by Jeremy Moule
Linda Stephens, president of the Rochester chapter of the National Association of Women, says she's disgusted by a set of ads that attack Democrat state Senate candidate Ted O'Brien. Stephens, along with City Council President Lovely Warren and County Legislator Carrie Andrews, pushed back against the ads during a press conference this afternoon.
The ads — one's a tv spot and the other is a direct-mail piece — say that O'Brien supported a judge who was accused of sexual harassment. The blog State of Politics, which is run by the staff of YNN's Capital Tonight program, put the ad into context in a post earlier this month. The post can be found here.
Stephens said that O'Brien has been an strong supporter of women's rights, more so than his opponent, Republican Sean Hanna. She criticized Hanna's supporters for insinuating otherwise; the ads in question were funded by outside groups and not by Hanna's campaign.
"It's a deceitful ad," Stephens said during a press conference this afternoon.
Andrews, who serves with O'Brien in the County Legislature's Democratic caucus, said he's a constant proponent of women's issues. As a legislator, he helped pass a county law that would prohibit housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence, she said. He's also advocated for the county to preserve funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs and against child care subsidy eligibility cuts. He's also supported state and federal pay equity bills, state legislation that would protect abortion rights, and federal legislation that would increase research into the environmental causes of breast cancer.