. The Connecticut Attorney General, however, did not file suit against Senator Chris Dodd, despite the fact that AIG Financial Products is based out of their home state of Connecticut. Quizzed as to why he was refusing to go after Senator Dodd for his role in the AIG bonus scandal by conservative personality Glenn Beck on his FOX News television program, Blumenthal replied that it was outside the realm of his authority as Connecticut Attorney General. When pressed to give an answer as to what specific law AIG executives had broken in receiving their bonuses, Blumenthal stammered and was unable to cite the exact statute. Beck slammed Blumenthal's response, calling the Connecticut Attorney General "an insult to George Washington," who, he went to say, "made it very clear that we are a respecter of laws, not of men."[41] The conservative radio/television commentator suggested Blumenthal did it to serve his own political ambitions.

CEI rating, 2007

In an analysis of state attorneys general published in January 2007, Blumenthal was named The Nation's Worst Attorney General by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Judged based on dubious dealings, fabricating law, usurping legislative power and predatory practices, the Connecticut Attorney General received a letter grade of F in all four categories. CEI called Blumenthal "a tireless crusader for growing the power of his own office and spreading largesse to his cronies."[42]

CEI rating, 2010

In an analysis of state attorneys general published in July 2010, Blumenthal was named "The Nation's Third Worst Attorney General" by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. Basing their criteria on dubious dealings, fabricating law, usurping legislative power and predatory practices, the Connecticut Attorney General, who at the time of the publication was a gubernatorial candidate, received a letter grade of F in all four categories. The CEI called Blumenthal "a left-wing ideologue who has used the power of his office to spread largesse to cronies."[43]

Eddie Perez

In November 2007, Blumenthal appeared at Arch Street Tavern in Hartford, Connecticut, in an effort to raise money, approximately $100 per person, in support of Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. Months before, Perez had announced that police had searched his house after it was alleged that he "allowed a contractor [who had received city business] to spend around $30,000 to fix his bathroom."[44] An arrest warrant was issued for Perez charging him with bribery, fabricating evidence and conspiracy to fabricate evidence in January 2009. Eight months later, the Hartford Mayor was arrested again, this time facing extortion charges stemming from a no-bid parking lot deal.

PAC contributions

In an interview conducted on MSNBC's morning program, Morning Joe, in January 2010, Blumenthal argued that he had never accepted PAC contributions, stating, “I have never taken PAC money and I have rejected all special interest money because I have stood strong and have taken legal action against many of those special interests.”[45][46] However, an examination of the Democratic candidate's campaign finance reports on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website shows that the Connecticut Attorney General's senatorial campaign took in nearly $200,000 in the first quarter of 2010 and that as of late-August 2010 the number had ballooned to as much as $480,000.[47]

Blumenthal's campaign insisted, however, that the Democratic candidate never lied. He contended that in the interview he was referring to his twenty years as the state's top law enforcer because "of the unique features of that job."[48] The context of the January 2010 interview reveals otherwise as the female news reporter, just prior to Blumenthal's comment in regards to accepting PAC contributions, was asking about the race for the Senate seat and how expensive the campaign would be. When pressed further about how expensive the race would be, he remarked that "he was going to run a “very grass-roots campaign” and seek fundraising “from ordinary citizens.”"[49]

Richard Miron and William E. Magner, Jr

William Magner of Easton, Connecticut, was accused of serving on a cemetery board while being paid to manage cemeteries overseen by the board. The law passed seven years after Magner took his seat on the board. When he learned of the violation, Magner resigned from the board to remain manager.

Magner settled the criminal charges against him by pleading guilty and accepting probation. As of October 2010, Blumenthal continued to seek a six-figure settlement from him, three years after the cemetery association seized his property and fired his management company.

“Our lawsuit against Magner seeks restitution, civil penalties and a court order stopping Magner’s alleged law breaking,” said Tara Downes, spokesman for Blumenthal. “Cemetery associations are entrusted to provide the best service to honor the deceased and their descendants, and should not be compromised by conflicts of interest that threaten to divert funds intended for proper cemetery maintenance and care.”
“We estimate that several consumers are still owed goods or services – collectively worth thousands of dollars – for which they prepaid,” she said.

The cemetery association seized Miron’s property in November 2007 in the presence of four Danbury police officers and an investigator from Blumenthal’s office.

Richard Miron was charged with larceny after taking money for more than 70 gravestones but never providing the product.

He also settled the criminal charges against him by pleading guilty and accepting probation. However, the payment of restitution satisfied Blumenthal, who decided not to seek any civil penalties although state law allowed him to seek $5,000 per victim.

Miron is a longtime party boss in Stratford. According to Raising Hale, Miron "ripped off senior citizens, a synagogue and other clients who paid in advance for at least 70 headstones and received nothing." According to court documents, Miron’s company, Lakeview Monument, was financially unable to fill orders in April 2007 but continued to accept orders for six months.

Miron pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree larceny and was sentenced in June to 10 years of probation.

The Attorney General’s office began its investigation into Miron in December 2007. On April 8, 2008, Blumenthal issued a press release as a first public salvo against Miron. Miron paid no fines. Instead, Blumenthal settled for restitution.

“The investigator was present with the consent of the cemetery association,” Downes said. “He had no involvement in any property seizure, nor did he speak to Mr. Magner while there beyond identifying himself when Mr. Magner asked.”
“This office did not seize or attach property in either case (Miron or Magner),” she said. “In the Miron case, the defendant ultimately agreed to provide full restitution, absolving the need to attach property. The Magner case remains ongoing and, as stated above, the state did not seize any property.”[50]

After Raising Hale ran an editorial about the Miron and Magner cases, Blumenthal's office responded, accusing the editorial of making mistakes:

The office sued Lakeview Monuments of Bridgeport and owner Richard Miron, pursuing Miron aggressively when he failed to provide gravestones to at least 73 consumers. The attorney general fought vigorously on behalf of consumers, ultimately achieving a settlement that provided full restitution — every penny back — to all 73 consumers. This agreement provided more prompt relief to consumers who might have been forced to wait years from litigation tied up in court.[51]

Vietnam comment

Words spoken in 2008 at the Veterans War Memorial Building in Shelton, Connecticut, to honor those who served during the Vietnam conflict came back to haunt State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. In his speech at the event, he recalled "the taunts, the insults, sometimes even physical abuse” visited upon him and his fellow soldiers when they returned home from combat.[52][53] The New York Times also cited at least eight other local newspaper stories published between 2003 and 2009 baring similar comments from Blumenthal.

The problem is that not only did Blumenthal never serve in Vietnam, but that he deliberately sought "at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war."[53] When he was confronted about the issue in an interview, he argued that he could not possibly be knowledgeable about every single thing that is written about him and dodge the matter of whether or not his office had taken steps to correct the inaccuracies.[54]

What made the issue all the more contentious is that one of the five Republican candidates that challenged Blumenthal in the 2010 election was former Congressman Rob Simmons, who "enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1965 as a Private, and spent 19 months in Vietnam where he earned two Bronze Star Medals."[55] Blumenthal received severe backlash for the revelation from a number of sources. Andy Levy, an Army Veteran and FOX News commentator, called the Connecticut Attorney General "an utterly despicable coward who claims the bravery and actions of others as your own. Rot in hell."[56] Meanwhile, liberal-leaning pollster Nate Silver suggested that Blumenthal exit the Senate race, arguing that "for a public servant, lying about military service is way worse than lying about an affair."[57]

Blumenthal's senatorial campaign contended that the article was a "hit job" and "full of inaccuracies."[58] The Democratic Senatorial candidate insisted the next day that in spite of the controversy he would remain in the race.[59] On Friday, May 21, 2010, at the state's Democratic convention, Blumenthal received his party's endorsement, but only after his primary opponent, Merrick Alpert, was prevented from speaking and then formally withdrew his name from nomination. Arriving on stage to the tune of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," Blumenthal remarked that he had made mistakes, but that he had taken responsibility for his actions and that the campaign must be about the people of Connecticut.[60][61] Two days after accepting the party nomination, he formally apologized "for repeatedly referring to himself as a Vietnam veteran or referencing his return from Vietnam," regretting having not been clear or precise about his service in the Marine Corps Reserves.[62]

Elections

2010

  • 2010 Race for United States Senate - Democratic Primary
    • Richard Blumenthal ran unopposed in this contest
United States Senate
U.S. Senate Seal.png
Elections, 2010
Primary election dates, 2010
2010 Race for United States Senate - General Election[63]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Richard Blumenthal 54.2%
     Republican Party Linda McMahon 44.2%
     Independent Warren B Mosler 1.0%
     Connecticut for Lieberman John Mertens 0.6%
Total Votes 802,636

Blumenthal wasted no time declaring his candidacy for the United States Senate directly on the heels of Senator Christopher Dodd's announcement on January 6, 2010, that he would be retiring at the end of the congressional term.[1]

Public Policy Polling released information from a survey conducted just prior to Dodd's retirement announcement that showed in a head-to-head matchup, Blumenthal would easily defeat Simmons 59 - 28 percent.[64] Another poll conducted by Quinnipiac University a few days later exhibited Blumenthal's margin of victory over Simmons widening to 62 - 27 percent.[65]

However, after the New York Times broke the story that for years Blumenthal had been lying about having served in Vietnam, Rasmussen conducted a survey of 500 likely voters and found that his lead in the United States Senate had shrunk dramatically to a little over three percentage points.[66] The leading Republican candidate, Linda McMahon, former CEO of Wrestling Entertainment, took credit for tipping off the New York Times about Blumenthal's exaggerations.

On Friday, May 21, 2010, at the state's Democratic convention, Blumenthal received his party's endorsement, but only after his primary opponent, Merrick Alpert, was prevented from speaking and then formally withdrew his name from nomination. Arriving on stage to the tune of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," Blumenthal remarked that he had made mistakes, but that he had taken responsibility for his actions and that the campaign must be about the people of Connecticut.[60] [61] Two days after accepting the party nomination, he formally apologized "for repeatedly referring to himself as a Vietnam veteran or referencing his return from Vietnam," regretting having not been clear or precise about his service in the Marine Corps Reserves.[62]

Polling data published by Rasmussen in early-June 2010 showed that after having formally apologized for claiming he had served in Vietnam, Blumenthal had rebounded and held a twenty-three point lead against leading Republican challenger, Linda McMahon.[67]

On November 2, 2010, Blumenthal won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Linda E. McMahon (R), Warren B. Mosler (I), John Mertens (I), Brian K. Hill (I), Jeff Russel (I), Rodd Vachon (I), Jay J. Giles (I), John Traceski (I), Matthew Coleman (I) and Dave Olszta (I) in the general election.[68]

United States Senate, Connecticut General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Blumenthal Incumbent 52.5% 605,204
     Republican Linda E. McMahon 43.2% 498,341
     Independent Working Families 2.7% 30,836
     Independent Warren B. Mosler 1% 11,275
     Ct. for Lieberman John Mertens 0.6% 6,735
     Independent Brian K. Hill 0% 559
     Independent Jeff Russell 0% 45
     Independent Todd Vachon 0% 45
     Independent Carl E. Vassar 0% 31
     Independent Jay J. Giles 0% 17
     Independent John Traceski 0% 15
     Independent Matthew Coleman 0% 7
     Independent Dave Olszta 0% 5
Total Votes 1,153,115

2006

On November 7, 2006, Richard Blumenthal won re-election to the office of Attorney General of Connecticut. He defeated Robert Farr (R), Nancy Burton (Green) and John M. Joy (Write-in) in the general election.

Attorney General of Connecticut, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democrat Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Blumenthal Incumbent 74.1% 782,235
     Republican Robert Farr 24.2% 256,018
     Green Nancy Burton 1.7% 17,684
     Write-in John M. Joy 0% 4
Total Votes 1,055,941
Election Results Via: Connecticut Secretary of State
  • 2006 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
  • Richard Blumenthal ran unopposed in this contest

2002

On November 5, 2002, Richard Blumenthal won re-election to the office of Attorney General of Connecticut. He defeated Martha Dean (R) in the general election.

Attorney General of Connecticut, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democrat Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Blumenthal Incumbent 65.6% 632,351
     Republican Martha Dean 34.4% 330,874
Total Votes 963,225
Election Results Via: Connecticut Secretary of State
  • 2002 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
  • Richard Blumenthal ran unopposed in this contest

1998

On November 3, 1998, Richard Blumenthal won re-election to the office of Attorney General of Connecticut. He defeated Santa Mendoza (R) and Richard J. Pober (L) in the general election.

Attorney General of Connecticut, 1998
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democrat Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Blumenthal Incumbent 30.6% 282,289
     Republican Santa Mendoza 68.5% 631,588
     Libertarian Richard J. Pober 0.8% 7,537
Total Votes 921,414
Election Results Via: Connecticut Secretary of State
  • 1998 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary
  • Richard Blumenthal ran unopposed in this contest

Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Blumenthal attends.


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Blumenthal is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Blumenthal raised a total of $8,733,486 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 25, 2013.[69]

Richard Blumenthal's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 US Senate (Connecticut) Won $8,733,486
Grand Total Raised $8,733,486

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

2010

Blumenthal won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Blumenthal's campaign committee raised a total of $8,733,486 and spent $8,716,686.[70]

2006

2006 Race for Attorney General - Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $520,676
Total Raised by Primary Opponent N/A
Total Raised by Gen. Election Opponent $72,851
Top 5 Contributors Richard Blumenthal $150,000 (28.81% of Total)
Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener $3,000 (0.58%)
Robert Simons $1,500 (0.29%)
Henry S. Miller $1,500 (0.29%)
Paul Warren $1,500 (0.29%)
Individuals v. Institutions $365,463 (70.2%)
$2,000 (0.4%)
In v. Outside State $457,795 (87.9%)
$59,865 (11.5%)

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Blumenthal's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $86,307,329 and $121,299,056. That averages to $103,803,192, which is higher than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333.90. Blumenthal ranked as the 2nd most wealthy senator in 2012.[71] Between 2009 and 2012, Blumenthal's calculated net worth[72] increased by an average of 1 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[73]

Richard Blumenthal Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2009$101,528,452
2012$103,803,192
Growth from 2009 to 2012:2%
Average annual growth:1%[74]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[75]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Blumenthal is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of July 2014. This was the same rating Blumenthal received in June 2013.[76]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[77]

Blumenthal most often votes with:

Blumenthal least often votes with:


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

Blumenthal missed 16 of 1,005 roll call votes from January 2011 to July 2014. This amounts to 1.6 percent, which is better than the median of 2 percent among current senators as of July 2014.[78]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Blumenthal paid his congressional staff a total of $1,703,678 in 2011. He ranked 1st on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 9th overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Connecticut ranked 14th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[79]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.

2013

Blumenthal ranked 5th in the liberal rankings among U.S. senators in 2013.[80]

2012

Blumenthal ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2012. He was tied with another senator for the ranking.[81]

2011

Blumenthal ranked 37th in the liberal rankings in 2011.[82]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.

2014

Blumenthal voted with the Democratic Party 97.5 percent of the time, which ranked 8th among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of July 2014.[83]

2013

Blumenthal voted with the Democratic Party 97.6 percent of the time, which ranked 8th among the 51 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[84]

Personal

Blumenthal resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife, Cynthia. The couple has four children together.[4]

  • Awards
    • Raymond E. Baldwin Award (2002) from the Quinnipiac University School of Law
    • Trumpeter Award (2008) from the National Consumers League

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Richard + Blumenthal + Connecticut + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Richard Blumenthal News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Huffington Post, "Richard Blumenthal Will Run To Replace Dodd In Senate," January 6, 2010
  2. Project Vote Smart, "Richard Blumenthal," accessed June 19, 2013
  3. Yale Law Journal, "March 1973," accessed October 14, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 United States Senator Richard Blumenthal, "Biography," accessed October 14, 2011
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Stamford Plus, "Blumenthal receives top tier committee assignments," accessed October 14, 2011
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Project Vote Smart, "Richard Blumenthal Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  10. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 )," accessed February 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  14. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  18. 18.0 18.1 On The Issues, "Richard Blumenthal Vote Match," accessed June 18, 2014
  19. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  20. Huffington Post, "Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal Thinks Obama Should Have Congress Vote On Iraq," June 16, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 Politico, "Richard Blumenthal: Punish Russian banks," accessed September 18, 2013
  22. The New Republic, "The Problem With Utah's Bcs Antitrust Claim," January 11, 2009
  23. ESPN, "Action names BC, ACC officials individually," October 13, 2003
  24. ESPN, "Conferences schedule games as part of settlement," May 4, 2005
  25. ESPN, "Once left for dead, Big East thriving in BCS," May 22, 2008
  26. Connecticut Attorney General's Office, "Attorney General Releases Opinion On Legality of Same-Sex Marriages in Connecticut," May 17, 2004
  27. Clean Air Act, "Section 126," accessed November 2010
  28. Connecticut Attorney General's Office, "Blumenthal, Other Attorneys General Warn EPA That Energy Industry Contacts Must Be Disclosed," February 7, 2002
  29. Connecticut Attorney General's Office, "CT, NC Attorneys General Say MySpace Response To Subpoena Reveals 90,000 Registered Sex Offenders With Profiles," February 3, 2009
  30. Make Blue Red, "Blumenthal Does Something Good," May 21, 2007
  31. Social Funds, "Connecticut Fights to Keep Stanley Works from Disappearing to Bermuda," July 9, 2002
  32. House Ways and Means Committee, "Testimony," June 25, 2002
  33. GovTrack, "H.R. 3884: Corporate Patriot Enforcement Act of 2002," accessed November 2010
  34. Wall Street Journal, "Sorry, Stanley," May 9, 2003
  35. Connecticut Attorney General's Office, "Attorney General, Four Other States Urge U. S. Senate To Reject Immunity For Telecoms That Cooperated With Warrantless Wiretapping," November 5, 2007
  36. San Francisco Chronicle, "Feinstein backs legal immunity for telecom firms in wiretap cases," November 9, 2007
  37. ACORN, "Attorneys General Take Action: Real Leadership in Fighting Foreclosures," June 2008
  38. New York Times, "A.I.G. Planning Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout," March 14, 2009
  39. FOX News, "Sen. Dodd Admits Adding Bonus Provision to Stimulus Package," March 18, 2009
  40. Open Secrets, "Before the Fall, AIG Payouts Went to Washington," March 16, 2009
  41. Newsbusters, "Fox News Host Beck Slams Connecticut AG: 'You are an Insult to George Washington'," March 30, 2009
  42. Competitive Enterprise Institute, "Issue Analysis: The Nation’s Top Ten Worst State Attorneys General," January 24, 2007
  43. Competitive Enterprise Institute, "Issue Analysis: The Nation’s Top Ten Worst State Attorneys General," July 12, 2010
  44. The Everyday Republican, "The Company That Dick Blumenthal Keeps," November 11, 2007
  45. YouTube, "Dick Blumenthal Rejects Special Interest Money," April 16, 2010
  46. WFSB Hartford, "Blumenthal Campaign Funds In Question," April 27, 2010
  47. Hot Air, "Blumenthal took PAC money despite claims to have refused it," August 23, 2010
  48. New Haven Register, "Blumenthal, in East Haven, defends PAC contributions (video)," July 22, 2010
  49. New Haven Register, "Blumenthal again criticized over remarks: ‘Never taken PAC money’ doesn’t mean he ‘never’ took PAC money," August 22, 2010
  50. Raising Hale, "Did Blumenthal go easy on a thieving party boss?," October 22, 2010
  51. Raising Hale, "AG’s Office Responds on Miron/Magner Cases," October 22, 2010
  52. YouTube, "Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut lies about going to Vietnam," May 17, 2010
  53. 53.0 53.1 New York Times, "Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History," May 17, 2010
  54. The American Spectator, "Richard Blumenthal's Recovered Memory," May 20, 2010
  55. Hot Air, "Bombshell: Democratic Senate candidate lied about serving in Vietnam; Update: “Hit job”?," May 17, 2010
  56. Twitter, "Andy Levy," May 2010
  57. Twitter, "Nate Silver," May 2010
  58. The Atlantic, "The Night Beat: START It Up," May 17, 2010
  59. Wall Street Journal, "Blumenthal Says He Will Stay in Senate Race," May 18, 2010
  60. 60.0 60.1 The Hartford Courant, "Richard Blumenthal Nominated By Acclamation After Merrick Alpert Withdraws; Alpert Initially Blocked From Speaking At Convention," May 21, 2010
  61. 61.0 61.1 Hot Air, "Blumenthal wins Dem endorsement by acclamation at CT convention," May 22, 2010
  62. 62.0 62.1 Politics Daily, "Richard Blumenthal Apologizes for Vietnam Statements," May 24, 2010
  63. Connecticut Secretary of State, "2010 General Election Results," November 2010
  64. Public Policy Polling, "Blumenthal starts with commanding lead," January 6, 2010
  65. Quinnipiac University, "Blumenthal Body Slams Republicans In Connecticut, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Lieberman Approval Plummets," January 14, 2010
  66. Rasmussen Reports, "Connecticut Senate: Blumenthal Loses Ground, Leads McMahon By Just Three Points," May 19, 2010
  67. Rasmussen Reports, "Connecticut Senate: Blumenthal 56%, McMahon 33%," June 3, 2010
  68. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed December 3, 2010
  69. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Richard Blumenthal," accessed March 25, 2013
  70. Open Secrets, "Richard Blumenthal 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 6, 2011
  71. OpenSecrets, "Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), 2012," accessed March 4, 2013
  72. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  73. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  74. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  75. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  76. GovTrack, "Richard Blumenthal," accessed July 17, 2014
  77. OpenCongress, "Rep. Richard Blumenthal," accessed July 14, 2014
  78. GovTrack, "Richard Blumenthal," accessed July 17, 2014
  79. LegiStorm, "Richard Blumenthal," accessed August 6, 2012
  80. National Journal, "2013 Senate Vote Ratings," accessed July 17, 2014
  81. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  82. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  83. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  84. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Dodd
United States Senate
2010–present
Succeeded by
NA
Preceded by
Clarine Nardi Riddle
Connecticut Attorney General
1991–2010
Succeeded by
George C. Jepsen (D)
Preceded by
Anthony D. Truglia
Connecticut State Senate - District 27
1987–1990
Succeeded by
George C. Jepsen
Preceded by
NA
Connecticut House of Representatives - District 145
1984–1987
Succeeded by
NA