Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

Hurling Rhetorical Acid In New York

New York Rep. Nan Hayworth’s political consultant took to another group’s Facebook page to express himself — and then all hell broke loose.

On Thursday, HOH reported that Jay Townsend, a political consultant for the New York Republican’s campaign, decided to go a bit rogue all over the New York House of Representatives Civil Discussion Board, which is a Facebook page maintained by supporters of Hayworth’s Democratic opponent, Dr. Richard Becker.

One of the remarks Townsend wrote on the Facebook page is getting Becker’s campaign and Democratic groups angry.

“Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector,” Townsend wrote.

“I’d be fired — immediately and with cause — if I said stuff like this,” said Barry Caro, Becker’s spokesman. “Which begs the question: Why is Jay Townsend still Nan Hayworth’s spokesman?”

For its part, the Hayworth campaign is furious at the Becker campaign.

“This is a manufactured controversy by a campaign operation that has, for months, hurled offensive rhetoric and imagery at Nan Hayworth on various Facebook pages, including the one mentioned today,” Bruce Harvie, Hayworth’s campaign director, said in a statement. “It is a matter of public record that the moderator of the page in question, while purporting to represent an objective point of view, is on the payroll of the Becker campaign.

“And in behalf of the Becker campaign, the moderator has tolerated extremely hostile and explicit comments against Dr. Hayworth,” he continued. ”The comment receiving the attention was not made on behalf of the Congresswoman or her campaign and was clearly not meant to be taken literally.”

Now outside groups are having their say:

“The threats made against Democratic women Senators yesterday night by tea party Republican spokesperson Jay Townsend are without a doubt the most disgusting thing I have ever heard in politics,” said Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List, a Democratic organization focused on getting pro-choice women elected to office. “There is no place — not in our government, not anywhere in the world — for the suggestion that women we disagree with should be attacked and maimed with acid.

“The EMILY’s List community is outraged, and I am outraged. The fact that this person continues to have a job is an insult to women everywhere,” Schriock continued. “Republicans pretend they aren’t waging a war on women, but their inaction today is absolutely chilling.”

Still no word from Townsend.

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