Mr. Blumenthal became the prototype for hyperactive attorneys general across the country following his first election to the post in 1990. Not content to serve as in-house counsel for state government, he has used the office to advance by litigation what the left could not achieve through legislation.
He made a name for himself early on by taking on Big Tobacco, playing a leading role in the precedent-setting national tobacco lawsuit of the 1990s. The resulting settlement transferred $246 billion from smokers to state governments via cigarette companies.
The suit gave Mr. Blumenthal a taste for massive multistate, class-action lawsuits. His jurisdiction in the name of consumer protection has since known no bounds. During the browser wars of the late 1990s, Mr. Blumenthal sued Microsoft over the marketing of Windows 98. He filed a supportive brief in a suit against Smith & Wesson that would have held gun manufacturers responsible for crimes committed by third parties using the manufacturer's products.
When the collegiate Atlantic Coast Conference poached some schools from the rival Big East Conference, of which the University of Connecticut is a member, Mr. Blumenthal sued. When subprime mortgage shop Countrywide Financial was in trouble, the attorney general piled on with his own lawsuit. When AIG's bonuses became controversial, Mr. Blumenthal issued a wave of subpoenas. Most of these efforts went nowhere, but they did get Mr. Blumenthal in the news.
The attorney general has also used the power of the state to bully small businesses. In 2003, he sued Computers Plus Center for $1.75 million in damages for allegedly selling state government machines without specified parts. Mr. Blumenthal issued a press release accusing the business owner, Gina Malapanis, of fraud: "No supplier should be permitted to shortchange or overcharge the State without severe consequences," he said. "We will vigorously pursue this case to recover taxpayer money and send a strong message about zero tolerance for contractor misconduct." Ms. Malapanis was even arrested in her home on seven first-degree larceny charges.
In 2008 the charges against Ms. Malapanis were dismissed. As for the civil case, she refused to plead guilty and countersued the state for abusing its power and violating her constitutional rights. The jury, recoiling at the overly aggressive action that ruined her business, awarded her a whopping $18 million in January. In a handwritten note on court documents, the jury foreman said the state had engaged in a "pattern of conduct" that harmed Ms. Malapanis's reputation, and cited the state's press releases impugning her integrity, some of which came from Mr. Blumenthal. Mr. Blumenthal is appealing the decision.
Journal Editorial Report discusses the latest problems facing Democratic Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal. Courtesy Fox News.
An eminent domain case involving a working quarry taken in 2004 to expand a highway in the town of Brookfield ended up in court. The quarry owners, who were originally paid about $4 million for the property, felt cheated by the state. They sued, and Mr. Blumenthal defended the state's action, bringing in new appraisers who also low-balled the property's value. Judge Barbara Sheedy concluded the state had been "unprofessional" and "less than scrupulous" in its handling of the case, having hand-picked unqualified appraisers for the purpose of deliberately underestimating the quarry's value. The owners were awarded another $28 million, including interest payments.
This spring, the exasperated CFO of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. blurted out that doing business "anyplace outside of Connecticut is low-cost." The company was frustrated in part by a union lawsuit—supported by Mr. Blumenthal—challenging the company's plan to close a local factory as part of the firm's response to the recession. UTC—with $53 billion in revenue last year and 26,000 employees in Connecticut—is the state's largest private employer. It's exactly the sort of company other states would love to host.
So it's no wonder Connecticut's business community quietly greeted Mr. Blumenthal's candidacy for federal office with relief: Anything to get him out of state.
As if the above and the lying about the Marine Corps Vietnam experience weren't enough, Blumenthal lied about being the captain of the Harvard swim team!
He sounds like a male version of Granholm, the female Canuck who terrorizes businesses in trying to turn Michigan into a tiny replica of Canada by destroying its economy and imposing socialism and taxes as the rule of the day.
The Nutmeggers are almost as arrogant as Hollyweirdos, so CT might become a mini-version of California or Michigan.
The EU already has one of those iron bars in an economic house of cards---Greece.