Campaign 2010

Oct 07, 2010

Republican ‘Young Guns’ Show Alarming Pattern of Contempt Towards Women

House Republican Leadership have recruited, endorsed, and promoted the campaigns of Young Guns candidates with a history of contempt, violence towards women, and wildly extreme policies towards women.

A recent report about NRCC Young Gun Tom Ganley (OH-13) being sued by a potential campaign volunteer for attempted rape and sexual assault comes on the heels of recent reports about other highly NRCC touted Young Guns and candidates including Jeff Perry (MA-10),  Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Brad Zaun (IA-03), Dan Benishek (MI-01),  David Rivera (FL-25), Keith Fimian (VA-11), Dan Debicella (CT-04), Dan Webster (FL-08)

“It sends women across the country a chilling message when House Republican leadership promotes the campaigns of their Republican recruits with allegations of attempted rape, sexual assault, restraining orders, and other violent behavior towards women,” said Jennifer Crider, DCCC spokesperson.  “Our mothers, daughters, and sisters deserve better than Republican leadership that not only tolerates this contemptible behavior, but actively seeks out candidates like this and promotes them.”

Republicans with Alarming Pattern

Tom Ganley (OH-13)

Republicans thought they were handed a gift when well-known multi-millionaire Tom Ganley decided to run for Congress. But Republicans failed to look into how Ganley made millions of dollars by ripping off hardworking people in Ohio.

  • Ganley Sued for Attempted Rape and Sexual Assault. Last week we learned that a woman has filed a suit against Ganley for sexual assault. Ganley allegedly met with the woman, who was interested in volunteering for his U.S. Senate campaign and talking about her car payments, when he propositioned and sexually assaulted her in his private office. [Plain Dealer, 9/30/10]
  • Ganley received $18,500 from GOP Leadership. Ganley has received at least $18,500 in contributions from GOP leadership. [CQ Moneyline]

Jeff Perry (MA-10)

The NRCC’s decision to promote Jeff Perry speaks volumes about the reckless leadership they’re offering voters this November.  National Republicans have repeatedly rallied around Jeff Perry, who has come under fire for his role in illegal strip searches of two teenage girls, most recently by funding attack ads to prop up his campaign, and their endorsement of his past is nothing short of disturbing. 

  • The NRCC has repeatedly propped up scandal plagued Jeff Perry’s campaign.  The NRCC has long supported Jeff Perry by touting his candidacy as a member of their “Young Guns” program and today launched television ads on his behalf. [NRCC YouTube Page, accessed 10/5/10; Cape Cod Times, 9/23/10] 
  • As a Wareham police sergeant in the early 1990’s, Jeff Perry had a role in two disturbing strip search scandals that involved teenage girls. According to the Boston Globe, “In one case, Perry was the supervisor at the scene when the officer stuck his hand in a 14-year-old girl’s underwear, ostensibly searching for drugs. In the other, Perry accompanied the same officer to the house of a 16-year-old girl to tell her parents that she had voluntarily pulled down her pants to show she did not have any drugs.” [Boston Globe, 5/15/10]

Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)

Scott DesJarlais has been touted as a top recruit by the NRCC and one of their top races to watch. Republicans must have not asked DesJarlais about his violent behavior and divorce including him allegedly holding a pistol in his mouth for three hours and dry firing guns outside the room his wife was in.

  • DesJarlais’ Violent, Threatening Behavior. According to Roll Call, “Susan DesJarlais accused her former husband of “dry firing a gun outside the Plaintiff’s locked bedroom door, admission of suicidal ideation, holding a gun in his mouth for three hours, an incident of physical intimidation at the hospital; and previous threatening behavior ... i.e. shoving, tripping, pushing down, etc.”  
  • DesJarlais had Police Called on him after Harassing his Ex-Wife. In another court document from February 2001, Susan DesJarlais asked that her husband’s visitation rights with their child be limited after he allegedly showed up at her apartment complex on Valentine’s Day and began harassing her to the point that she called the police.” [Roll Call, 9/16/10]
  • DesJarlais Repeatedly Tried to Lower Child-Support Payments. DesJarlais repeatedly attempted to have his child support payments reduced during and after his divorce. [Roll Call, 9/16/10]

Brad Zaun (IA-03)

Republicans must have been impressed with former hardware store owner and mayor Brad Zaun – and shocked to hear that he was ordered to stay away from a former girlfriend by police.

  • Zaun Ordered to Stay Away. In 2001, Zaun had to be told by West Des Moines police to stay away from a former girlfriend who had accused him of harassing her. The woman called police to complain that Zaun showed up in the early morning hours and pounded on her windows. “Brad yelled from outside calling her slut and other names,” the police report states. [Des Moines Register, 8/19/10]
  • Zaun received $7,500 from GOP Leadership. Zaun has received at least $7,500 in contributions from GOP leadership. [CQ Moneyline]

Dan Benishek (MI-01)

The NRCC has promoted heart surgeon Dan Benishek as the perfect candidate to replace retiring Representative Bart Stupak. But did they know that he hid $100,000 in income to lower his child-support payments when he was making more than 10 times her salary?

  • Benishek Underestimated His Income To Lower Child-Support Payments. Court records from Dickinson County show that Benishek underestimated his income by $100,000 during legal arguments over child support with his ex-wife. When Benishek requested lowering his child-support payments by $2,550 per month, he owned four homes and three vehicles and had an estimated income of $250,000 per year. His ex-wife, a registered nurse, was making $23,000 a year.
  • Judge: “Extremely Significant” Discrepancy. In 1995, a circuit court judge determined that Benishek failed to claim $100,000 income from a land management and marketing firm and called the discrepancy “extremely significant.” [Michigan Messenger, 9/27/10]
  • Benishek received $5,000 from Sessions. [CQ Moneyline]

David Rivera (FL-25)

GOP officials highly touted Marco Rubio-roommate and Cuban state Representative David Rivera – a state party officer and budget chairman - who has a troubling history of going to great lengths to hide a violent past.

  • Rivera Accused of Domestic Violence. Days later, the Miami Herald reported on allegations – and a court record – that Rivera was accused of domestic violence in 1994. The Herald noted “inconsistencies” in Rivera’s responses to the allegations. While Rivera said he never met the woman, others said they saw the two together and the woman’s mother once worked on one of Rivera’s campaigns. The allegations were the subject of the mailers Rivera tried to stop from being mailed to voters. [Miami Herald, 8/19/10]
  • Rivera has $3,200 from GOP Leadership. GOP leadership has contributed $3,200 to Rivera. [CQ Moneyline]

Keith Fimian (VA-11)

Keith Fimian, a highly touted Republican candidate lost in 2008 largely because of his links to anti-women organizations and his extremist agenda.

  • Keith Fimian Serves on the Board of an Organization Promoting Radical Anti-Woman Groups. Fimian serves on the board of Legatus, a radical organization whose members have financed Fimian’s campaign and serve as a fundraising network for other anti-choice politicians. Fimian’s organization promotes groups that support banning contraception and outlawing abortion. [Legatus Website; Washington Post, 9/10/08; Kansas City Star, 12/17/06]
  • Fimian’s Agenda is Extreme Social Policy, Not Improving the Economy. Fimian is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape and incest and even when the health of the mother is in jeopardy. Fimian opposes stem cell research that has the promise of providing cures to major diseases. [Washington Post, 9/10/08]          

Dan Debicella (CT-04)

Dan Debicella has been touted as a top candidate by the National Republican Congressional Committee and is part of their Young Guns program. Debicella has faced criticism for being one of only three State Senators to vote against access to emergency contraception for rape victims.  

  • Debicella was One of Only Three Senators to Vote Against Allowing Access to Emergency Contraception for Rape Victims. Debicella voted against SB 1343, “An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault.” The bill required hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims. [SB1343, 4/25/07]

Dan Webster (FL-08)

Dan Webster, a Republican candidate highly touted by National Republicans, has longstanding ties to a radical anti-women’s rights group that believes women should not be allowed to have jobs outside the home, should not be allowed to wear certain types of skirts, and should be “obedient” to their husbands

  • Has Deep Ties to Institute in Basic Life Principles That Promotes Anti-Woman Agenda. In 1997, Webster had already been associated with the Institute in Basic Life Principles for 14 years.  Webster not only attended seminars, but also taught classes and even made an instructional video that raised money for the institute. The IBLP was founded in Chicago by Bill Gothard, and preached a literal interpretation of the Bible, including the belief that women should submit to their husbands’ authority. And fathers must lead their families, while women must be “submissive” and “obedient” to their husbands. Also among its myriad teachings: a mother violates scripture when she works outside the home “since no one can serve two masters”; women should submit to the authority of their husbands and should avoid wearing skirts with slits in them; husbands and wives should refrain from sex during “unclean” intervals, including 40 days after the birth of a son and 80 days after the birth of a daughter. “I enjoy the advice he’s given,” Webster said of Gothard. Institute founder Bill Gothard contended in the 1980s that Cabbage Patch dolls caused destructive behavior in kids. [St. Petersburg Times, 2/16/97, 9/28/03; Sarasota Herald Tribune, 3/09/97]

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