by Jennifer Swift
Oct 15, 2013
08:36 AMConnecticut Politics
Denise Merrill to Address Newsletter
Secretary of State Denise Merrill will answer questions relating to an "office e-newsletter" Tuesday, after the Hartford Courant's Jon Lender exposed that Merrill had been sending monthly newsletters using her office's resources to thousands of Democrats touting her achievements since June.
The news conference is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. in Merrill's office.
The article, published Friday evening says Merrill sent the newsletter from her office to more than 5,000 people, a majority of whom are Democratic activists and donors.
More from Lender:
Merrill, who is up for re-election next year, insists that the newsletter that's mailed to more than 5,000 people a month is intended to keep her constituents informed. But The Courant reported that the list of recipients is densely packed with the names of political donors and members of the state's Democratic establishment, the kind of people a candidate wants to stay in touch with in order to win renomination and to raise campaign funds.
Immediately following the news, state Republican leaders called for Merrill to halt sending the newsletter, and said she was using tax-payer funds to further her campaign. Editorials, as well as the Courant's original article, also pointed out that this news was reminiscent of Merrill's predecessor, Susan Bysiewicz who had also been criticized for creating her own database.
Up until this point, Merrill, who ordinarily accessible to the media, has only commented on the issue through her spokesperson.Denise Merrill to Address Newsletter