Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle held a press conference this morning at her Syracuse office to denounce Dan Maffei’s latest attack ad that accuses her of trying to redefine rape. It’s not often you see the Congresswoman angry, but this morning she was fired up and fighting. This is a woman who has spent years volunteering and helping victims of rape and domestic violence in our community, so for Maffei to lie about her record and portray her as anti-woman is beyond the pale, even for him.
Surrounded by about fifty women in the drizzling rain, Buerkle said the ad is a “misrepresentation of my record and all that I stand for” before slamming the ad as “wrong, desperate and pathetic.” She brought up how she brought the White Ribbon campaign of Vera House to Washington, DC, and how President Obama signed legislation she sponsored to protect women in the VA from sexual assault. She said she is proud of her record standing up for women. “Dan Maffei cannot say that, he can only hide behind these ads that are false… To hide behind women that are victims is the most cowardly act that a human being can do. He needs to be held accountable.”
She went on to note how Dan Maffei’s tenuous ties to the community only surface during election years. “Every two years Dan comes into town and wants to tell us what’s good for us and that he can represent us in Congress. … He hasn’t lived here, he hasn’t worked here, he hasn’t invested here, he hasn’t volunteered here and he hasn’t raised a family here, and I am appalled at this ad. … Even for Dan Maffei, this ad reaches a new depth.”
Buerkle also went on to explain that the bill mentioned in Maffei’s ad, HR3, included the words “forcible rape” in a draft that was circulated, but when it came to members’ attention the word “forcible” was removed and appeared nowhere in the bill she voted for. She vehemently denied that she ever would vote for anything that would redefine rape. The bill in question is a bill that would bar the federal government from funding abortion.
Update: Here’s video from the press conference, and be sure to check out how the local ABC affiliate covered this story.