* Media advisory…
WOMEN’S ADVOCATES JOIN COMPTROLLER MENDOZA TO ADDRES RAPE CULTURE LANGUAGE
WHO: Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza
Rev. Marvin Hunter of Grace Memorial Baptist Church
Dr. Phalese Binion, Executive Director of Westside Baptist Ministers
Kathy Ragnar, Executive Director of Sarah’s Circle
Vickie Smith, Executive Director of ICADV
Rev. Stanley Watkins of New Covenant Baptist Church
WHAT: Women’s advocates will hold a news conference on the last day of Women’s History Month about rape culture language.
WHERE: James R. Thompson Center
WHEN: Friday, March 31, 2017
3:00pm – 4:00pm
ICADV is the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Sarah’s Circle provides services to homeless women.
* Here’s the full video of the presser from Comptroller Mendoza’s Facebook page…
* So, what is this about? Well, you’ll recall that a recent Quad City Times editorial referred to Mendoza as a “slave” to Speaker Madigan.
Mendoza demanded an apology from the editorial board today.
* As we discussed yesterday, Mendoza called out the Illinois Republican Party for its Statehouse tracker video of her getting into her state-paid SUV by tweeting “Way to creepily stalk me.” CBS 2 Chicago picked up the story.
Today, Mendoza asked, “What’s next? My house? My family?” Good questions.
* But then we get to the “news” portion of the news conference. Gov. Rauner appeared on the Steve Cochran WGN Radio program earlier this week. After discussing Rauner’s new “duct tape” TV ads and then Rauner’s ongoing spat with Mendoza, Cochran said this…
Maybe you could take, I was gonna suggest maybe you can take some of that duct tape you’re working with and put it over her mouth. But that probably wouldn’t be appropriate.
Ugh. What sort of person says something like that during a supposedly professional radio broadcast?
So, Mendoza rightly demanded an apology from Cochran today for “casually” suggesting that Rauner duct tape her mouth closed.
But Mendoza also claimed that Rauner “laughed right along with” Cochran. From her press release…
I am calling on WGN, on radio host Steve Cochran, and on Governor Rauner to issue an apology. Not for me, but for the millions of women who’ve been victims of violence or sexual abuse, who could turn the radio on, and hear a radio personality suggest to the Governor that duct tape be used to silence a woman and rather than have the Governor denounce that type of language, instead laugh right along with him. Rape culture language is not a laughing matter and it’s never OK.
She repeated the claim that Rauner laughed later in the press conference.
* I knew this was coming, so I isolated the audio. The first time I listened, I thought I heard Rauner laughing. But then I listened again a few more times and heard Rauner coughing and letting out a quick groan. He didn’t seem to enjoy the humor…
Raw audio is here.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Tribune…
Asked for comment, Rauner’s office referred questions to the Illinois Republican Party, which the governor largely funds. GOP spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski issued a statement in which she said the governor “doesn’t chuckle” at the radio host’s remark.
“Here we go again. Another absurd rant from Susana Mendoza. Instead of encouraging Speaker Madigan and fellow Democrats to come to the table and pass a budget with real reforms, Mendoza is spending her taxpayer funded time coming up with wild, defamatory accusations about the governor,” the statement read in part. “It’s a ploy to distract from the fact that she has no productive solutions to Illinois’ crisis.”
Todd Manley, vice president of content and programming for WGN-AM, said Cochran planned to apologize for the comments.
“It was an unfortunate choice of words, there is no way around it. He should have never said it, and it’s as simple as that,” Manley said. “I know Steve regrets it.”
Manley is right. But since when has the ILGOP been about “productive solutions” to anything here? Asking for a friend.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Steve Cochran…
I made a comment earlier this week while Governor Bruce Rauner was a guest on my show that has been misrepresented by Comptroller Susana Mendoza today.
The comment the Comptroller is apparently referring to was meant to be about my opinion that there is far too much grandstanding and not enough action by those in power to fix our state budget disaster.
I chose the words poorly and Ms. Mendoza was offended by it. I apologize.
Furthermore the words were mine and mine alone.
I must add the following. I grew up in a house where I witnessed violence by my father against my mother. Nothing is more offensive to me.
I have worked with agencies to raise funds and awareness to this cause. I have contributed my time and money to this fight. I have used my platform as a public person to speak out on this scourge for more than 30 years.
As a husband, father, and grandfather to two amazing women and 1 incredible little girl, I’m proud of the work I’ve done and continue to do on this cause.
My hope is that the leaders in state Government will work just as hard to finally finish a budget that will in part help fund the cause of stopping violence against women and helping the victims who are still in jeopardy.
Neither the Comptroller nor her office made any attempt to contact me prior to her public statement today. She is welcome on the show to continue this discussion in person and I hope she will join me.