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Murphy faces criticism from GOP challenger over fundraising email
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is facing criticism from a GOP opponent after he sent a fundraising email to supporters that split donations between three gun control advocacy groups and his own re-election campaign.
The email from Murphy, an outspoken proponent of stricter gun laws, came less than two days after a gunman in Las Vegas opened fire on a country music festival from a nearby hotel, killing 58 other people and injuring more than 500.
"If you are outraged like I am that Congress has mustered absolutely no response to mass shooting after mass shooting, to the regular gun violence that plagues our cities, then your contribution to these three organizations is something meaningful you can do right now to fight back," Murphy's email reads.
The email directed supporters to an online form, where they could choose to split their donations between three gun control groups - Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. By default, the money was also split with Murphy's campaign, the Hartford Courant reported.
Matthew Corey, one of the Republicans vying for Murphy's Senate seat in 2018, accused Murphy of seizing on the attack for political gain, telling the Hartford Courant that the junior Connecticut senator should donate contributions his campaign received from the email to the victims of the Las Vegas attack.
"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 said.
In a separate statement issued on Wednesday, Corey accused Murphy of "politicizing" the shooting by calling for stricter gun control laws and said the Connecticut Democrat has "blood on his hands, due to his constantly divisive rhetoric in Washington."
"Instead of standing with the families to grieve for their lost loved ones, or pray for the injured recovering from their wounds in the hospital, he was grandstanding, attempting to score political points by saying 'Congress should get off its ass' and pass still more gun laws," he said.
"As if there is one, magical extra law that could have prevented this deranged human being from committing this atrocity."
By Wednesday, the donation form that Murphy's fundraising email linked to did not have an option to split funds with Murphy's campaign.
A spokeswoman for Murphy acknowledged to the Courant that the fundraising email should have been clearer, and said that people were able to split the donations however they saw fit.
"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."