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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Duff, Looney and Democratic Senators Defend Sen. Osten Against Vile and Violent Threats Made On CT GOP Facebook Page

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SPRAGUE – Connecticut Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) spoke this morning at Sprague Town Hall to denounce online threats posted Monday on a Connecticut Republican Party Facebook page against state Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), threatening to shoot her, or pull her out of her car and beat her unconscious, after someone alleged online that she had marred his or her lawn while campaigning door-to-door for first selectman. The Senators were joined by their colleagues Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams (D-Meriden), Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), Representative Kevin Ryan (D-Montville), and Representative Toni Walker (D-New Haven).

The threats – which have been reported to law enforcement – are attached below. The threats were made in relation to Sen. Osten’s local campaign seeking re-election as First Selectman of Sprague.

“I began campaigning almost 30 years ago, and I have seen a gradual decline in both the public’s interest in campaigns and the amity of the public when it comes to door-knocking. But to threaten physical violence up to and including death for the merest of perceived slights by a local candidate for public office to me signals a new and alarming phase in this decline. It’s senseless,” Sen. Looney said. “Just last week I issued a statement denouncing the comments of a New Britain Democrat who had used foul language on a social media site to describe New Britain Republican Mayor Erin Stewart, who is running for re-election. I think Republicans and Democrats and the general public all agree that we cannot stand for this. And yet it keeps happening. I fear there may be a social pathology at play here that seems beyond the reach of any mature discourse or conventional social norms. Our broad protections of free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution do not extend to comments constituting a threat of violence by reckless and intemperate individuals.”

“Thanks to the virulent venom that has been spread for years, mostly online, this is where we are now, unfortunately, when it comes to public online debate: threatening to beat or kill someone for supposedly marring someone’s lawn. It’s sick, it’s unfathomable, and it’s so easy for some people to do. But at least there are others of us who still have a grounding in reason and good judgement to call these people out, to show them for the hate-filled partisans that they are, and to demand accountability,” Sen. Duff said. “Last week there was a bipartisan response to an attack on a Republican mayoral candidate. I hope we can see bipartisanship today on this attack as well.”

CT GOP Facebook page attachments below:

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