Sen. Richard Blumenthal attended an awards dinner last week hosted by the Connecticut People’s World Committee, a group associated with the Connecticut Communist Party.
His appearance is receiving pushback.
“You don’t have to agree with everyone or anyone with any party or any particular union or organization. I’m here to honor the great tradition of activism,” Blumenthal said in his remarks at the Dec. 11 event.
Blumenthal, who was not available for an interview Monday, says he attended an award ceremony associated with the Communist Party to support the winners, including state Senator Julie Kushner.
“Communism is really an ideology of greed and envy and hatred,” said Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute.
Liebau says Blumenthal should not have attended an event sponsored by a group associated with the Connecticut Communist Party.
“We’re appreciative that Senator Blumenthal apologized for being at a Communist Party awards dinner,” Liebau said.
In a statement Blumenthal said:
“As everyone in Connecticut knows, I am delighted to be invited anywhere in our state and I go almost everywhere. I was at this event to honor three really impressive people who have given a lot to Connecticut and their communities," the statement read. "I was invited by a local labor union to honor these three individuals – that’s why I was there. I’m a Democrat and a supporter of American capitalism.”
Members of the Connecticut People’s World Committee who hosted the event did not respond to our requests for comment.
Senator Kushner, who accepted an award from the group, also was unavailable for an interview Monday.
“A Nazi party awards dinner would just simply be off limits. That’s an ideology of hatred and violence and we certainly don’t want to normalize it,” Liebau said.