DC handlers turn Newtown families into anti-gun lobbyists
I know people deal with grief in different ways, but it's sad to see the families who have already lost so much being used to push a political agenda:
A group of experienced operators is guiding these families -- to a degree that has irritated some pro-gun Republicans. An uber-strategist for the families is Ricki Seidman, a familiar face at the top levels of Democratic politics ever since she ran the Clinton-Gore campaign's famous 1992 war room. Seidman, a senior principal with TSD Communications, was Vice President Joe Biden's communications director during the 2008 general election, and helped the White House win confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Bennett's Third Way connected the families with a lobbying firm, Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, that set up more than 25 Hill meetings this week alone. And Lara Bergthold, a veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns now with Griffin, Schein in Los Angeles, is helping to manage the media onslaught.
Democratic lobbyists aren't the only ones taking advantage of the tragedy. One of the senators responsible for representing the citizens of Newtown in Washington is using it to line his campaign coffers:
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!
"As your senator, I will continue fighting for the rights of all the people, not the special interests. But I need your help," Blumenthal wrote in an email to supporters Thursday morning. "Please contribute $5 now as the Senate debate continues on common-sense gun reform legislation this week."