Lawmakers Condemn Online Threats Against Conn. Senator - NECN
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Lawmakers Condemn Online Threats Against Conn. Senator

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    Lawmakers Condemn Online Threats Against State Senator

    State Republicans and Democrats were unified in their condemnation of an online threat posted against State Sen. Cathy Osten. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019)

    State Democrats and Republicans are coming to the defense of one of their colleagues after an online threat was made on Facebook.

    On Tuesday, leaders from both sides of the aisle spent time discussing the comments made online against state Sen. Cathy Osten.

    The threats were made online after the Connecticut Republican Party shared a post about another user.

    In the post, the user stated that Osten drove through his yard while she was out campaigning on Sunday afternoon.

    Under that post was a comment stating, “She does that to the wrong person, she might get shot.”

    Another user replied to that comment with the following remark, “I’ll shoot her.”

    Osten was in attendance during the new conference to discuss her initial reaction.

    “I think I was disappointed that anyone would say this today,” she said. “In today’s world, you cannot take it as just words any longer.”

    Osten is running for reelection as first selectman in her hometown of Sprague.

    The incident comes just two weeks away from election day.

    Osten said she won’t allow threats to stop her campaign, but the comments should be taken seriously.

    “If you can’t say it to somebody’s face, you should not be saying it online and act like you are doing something anonymously because those words matter,” she said.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to the Republican Town Committee, which issued the following statement:

    “The Sprague and Republican Town Committee strongly condemns the careless ridiculous and over the top social media comments directed towards Senator Osten.”

    State Republicans told NBC Connecticut that any threatening posts, comments or hate speech is forbidden and will be deleted. The party also said that they will ban anyone who spews hate speech on their page.

    Both Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz condemned the social media attacks on female candidates for public office issuing this joint statement:

    “The repeated sexist attacks on Mayor Erin Stewart and threats of violence directed at Senator Cathy Osten are vile and reprehensible. While none of this is new unfortunately – especially for women candidates and elected officials – this harassment must end now. At a time when women have made tremendous strides in elected office and made their voices heard, attacks like this only make the challenges they face more difficult. Our democracy works best when we display respect and dignity towards all citizens, including those who are willing to step up and serve, rather than shaming or attacking them.”

    Those in the town, like Maureen Trudelle, say the comments went too far.

    “I was shocked and I just think that it’s something you don’t do,” said Trudelle. “I just think that the town needs to work together not against each other.”

    State and Capitol Police are investigating the online threats.