The latest blunder in the Connecticut 2018 gubernatorial campaign comes from Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin's camp, where a fundraising plea was sent to a few dozen city school employees' work email accounts.
By law, municipal employees cannot solicit money from their subordinates. This no way for a campaign to come out of the gate.
Mr. Drew personally requested, from city hall, the home addresses of city employees — including police and firefighters, whose addresses are protected by law — and mailed them requests for $100 donations.
Obviously, city employees objected, saying they felt pressure to contribute. They were right to complain. Mr. Drew's move was unethical and thoughtless.
On the other hand, the email sent to Hartford city school employees by Mr. Bronin's campaign seems, on the surface, to be more of an honest mistake than a deliberate attempt to pressure city workers into supporting his campaign.
The campaign apparently used a mailing list — with more than 20,000 addresses on it — put together during Mr. Bronin's bid for mayor. Before sending the email last week, a worker went through the list and removed any address with a .gov suffix. That was the right thing to do, and it shows that the campaign wasn't mailing with malice.
But Hartford public school employee email addresses end with .org, not .gov, and they got the email soliciting campaign donations.
An absentminded move at best, but there are key distinctions between what the mayor of Hartford did and what the mayor of Middletown did. Mr. Bronin didn't use home addresses. He didn't risk the confidentiality of police officers' home addresses. He did not seek out the list himself. And an apology came quickly — instead of a specious claim, like Mr. Drew's, that the law doesn't apply to him.
It's understandable, but it was a silly mistake. If Mr. Bronin is going to continue on his quest for the governor's mansion, he might do well to hire campaign workers who are more detail-oriented. Ultimately, though, the responsibility for this blunder is his own.