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Cicilline & Doherty at War Over Women’s Issues

Friday, October 05, 2012


Incumbent Congressman David Cicilline and Republican challenger Brendan Doherty again traded barbs over women’s issues Thursday, this time with Doherty calling attention to Cicilline’s record as a defense lawyer.

The war of words began earlier in the week when the State Democratic Party criticized Doherty for not supporting legislation that would expand and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The Democrats charged that House Republicans killed a bill that would have extended protections to Native Americans, undocumented immigrants and members of the LGBT community and called out Doherty for supporting the decision.

But Doherty fired back by pointing out that Cicilline represented several men who brutally attacked women when he a lawyer Doherty noted that Cicilline represented Anthony Gardiner, who ultimately was convicted on five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation; Frank A. Bertram, who was convicted of first degree murder of a sixteen year old girl; and James Krakue, a husband convicted of domestic felony assault.

“This is the David Cicilline who claims to stand-up for women,” Doherty said. “While David Cicilline was representing ruthless batterers and child killers, I spent my career putting vicious domestic predators and wife beaters behind bars. I’d put them in jail; Cicilline tried to keep them out and put them back on the streets. Actions speak louder than words. I stood tall for women’s rights and their safety. David Cicilline stood up for men who wage real and violent wars on women.”

Democratic spokesman Bill Fischer characterized Doherty for unleashing a “desperate personal attack today because he doesn’t want to admit he stands with House Speaker John Boehner.” Fischer said the Doherty campaign hit a “new low” with its attack.

“There was nothing moderate about Doherty’s stance on this important issue,” said Bill Fischer, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Democratic Party. “Mr. Doherty has chosen to stand with GOP leaders who are blocking the reauthorization and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act - purely for political purposes. Mr. Doherty has not offered one legitimate explanation why he’s opposed to expanding protections to Native American women, members of the LGBT community and immigrants. Instead of offering an explanation, he has characterized these individuals as ‘people in other walks of life.’ At this juncture, I think it would be appropriate for Mr. Doherty to explain exactly what ‘people in other walks of life’ actually means. It’s really quite simple: the Democratic Party believes all individuals should be treated equally. Apparently, Mr. Doherty does not share our opinion on this matter."


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I'd like to see more information on Doherty's view on VAWA. Does he just not support it? (According to Wikipedia, the ACLU had serious concerns at first, though they now support it for the most part.) Or is the sticking point really the expansion to LGBT and undocumented immigrants?

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by Doherty's showing in the video presented elsewhere on Golocalprov. I presumed it was going to be a "defense attorneys are evil" speech, but it wasn't. It was a speech about hypocrisy and unfair campaign smears. It's not wrong for an attorney to provide a client with a defense - that is a fundamental part of our American system. But Cicilline sure comes off as sleazy trying to say Doherty is "warring" against women because he (apparently) won't back one piece of legislation that Cicilline will.

Comment #1 by Joe Public on 2012 10 05

From the Doherty Press Release:

In one of the horrific cases, Cicilline represented Anthony Gardiner, who ultimately was convicted on five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation. Gardiner’s conviction resulted from his participation in a brutal sexual assault of a young Warwick woman. The details of the assault are so graphic and disturbing they can’t be recounted here.
David Cicilline represented Frank A. Bertram, who was convicted of first degree murder of a sixteen year old girl who was strangled and her body left in a wooden box in a hotel room.
Cicilline defended James Krakue, a drunken husband convicted of domestic felony assault after punching his wife in the face, nearly blinding her and then beating her with a wooden chair. She was so terrified of him, she left the state and, out of fear, refused to testify against him. Krakue was found guilty.

then cicilline says this on his facebook page,
Earlier today I joined with the members of the Rhode Island delegation to support the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence as they launch their new campaign- No More. Together we can end domestic violence.


Comment #2 by anthony sionni on 2012 10 05

doherty needs to get in the gutter because thats where ciccilini is...

Comment #3 by jon paycheck on 2012 10 05

This is complete grandstanding and pandering by Cicilline.

1. The Violence Against Women Act already covers tribes and Native Americans.

2. The Act even covers non-resident immigrant females, already.

3. All other victims of crime are eligible for support from a parallel statute called the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

What Ciciline and his disengenuous cohorts are doing is pandering, grandstanding and LYING.

Remedies exist for all the categories of people he says are not covered.

Comment #4 by David Allen on 2012 10 05

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