Senator Richard Blumenthal's Political Positions

Office: U.S. Senate (CT) - Sr, Democratic
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Richard Blumenthal refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

*Note: This percentage is calculated based on the number of issue areas addressed by the candidate on the Political Courage Test at the conclusion of the testing period. It does not indicate support or lack of support by Project Vote Smart.

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Vote Smart's Research

  • Planned Parenthood Action Center. Planned Parenthood endorsed Richard Blumenthal for the 2010 General Election. (www.plannedparenthoodaction.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Supporting Women. "I will fight to protect a woman's right to choose and ensure that abortion remains safe, legal and rare. My understanding of the importance of this right was reinforced by my experience as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun. As Connecticut's Attorney General, I have strongly and consistently opposed measures infringing upon women's reproductive rights." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Bass, Paul. 2010. New Haven Independent: Blumenthal Vows "An Election, Not An Auction." 16 August 2010. "Asked about estate taxes, Blumenthal similarly said he's support extend some of the Bush-era cuts but not for the wealthy. He didn't elaborate on the cut-offs." (newhavenindependent.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Hladky, Gregory B. 2010. Hartford Advocate (Hartford, CT): A Closer Look at Richard Blumenthal. 27 April 2010. "He says he would have voted against the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts, but agrees that 'something had to be done... [but] I feel it could have been achieved in a better way.'" (www.hartfordadvocate.com)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Jobs & Economy. "In the wake of the economic collapse of 2008, no one has been hurt more than the consumer. I opposed the Wall Street bailout because it was too big, poorly designed and inadequately supervised. Two years later, Washington finally passed a comprehensive reform of the financial system, which I support. We must build on these solutions to ensure that the American people are protected from future recklessness." (votesmart.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Wall Street Accountability. "The economic recession was caused in large part by federal regulators who failed to guard against abuses in home loans and credit-card lending and excess risk taking with other people's money, and by corporate interests that took advantage of these lapses. No one has been hurt more than the consumer. We need real protection from abuses that can lead to economic downfall." (votesmart.org)
  • Agogliati, Mike. The Register Citizen. Blumenthal Tours Altek: Says Small Business Will Drive Job Growth. 20 Aguust 2010. "Attorney general and Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal toured Altek Electronics Inc. and touted small business as an important force to grow jobs in the state. "This is family business that has grown steadily over the years," Blumenthal said. "Small business will be the engine that drives job growth for the future." The Attorney General spoke about standing up for small businesses in the state, saying, "I have fought for working people, and have earned their trust before and I will continue to do the same if I am elected as Senator." "I want to be there for the people of the state," Blumenthal said. "I will be there for you no matter how large or small the problem is. I have lived and worked by the them of getting things done, and getting them done right." When asked about education in the state, Blumenthal said, "We need to start holding out schools accountable and in turn the government accountable for providing the resources for the schools." Blumenthal said in speaking to businesses he has visited so far, that a lack of skilled workers is a concern for employers. He said that the schools in the state need to start educating children in the skills that are needed in the job force now." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Seniors. "Some politicians in Washington, grappling with runaway spending, are talking about cutting back Social Security and Medicare benefits. I support aggressive measures to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in all federal spending. But I will not and do not support any effort to balance the budget on the backs of our seniors." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barrow, James and Stacey Stowe. 2005. The New York Times: Killer's Execution Is Delayed Despite Supreme Court Ruling. 29 January 2005. "The Supreme Court granted a petition from Connecticut's attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who asked that a stay of execution be lifted. That stay had been granted earlier in the day by a three-judge federal appeals panel in Manhattan, and for hours it appeared that that the state would have to wait until at least tomorrow to carry out its death warrant. But as Mr. Blumenthal pressed for the execution to go forward, correction officials began the final preparations to end Mr. Ross's life." (www.nytimes.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Education. "We need to reform the No Child Left Behind ("NCLB") Act so that we close student achievement gaps and improve student performance. While the goals of NCLB are important, the means to achieving the goals need to be reconsidered. Measuring success solely through standardized tests fails to take into account the full extent of the teacher-student relationship and the sometimes incremental steps by which students learn. I will fight for a law that recognizes that standardized tests should be only one tool in a comprehensive set of tools for measuring student progress." (votesmart.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Education. "I believe that education is the single most important factor in determining individual achievement and our collective success as a country. We must reform education, improve student achievement, and train and recruit the best and brightest teachers. Reforming education begins with: Revamping the No Child Left Behind Act by replacing an inflexible, cookie-cutter system with a more effective approach that uses multiple measures of performance to gauge teacher dedication, school quality, and student improvement." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Richard Blumenthal. Marchers. "Global warming is a grievous and growing threat. Carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere aggravates asthma and heat-related illnesses, erodes shorelines, floods and other natural disasters, endangers forests and other precious resources. Scientific proof of global warming is overwhelming, but the federal government and Congress refuse to act. Federal failure to address this critical issue prompted Connecticut to take the lead, joined by seven other states and New York City, in filing a landmark lawsuit last year demanding steep reductions in CO2 pollution from the nation's five biggest emitters. We seek no money, only emission cuts. An ever-expanding consensus of scientists, business leaders, and public policy makers view global warming as a grave threat requiring immediate and decisive action. We must unite to confront this real and present danger and avoid catastrophic damage to our plant." (www.stopglobalwarming.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Energy & Environment. "As Attorney General, I have fought to protect the environment and to increase energy efficiency standards. As Senator, I will continue to fight to make Connecticut a leader in clean energy technologies and the jobs they provide. We can improve the environment and create jobs by: Supporting extending home energy tax credits to Connecticut consumers who make their homes more energy efficient. Fighting to make American businesses in the clean energy sector more competitive internationally by providing greater opportunities and leveling the playing field for small businesses that export clean energy abroad. Working to make Washington develop a comprehensive energy policy that meets economic and environmental goals, promotes renewable energy sources, and moves America in the direction of energy independence." (votesmart.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Green Energy. "As the fuel cell capital of the nation, Connecticut is uniquely positioned to take advantage of new efforts to promote renewable energy, manufacturing and innovation. I support increasing our investment in clean-energy technologies, which will help create as many as 2.5 million new jobs, boost the economy, and improve the environment. Clean energy investments generate roughly three times as many jobs as those generated by investments in carbon-based fuels. Moreover, our state provides a third of all jobs in America related to fuel cells and has more than 30 companies engaged in the manufacture of fuel cells or their components... Green energy is a field ripe for federal investment, so I strongly support proposals like the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology ("IMPACT") Act. The act would help small and medium sized local manufacturers by providing loans to improve their facilities and expand clean energy product production. Over the next five years, the proposal could create 680,000 direct manufacturing jobs in America, and nearly two million indirect jobs here... Establishing Clean Energy Business Zones (CBiZ) will help our businesses and manufacturers transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Businesses in newly established Clean Energy Business Zones would receive up to $1.2 billion per year in tax credits, grants and loan guarantees for companies in the clean energy sector or for companies that move to greater energy efficiency." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Hladky, Gregory B. 2010. Hartford Advocate: Do Gun Rights Trump Anti-Terrorism Zeal? 1 June 2010. "Senate Democrats have already proposed legislation to ban anyone on the list from purchasing guns. But critics insist the federal government has repeatedly made mistakes with that list, putting people on it by mistake. They say prohibiting those people from buying guns would be a violation of their right to bear arms. It's an issue that seems to be a bit uncomfortable for Connecticut's Republican U.S. Senate candidates. Democrat Richard Blumenthal supports gun control and he calls the proposed ban 'a common sense, practical measure.'" (www.hartfordadvocate.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Health Care. "The recently-passed health care reform measure will stop many of the insurance industry's most egregious practices, including banning pre-existing conditions, canceling policies when someone falls ill, and using gender, age, and other discriminatory factors to charge higher premiums. It will protect infants and children with chronic illnesses, seniors, women, among others. It allows young adults to stay in their parents' insurance plan until the age of 26, including 250,000 young adults in Connecticut and it closes the Medicare donut hole for seniors. We must continue the fight to improve health care by: Instituting more measures to drive down costs so that both our families and the federal and state governments aren't burdened by debt from health care expenses. Fighting to ensure that the insurance industry complies with the law and never takes advantage of our families. Ensuring that our new system rewards outcomes rather than continuing to rely on the current fee-for-service model that pays for quantity, not quality. (votesmart.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Health Care. "Health care costs in Connecticut are rising faster than we can afford. People are paying too much, receiving too little, and too often do not have access to the quality care they need. With health care costs rising five times faster than inflation, our businesses are struggling to survive. Facing a weak marketplace, many employers are faced with the unacceptable choice of cutting employee benefits or cutting employees. Today, the average family pays more than $13,000 for health insurance each year. With too many Connecticut residents unemployed, families around the state are struggling through difficult conversations about how to afford prescriptions and doctor's visits, while still putting food on the table or paying the rent. And, while insurance premiums are skyrocketing, the quality of our care is not. The recent health reform legislation is a good first step. The new law will stop many of the insurance industry's most egregious practices, including pre-existing condition discrimination, canceling policies when someone falls ill, and using gender, age, and other discriminatory factors to charge higher premiums. However, the new law does not do enough to control the skyrocketing costs of care. Going forward, we must do more to protect consumers and ensure quality, affordable care for all Americans." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Hladky, Gregory B. 2010. New Haven Advocate: Raising Hell Over Arizona. 4 May 2010. "The leading Democrat, Richard Blumenthal, carefully avoids the hot-button term "amnesty" in his campaign position, which calls for comprehensive reform and requiring illegal immigrants to jump through all kinds of hoops - including paying back taxes and fines - to gain citizenship. Blumenthal says federal reform is essential to avoid a "patchwork of individual state laws" like Arizona's." (www.newhavenadvocate.com)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Afghanistan. "All of us are proud of our sons and daughters who are putting themselves in harm's way so that the terrorists who launched the attacks of September 11th from Afghanistan will no longer have that capability. We owe it to them to think through what their mission should be and how best to achieve it. We will win in Afghanistan by" Supporting the decision of the President, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders in the field to send in additional US and NATO troops over eighteen months to roll back the gains of the Taliban. Continuing to build up Afghanistan's security forces and stabilizing their government because the best way to keep Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan is to have a stable Afghan regime capable of controlling its own territory. Being prepared in the event that the Afghan forces do not improve. Then, we will need to refocus our efforts, likely on the next best strategy -- limiting our engagement in Afghanistan to keeping Al Qaeda on the run rather than trying to build Afghan institutions." (votesmart.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: Foreign Policy & National Security. "I support the Administration's plan to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of August 2010. Withdrawal will allow U.S. forces to rededicate themselves to our primary fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan and around the world while encouraging Iraqi leaders to reach a lasting political accommodation that will endure without the presence of U.S. troops. While American troops remain, the United States must use its influence to encourage Iraq's leaders to settle disputes peacefully and within the legal framework they have established under the Iraqi Constitution. We are prepared to work with whichever leader emerges from continuing political negotiations, but Iraqis must begin to take responsibility for their own security and governance... The release of thousands of sensitive documents describing U.S. efforts in Afghanistan has highlighted ongoing public concerns about the progress of the war. Our commitment in Afghanistan must not be open ended. Our troops are scheduled to begin coming home in July 2011 and I would insist on adhering to this exit strategy." (votesmart.org)
  • Richard Blumenthal. Issue Position: National Security & the Fight Against Terrorism. "We must remember that even while we have not had a terrorist strike on American soil since 9/11, the threat from Al Qaeda is real. To protect America against Al Qaeda we need a multi-pronged strategy. We must fight this threat by: Establishing a strong offense. Using all military and non-military methods to target and attack the terrorists where they are; never allowing them to set up shop where they can plot, plan and train. Improving our defensive capabilities. The attempted Christmas bombing exposed unacceptable flaws in our intelligence analysis capability. Those responsible must be held accountable. Their careers must depend on fixing this flawed system. Preventing the rise of future terrorists by equipping and training allies in the fight against Al Qaeda and supporting education and development in places where Al Qaeda seeks supporters. Charting a new way forward to build a military and diplomatic capacity capable of winning today's wars, preventing tomorrow's conflicts, and enhancing our ability to project power across the globe to support our allies and protect our values." (votesmart.org)

Vote Smart's Research

  • Dixon, Ken. 2008. Albany Times-Union: Same-sex marriage in state may be just week. 28 October 2008. "'Sometime during the week of Nov. 10 we anticipate same-sex couples will be married in Connecticut,' Blumenthal said this Tuesday afternoon. 'The simple answer to many of the questions that we've been asked is that they'll be treated under the law exactly the same way as opposite-sex marriages.'...Blumenthal said the Superior Court is expected to issue orders to town clerks and the Department of Public Health to approve same-sex marriages. Connecticut will join Massachusetts and California as the only states in which gays and lesbians can wed. Blumenthal said civil unions may still be performed, at least until the General Assembly addresses the issue during the session that starts in January." (www.timesunion.com)

Key

Candidate Answer Official Position

Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer Inferred Position

Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer Unknown Position

Candidate refused to address this issue.

 Project Vote Smart's Research

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