Tonight: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Tonight, the College Democrats will host Senator Richard Blumenthal, the junior Senator from Connecticut.  He was elected to the Senate to succeed former Senator Chris Dodd in 2010,  handily defeating WWE executive Linda McMahon.  He now serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary, HELP, and Aging committees.

Prior to being elected to the Senate, Blumenthal served an unmatched five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General, “fighting for people against large and powerful interests.”  Specifically, he aggressively protected consumers, labor, personal privacy, and the interests of Connecticut.  He has fought tobacco companies, protected children from predators on social networking sites, and preserved health care reform.  Notably, Blumenthal successfully argued for Connecticut in front of the US Supreme Court to uphold the Connecticut sex offender registry.

Before serving as Connecticut Attorney General, Senator Blumenthal served in the Connecticut State House from 1984-87 and State Senate from 1987-1990. Blumenthal also served six years in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Although he has served in the Senate for just over three months, Senator Blumenthal has already distinguished himself as a strong supporter of women’s rights.  At the conclusion of the budget battle on Friday night, Sen. Blumenthal reinforced just how ridiculous it was for the GOP to threaten a government shutdown over an issue as critical as women’s health. Back in February, Senator Blumenthal said,

“These dangerous pieces of legislation in the House to defund both the Title X Family Planning Program and Planned Parenthood would be devastating to millions of women, teens, and families who rely on community health clinics for vital basic health care services including cancer screenings, annual health exams, and preventative services such as HIV testing. In Connecticut alone, Planned Parenthood cares for tens of thousands of patients each year, and an elimination of Title X funding would leave these women with nowhere to turn. Just today, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner outlining just how harmful eliminating Title X funding would be to our state, and I encourage other state governors to add their voices to this fight.”

His chief of staff, Laurie Rubiner, is the former vice president for public policy for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Senator was endorsed and assisted by Planned Parenthood in his 2010 campaign.

In the recent budget debate, Senator Blumenthal strongly defended Social Security, saying “I believe that we should not be balancing the budget on the backs of people who are most vulnerable and who need government assistance most. I think that we will need to address Social Security if the current trends continue sometime after the next then years or so but not as part of dealing with the deficit.” The Senator supports enacting entitlement reform, but only without slashing Social Security or Medicare benefits.

Senator Blumenthal received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and graduated from Yale Law School, where he was classmates with both Georgetown alum and former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Senator and his wife Cynthia have four children.

Be sure to come out to White Gravenor 201A tonight at 7:30 pm to engage in discussion with Senator Blumenthal.

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