Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) spoke at an awards ceremony over the weekend hosted by a Communist Party affiliate whose leaders used the event to recruit potential members to the organization.
Blumenthal, one of the wealthiest members of the Senate, presented certificates of special recognition from the Senate to three winners of the "Amistad Award," given annually by the Connecticut People’s World Committee, an affiliate of the Communist Party USA and the Marxist People’s World news site.
Blumenthal appeared even as Democratic leaders have downplayed allegations that many in the party support socialist or communist policies. President Joe Biden distanced himself from the left-wing ideologies during the 2020 presidential campaign, at one point bragging that he defeated a socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), in the primaries. Blumenthal used his speech at the ceremony to tout Democratic legislative policies, including voting rights reform, ending the filibuster and the Build Back Better Act, according to the Yankee Institute, a free market think tank in Connecticut that reported details of the event.
Blumenthal was introduced at the event by Lisa Bergmann, a Communist Party member who blamed corporations for the "imperialism that exists in our world that is undermining the labor and environment."
Bergmann and her fellow communist emcee, Ben McManus, issued invitations at the ceremony to join the Communist Party.
"If you are not already part of the Communist Party, we invite you to participate and contribute and join," Bergmann said after Blumenthal's speech. "There's more and more people talking about socialism in this country as it becomes more and more clear that capitalism is not going to work for our future."
"I’m a member of the Communist Party, I love it. I think it’s an amazing organization," said Bergmann, who serves as an organizer for the Young Communist League USA.
McManus echoed Bergmann’s remarks, inviting ceremony viewers "to join the Communist Party in this epic time as we make good trouble to uproot systemic racism, retool the war economy, tax the rich, address climate change, secure voting rights, and create a new socialist system that puts people, peace, and planet before profits."
Blumenthal’s wealth is so vast—one estimate puts it at $100 million—that he has sometimes been unaware of all of his investments, including in a real estate development company linked to the Chinese government. Blumenthal said he was unaware of his investment in U.S. Shanghai LLC., which is listed on his annual financial disclosure, until contacted for comment by the Washington Free Beacon earlier this year. Blumenthal’s wealth comes mostly from his wife, a member of a New York real estate dynasty.