Kavanaugh Fight Pivots To The Polls

Paul Bass PhotoAs senators in D.C. moved toward confirming Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice, dozens of female elected officials and activists took to the steps of New Haven’s federal courthouse vowing to convert their anger into votes in Connecticut’s November elections.

They held a noon rally outside the Church Street courthouse that mirrored similar protests throughout the country, at which participants describe their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment.

The question now is how the Kavanaugh affair — and its place in the ongoing #MeToo movement’s quest to convert anger over the Trump administration’s policies toward women into action — will affect the Nov. 6 elections.

Both Democratic and Republican strategists have concluded that the uproar over Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct will work to their party’s advantage in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Trump led a pivot this week toward attacking the story of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to appeal to the party’s conservative white male base.

Here in Connecticut, the governor’s office, as well as control of the state legislature, are up for grabs. Speakers at Friday’s rally urged women and their allies to convert anti-Kavanugh sentiment into votes for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont. In hopes of picking up anti-Trump votes, Lamont has made a point of supporting Blasey Ford and opposing the Kavanaugh nomination. Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski has publicly supported the FBI investigation into accusations about Kavanaugh but refrained from taking a public position on his nomination, stating that that’s a federal, not state matter.

At the New Haven rally, State Rep. Kim Rose of Milford told a story about breaking free from a man who grabbed her and tried to rape her when she was 11 years old. She said adults didn’t believe her when she told the story — until a year later when the man was arrested for trying to abduct another girl outside an elementary school.

Rose said she had never told that story before; it happened 49 years ago. Then she attacked Lamont’s Republican opponent, Bob Stefanowski, for “supporting a president who regularly mocks women and the disabled.” She urged people to vote for Lamont in order to protect the right to abortion as well as the ability of sexual assault victims to have their stories be taken seriously; she specifically cited a bipartisan state “Yes Means Yes” law requiring affirmative consent on college campuses that Stefanowski’s running mate voted against. (Reached after the rally, Stefanowski spokesman Kendall Marr said Stefanowski supports that law.)

Sally Grossman, a Planned Parenthood volunteer, recounted being sexually assaulted 20 years ago by a friend in college. “History will not look kindly” on senators who vote to confirm Kavanaugh, she predicted. “You will be remembered for the cowards that you are.”

“We need leaders who will be upstanders, not bystanders” in the quest for justice, declared Fairfield State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey. “Take that anger and turn it into action. Use it as fuel… Talk to voters. Let them know how important this election is.” She argued that “only voting” can reverse the policies promoted by the Trump administration and favored by his appointees to the Supreme Court. “We will stand. We will speak,” Vahey stated. “And we will vote.”

Rally organizer Mercy Quaye, a New Haven journalist who sits on the Connecticut board of the pro-choice NARAL organization, predicted that “after we take the Senate” and sweep the November elections, “I want to look back and say, ‘Who’s laughing now?’”

After the rally the legislators were asked specifically about why they believe the Kavanaugh affair will resound more to the Democrats’ benefit in state elections. Bridgeport State Sen. Marilyn Moore (pictured) noted that Stefanowski found it in his interest not to take a stand on the nomination rather than follow the lead of Trump and some other Republicans elsewhere in supporting him, while Lamont concluded that opposing Kavanaugh would help his campaign. Moore also argued that “there are enough women in Bridgeport” and other major cities in Connecticut to show up at the polls to make a difference. She said she plans to keep the focus on the issue at an Oct. 11 Housatonic Community College forum on sexual assault.

Vahey added that people shouldn’t “underestimate kitchen-table conversations and the undercurrent” of outrage among many women who haven’t spoken publicly about their experiences but have nevertheless been affected by the Kavanaugh nomination.

“They’re there,” Vahey said.“Even if they’re not seen.”

Connecticut Republicans are banking on voters thinking more about the state’s fiscal woes and the record of the outgoing Democratic Malloy administration than about Trump or Kavanaugh or D.C. when they voted in November.

State Republican Chairman J.R. Romano noted that when Trump was on the ballot in 2016, Republicans made gains in Connecticut. They pulled even with Democrats in the State Senate and narrowed the gap in the House. Both chambers are considered up for grabs this November. Opinion polls have shown Trump unpopular in Connecticut, but Malloy more unpopular.

“Connecticut Democrats do not give the average voter enough credit to know what is happening federally is not the same as what is happening here,” Romano argued. “The average voter in Connecticut understands that Democrats want to raise taxes. Republicans want to go into Hartford and start holding bureaucrats accountable.”

Stefanowski spokesman Marr echoed the idea that the Kavanaugh appointment is a federal, not a state, matter.

“Bob has made his opinions on the matter clear: He thinks sexual assault should be taken seriously. Victims should be treated with respect,” Marr said of Stefanowski. “But he’s running for governor of Connecticut, not senator. In that role as governor, he would be responsible for appointing justices for the court here. He’s committed to picking only justices who have demonstrated moral character and impeccable track records. We believe that Ned Lamont is going to continue to make this race about anything other than what Dan Malloy has done to this economy.”

He added that Stefanowski has said he recognizes Roe v. Wade as the law of the land and “would not seek changes.”

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posted by: robn on October 5, 2018  1:34pm

One Dem pollster put it correctly. Before this, Dems were geared up at 9.5 and Repubs at 6; now Dems are at 10 and Repubs are at 9.

Unfortunately we live in a time when Republicans have no shame. They were willing to outrageously withhold a hearing for Obama’s nominee and steal that seat, and now they’re shoving a reprehensible candidate down the throats of a majority of american voters…because they can.

There’s only one route this is going to take. Repubs will seat Kav and if god forbid some nut-job doesn’t try to personally take him out, the next Dem majority will bring him up for impeachment because he lied under oath. I also wouldn’t be surprised if that next Dem majority doesn’t restack the court.

posted by: 1644 on October 5, 2018  3:04pm

robn:  If Democrats had a problem with lying under oath, they would have convicted Bill Clinton.  The Democrats may impeach Kav., but not because of any supposed lying.  Rather, it will be because he does not share their values on issues like privacy and abortion.  We will enter a new era, where Supreme Court justices will face removal because their politics differ with that of the Congress.

posted by: robn on October 5, 2018  4:12pm


You skipped another irrelevant Clinton to complain about; no Hillary comments? But since you mentioned it, Ken Starr (and his flunky Kavanaugh) was on a fishing expedition with an impeachment goal. Today, Dems on the Senate panel are investigating exactly what they should be; the character and disposition of the candidate. At this point, the allegations of rape don’t even matter any more. Kav has shown himself to not have the disposition and non-partisanship required of a Supreme Court judge.

posted by: wendy1 on October 5, 2018  4:16pm

I am beyond disgusted and would hope that all senators who vote for K. lose their seats.  I watched one speak against K. this AM till my internet died.  New York Magazine used a dozen pages and multiple folks to analyze his TV defense last week.  Personally I think he might have helped himself by taking a valium and blowing his nose into a hankie.  What goes around DOES come around especially in his case in so many ways.  If only George Carlin or Robin Williams or Lenny Bruce were still alive.

posted by: Ngo Trahn Nhi on October 5, 2018  5:13pm

Remember Robn and Wendy1 Barry so eloquently said, “Elections have consequences. “

posted by: 1644 on October 5, 2018  5:26pm

robn:  To my knowledge, HRC never lied under oath.  Bill, under the other hand, lied in his Jones deposition.  I believe you said earlier said this was all static, and you are correct, people’s positions are unchanged. 

Wendy:  The latest poll shows at least one Senate race being affected:  it looks like the Democrats will lose their Montana seat.

As for New York magazine,  it’s preaching to the choir.  Fox had a good piece recently on how print media, spurred by TV news,  changed from reporting the news to analyzing it.  Writers ceased being reporters and started being “analysts”, no longer saying what happened (TV did that), but advocating for a particular view of what had happened and what should happen based on the writer’s personal opinion.

posted by: AliceB on October 5, 2018  6:01pm

What these women suffered or experienced has nothing to do with Kavanaugh.  He has denied the allegations against him. This country does not assume guilt. In voting for Kavanaugh no one is a coward.  If someone disagrees with these women they are a coward?  Well, I disagree with these women in their assessment of Kavanaugh and I am certainly no coward.  These women seem like bullies to me

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on October 5, 2018  7:51pm

Blame the Democrats who did away with the filibuster. when it comes to cabinet-level appointees and for sub-Supreme Court judicial nominations.

Harry Reid’s Parting Shot: Dems Will Nuke The Filibuster For SCOTUS


If we had the system of proportional representation.We would not be in this mess.

posted by: new havener on October 5, 2018  10:53pm

well, have at it…since Pres.Obama & Malloy CT has been slowly turning RED, fueled by the ‘burbs…this disgusting DEM smear attempt of Kavanaugh, by any means necessary, may accelerate the gains. I wouldn’t be surprised.

@robn…the Republican majority only did, with Garland, what Biden suggested, but you know that. They did not sink to what we now see as Schumerian depths to destroy a man in order to block a pick. I think you understand that as well.

thank God for Harry Reid and his shortsightedness.

posted by: JCFremont on October 6, 2018  6:58am

When your BFF contradicts your testimony things kind of fall apart. Maybe the introduction of Instamatic photo’s and silly high school yearbook scribbles was the theaters eye rolling moment. Please, there was enough “Shame” on both sides and in the press. Who ever Trump had nominated the doomsday dossier would have been ready for battle. What is the proper disposition one should take to “When did you stop beating your wife?” question.

posted by: Noteworthy on October 6, 2018  7:52am

Fake Silence and Absurdity Notes:

1. Nobody has tried to silence you.

2. Victimhood doesn’t mean you get to auto-destroy or auto-convict anybody. And no, you are not entitled to be auto-believed any more than your perp is. There is due process and presumption of innocence embedded in our Constitution. If you want to make an allegation, know the details and be able to prove it.

3. Being a female victim and therefore only supporting females or girly men in office is absurd. Look at Toni Harp. How’s that working for us? What about male victims? They should only vote for males?

4. Kavanaugh Reality: This was a crass and disgusting manipulation of hysteria and sexual assault victims. Dr. Ford was used, willingly in the end in an effort to control the bent of the Supreme Court. The assault on Kavanaugh continuously escalated from predictions he’d overturn Roe to protecting Trump from being indicted. When that didn’t work - roll out the unknowable, the un-proveable sexual assault which morphed into ever greater atrocities like gang rape and fantastical tales of penis wagging.

5. This was the Democrat plan all along fueled by millions of dollars of dark money, the same players from the failed Clinton campaign. Democrats like Blumenthal and Murphy never intended to vote for any nominee of Trump even if it was Jesus himself.

posted by: Marion on October 6, 2018  10:17am

Just curious - do these women also claim that Michael Avenatti’s client is a “survivor” who “must be believed,” notwithstanding that her allegations were preposterous even before her nationally televised NBC interview where she changed her story, backtracked, and came across like a shameless grifter.

posted by: NHNative on October 6, 2018  1:01pm

I don’t care about Kavanaugh. I look forward to the final vote so reporters can get back to covering the news.

posted by: Nick_at_ProCon on October 6, 2018  3:42pm

Echos of McCarthyism pervaded the halls of Congress as well as New Haven. Zealots driven blind by their convictions which will remain unshaken even in the face of either overwhelming evidence or absolutely no evidence we should remember the words of Margaret Chase Smith, who like Susan Collins, during the present age of McCarthyism, seems to be one of the few who has kept her head while others have lost theirs.

“I think that it is high time that we remembered that the Constitution, as amended, speaks not only of the freedom of speech but also of trial by jury instead of trial by accusation. Whether it be a criminal prosecution or a character prosecution in the Senate, there is little practical distinction when the life of a person has been ruined.”

This author who has determined that Pres Trump, by stating some of the facts in the Kav/Ford case, has made an “appeal to the party’s conservative white male base.”

Mr. Bass’s attempt to introduce identity politics is not only disgraceful, but also ignorant. Just as these women relating their stories and somehow believe that because they may have been assaulted that they should vote against this “conservative white male,” recalls another quote from Sen Smith during the McCarthy period, “Democrats and Republicans unwittingly, but undeniably, played directly into the hands of the Communist design of ‘confuse, divide, and conquer.’”

It is widely believed that the Russians interfered with our election in 2016. They probably did. It was estimated that they took out about $8 million in Facebook ads. Of these most favored Sanders or Trump but a few favored Clinton, and 52% of these ads were placed AFTER the election. it sure looks like their objective was to “confuse, divide and conquer” rather get a favored candidate elected, and just like during the McCarthy Era both Dems and Reps, and some women in New Haven, are playing right into their hands, tearing the country apart, armed only with emotion and hatred but no facts.

posted by: Jim425 on October 6, 2018  6:18pm

I believe that Mercy Quaye is a contributor to your publication.  While I certainly respect and approve of her right to protest and demonstrate, the article attributes the following quote to her. ...“after we take the Senate” and sweep the November elections, “I want to look back and say, ‘Who’s laughing now?’”  I would assume that the “we” in the above quote refers to members of the Democratic party running for election this year.  (If I am in error please accept my apology.) It would seem to me that this quote would, if my assumption is correct, disqualify Ms. Quaye from writing political articles for your publication in the future since it shows an obvious bias that should not be allowed.  I certainly respect Ms. Quaye and attended a debate involving candidates for mayor of New Haven in 2017, where Ms. Quaye was one of the questioners and I thought the she posed several intelligent and thoughtful questions.  However I believe that if the above quote is correct I do not think at Ms. Quaye should be allowed to take on a similar role in future elections.

posted by: Erasmus on October 6, 2018  6:25pm

You don’t have to look far (n.b. Susan Collins) to see what the Progressive-Left cares about. They care about power. They don’t care about women or gays or minorities or immigrants. As evidenced by the fact they turn on them like rabid dogs if they stray from the Leftist course. Progressive-Leftism is about power, pure and simple.

posted by: Brutus2011 on October 6, 2018  6:30pm


Senate Republicans blocked Obama’s pick Garland’s hearing for almost a year. Then they push through Kavanaugh before the mid-terms taking place in a month.

Forget liberal and conservative cow-pucky.

Our republic has fallen in the year 1644

posted by: TackyJacky on October 6, 2018  7:17pm

Gob Bless Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. God Bless OUR President Trump and God Bless America.

posted by: TackyJacky on October 6, 2018  7:21pm

You think the liberals are going nuts now? Wait till you see what happens if Trump has to replace Ruth Ginsberg.

posted by: robn on October 7, 2018  5:14am

Abomination. People on the right have no idea of the level of seething mainstream anger after the past 18 years of low down dirty GOP tricks. No idea.

posted by: robn on October 7, 2018  5:43am

And may God wield a most profound and deserved curse upon the conservative religious zealots who’ve elevated their hypocrisy and sunk this nation. Dark days ahead.

posted by: redman on October 7, 2018  7:02am

Women DO lie about sexual assault. The most recent case was at Sacred Heart University ruined the lives of two men when she LIED about being raped. Get you heads out of the sand!

posted by: wesunidad on October 7, 2018  8:20am

I believe the survivors.

I just love it when defenders of K. say that Dr. Ford had no corroborators - she did - another drunk, unfortunately.

My question is if between 2-10% of women lie about having been raped, what is the percentage of MEN who lie about having raped someone?

Would that be over 99%?  Any statistics majors out there?

And, how many rapes have corroborators?  Gee.  I always thought rape was done in private so the rapist couldn’t get caught because as white men have framed the issue - if you are a woman you can’t be telling the truth?

Yet, white women cheered when 45 made fun of Dr. Ford, and everyone seems to have forgotten how 45 made fun of a Gold Star family and that is how 45 earned the title, “Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief”. 

Thank you white women!  You gave us reason to hit the streets and to build our mass movement!

End of story, beginning of the demise of white, male supremacy (I am white).

posted by: TheMadcap on October 7, 2018  9:32am

Is it too much to ask that women not be ruled over by rapists?

posted by: TackyJacky on October 7, 2018  9:52am

Things are finally starting to move in the right direction. The economy is blazing along at record numbers. Everyone one on the left before the election said this country would never see 4 percent growth again. Everyone on the left blasted Trump for offending Canada and Europe when he called them out on their lopsided trade deals. What happened? They caved and signed new deals that put the US first. China will be next to sign new deals that favor America. The US is the worlds economic powerhouse, it’s a privilege to sell products in this country, not a right. We call the shots, not them. The Supreme Court will no longer be a rubber stamp for the left’s agenda. If the democrats want to move forward on their deranged liberal policies they can do it in Congress like it’s supposed to be done, not in the court system where same sex marriage was passed. Next step is getting the wall built, tripling ICE staffing, slashing HUD funding 50 percent, implementing much stricter rules for public school and university curriculum. It’s gonna get done.

posted by: TackyJacky on October 7, 2018  10:07am

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in because the republicans are no longer backing down and giving in to the democrats tactics. The democrats have resorted to outright thuggery and bullying because they can’t win anything based on debating the merits of an issue. The only way to stop a deranged, belligerent thug is to punch him in the mouth and that is what the republicans did to the democrats. And the only reason the republicans are finally showing some backbone is Trump. If Trump wasn’t president the republicans would have pulled the nomination. Things are different now. God bless OUR president.

posted by: wendy1 on October 7, 2018  12:00pm

Still sickening and depressing news…and the “Columbus” parade is not going to cheer me up.  I thought his defense, done while he was sucking up phlegm would be the finishing of his career…fooled again by human greed and stupidity.

And thinking of all we stand to lose—-affirmative action, voting, healthcare, etc. I realize that ALL women have been treated badly at one time or another because we are” second class”.  Victims of assault and women of color have it so much worse though.  Thanks to sympathetic male commenters.

I want to recommend another book,  GOD AND SEX AT YALE, written by a brave young man years ago who went to Yale for 4 years.

posted by: BevHills730 on October 7, 2018  12:27pm

Noteworthy never tires nor takes a break from advocating for policies that that promote pedophilia, rape, sexual assault, and family destruction.

posted by: narcan on October 7, 2018  12:52pm

Garland and Kavanaugh ruled similarly on substantially more than 90% of their cases. That doesn’t make it seem like Kavanaugh’s jurisprudence was the issue to me.

His temperament? Well, as Matt Damon famously said; if you smear someone, you may very well expect them to go “nuclear” to defend their name. If you can say you would sit calmly and quietly while your life’s work was destroyed, you are a liar. It’s truly a shame we have come to a point where calm, reason, logic, and evidence can seemingly no longer be used to vindicate the accused.

posted by: Bill Saunders on October 7, 2018  2:05pm

Too many ‘apologist’ piping in…. a sad day indeed…

posted by: wesunidad on October 7, 2018  5:03pm

To Tackyjacky perhaps you’re a billionaire?  Or maybe a nrillionaire?  Do you know what class you are?

If not, 45 is not on YOUR SIDE!

And, when the big “fight” comes - when the capitalists jump ship with all the money they’ve stolen from us, the rich white guys will leave you with the working class.

If you’re not a billionaire or a nrillionaire, I recommend you read a little bit of Karl Marx (that’s not TJMaxx) to understand what class you are.

Thank you Robn and Wendy1 for your profound insights and truths.

One final question do 99% of men lie about NOT having raped a woman?  Can someone answer that because when over 11,000 rape cases were lost in Detroit, that would mean that over 11,000 women had their lives ruined.

posted by: wesunidad on October 7, 2018  6:00pm

News Flash!

100% of these men lied about having assaulted and/or raped numerous women and by lying they RUINED the lives of countless women! 

Harvey Weinstein (who could afford to lie)
Bill Cosby (who could afford to lie)
Bill O’Reilly (who could afford millions to lie)
Roy Moore (who had the PRESIDENT of the United States on his side)
45 - the biggest liar of them all

P.S.  It was the truth about what Kavanaugh did that did him in.

posted by: Christopher Schaefer on October 8, 2018  9:17am

“vowing to convert their anger into votes in Connecticut’s November elections.”
—So they’re going to do what’s utterly unprecedented here in CT: vote for Democrats.
“Speakers at Friday’s rally urged women and their allies to convert anti-Kavanugh sentiment into votes for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont.”
—So voting for higher taxes, more State bureaucracy, highway tolls and maintaining CT’s distinction of having one of the worst state economies in the nation—is a protest against sexual assault?