No mitzvah goes unpunished: Whitnum chases Blumenthal

Lee Whitnum attends the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee's annual campaign kickoff and picnic at the Garden Education Center in Cos Cob, CT on Saturday, September 10, 2011.

Lee Whitnum has LoJack on Dick Blumenthal.

Apparently, it needs a new homing beacon.

For five weeks, Whitnum, a disillusioned former Democrat who has publicly and quite controversially condemned America’s relationship with Israel, says she has been trying to serve Connecticut’s senior U.S. senator with a deposition related to a 2011 bar mitzvah ceremony attended by Blumenthal at the Greenwich Town Hall.

“Blumenthal can obviously employ the best security in the world. How is the system supposed to work if he can’t be served like regular folk?” Whitnum said in a news release. “I’m not trying to make a federal case out of this but seriously, this is a federal case. It is his civic duty to accept the questions, answer them honestly, and produce what is being requested. He is not named in the complaint, he is a non-party witness.”

UPDATE: Blumenthal’s office released a statement to Hearst Connecticut Newspapers disputing Whitnum’s claim that the senator has been inaccessible.

“Senator Blumenthal’s office has been working productively with the server for the past several weeks to arrange an appropriate time and place for the service of this subpoena,” the statement said.  “The Senator’s office has indicated that the Senator would be willing to accept the subpoena at any time convenient at his home or elsewhere and wishes to cooperate in every way. Unfortunately, previously arranged attempts to meet had to be rescheduled, but we have no doubt this will take place shortly. Any claim that the Senator has been less than fully cooperative is baseless and false.”

Whitnum is suing the Town of Greenwich over the event, saying it breached the constitutional separation between church and state.

The bar mitzvah coincided with a May 13 celebration of Israeli Independence Day by the UJA Federation of Greenwich.

Greenwich officials say the event was not sponsored by the town and is no different from other cultural events and flag-raisings, where different ethnic groups are allowed to celebrate their heritage.

Thwarted in her multiple bids for public office, including U.S. House and Senate, Whitnum has enlisted the services of a Stamford constable to try to serve Blumenthal with papers.

It’s an ironic twist for Blumenthal, who as the former longtime state attorney general is usually the one exercising subpoena powers.

Full disclosure: Whitnum has served the reporter from Greenwich Time who covered the Israeli Independence Day and is also seeking out the photographer who was on the assignment.

“As a lawyer, he is an officer of the court and he should accept the Deposition, fill out the answers and mail it back,” Whitnum said of Blumenthal. “I mean seriously the man has dogged my process server for five long weeks. Enough already.”

Neil Vigdor