Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT) has launched his Senate campaign to replace Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and his new website describes his 2006 congressional race against then 24-year incumbent Nancy Johnson as positive:
“Chris earned 56% of the vote by running a positive, grassroots campaign that took him to each of the district’s 41 towns.”
However, anyone familiar with the race would immediately frown upon such an interpretation. Several weeks before the 2006 election, the Hartford Courant characterized the Johnson-Murphy race as “on its way to becoming one of the most expensive – and nasty – in state history.”
During the campaign, Murphy refused to disavow ads created by MoveOn.org (one of which linked Johnson to oil price gouging and Jack Abramoff) and one ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that implied his opponent did not support American troops.
Murphy was also criticized for running attack ads against Johnson:
In his 2010 House race, Murphy ran an ad that attempted to connect his opponent Sam Caligiuri to Phil Giordano, a convicted child sex offender currently serving a 37-year prison sentence for having sexual relations with the underage daughters of a prostitute. The ad claimed: “when Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano went to jail for unspeakable crimes, many called for his impeachment. Instead, his number two man Sam Caligiuri negotiated a deal to allow the mayor to keep his salary and title while in prison.” As the Hartford Courant noted, the deal actually stripped Giordano of his mayoral powers.
Murphy became the second Democrat to announce his intention to run for Lieberman’s Senate seat, following former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz.