GIPSON, TOP ALLIES CONTINUE EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN FOR POLITICAL GAINS

Serino.CondemnsGipsonMailer.JPG
Dutchess County Legislator and 41st Senate District Candidate Sue Serino joins a bipartisan group to condemn a mailer sent in support of Terry Gipson.
Members of Women4Serino joined a bipartisan group of local officials and Dutchess County Legislator and 41st Senate District candidate Sue Serino today to denounce a campaign mailer sent out in support of Terry Gipson’s re-election effort by one of his top donors. The mailer, which depicts a domestic violence victim, attempts to claim Sue Serino would not stand up for abused women. However, throughout her campaign Serino has reiterated her support for victims of domestic violence and affirmed her support for tougher laws to protect victims.
“Terry Gipson and his allies should be ashamed that during Domestic Violence Awareness Month they feel it is an appropriate time to issue a campaign mailer that exploits battered women for their own personal and political gain,” said Serino. “It’s an absolute disgrace; cleary Terry and his allies don’t really care about victims of domestic violence and don’t understand that domestic violence is a heinous crime against all women and we need to do everything in our power to prevent it. Domestic violence victims and battered women everywhere deserve to get the support and the help they need, not to be exploited as props. This mailer is anti-woman -- pure and simple. It is disgusting, sexist and misogynistic.
 
“Clearly Terry and the downstate interest who back him are desperate. I strongly urge Terry Gipson to condemn this mailer immediately and donate the more than $27,000 in donations he has received from VOTE-COPE since he took office to the Grace Smith House to benefit the survivors of domestic violence.”
 
“I wanted to join Sue today because quite frankly to call into question her commitment to combating and responding to domestic violence calls into question Dutchess County’s heralded response to incidents of domestic violence. Over the last two decades this county has lead the nation in responding to incidents of abuse and violence against women, against children, and violence in families. We do that through an integrated response, bringing law enforcement, judges, and not-for-profits like the one behind us, all to the table to combat in an integrated and collaborative way domestic violence. In the last three years alone Dutchess County has committed both state and local resources to training law enforcement officials, training magistrate officials and judges, and reaching out to not-for-profit organizations to strengthen our response. Sue Serino has been a leader in that effort. I’ve been around politics long enough, and I’ve seen mailers long enough, most of them I can’t even tell you what they look like. This is a disgrace. There are women in this community who look like this, who’ve been abused, beaten and violated, and quite frankly it should be just one thing that we can all come together and agree upon, it’s ensuring that we don’t play political games with those who are victims of violence. I know firsthand that Sue Serino has been a leader, has been dedicated and committed to ensuring that Dutchess County as government alone, but as a community as a whole, responds to domestic violence and protects women living in violent situations. There is no room for this kind of politics in Dutchess County and I join her in calling for an end to this kind of politicking. I have to tell you we have been able to speak as one voice in Dutchess County, Republicans and Democrats, Legislature and Executive, for years dedicating ourselves to providing a community that cares about and responds, educates and promotes, a safe environment for women. We don’t want anything like this in our community and it shouldn’t exist in politics,” said County Executive Marcus Molinaro.
 
“As a lifelong Democrat, I have never been more embarrassed to be a member of my party as I am this election season. My mailbox has been overflowing daily with misogynistic messages from our standing Senator Gipson against his female opponent County Legislator Sue Serino. It is one thing to bring voting records into question.  It is quite another to use your opponents gender as cause for criticism and slander. This weekend I received a mailer that was so vile in its intent that, as a woman, I felt I must speak up.  It pictured a battered female victim of Domestic Violence and stated, ‘Sue Serino won’t protect her from her abuser.’  The message far exceeded its intended purpose. It did not simply point out that County Legislator Serino favors a pro-life agenda, but made a mockery out of her complete support of women’s issues and equality. To dare suggest that a woman who is a wife, mother and public servant would not advocate on the behalf of a victim of Domestic Violence is inexcusable. County Legislator Sue Serino has a proven record of fighting for women’s rights and certainly advocating on behalf of all victims of Domestic Violence, both male and female. Senator Gipson has shown his true colors by allowing anti-women rhetoric to be an integral part of his campaign plan. I, for one, will not tolerate it. We need smart women, like Sue, in Albany to advocate on our behalf and not sexist politicians who demean women that dare to challenge their position, said Alyssa Kogan, former Vice-Chairwoman of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee.
 
Earlier this year the Senate passed 9 points of the original Women's Equality Act on two separate occasions, including two provisions that afforded additional protections to the victims of domestic violence, one of which has already been signed into law. Serino has strongly expressed her support for all nine.