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POLITICS MoveOn apologizes to Hayes

August 27, 2018

A liberal political action group has apologized for being duped into endorsing the establishment Democrat who was trounced in the 5th District primary by progressive newcomer Jahana Hayes.

MoveOn Political Action said it never would have endorsed the Democratic primary loser, Mary Glassman, had her campaign not ignored the group’s rules and distributed an endorsement vote form to her supporters who were not registered MoveOn members.

“We regrettably screwed this up and take this extremely seriously,” wrote Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn Political Action, in a 770-word apology posted on its website. “MoveOn wrongly endorsed Mary Glassman in the CT-05 primary, and we take responsibility for our error and apologize to MoveOn members in CT-05, Jahana Hayes, her campaign, and her supporters.”

Is that enough for Hayes?

“Absolutely I accept their apology - they didn’t have to do that,” Hayes said on Monday. “I think they are committed to making sure their members stay informed with a level of transparency we don’t see very often.”

It helps that MoveOn’s apology contains more than words.

The group intends to make the maximum $5,000 contribution to Hayes’ campaign and “work our hearts out to help elect her” in the Nov. 6 midterm election.

“Hayes is a former National Teacher of the Year who will be a fierce advocate for public education, she supports Medicare for all and she has been a vocal advocate for immigrants and against the Trump administration’s family separation and detention policy,” Sheyman’s statement says. “She’ll be a fantastic champion and leader in Congress.”

Hayes faces Manny Santos, a former mayor of Meriden who is running as a Trump Republican. He supports the White House crackdown on illegal immigration, its opposition to Obamacare, and its position that gun control will not make schools safer.

MoveOn, which endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, said it was committed to learning from its mistake.

The mistake happened when the group called for a vote of its registered members in Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District — just days before the Aug. 14 Democratic primary -- to see whether Glassman or Hayes had more support.

“[T]he Glassman campaign ignored our clear endorsement rules and shared the ballot vote page with their supporter list,” said Sheyman, adding the organization should have spotted the unauthorized votes for Glassman before it was too late.

Attempts to reach Glassman and two of her top campaign staff for comment were not successful Monday.

Hayes, whose victory over Glassman has earned her national media attention as a rising star in the party, is helping take Democrats’ minds off the scandal caused by U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

Esty, a three-term Democrat, dropped re-election plans and raised the stakes for Connecticut’s most competitive Congressional seat when she admitted she covered up an office abuse scandal involving her former chief of staff.

rryser@newstimes.com 203-731-3342

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