Thompson's Campaign Attracts Controversy Over Misogynistic Slur
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign is trying to capitalize on derogatory words used against City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a campaign event for the mayor's main Democratic rival, City Comptroller William Thompson. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report.
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At a Wednesday event hosted by Democratic mayoral candidate William Thompson, the owner of the quaint English-style tea shop Tea and Sympathy in Greenwich Village lashed out at City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, while Thompson was there listening.
"She's a whore and you can quote me on that," said Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett. "I'll call her a whore and I'll drop my trousers, and she can kiss my a--."
The remarks which were recorded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign, stemmed from a discussion about the problems facing small business owners.
In the audio recording, Thompson is not heard denouncing the remarks by Kavanagh-Dowsett.
Quinn is not commenting on the attack, but the Bloomberg campaign is all over it.
Bloomberg defended the speaker, saying "Christine Quinn, I think, has been a very effective speaker of the City Council."
His political operation seized on the remarks in two ways, saying in a statement, "Silence in the face of those comments speaks volumes."
The campaign dispatched one of its supporters, the abortion rights group NARAL.
"It is impossible to control what other people say in a public forum. But he should have said immediately that this was inappropriate," said Samantha Levine of NARAL. "It's misogynistic language that has no place in a political discourse."
The Bloomberg campaign would also like the Thompson campaign to release video of the event. Thompson's website shows clips of the gathering, but not the part in question.
In an attempt to minimize the story, Thompson's campaign said, "Bill has great respect for Speaker Quinn and believes the comments made at a forum open to the public were inappropriate and offensive."
NY1 reached Kavanagh-Dowsett to talk to him about his comments, but employees at his store said he was unavailable to talk. After stirring up a minor controversy in the mayoral campaign, he probably wants to keep a low profile.