Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ben Ray Targeted by "Men's Rights" Group.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan is one of 20 members of Congress targeted by Abusegate Investigate for defeat in the upcoming election because of their support for domestic violence legislation.

The Lujan campaign calls the group "radical domestic violence deniers."

The news release doesn't mention Lujan's Republican opponent Tom Mullins. I've put in the question whether he'd accept the support of Abusegate. I haven't heard back yet, but will add his response when I receive it.

Here's the release:
WASHINGTON / June 9, 2010 – Twenty national lawmakers, known for their advocacy of policies that promote false allegations and serve to break-up families, have been targeted for electoral defeat in November.

The 20 lawmakers are supporters of discriminatory laws such as the International Violence Against Women Act that are known to violate fundamental civil rights and escalate partner tensions. The 20 Democratic and Republican lawmakers are listed at the end of this press release.

“Domestic violence laws that promote ‘false allegations’ of domestic violence contribute to the destruction of families. Such laws remove the right of many children to know one of their parents, and often their grandparents,” explains Sheryle Hutter of Colorado. “Thanks to such laws, my son hasn’t seen his daughter for 10 years, and I have not seen my grandchild for more than 3 years.”

The use of false abuse allegations to gain a tactical edge in child custody cases has been extensively documented:

A growing number of civil rights organizations are questioning “get-tough” domestic violence laws. The Washington Civil Rights Council has described the Violence Against Women Act as the “biggest civil rights roll-back since the Jim Crow era.” Last year the Connecticut chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union successfully challenged a case in which a man falsely-accused of domestic violence was denied the right to a hearing.

Women’s groups such as Concerned Women for America have also expressed concerns with what it calls violence against women “misinformation.” In May 5, 2010 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Concerned Women for America warned that abuse-reduction programs need to “take the ‘gender’ politics and ‘politically-correct’ agenda out of the public policy solutions.”

The effectiveness of domestic violence programs is likewise being challenged. According to Department of Justice official Angela Moore Parmley, “We have no evidence to date that VAWA [Violence Against Women Act] has led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women.”

Research shows women are as likely as men to initiate physical abuse against their intimate partners: But VAWA-funded programs may present misleading statistics.

The list of those targeted is below. Note the name of Sen. Arlen Specter. He actually was defeated in the Democratic primary a couple of weeks ago, but I don't think his support of the Violence Against Women Act was the main factor in his loss.

Barbara Boxer - California
Mark Kirk - Illinois
Russ Carnahan - Missouri
Arlen Specter - Pennsylvania
Patty Murray - Washington

Vic Snyder – Arkansas
Lucille Roybal-Allard - California
Jeff Miller – Florida
Jim Marshall - Georgia
Walt Minnick - Georgia
John Tierney - Massachusetts
Donna Edwards - Maryland
Larry Kissel – North Carolina
Paul Hodes – New Hampshire
Rush Holt – New Jersey
Ben Luj├ín – New Mexico
Mary Joe Kilroy - Ohio
David Wu – Oregon
Ted Poe - Texas
Steve Kagen - Wisconsin

UPDATE 8:30 pm:
Lujan's Republican opponent Tom Mullins responded:

"I've never heard of this group at all. It sounds like it is possibly a democrat group creating an issue to benefit Lujan ?"

In fairness, I probably should have included in the original version of this post the fact that I did verify the press release today with Paul Elam, editor of an online publication called Men's News Daily. If it is a hoax, it's pretty elaborate.