A group of well-financed gay rights activists, still pissed off by the defeat last year of a bill that would have allowed marriage equality in New York state, have started a political action committee to take aim at state senators who have opposed same-sex marriage.
The first person that Fight Back New York will single out is Hiram Monserrate, the Queens Democrat, convicted of beating his girlfriend, the Queens Democrat who voted against marriage equality, the Queens Democrat who was recently expelled from the Senate. Monserrate has filed as a candidate in a special election to reclaim the seat he lost.
The campaign against Monserrate will begin on the Internet and with direct mailings, but might expand to phone banks and emails. The costs could exceed $100,000, but Fight Back New York is prepared to raise and spend in the high six figures range in the State Senate races this year.
Queens with money. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Financing for this campaign will come, in part, from some of the most politically active, and financially powerful gay rights advocates in the country. Tim Gill, a philanthropist and former software developer who has backed many gay rights initiatives nationwide, is a major player.
“Politicians who deny gays and lesbians basic equality should be thrown out of office, starting with convicted criminal Hiram Monserrate,” said Bill Smith, an adviser to Take Back New York, and deputy executive director of the Gill Action Fund, Mr. Gill’s political organization.
The committee will start going after Monserrate by mailing fliers to voters in his district. The flier consists of still frames of a surveillance video that shows him dragging his companion, Karla Giraldo, through the hallway of his apartment building. Monserrate was acquitted of felony assault by a judge, who convicted him of misdemeanor assault.
“He brutally assaulted a woman and tried to cover up his crime.
Now he has the nerve to run again.
Many of us have voted for Hiram before.
But we cannot vote for him again.”
In the three weeks before the election, Fight Back New York will send out five different fliers, upwards of 100,000 pieces of mail. And. while the district’s population is around 300,000, voter turnout in special elections is typically quite low.
Fight Back New York's website is expected to go live today. HERE is the link.