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Last week, with her rival making high-profile appearances in Charlotte, N.C., Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long began seeking to forge a link between Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s family members who have lobbied state government and her refusal to call for Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s firing.
At a news conference upstate, in which she claimed Gillibrand was falling down on women's rights, Long said:
“I’m just saying her family and she stand to benefit from the relationship with Speaker Silver — they have benefited from that relationship. So I think it’s especially important, given that appearance of that relationship and given the fact that she has held herself out as someone who would stand up for women, to come forward and call for Speaker Silver to step aside.”
Long compares it to Gillibrand's position years ago when questions were raised about House Speaker Dennis Hastert's handling of the Rep. Mark Foley page scandal.
The remarks, taped by Kyle Hughes of NYSNYS, are posted on YouTube and embedded below. She's referring to the Rutnik law firm founded years ago by Gillibrand's father, the Democratic and later GOP-connected (in the Pataki era) longtime lawyer Douglas Rutnik.
As earlier reported by Casey Seiler at the Times Union in Albany, Gillibrand's campaign spokesman Glen Caplin replied that day: “I’m not going to comment on this baseless trash from a struggling campaign.” Struggling it may be; House GOP Speaker John Boehner a while back called it by the political slang term an “orphan” race. But as you hear below, Long disputed that premise in her remarks, too.
Long also referred to booing in the convention hall and three voice votes needed to pass the platform plank at the Democratic convention invoking God and citing Jerusalem as legitimate capital of Israel. In remarks of his own, Gillibrand ally Sen. Charles Schumer sought to downplay the optics of that process, suggesting that's how such votes are conducted and that a lot of people didn't know what was being voted.