A whole new level of hypocrisy and dysfunction, that’s the state things have gone to in Albany where top Democrats pay taxpayer dollars in hush money to silence victims of sexual harassment. But where is Senator Gillibrand, America’s number one cheerleader for women’s rights?
U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long said, “As New York Democrats rally in Charlotte and attempt to distract attention from jobs and the economy with talk of a phony ‘war on women,’ they turn their back on systematic and government-sanctioned sexual harassment back here in New York. It’s time for Senator Gillibrand, self-anointed protector of women’s rights, to get ‘off the side lines’ and call on Speaker Silver to step aside while investigations by JCOPE and Staten Island District Attorney Donovan proceed.”
Gillibrand, who only belatedly called for Lopez’s resignation, has worked fanatically to position herself as an advocate for women’s rights, even claiming that her campaign front, Off the Sidelines, assists Republicans. But when it comes to standing up for victims of sexual harassment and bucking her party, she has lost her voice.
In her 2006 race for Congress, Gillibrand urged then Congressman Sweeney to join her in calling for the resignation of Speaker Dennis Hastert in the wake of his negligence in handling the information provided to his office about Congressman Foley’s interaction with young Congressional pages.
“Democrats are scurrying like rats off a sinking ship to distance themselves from Lopez’s predatory behavior, but equally disturbing is the good old boy network that attempted to sweep ‘Gropergate’ under the rug and use taxpayer dollars to silence victims. New Yorkers deserve to know the truth, and Senator Gillibrand should call on the Speaker to step aside from his leadership post to assure a swift and complete investigation of the matter,” added Long.
New York Republicans are still waiting to hear Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand name a single Republican who has benefited from her ‘Off the Sidelines’ website. Seems like they’ll be waiting a little longer, too.
Despite the claim that Republican women have been helped by the site – claims made by Gillibrand herself – nobody from the Democrat’s campaign has been willing to offer any proof. As such, her opponent Wendy Long, has challenged Gillibrand to put her campaign money where her mouth is.
A year after being caught by the Buffalo News misleading voters about her Off the Sidelines campaign, Kirsten Gillibrand is at it again. This time, she is trying to represent the organization as a bipartisan social organization rather than exactly what it is: a front for Gillibrand for Senate.
On MSNBC’s NOW with Alex Wagner, Gillibrand said, “I’ve been doing it nationwide, trying to get more women, Democrats, Republicans, all women, to again, hold their elected leaders accountable, vote, and hopefully run for office. They just need to be asked.”
U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long said, “The question remains, can Senator Gillibrand name a single Republican woman who “Off the Sidelines” aka Gillibrand for Senate has assisted?”
In response to inquiries, Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin said, “I’m not going to comment on a clear distortion of reality and the facts.”
This is the same Glen Caplin that told the Buffalo News on July 5, 2011 that “Off the Sidelines is not meant to be a fundraising venture, but rather an attempt to inspire women to get involved politically.”
This is the same Glen Caplin, who in the same article said, “It is very transparent that it is Gillibrand for Senate.” And then just days later following scrutiny from The Buffalo News updated the Off the Sidelines site to clarify that it was a Gillibrand project, and that donations were going directly to Senator Gillibrand.
“The only distortion is the con job Kirsten Gillibrand continues to perpetuate by falsely representing that Off the Sidelines is anything but a front for Gillibrand for Senate,” said Wendy Long.
Added Long, “Gillibrand should take down the site and turnover these proceeds raised under false pretenses to an organization dedicated to advancing all women, not just Kirsten Gillibrand.”
Today, NYGOP spokeswoman Becky Miller released the following statement regarding Senator Gillibrand’s stint yesterday on MSNBC’s “NOW with Alex Wagner:”
“On MSNBC yesterday, Kirsten Gillibrand touted ‘OffTheSidelines.org’, a website she’s running to get ‘more women, Democrats, Republicans, all women, to hopefully run for office.’
But according to an exposé by the Weekly Standard, OffTheSidelines.org is:
“nothing more than a gateway site and fundraising tool for the Gillibrand campaign. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page says the site is “paid for by Gillibrand for Senate.” The homepage has a prominent link to ‘Contribute to Gillibrand for Senate,’ and another link to simply ‘contribute’ leads to a Gillibrand for Senate contribution form.”
“During her interview, Gillibrand referenced the 11 women who are running for US Senate this year. Indeed there are 11 female Democrats running for Senate – but there are also seven female Republicans, which New York’s Junior Senator didn’t deign to mention.
“Kirsten Gillibrand’s career in the Senate is built on a foundation of lies and deceit, from touring New York touting new ‘jobs bills’ that never get passed to lying about her role helping women participate in politics.
“We call on Kirsten Gillibrand to name the Republican women that her organization helps – or admit that OffTheSidelines.org is a sham: just another way to funnel money to her reelection campaign.”
GOP Calling Gillibrand’s Bluff, Demand Proof That Her Independent Organization Has Benefited Republican Women
Yesterday, the New York GOP released the following statement in response to Senator Gillibrand’s (D-NY) appearance on MSNBC, where she claimed her “independent” organization helps women of both parties get elected:
Yesterday, on MSNBC, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand proudly touted her organization “Off the Sidelines.org” as one that works with both Democrat and Republican women alike, when in fact all proceeds of her seemingly independent organization go directly to her campaign war chest.
Last year, the Buffalo News reported on Senator Gillibrand’s “independent organization” as nothing more than a distraction. The website encouraged people to donate to her re-election campaign by leading them to believe they were supporting women’s rights. It was a duplicitous cash grab and a total misrepresentation of the group’s efforts and under pressure Senator Gillibrand admitted as much.
One year later, Senator Gillibrand is back at it, telling Alex Wagner of MSNBC that Off the Sidelines is helping both Republican and Democrat women get elected.
We call on Senator Gillibrand to identify those Republican women whom benefit, or have benefitted, from Off the Sidelines.org, or simply admit that contributions to the organization go directly to her reelection campaign, rather than to getting both Republican and Democrat women involved in the issues, as she claimed on Alex Wagner’s show yesterday.
Instead of touting bogus bipartisanship, Senator Gillibrand should focus on getting co-sponsors for any one of her stalled jobs bills or sponsor legislation to repeal Obamacare, which has raided $741 Billion from Medicare, putting our seniors at risk.
Here’s the video of Senator Gillibrand on the Alex Wagner show…
But OffTheSidelines appears to be nothing more than a gateway site and fundraising tool for the Gillibrand campaign. A disclaimer at the bottom of the page says the site is “paid for by Gillibrand for Senate.” The homepage has a prominent link to “Contribute to Gillibrand for Senate,” and another link to simply “contribute” leads to a Gillibrand for Senate contribution form.
… But not for the reasons you’d expect.
The New York State Republican Committee is hopping mad over an apparent lack of focus toward matters of import by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand:
The U.S. Department of Labor reported yesterday that unemployment rates were lower in June than a year earlier in 328 of the 372 metropolitan areas across America, with only 32 metro areas registering higher unemployment.
Shockingly, each and every one of New York’s 13 metropolitan areas registered higher unemployment year-over-year with the state rate at 9.1% and a New York City rate at 10.3%. New York State accounted for more than one-third of all the areas nationwide that reported higher unemployment rates.
Senator Gillibrand’s answer?
Pass a budget? No!
Cut taxes and cut spending to allow job growth? No!
Get cosponsors for her own phony “jobs bills” and get them to the Senate floor? No!
Stand up for New York’s interests in Washington? No!
Gillibrand’s answer: Book Club!
Indeed, Gillibrand will be hosting a second online book club chat this evening for the web site “OffTheSidelines.org”, claiming the effort is about “bringing women’s voices to the forefront” and “focus(ing) on the issues and stories that are important to us”.
Wendy Long, candidate for U.S. Senate, responded to the out of touch event:
“Whether it’s Main Street or Wall Street, upstate or downstate, New Yorkers’ interests are being sold out, our future mortgaged, and our earning power taxed by a flip-flopping Senator who is a puppet of national special interests in Washington, instead of taking the initiative to help the economy and jobs for New Yorkers,” said U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long.
Long added, “Kirsten Gillibrand says she’s ‘fine’ that Obamacare is a tax, she supports raising income taxes on small business owners and suburban and downstate voters, she opposes economic growth through her opposition to the development of shale gas, and she is crippling middle and entry-level financial sector jobs and consumer lending through her support of Dodd-Frank. As Senator, I will work to reverse each and every one of her job killing policies and implement pro-growth, pro-freedom policies instead. She is running from debates and holding book clubs because she can’t defend her record of failure to New Yorkers.”
There is however, a method to Gillibrand’s madness. The Off the Sidelines book club isn’t totally about books, or women’s issues for that matter.
It’s about campaign contributions.
Via Buffalo News:
Then there’s the “contribute” button — where every dollar women contribute goes not to any independent organization called OffTheSidelines.org, but to Gillibrand’s 2012 re-election campaign.
That last fact leaves advocates of good government thinking that Gillibrand has taken what her supporters call a noble and necessary cause — women’s rights — and converted it into yet another political fundraising opportunity.
“It’s not actually noble,” said Melanie Sloan, founder and executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a nonpartisan good-government group based in Washington.
“I think it’s totally misleading,” Sloan said of OffTheSidelines.org, which never explicitly says dollars donated there go to the Gillibrand re-election campaign. “I think it’s technically legal, but I don’t think it’s OK.”
Perhaps New Yorkers would be better served reading the policies and platforms espoused by Kirsten Gillibrand, and contrast those advocated by Wendy Long. In the end they may just find Long’s common sense conservatism to be a better way to get women ‘off the sidelines’ than any stereotypical book club ever could.