Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy’s office sent an email Tuesday referencing the Las Vegas shooting and directing supporters to a fundraising page that included his 2018 reelection campaign, less than a week after the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
The email directed recipients to a popular Democratic fundraising portal known as Act Blue, which offered users the opportunity to donate to three progressive gun control advocacy groups and listed Murphy’s reelection war chest as the fourth option.
The solicitation, headlined “Outraged at Congressional inaction on guns?,” comes four days after Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel, killing 59 and injuring more than 500.
Murphy, a staunch gun control advocate, has been outspoken in his criticism of congressional inaction in the wake of mass shootings. Murphy established himself as a progressive leader in the gun control push in 2012 after 26 of his constituents, 20 of them children, were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“If we are ever going to make our communities safer from gun violence, we have to put in the same effort to build our own political infrastructure around gun safety,” Murphy wrote supporters. “I am trying. You know that. But I cannot do it alone. So I have to ask you: Split a donation — of any amount — between the leading organizations working every day to take on the NRA and make our communities safer from gun violence.”
To my colleagues: your cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers.
None of this ends unless we do something to stop it.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 2, 2017
Connecticut Republicans were quick to speak out against what they interpreted as an opportunistic money grab in the wake of a national tragedy.
“What he did shows his character,” said J.R. Romano, the state GOP chairman. “This is the real Chris Murphy, a political opportunist who is trying to raise his name recognition to run for president.”
Connecticut Republican Matthew Corey, who has registered to oppose Murphy in 2018, demanded that Murphy donate any campaign contributions garnered from the email.
“Using victims to raise money, and then shaming and guilting innocent, law-abiding citizens that own firearms? I think you pray for the families and you let them heal first,” Corey told the Hartford Courant.
Corey argued that no gun control legislation would have impeded Paddock’s ability to carry out the attack and derided Murphy for his use of “divisive language.”
“You cant legislate evil and psychopaths,” he said. “What law would [the Las Vegas shooter] have stopped at?”
Murphy’s reelection campaign removed the fundraising page featured in the email Wednesday afternoon, less than half a day after it was established. His spokeswoman, Laura Maloney, said the email could have been clearer but maintained that Murphy has been upfront in his call for political action in response to mass shootings.
“The email should have been clearer about the options available to those who chose to donate, but Chris has been totally transparent about the need to spend every single day building a well-funded political movement that will eventually win changes in the law to help end this epidemic of mass carnage,” Maloney told the CT Post. “Thoughts and prayers won’t stop this slaughter — only a political movement that leads to legislative action will.”
Murphy’s office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.
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