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Connecticut GOP files FEC complaint against Blumenthal

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

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The Connecticut Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal's campaign of illegally coordinating with Planned Parenthood to smear GOP rival Linda McMahon.

On Friday, Politico's Ben Smith reported on an email he obtained that showed a Blumenthal staffer passing on a request from Planned Parenthood for "worst of WWE + women photos."

"(Democratic consultant Andrew) Grossman is looking for mysoginistic photos of women in the WWE. Planned Parenthood wants to hit LM hard on it," Blumenthal press aide Marcy Stech wrote to seven other campaign aides and staffers at the state Democratic Party, according to the email obtained by Smith. "What do we got?"

The email seems to imply coordination between the Blumenthal campaign and Planned Parenthood, which is strictly prohibited under campaign rules.

But the Blumenthal campaign insists no coordination occurred. A Blumenthal aide noted that Planned Parenthood had simply asked for an image to be circulated on Twitter or in a press release. Blumenthal aides insist that sharing an image does not violate rules limiting coordination because the image wasn't used in a paid campaign ad.

Still, a McMahon spokesman accused the Blumenthal campaign of engaging in the "most sleazy, reprehensible politics imaginable" and the state GOP filed a complaint, asking the FEC to investigate the matter.

This comes just days after Democrats filed a complaint against McMahon in the race, accusing her of illegally coordinating with her former company, World Wrestling Entertainment.

(Photo of Blumenthal and McMahon by Dana Jensen/Pool/AP)

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