RESULT: Chris Murphy (D) 59% – David Cappiello (R) 39%
Politico dubbed CT-5 a “hot spot for immigration” in the upcoming election, because the Republican challenger, State Sen. David Cappiello, is planning on making it an issue. Danbury, which is one of the largest cities in the state and is located in the 5th district, has been a “hotbed of immigration activism,” and the mayor has been a vocal proponent of immigration crackdowns. [Politico, 12/4/07] While the district leans Democrat, it is competitive; President Bush won 43 percent of the vote in 2000 and 49 percent in 2004. [Politico, 11/5/08] The President traveled to Connecticut at the end of April to raise money for Cappiello at the home of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. [Connecticut Post Online, 4/25/08] Bush helped Cappiello raise over $750,000. [Hotline, 5/1/08]
The Murphy Position:
UNKNOWN. In November 2007, Rep Murphy (D) announced his opposition to former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer’s plan to give undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses. Murphy’s spokesperson, Kristen Bossi, said, “Chris does not support providing driver’s licenses to undocumented workers. Chris thinks that it is the responsibility of the federal government to craft a strong and fair immigration bill, not the responsibility of individual states to take on this problem piece by piece.” [Hotline, 11/6/08] Later, Murphy said he hoped that Congress would address immigration, even if it meant dealing with the process in a piecemeal way. [Connecticut Post Online, 12/23/07] He does not address immigration on his Congressional or campaign websites, and there is little mention of discussion on this issue in the campaign. Murphy does not have a high profile on this issue during his brief tenure in Congress.
The Cappiello Position:
ENFORCEMENT ONLY. David Cappiello’s campaign website lists immigration as an important issue, and outlines his position as the following: “America’s immigration system is broken. It’s putting our nation’s security at risk and is straining our social services like healthcare and education. Once again, Washington has failed to produce a common-sense solution to this problem because of the bickering that is all too commonplace in Congress. I am opposed to amnesty. It sends the wrong message to those who have sought or are seeking to come here the legal way. And it sends the wrong message to all Americans that our government would willingly look the other way for those who broke our laws to come here. It’s not hard to understand why anyone wants to come to America and make a better life for himself or herself. But as a nation of laws, we must insist that those who want to live in America come here the legal way.” [David Cappiello for Congress, accessed 5/9/08]