Until Monday, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal seemed to be a shoo-in for retiring Sen. Chris Dodd’s Senate seat. He appeared to have the perfect political résumé: Harvard College (magna cum laude, editor in chief of the Harvard Crimson, captain of the swim team), Yale Law, a Supreme Court clerkship, staff positions in the White House and Senate, U.S. Attorney, state representative, state senator. Along the way, he served in the Marines in Vietnam. Robert Redford wasn’t this well put together in “The Candidate.”
Then came revelations on the front page of the New York Times that Mr. Blumenthal had deliberately misled people about key parts of this history. Contrary to what he claimed in various speeches to veterans’ groups, Mr. Blumenthal never served in Vietnam. He received at least five deferments, ultimately serving in the Marine Reserves in Washington. Nor did Mr. Blumenthal bother to correct multiple profiles that described him as having been captain of the Harvard swim team; he was not.
For two decades as attorney general, Mr. Blumenthal’s word was rarely challenged. Now his credibility is damaged and his aggressively antibusiness record is being publicly scrutinized for the first time.
He seems to have a problem with abuse of power, as well:
……The attorney general has also used the power of the state to bully small businesses. In 2003, he sued Computers Plus Center for $1.75 million in damages for allegedly selling state government machines without specified parts. Mr. Blumenthal issued a press release accusing the business owner, Gina Malapanis, of fraud: “No supplier should be permitted to shortchange or overcharge the State without severe consequences,” he said. “We will vigorously pursue this case to recover taxpayer money and send a strong message about zero tolerance for contractor misconduct.” Ms. Malapanis was even arrested in her home on seven first-degree larceny charges.
In 2008 the charges against Ms. Malapanis were dismissed. As for the civil case, she refused to plead guilty and countersued the state for abusing its power and violating her constitutional rights. The jury, recoiling at the overly aggressive action that ruined her business, awarded her a whopping $18 million in January. In a handwritten note on court documents, the jury foreman said the state had engaged in a “pattern of conduct” that harmed Ms. Malapanis’s reputation, and cited the state’s press releases impugning her integrity, some of which came from Mr. Blumenthal. Mr. Blumenthal is appealing the decision.
An eminent domain case involving a working quarry taken in 2004 to expand a highway in the town of Brookfield ended up in court. The quarry owners, who were originally paid about $4 million for the property, felt cheated by the state. They sued, and Mr. Blumenthal defended the state’s action, bringing in new appraisers who also low-balled the property’s value. Judge Barbara Sheedy concluded the state had been “unprofessional” and “less than scrupulous” in its handling of the case, having hand-picked unqualified appraisers for the purpose of deliberately underestimating the quarry’s value. The owners were awarded another $28 million, including interest payments.
……So it’s no wonder Connecticut’s business community quietly greeted Mr. Blumenthal’s candidacy for federal office with relief: Anything to get him out of state.
The attorney general will face a credible Republican opponent in the fall in either former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons or Linda McMahon, who made a fortune in entertainment as an executive of the World Wrestling Federation. Although Mr. Blumenthal still leads both opponents in the polls, for the first time in his career he’s looking politically vulnerable.
What is with these morons? Faking your service record, especially in this day and age of cyber research, is just stupid on steroids. He served the country honorably, but didn’t step one foot inside Vietnam. Lots of military personnel serve during wartime but never get deployed. There’s nothing shameful in that. He should have had the decency to be honest about his service instead of lying for the sake of padding his political resume. Moreover, I’d love to know how he got five deferments. He’s a phony war vet, and that puts him in the asshole category.
Which means the Dems will do every thing they can to get this jerk elected.