Parents do not want images of their massacred Sandy Hook children splattered all over the Internet. Early Wednesday morning the State Senate and House voted overwhelmingly to block public disclosure of images from the Newtown slaughter. The Senate voted 33-2 to approve the bill. State Senator Anthony Musto was one of two senators to vote no, saying he supports release of horrific images of kids. The bill also passed the house 130-2. In recent weeks Musto has offered his constituents from Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe an array of dubious positions.
Governor Dan Malloy says he will sign the bill:
“My goal with this legislation was to provide some measure of protection for the families affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the fact is, all families have a right to grieve in private. Those who lose loved ones to violence have a right to protect themselves against further anguish. This is a difficult issue, requiring all of us to balance deeply held beliefs and important public policy values. I commend the legislators on coming to an agreement that respects the privacy of grieving families.”
Statement from Republican State Senator McKinney, a chief proponent of the bill:
“The intent of what we’re doing here is very clear–that the public disclosure of an image of the dead body of a brutally murdered child, or spouse, or sibling would cause emotional harm and violate the personal privacy of the parents and other surviving family members. One does not need to see the photos to understand the unwarranted pain and anguish it would cause a parent or other family member to see such photos published and appear on the Internet every time someone searches ‘Sandy Hook’ or ‘school shooting’,” said McKinney, whose Senate district includes Newtown.
Why did Musto vote no?
“I voted no because I think the presumption should be in favor of the government telling the people what’s going on, no matter how horrific the results,” he told the Connecticut Post. “I feel like a government shouldn’t be keeping evidence of a crime secret and the presumption should always be in favor of disclosure unless the government can provide a compelling reason for keeping information confidential. The families in Newtown have all of our sympathies and support, but we can’t keep these things secret. What we should be doing is punishing the people who misuse it, who harass the families or use the images for malicious reasons. To block public access to information is I think contrary to the way government should act toward citizens.”
Musto has come under fire recently for positions he’s taken against strong public policy protecting taxpayers from government abuse including his support of city employees serving on the City Council approving their own wages and benefits in violation of Bridgeport’s City Charter. He also supported watering down of campaign finance reform. He also tried to pass a bill–it failed–blocking the Independent Party line from appearing on the ballot in the cause of furthering his own election. The Independent Party has endorsed some Republican candidates just as the Working Families Party has endorsed many Democrats, including Musto, adding another line for votes.
Musto wants to release photos of slaughtered kids. How will that play on the campaign trail in 2014?