The following is an email Chris sent to supporters shortly after finishing his Maiden Speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday April 10, 2013.
Earlier today, I made my maiden speech on the floor of the United States Senate.
When I was elected, I never would have guessed the speech would be about guns or gun violence. I could have never imagined it'd be about 26 dead kids and teachers in our corner of the world.
But sometimes issues find you.
Despite overwhelming support for change, passing common sense solutions like limiting magazine sizes and banning a small number of assault weapons too dangerous for retail sale appears like it will be an uphill battle.
A big reason for that is because Members of Congress have been listening to the wrong people. Congress thinks that the NRA speaks for gun owners, when they really don't any longer.
And that's why I ignore people like David Keane, the President of the NRA, who dismiss the effect of the laws we are debating this week. He said, a month ago, that all we are talking about is "feel good" legislation.
Well, he's right about that.
It would feel really good if Daniel Barden got on the bus this morning to go to school. Daniel was an immensely compassionate kid. He always sat next to the kids sitting alone at school. He never failed to turn off a light. When the family would leave the supermarket, they'd be halfway across the parking lot and they'd look back and Daniel was still holding the door open for shoppers.
It would feel really good if Ana Marquez Greene could still sing that song she loved. She sang and performed wherever she was. He parents said she never walked anywhere - her preferred mode of transportation was dance. And she loved most to sing and dance in church.
And It would feel really good if Benjamin Wheeler got to enjoy this beautiful spring day outside today. He was a piano virtuoso, but he really loved just running around outside playing soccer with his big brother Nate. He told his mom the morning of the shooting that he wanted to be a paleontologist when he grew up, "because that's what Nate was going to be, and I want to do everything Nate does."
In the next weeks, our task is to beat back the naysayers who say we can't, or won't, change the way things are. That we can't do anything about the thousands of Americans who are killed by guns.
But I believe we can.
Thank you for standing with me in this fight.
The following is an email Chris sent to supporters shortly after finishing his Maiden Speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday April 10, 2013.
Last night, another NRA-backed candidate lost a contested congressional election.
It's just the latest in a long line of defeats for the National Rifle Association, and their first since losing almost every one of their priority contests in 2012.
This is important because as early as this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to begin voting on actual legislation to reduce gun violence in the United States. And for a long time, the perception has been that crossing the gun lobby could lead to electoral problems.
Sign my petition letting members of the U.S. Senate know that you'll stand with them if they're attacked by the NRA for casting a vote for universal background checks, limiting magazine capacity, and an assault weapons ban.
Things are about to heat up in this debate. I'll be in touch as the timeline for legislation gets a bit more clear.
After spending four days in Newtown, I returned to Washington, D.C. on Monday to start the conversation about how to make sure tragedies like the one in Newtown never happen again.
I spoke on the House floor about the acts of courage that took place in Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, and the thousands of individual acts of humanity that have happened since then.
I wanted to share my speech with you. You can watch it here:
Below is an email Chris sent out to supporters raising money for the United Way of Western Connecticut - Staff
Something horrible and unexplainable happened in Newtown on Friday. I've been there almost non-stop since Friday morning, and there are simply no words to express the grief that our friends and neighbors there are experiencing right now.
Today, Newtown is grieving. But Newtown is already recovering too. Every day since Friday I have witnessed hundreds of individual acts of humanity as the people of this small town reach out, with full hearts, to each other.
And we have our role to play too. I know that those on the outside, watching the events unfold, can feel a sense of helplessness. This feeling has caused so many people to ask me, "what can I do to help?"
Well, if you've been looking to do something - anything - to support the community in Newtown, consensus is that a contribution to the United Way of Western Connecticut is the best way to help. The United Way is collecting funds, right now, to help provide resources to the community throughout the coming weeks and months.
I just made my contribution, and if you are moved to join me you can do the same here:
While Newtown grieves, the most important thing we can do for them today is to make sure they know Connecticut, and the rest of the country, supports them.
Thanks in advance for your kindness.
As we all pause to take stock of the things we're thankful for this Thanksgiving, your support is right near the top of my list.
I'm back in Connecticut with my family for the week, but I recorded a short video before I left D.C. about my transition to the Senate. You can watch it below:
Just before Labor Day, Quinnipiac University released a poll showing Linda McMahon with a three point lead in our U.S. Senate race.
Weeks later, we won by more than twelve points.
A lot of people have asked me just how we did it, so I wanted to share the story with our friends of how focus, organizing, and grassroots support propelled us to victory on November 6th.
A Focus on Key Constituencies
Over the last two months of the campaign, we stressed several major differences between Linda McMahon and Chris.
Of course, the most important issue of the election was jobs: too many of our neighbors don't have one and many who do aren't paid well enough. Every opportunity we had, we contrasted Linda's "plan" with Chris's actual record putting people to work in Connecticut. Then we hammered home Linda McMahon's support for the Blunt Amendment that would deny women access to affordable reproductive care. Finally, Linda McMahon's comments about "sunsetting" Social Security at a Tea Party rally were also a critical piece of our messaging.
So, did it work? Take a look at these exit poll numbers and compare them to the August 28th Q-Poll results in parentheses.
Those making under $30,000: 71% to 26% advantage (49-44 lead for McMahon)
Women: 60% to 39% advantage (50-46 lead for Chris)
Seniors: 56% to 42% advantage (48-48 tie among those 55+)
The shift in these numbers more than accounted for the margin of victory on November 6th. Without any one of them, it's a much closer race -- without two of them, there would have been a different winner.
Debates that Made a Difference
On October 7th, Chris and Linda met in their first debate of the fall campaign, and for the first time, voters got to see the clear differences between Chris and Linda - both with respect to their ideas and their depth of knowledge. Political observers agreed that Chris won the first debate hands down, and over the next several weeks, Chris continued to outclass McMahon at the three other October debates. Our internal polls suggested that a very large percentage of likely voters watched one of more of these debates, and it wasn't just a coincidence that soon after the first few debates were complete, polls showed us with our first consistent lead of the fall.
The Largest Grassroots Political Campaign Connecticut Has Ever Seen
How do you beat $50,000,000? We put together the largest, most aggressive grassroots operation Connecticut has ever seen. The numbers in the home stretch of the campaign are absolutely staggering:
In the final four days of the campaign, 2,000 volunteers made 650,000 calls and knocked on 175,000 doors across the state. Yes, you read that right -- 175,000 doors. And on Election Day alone, we made over 400,000 phone calls and hit 75,000 doors.
Our field effort used sophisticated micro-targeting techniques to make sure that the conversations we were having with individuals were ones that were relevant to them. And our "pull operation" on Election Day made sure that we were not just delivering voters to the polls, but that they were Chris Murphy voters.
Our online, grassroots fundraising operation helped us to raise what we needed to raise in order to be competitive with Linda McMahon. We received $4.5 million dollars in contributions through the website, ActBlue, and from the support of organizations like DailyKos and MoveOn.org. That total represented 64,704 contributions at an average size of $69.58. Those numbers accounted for almost 45% of the total money raised by the campaign. That's grassroots.
All total, 78,405 individual contributions accounted for over $10.5 million for an average contribution of $133.90. Over 5,000 retirees contributed to the campaign and 2,000-plus individuals who were unemployed put their faith in Chris via their contribution.
And we were good stewards of that money. At the end of the day, our campaign spent an average of $12.88 per vote -- a tremendous ratio in race where the other side spent almost $50 million.
Chris is now immersed in his work both as a House member during the lame duck session and as a Senator-elect. As we go through this exciting transition, we know we could have NEVER pulled off this win without you. It was a victory for Connecticut, and you made it happen. But your job isn't done yet - Chris will need your help to be a great Senator for Connecticut. Stay tuned for how you can continue to help!
All the best,
Campaign Manager, Team Murphy
Over the past two years, we built the largest grassroots network of support Connecticut has ever seen in a statewide campaign.
Almost 70,000 individual contributions helped provide the resources we needed to keep it close on the air, and thousands of volunteers across the state delivered today's margin of victory on the ground.
But tonight's result is not the end of the campaign, it's beginning of a conversation I hope to continue with you throughout my time as a United States Senator.
As you watch the results come in from other races across the country, take a minute to share the hopes you have for the next few years at the link below:
I could not be more thankful for your support throughout this campaign.
From the thousands of individuals living paycheck to paycheck who sacrificed to give $5, $10, and $20, to the college students who volunteered between classes -- your support has humbled me and I will remember it with every vote I cast in the Senate.
I'll be in touch and I hope to hear from you soon.
Over the last few months, we've asked you to step up and volunteer your time and energy quite a few times. And with your help, we've built the largest grassroots organization in Connecticut's history.
Together, we've been able to fight back against McMahon's millions.
With only a few days left, we need your help again. This is our final push - and we can't run an effective get out the vote operation without you.
We're organizing our Election Night party now, and we'll make sure to share the details first with everyone who volunteers over the next few days.
At the end of the day, we'll never forget that while McMahon has her millions, we have you.
Things are going to get pretty busy over the next few days - and we want to make sure all of Team Murphy is getting the most up-to-date information.
Take a moment to like our page on Facebook and follow Chris on Twitter. We'll always make sure you are the first to hear of what's going on, especially as we head into Election Day.
You can also sign up to receive text message alerts - we won't send many, but we'll make sure you're always in the know when it comes to Team Murphy news.
As you talk to your friends and family about why they should vote for Chris Murphy, make sure you have the real facts to combat the lies McMahon has been flooding the airwaves with.
Hopefully by now you've taken all the necessary steps to prepare yourself for Sandy's arrival. But just in case, I wanted to make sure you had a few resources, which include actions you should consider taking before, during, and after the storm.
First, Governor Malloy set up a website with the latest news and preparedness tips. Visit it here:
For those of you on Twitter, the Governor has been doing an excellent job keeping Connecticut residents updated about the storm. You can follow the latest here:https://twitter.com/GovMalloyOffice
Hopefully you're already prepared, but if not, I hope some of these resources are helpful.
Yesterday, Senators Barbara Mikulski (MD), Mary Landrieu (LA), and Jeanne Shaheen (NH) as well as Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards came to hold a rally for Team Murphy in Hartford. They talked about Chris's strong record fighting for women's healthcare, fair pay legislation, and stronger violence against women laws. Senator Mikulski did a great job firing up the crowd, and we wanted to make sure to share that video!
With less than two weeks left, we need your help to make sure to keep our momentum going! You can sign up to join the campaign at www.chrismurphy.com/volunteer.
We had huge crowds at the last two debates at UConn and in New London - and we wanted to make sure to share some of the best pictures with you!
Over the next three weeks, we'll be having many more rallies like these - signup to volunteer and we'll make sure you're the first to know: www.chrismurphy.com/volunteer.
This site was the perfect place to demonstrate how American manufacturing is the key to our economic recovery - with 70 employees, they build components for everything from jet engines to spacesuits - as their business is strong and growing. As Marc Nemeth, CEO, pointed out, they have to compete not only with other American companies, but foreign companies as well - even for contracts from the US Government. He applauded Chris's Buy American initiative as a real way to ensure federal tax dollars go to creating jobs here rather than overseas.
Check out Chris's remarks from the event in the video above, and learn more about Chris's plan to create jobs here.
Standing with supporters in Bushnell Park in Hartford yesterday, Chris highlighted Republican Linda McMahon's extreme right wing positions on women's health issues and called for an honest debate on this critical issue and so many others that matter to middle class families across Connecticut, and for a stop to the lies and smears that Linda is hiding behind.
Chris has the support of women throughout Connecticut - many of whom were on hand yesterday - because he has spent his career standing up with them when it comes to issues like choice, access to birth control, and strengthening violence against women legislation.
McMahon, on the other hand, has repeatedly indicated that she would instead stand with the extreme, anti-choice leadership in the Senate - including when that means voting for a bill that would limit women's access to contraception or voting to repeal legislation that ensures health insurers can't treat gender as a pre-existing condition.
At the event, women from around Connecticut talked about the profoundly negative impact Linda McMahon's extreme, right-wing policies would have on women. Denying access to insurance-covered contraception to women means that McMahon is indeed anti-choice, they argued, and that access to adequate health care is a vital economic issue for many women in Connecticut.
Hopefully, over the next six weeks, Linda McMahon will be willing to have a real debate with Chris - and an honest discussion with Connecticut voters - about her policies. In the meantime, she'll continue flooding the airwaves with her negative attacks. Your help is vital to our ability to fight back - you can sign up to get involved at www.chrismurphy.com/volunteer.
Yesterday, spectators gathered at the Capitol building steps to watch Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, NARAL Board Member Shannon Lane and NOW Board Member Jacqueline Kozin addressed Republican candidate Linda McMahon’s anti-woman positions.
McMahon’s support for the extreme Blunt Amendment, the degradation and demeaning of women while she was CEO at WWE, and her desire to repeal healthcare reforms which have helped women across the country gain access to preventative care prove that she is the wrong choice for women, and all citizens, of Connecticut.
“She’s going to deny access to all kinds of health care,” said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. “She’s pledged to overturn the law that would allow mammograms to be covered under preventative care. She’s pledged to overturn the law that prohibits childbirth from being considered a pre-existing condition. She’s pledged to overturn the law that prevents insurance companies from raising rates on women, simply because they’re women…McMahon’s spokesman yesterday said he believes that women in Connecticut see themselves in Linda McMahon. My response to that is anyone who thinks Linda McMahon represents a typical Connecticut woman trying to hold down a job and raise a family in Connecticut, in this economy, just doesn’t get it. The women in Connecticut are not going to vote for a woman just because she’s a woman.”
Shannon Lane of NARAL expressed similar sentiments.
“I am here today because Linda McMahon is telling the people of Connecticut that she is pro-choice and the evidence does not back up that statement,” added Lane, board member of NARAL Connecticut. “Linda McMahon says that she would support the Blunt amendment. This is an effort by the anti-choice leadership of the United States Senate to allow an employer anywhere in the country to opt out of any coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act…making sure that women who already have limited choices for health care have even fewer choices does not make you pro choice. Linda McMahon would vote for the anti-choice, anti-women leadership of the United States Senate who want to turn the clock back to the 1950s."
Board member of the National Organization for Women, Jacqueline Kozin, emphasized McMahon’s history with WWE as proof that she is a poor fighter for women.
“Linda McMahon has been spending millions of dollars portraying herself as a woman who should be a role model for other women, meanwhile she’s profited millions of dollars from degrading women and selling sex and violence to our children,” said Kozin.
Today, Team Murphy launched its newest coalition - Students for Murphy - on Yale's Campus in New Haven. Well over 50 students joined Chris in launching the group - and we're excited to have them on the Team.
We're really excited to launch this group. First, it recognizes Chris's strong record of fighting for the issues that students care the most about - everything from student loans and health care to LGBT rights and women's equality.
"My job is to stick up for everybody. But if I'm not standing up for students, as someone who is paying back my student loans today, or if I'm not standing up for young families, as the parent of a 4 year old and a 10 month old, then who is? Our mission as a nation and our mission as a state has to be getting more kids more quickly through college with skills that matter for this economy, and then making life more affordable in your twenties and thirties, so you can immediately start putting money back into the economy, rather than just paying back your bills," Chris said at the launch event.
You can sign up to join Students for Murphy at www.ChrisMurphy.com/students (and download a Facebook banner to show your school spirit as well as your support for Chris!).
Last week, we got a call from Marilyn, one of our supporters in Fairfield. She was sick of Linda McMahon's negative ads, and had come up with what we thought was an absolutely brilliant way to fight back - every time she sees one of McMahon's ads, she's putting a quarter in a jar. At the end of every week, she'll be donating that money to the Murphy campaign.
Needless to say, we fell in love with the idea and made a video to help share Marilyn's plan. We know McMahon will outspend us by a huge margin with her millions, but with people like Marilyn, we know we've built the strongest grassroots organization in Connecticut's history.
And we couldn't have said it better than Marilyn did: "We won't get to $50 million, but with all the ads she's running...maybe we'll get close!"
A Team Murphy Victory Jar is a great and easy way to get involved with Team Murphy and help ensure that McMahon doesn't have the airwaves to herself.
You can also make a contribution here.
This morning, Chris joined a group of veterans and their families at Bradley Point Park in West Haven to announce the launch of Veterans and Military Families for Murphy.
Chris believes that no veteran should go a night without a bed or a day without the best possible medical care. Whether it's championing legislation or working one-on-one with veterans, Chris has made it one of his top priorities to honor our commitment to those who sacrificed to protect our country.
Chris has been a tireless leader in expanding access to educational and job training opportunities for veterans, ensuring that veterans have access to the medical care they need, and fighting to protect the memorials of the men and women who gave their lives to protect our country.
"I am so honored to have the support of these men and women in our campaign," Chris said. "Fighting for our veterans is one of the most important parts off my job. I’ll never forget a soldier I met who was being treated for his wounds who said to me, 'don't forget about us when you get back to the United States.' I never will, and I’m proud to serve the people who have served our country. Our Veterans and Military Families group is already growing rapidly and I look forward to carrying their message all across Connecticut. Linda McMahon’s so-called ‘jobs plan’ would actually gut critical funding that veterans rely on. If I have the honor of becoming Connecticut's next U.S. Senator I will continue to be an active, vocal and passionate voice for veterans."
If you are a veteran or have a family member who has served, you can sign up to join Veterans and Military Families for Murphy here:http://www.chrismurphy.com/veterans.