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Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Answers Inklings's Questions

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumentha...
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This year’s Senatorial election for the second district has gained a great deal of national attention.

Inklings recently contacted both campaigns via email to ask the candidates about issues that concern both Staples students and the state of Connecticut as a whole.

By the time of publication, the Linda McMahon campaign did not reply to emails or phone calls. However, the Richard Blumenthal campaign responded with these answers:

Do you think that standardized tests are the best way to measure a schools ability to teach? How will you fight for better education for students in Connecticut?

Human capital is our most important asset. Productivity, prosperity, and progress all hinge on education.

As Attorney General, I have fought for our state’s children, working to ensure that every child can learn in a safe and nurturing environment. I’ve supported state and federal legislation that reduces the potential for school violence, sought to protect the rights of our children with special needs, and represented the state, supported by 109 school districts, in challenging the No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) unfunded mandate.

One of our first steps in closing Connecticut’s widening achievement gap must be to reform the NCLB, fighting for a law that recognizes that standardized tests should be only one tool in a comprehensive set of tools for measuring student progress.

As Senator, I would promote early and equal access to education, expanding programs like Head Start, promoting innovation in elementary and secondary education, and finally ending the disparities in access to college.

How will you work to bring jobs to Connecticut? / What is the biggest challenge facing Connecticut today and how do you plan on solving it?

Our economy needs to start working once again for people and small businesses – not just for the big Wall Street banks. That’s why I’ve proposed a “Made in Connecticut” initiative, designed to create jobs and promote industry.

My plan includes proposals to combat Chinese currency manipulation that unfairly undermines the value of our products abroad, promote clean energy and clean energy manufacturing through loans and tax credits, and create partnerships for workforce training

I’ve also advocated for immediate, targeted assistance to small businesses, which are the engine of job creation in our state. These include expanded tax cuts and tax credits to promote small business hiring and growth, direct lending and credit card reform to ensure stable access to funding, and export assistance.

Do you support the changes Obama has made to the federal student loans program?

I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to go to college. We must ensure that every Connecticut student who shares this aspiration has the opportunity to do so.

President Obama’s reforms are a good first step, saving costs by cutting out exploitative bank fees by making the federal government the only lender, while assisting students by expanding the lifetime of the Pell Grant program and lowering the required monthly repayment amounts.

What is your opinion on the matter of abortion?

As Connecticut’s Attorney General I have strongly and consistently fought to protect a woman’s right to choose and consistently opposed measures infringing upon women’s reproductive rights.

I brought the first lawsuit to enforce the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which made it a crime to block access to reproductive health facilities. I filed suit to halt enforcement of the ‘Provider Conscience Rule’ which would have a woman’s ability to access abortion services, and I worked to ensure Connecticut retailers were required to stock Plan B emergency contraceptives. As Senator, I will fight to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal and rare.

What experience do you have that better prepares you for the job of US Senator as opposed to Linda McMahon?

This election presents a clear choice. I have spent 20 years fighting for the people of Connecticut.

I have fought back against Big Tobacco when it marketed tobacco to our youth, Big Oil when it tried to build a floating natural gas plant that threatened our shores, and the insurance companies when they denied thousands of Connecticut’s residents in acquiring the health care to which they were entitled.

My opponent has no record of fighting for Connecticut’s residents or protecting their interests. She is asking voters for their trust, blindly accepting that she will put their interests first. The people of Connecticut know me. They know my record. And they can trust I will fight for them as Senator.

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