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Public Statements

Issue Position: Protecting Children & Families

Issue Position

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"It's never been tougher to be a parent, because it's never been tougher to be a kid."

In the Senate, I will continue to stand up for children and families and take on the special interests in key fights:

* Keeping Kids Safe Online
* Standing Up to Big Tobacco
* Keeping Unsafe Toys Off the Shelves
* Ending Domestic Violence

As the father of four kids, I know what it means to want to do whatever you can to keep your kids safe and healthy and keep your family strong. And as Attorney General, I've worked hard to protect our kids and our families -- cracking down on sexual predators who target our kids, standing up to Big Tobacco, taking on irresponsible toy manufacturers when they put profits ahead of children's health and safety, and combating domestic violence.

Keeping Kids Safe Online

"The internet should be a safe place for our kids to explore. That's why I worked hard to help force Facebook and MySpace to check for and delete registered sex offenders. Since 2006, more than 100,000 sexual predators have been kicked off these sites."

Information is travelling faster than ever before and it's hard for parents, especially, to keep up. I've worked hard to protect our kids online. Social networking sites have opened up new opportunities -- and new dangers -- for Connecticut's kids. As Attorney General, I helped force social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to check for and delete registered sex offenders. Since 2006, more than 100,000 sexual predators have been kicked off the sites.

I also went to the U.S. Supreme Court to personally argue the landmark case defending Connecticut's online sex offender registry. I won that case, and now Connecticut parents have even better access to this registry and can use it to stay informed about safety issues in their communities.

As your Senator, I will work for new rules that keep pace with technology and protect our children online. The laws regulating internet pornographers and predators are badly outdated. Over the past five years, Congress has failed to pass legislation to update these rules to meet today's -- and tomorrow's -- challenges and technologies.

Standing Up to Big Tobacco

"Big Tobacco was targeting our kids with a product that could kill them. Even when everyone said you'll never win, I stood up to big tobacco to protect our kids and force Big Tobacco to take responsibility. We won a historic victory that meant more than $3.6 billion for the state. I'm going to keep fighting big tobacco in Washington, too."

Tobacco is the only product that, when used as directed, kills the consumer. Standing up to big tobacco companies and their attempts to addict our children has been one of the most important fights I've taken on.

I was one of the first Attorneys General to hold the tobacco companies accountable for aggressively marketing deadly products to our children. In concert with other states, I ultimately won a historic settlement that netted Connecticut $3.6 billion over 25 years.

* The agreement banned tobacco companies from featuring cartoon characters, like Joe Camel, or advertising on billboards and in shopping malls.
* In the years following the settlement, youth smoking fell by 40% among high schoolers and 66% among middle schoolers in Connecticut.

Last year, Congress passed historic legislation granting the FDA the authority to regulate tobacco sales and limiting marketing practices aimed at children. These regulations have already been challenged in court.

As your Senator, I will fight to ensure that the tobacco companies are not able to undermine the authority the FDA needs to protect our children.

Keeping Unsafe Toys Off the Shelves

"Parents shouldn't have to worry that a toy they buy to entertain their child could instead make them sick, or worse. We need tough protections to keep our kids safe and hold the toy manufacturers accountable."

When Mattel issued a massive recall of lead-contaminated toys made in China and shipped to the U.S., I joined forces with Attorneys General from 39 other states to negotiate a $12 million settlement and forced tougher safety standards.

In the Senate, I will keep working to protect our kids from toxic chemicals in toys. Congress revolutionized the Consumer Products Safety Commission ("CPSC") in 2008, establishing tough new standards against lead and giving the agency more resources to combat unsafe toys. These efforts are a good start, but there are still tens of thousands of toxic chemicals that our kids could be exposed to in ordinary toys. As your United States Senator, I will work to expand and tighten toxic chemical standards to better protect us all, and especially our kids.

Ending Domestic Violence

"We must break the cycle of violence to protect our kids and our families."

Domestic violence threatens families and children alike. It can never be tolerated. Strong support networks are needed to prevent it. Toward that end, I've served as the chair of the "Men Make a Difference" campaign and "Men Against Domestic Violence" for Interval House, a nonprofit organization and shelter in Hartford providing support for women and children who are victims of such violence.

In the Senate, I will be a tireless advocate for expanding and fully funding The Violence Against Women Act to ensure that law enforcement has the tools it needs to keep families safe. The Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") will be re-authorized next year. It is a landmark statute aimed at combating domestic violence, as well as sexual assault and stalking. It provides billions to support investigations and prosecutions of vicious acts, as well as additional protections and remedies for assaulted women.

Connecticut families know my record of fighting for them and their children. This November, I will take my fight all the way to the U.S. Senate, standing up to the special interests threatening our kids and our families.


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