GOP Spokesperson: ‘Let’s Hurl Some Acid at Those Female Democratic Senators’

Camels With Hammers has put up a powerful series of images of women who have been disfigured by acid in response to comments made on Facebook by Jay Townsend, spokesperson for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY). Do not click through if you are squeamish.

Jay Townsend in 2010

A spokesman for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) is facing criticism after advocating violence against female Democratic senators in a Facebook post.

Jay Townsend, the official campaign spokesman for the freshman representative, went on a vicious online rant on Saturday, which he began by taunting a constituent who voiced criticism about an earlier post on gas prices. “Listen to Tom. What a little bee he has in his bonnet. Buzz Buzz,” Townsend wrote.

“My question today… when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.”

How did this happen to the Republican Party? They used to be the Small-Government Party. But ever since Christian extremists infected the GOP and took over, it has become the Government-In-Your-Bedroom Party and the We-Hate-Women-Who-Have-Sex-And-Speak-Up-For-Themselves Party. They’ve become more daring and unfiltered in their efforts to derail the separation of church and state in a genuine effort to establish a Christian theocracy. It’s surreal to watch.

It’s difficult to find the words to describe my shock at what Mr. Townsend has said. To speak so casually about disfiguring violence against those you disagree with you goes so far beyond civil discourse. And his choice of violence is telling. Throwing acid on people is a strategy used by the Taliban to punish girls who go to school and by Christians in Nigeria against children accused of being witches.

This kind of speech is not protected speech. Calling for voters to throw acid in the faces of senators… isn’t that a crime? How is that not a crime? Even if it was intended as a sick joke, such language could be taken seriously by extremists who gravitate towards this kind of violent rhetoric. Mr. Townsend’s words were recklessly incendiary.

About Ericka M. Johnson

As a lover of science and reason, Ericka M. Johnson has an affinity for evolutionary biology and is the president of Seattle Atheists. She revels in any opportunity for a thoughtful debate on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (especially over a pint.) Follow her on twitter @ErickaMJohnson

  • Andy, UK

    Nice one Ericka!

    Andy
    London

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Mr. Townsend, if he hasn’t already, will try to claim that he was speaking metaphorically. He’ll say it’s just an expression. You know, that familiar old Americanism, “Aw, throw acid in her face.”   Yeah, I’ve heard that one as often as “Sweat like a horse,” or “On the home stretch,” or “There’s no free lunch.”  

    Somehow he will try to explain that “hurl acid”  means something else quite harmless, but whatever that meaning is will not actually be clearly stated.

    • Nordog6561

      He needs to be fired, if not actually prosecuted.  Haven’t read all the comments or the full story, so here’s a question for the lawyers here: Isn’t his statement criminal?

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        My first thought was ‘terroristic threats’.  Varies from state to state, but in general victims would probably have to show an actual fear of harm.  Coming from a well known figure, and being that over the top, he can probably get away with it being “a figure of speech” (I don’t agree at all, but legally, I doubt anyone would say that he was speaking literally).

        No, I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve gotten tired of people mixing up ‘terroristic threats’ and ‘terrorism’ so I’ve researched it.

        And you’d have to find a DA willing to take the case.  Or someone willing to make a civil claim, and I doubt any Democratic senators would want the distraction at this point.  He’s inflicted enough self damage.  Making a case out of it won’t help them, or hurt his candidate any more.  At least IMO.

        As I mentioned above, do contrast this with the Secret Service visiting Ted Nugent for saying he’d be “dead or in jail” next year if Obama was re-elected.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor
  • Tinker

    And once again people that ARE still for a smaller government will cry about ‘throwing their vote away’ and vote for the Republican candidate that stands for anything but smaller government.

    Wake up America! Stop voting for the lesser of two evils and vote for good. If that means writing in ‘none of the above’ then do it. My conscience will be clear. The two party system in this country breeds extremism and we need to put our collective feet down and say ‘no’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rogi.riverstone Rogi Riverstone

    internet trolling ethical slide completely influences modern politics: the more cruel you are, the more attention you get. Any questions?

  • Fsq

    pretty vile. While I am huge free-speech advocate, this is a vile vile thing indeed. And yes, he has the right to do what he did, but by humanity, it sure as hell isn’t the right thing to do.

    Just vile. How can anyone vote GOP? They are truly reprehensible bigots, sexists and pigs.

    • RebeccaSparks

      When I saw this story, I was sure that someone would be defending Jay Townsend with the reasoning that they were protecting the right to free speech.  I surprised and heartened that no one has done so yet.

      • Michael

        There’s room for arguing back and forth on how many types of vile it is, but he’s calling for people to be blinded. That’s a pretty universal trigger for people to hate you.

        • Fsq

          The more I think about this one, his words were a ca ll for violence, and not in any “contextual” way, and I am beginning to believe there should be legal recourse. Arrest him.

        • RebeccaSparks

          My ex-husband put up a web page that stated that if you don’t support the war, don’t support the troops.  He got e-mails from people saying things like they were split open our 3 year old son’s head like a watermelon, rape and dismember his wife (me), and kill him.  When I found out about this (after the fact) and complained, often people said that a) That’s just free speech or b) That was what I deserved, being married to a man who made an anti-troop webpage.  Heck, I had some guy threaten to rip out my eyeball and *** the socket because I didn’t want to drive him several miles to buy cigarettes, and people defended him too.

          Clearly this is not the same group of people, but I see the same responses everywhere online–not unanimously, but always present.   So I’m surprised it’s not here.  My guesses as to why that would be: a) he’s the GOP spokesperson, and an elected official and that kind of behavior isn’t appropriate for him, b) he’s picked violence associated with fundamentalist Muslims, which gets a more visceral reaction. 

          • Michael

            Your anecdotes are lacking in detail to compare them with this. The best comparisons I can make are: I’m sure some people would consider an anti-troop website to be at least partial provocation, while this is entirely unprovoked. Also skullfucking cannot be considered a realistic threat while acid attacks absolutely are.

            • RebeccaSparks

              I’m not sure how more details will make anything better. The Ex’s page has been deleted along with all the e-mail account. I don’t remember the URL so I can’t look it up on the internet wayback machine. I just remember my husband making me read the e-mails (he was a bit of a jerk, but the page itself, other than the message, was not that trollish).

              Regarding SF guy, I met him at my first (and only) drinking party—a New Year’s party out in a guest cabin in the woods. At the time I was just past 21, and excessively naïve. He was an acquaintance of a mutual friend, as well as the host. When my friend and SF guy were introduced, he had picked her up off her feet. When she protested, he dropped her on her head on the concrete, giving her a nasty concussion. At the party he showed off his 6” butterfly knife, ripped out his pubs and sprinkled them on unsuspecting folks, and regaling people with the story how he made his girlfriend scream with pain when she was too small and he “made it fit.” After midnight I was really sleepy and worried about driving off a cliff on the way home, so I curled up on a couch. SG guy woke me up around 2am and demanded that I drive him to the nearest gas station for cigarettes, since I was still sober. I turned him down for the same reason I was sleeping on the couch instead of leaving-I was worried I was too tired and going to drive off a cliff. There’s your context. (After this he continued to tell everyone loudly outside the room what violent, horrible things he was going to do to me, until he mellowed out and got naked.)

    • The Vicar

      Actually, we should be glad that this guy has the freedom to express himself. Otherwise, he’d be THINKING this way while pretending he wasn’t. Which would you rather have: someone who demonstrates that they can’t be trusted so you at least know to watch out for them, or someone who can’t be trusted  but potentially works their way into power anyway by covering up their true feelings?

  • Miss_Beara

    Waiting for the inevitable “it was taken out of context” excuse. 

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I’m sure he has a wide stance too.

    • http://fred5.myopenid.com/ fred5

      Miss_Beara,

      Here you go. It was posted on his other Facebook page promoting his book.

      On May 26, I posted a stupid, thoughtless, and insensitive comment on a facebook page. It was stupid because my words were easily misconstrued; thoughtless because my choice of words obscured a point I was trying to make, and insensitive because some have interpreted the comment as advocating a violent act.

      To friends, associates, and clients I have offered my apology for the embarrassment I have caused, and do hereby offer it to the many who rightly found fault with my incendiary choice of words.

      The mistake was mine, and mine only and the post in no way was intended to represent the views of anyone for whom I have worked or represented.

      Courtesy of : Facebook

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    Dominionists need to go extinct.

  • Philbert

    How is it not a crime? Because the Supreme Court has set a very high standard when it comes to limiting speech. 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imminent_lawless_action

    It’s on us to ensure that this kind of crap doesn’t ruin our political process, by throwing out any politician who lets people say these kinds of things on their behalf.

  • The Vicar

    When have the Republicans actually been for small government, other than in terms of lip service? In my lifetime — and yours too, no matter who you are at this point — the Republicans have ALWAYS been in favor of increasing government spending on the military and on attempts to repress sexuality (look up the Hays Office and Anthony Comstock to see how far back this obsession goes — as I say, it’s been there your entire life!). Yes, okay, they want the middle class and the poor to pay for it all, and to cut all social programs. But to pretend that they are pushing for smaller government is utterly ludicrous; at this point, more than half the discretionary budget is for military spending!

  • Miss_Beara

    “The comment receiving the attention was not made on behalf of the Congresswoman or her campaign and was clearly not meant to be taken literally.”

    http://politicker.com/2012/06/hayworth-doubles-down-on-acid-hurling-attack-becker-right-wing-blogs-pounce/

  • Cjsillito

    Your first sentence is kind of ambiguous.  I first read it as the pictures being of “women who have been disfigured by acid in response to comments made on Facebook by Jay Townsend”

  • GuestG

    How do we know he wasn’t taking about LSD? ;D

  • Kevin Otte

    Yes, we live in a country that claims free speech, that is we may speak freely without fear of reprisal from our government. This does not mean such speech will not bring consequences from our society. Kevin_of_Bacon suggests that we “have at him”, but this would be at best ineffective as this spokesman has already let his character be known. At worst, well, you don’t engage in this sort of dialog because they “drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.”

    What needs to happen here is we seek out the people to whom this spokespeson is held to account. We must ask them, calmly and collectedly, “Does this man represent your views?” If the answer is “No,” the followup question is “What will you be doing to censure him?” If the answer is “Yes,” then we have a much larger problem.

    • Kevin Otte

       Err, Kevin_of_Bangor. Guess I had Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon on my mind.

      • Kevin_Of_Bangor

        You can edit your own post.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAIHLUU3JSTIB3D2OWHGYN5PHA Ingen

      ” the followup question is “What will you be doing to censure him?” If the answer is “Yes,” then we have a much larger problem.”

      You mean the fact that “Yes” is not a valid answer to a question beginning with “What”?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-GK/507761207 Joe GK

         From what I can tell, the “yes” was meant to be one of the possible responses to “Does this man represent your views?”

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAIHLUU3JSTIB3D2OWHGYN5PHA Ingen

           Ah. That would make more sense, yes. Joke’s on me, I guess.

  • Nordog6561

    Jay Townsend’s comments are repugnant.  It’s really as simple as that.  Though simpe, they are also more than that.  For instance, I suspect they are a crime and wound be surprised if they are not.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    So Ted Nugent got a visit from the Secret Service for comments he made about Obama.  I sure hope the FBI visits this guy for his terroristic threats.

  • newavocation

    Free speech comes with responsibility. Just because a bee does the stinging it does not mean that the dummy poking the hive is not responsible for the sting.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    As I commented next to one of the photos someone posted on his page of an acid burned woman:

    Jay, you should be forced to look at each of these images every morning when you wake up, and every evening before you go to bed. May they haunt you, and keep you from calling for violence. 

    I think that would be just and useful punishment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rogi.riverstone Rogi Riverstone

     Jay Townsend’s facebook page is a lot more interesting, creative and colorful since I’ve been posting on it. Go take a look & add some stuff. https://www.facebook.com/JayTownsendforNewYork?filter=2

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Response from Hayworth

    The comment receiving the attention was not made on behalf of the Congresswoman or her campaign and was clearly not meant to be taken literally.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/06/01/493957/campaign-of-acid-hurling-spokesman-responds-but-does-not-apologize/ 

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      As far as I can find now, late Saturday night, Nan Hayworth’s response has been to remove the critical comments that have been flooding her Facebook site, to defend Townsend, and to try to paint herself as the victim of a “manufactured controversy.”

      So she’s sealed her political fate. I’m trying to find all her Democratic candidate opponents, so I can give money to their campaigns, each with a note saying “This donation is courtesy of Jay ‘Hurl-Acid-At-Women’ Townsend.”

    • Au_catboy

       Would he accept that excuse if someone were to advocate that HE be drowned in a vat of acid?  No, he would not, therefore this is just a desperate and futile effort to hide from his own vile comments.

  • rocketdave

    Didn’t these creeps learn anything from what happened to Gabrielle Giffords?  Maybe they did; maybe they just learned the wrong lesson.  Maybe this guy is hoping some nut out there will take him seriously.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I seldom get this angry at assholes, but this one is a champion.  In addition to his Facebook site “Townsend for New York,” where among other things he describes himself as “an adept wordsmith,” (Really?? How long did you polish that pearl about hurling acid?)  he has yet another Facebook site, “How to Run for Public Office, where He sells videos and ebooks espousing his political acumen.  Mhm. Yeah.

    Here’s a summation of the two comments I’ve left there:

    Is
    calling for horrific violence against women a chapter in your new book, “So You Want
    to Run for Public Office?”  Interesting political strategy: Draw a strong
    comparison between you and the Taliban by taking inspiration from their
    methods. Claim that Democratic female Senators are secretly engaging in
    the war on women, and then immediately call for acid to be hurled at
    them. Good strategy! Welcome to your new legacy. You’ll be forever remembered as the “hurl-acid-at-women guy,” and you richly deserve it.

     @font-face {
    font-family: “Times New Roman”;
    }@font-face {
    font-family: “Arial”;
    }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 14pt; font-family: Arial; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }Since you’ll be looking for work soon, I suggest that you go
    to Afghanistan, and write a book titled, “How to Become a Tribal War Lord.”  Have it translated into Dari and
    Pashto. I’m sure it’ll be a big seller! You’ll be a sought-after speaker
    everywhere from Asadabad to Khost.

    • Stev84

       The term “American Taliban” for the Christian Right is extremely fitting

  • http://www.facebook.com/mankysteve Stephen Rowley

    Good thing about the religious right infection of the Republican party is hopefully it will keep them out of power, You guys really need a third party.

  • Jess

    I really hope he doesn’t worm his way out of this one. This is terrible. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/Buffy2q Buffy

    Wow.  Just…wow.  

  • Pollracker

    yes this is a sick and vile thing to say, but it allows us to see how crazy he is and to stay away from voting for him. I think all speech is protected even what people call hate speech. And i am not sorry if my opinion offends you. Should we keep people from saying things because we are afraid of extremist. Ill tell you what i want the republicans to stay out of my bedroom and the demacrates to stay out of my mouth

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SH5Y2EVWTCTIZM4HQSMC2Z4IWQ Nicholas V

       He’s not a candidate he’s a spokesperson for Nan Hayworth.

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        I don’t know why anybody needs a spokesman. I kind of think people should speak for themselves. But if a politician decides they need a spokesman, than every word that comes out of that person’s mouth should be taken as coming from the politician’s mouth.

        As far as I’m concerned, Nan Hayworth made this foul statement. That’s where the buck stops.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/SH5Y2EVWTCTIZM4HQSMC2Z4IWQ Nicholas V

           I don’t agree with you that Nan Hayworth is immediately on the hook for something her spokesperson says, just as I don’t think my employer is immediately on the hook for something I say in my non-professional capacity. The exception would be if this was part of a clear pattern of behavior (i.e., he’s said rotten things before and gotten away with it).

          However, her utter failure to address his remark (claiming that it’s a manufactured controversy, that his words were taken out of context, etc) proves that she doesn’t have a substantial disagreement either with what he said or how he said it. At that point, she becomes culpable.

          • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

            If the woman is so high and mighty that she needs to hire somebody to speak on her behalf, then anything that person says is exactly the same as if she had said it herself.

            I might have cut her a little slack if she had instantly fired the guy, admitted that his words were her responsibility and she was sorry for them, and apologized to the senators who were threatened and to the actual victims of acid attacks. She did none of that, so I can only assume her spokesman was accurately representing her views.

      • Brent

        Actually, he IS a candidate for the U.S. Senate, as well as a spokesperson for Rep. Hayworth.

  • DG

    I guess if folks insist on using equally inflammatory phrases like ‘war on women!’ then expect the rhetoric to go south quickly.  Personally, I knew as soon as the phrase ‘war on women’ was picked up, it would come to this.  Not that I like what Townsend said.  But then I didn’t like the term ‘war’ (you know, destruction, death, slaughter, nukes, tanks, guns, mass killings) to be used over a debate about health care and constitutional rights.  Let the one who first yells ‘it’s war’ be the first to back down before getting upset about others who pick the ball up and run with it.  At least IMHO.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SH5Y2EVWTCTIZM4HQSMC2Z4IWQ Nicholas V

       If you think that the positions of the Republican party at large toward women can be appropriately summed up as ‘health care and constitutional rights’ then methinks you may have missed part of the picture. We can argue about whether or not it is useful to label this misogyny a ‘war on women,’ but I think as a rhetorical device it’s useful for highlighting the fact that the GOP is currently pushing back hard on many of the rights and issues that had been effectively settled years ago.

      • DG

        I can see both sides of the debate, and understand that where one falls on the issue is based on a set of values and beliefs that exist long before one gets to this particular topic.  But when we use such rhetorical devices meant to whip up the masses as ‘war on…’, then it just gets worse from there.  On top of that, there comes that embarrassing moment when those who were comfortable saying over-the-top things suddenly have to explain why it’s all of a sudden wrong to say over-the-top things, simply because it’s aimed back at them.  That’s when credibility in political discourse usually (and should) drop through the floor.

        • Au_catboy

          DG, you can’t see “both sides of the  debate”, you can only see the strawmen you keep building because you’re so desperate to defend a sociopath who wants to THROW ACID IN WOMEN’S FACES!!!!!

          There is no “debate”.  There is just a fanatical terrorist who wants to use the tactics of the Taliban against anyone who dares question the monstrous cult known as the GOP, a pack of delusional pieces of garbage like you who make shit up to defend him, and people with at least some shred of basic human decency telling the terrorist and his allies that they’re full of shit and have no business within a thousand miles of political power. 

          We know exactly what side you’re on, DG, because you’ve made it very clear in the past that you do not have the slightest shred of basic human decency. 

          • DG

            Ah yes, the expected ‘you’re one of them, that’s the problem’ response that defines so much of the internet debate.

            • Au_catboy

               Ah, the expected “I have no dog in this fight, so I’m going to feed the rabid psychotic dog bacon and set the innocent puppy it just attacked for no reason on fire” from the lying false equivalence junkie DG. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/SH5Y2EVWTCTIZM4HQSMC2Z4IWQ Nicholas V

           I see the point you’re making, but I still think there’s a substantial difference between labeling a pervasive pattern of misogynistic behavior and stating that a particular group of women Senators should be attacked in a specific way. Both are rhetoric (assuming he doesn’t really intend for anyone to carry out his sick directive), and both are potentially inflammatory, but one is calling attention to genuine abuses, and the other is suggesting violence. To me, there’s a difference. Some cases might be more ambiguous, but that doesn’t prevent me from unequivocally condemning Townsend.

          • DG

            Again, I’m shocked that he would say such a thing.  It has no business in modern discourse.  But then, IMHO, neither does labeling everything I disagree with ‘hate’, or ‘evil’, or ‘war’.  Once we go down that path, then it’s increasingly difficult to justify outrage beyond anything other than ‘because I personally think it’s bad, that’s why’, or the worse ‘because those values don’t apply to me, I’m right.’

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      “War on (fill in the blank)” is has been standard political rhetoric in the U.S. for decades. Agree or disagree with the assessment, “war on women” is consistent usage. It can hardly be seen as extraordinarily inflammatory. (I expect, however, that the reason so many right-wingers take such high offense at the expression is that they recognize a degree of truth in it.)

      Last I checked, “throw acid on (fill in the blank)” isn’t even remotely an acceptable political expression.

      • DG

        Who said I liked it when it was used in other cases?  I don’t, and didn’t.  It cheapens what war is, and opens the door for a downward spiral in the discourse.

        • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

          It doesn’t matter if you like it. It’s a conventional form of political rhetoric. Throwing acid is not. You comment implied that the comment under discussion was just pushing things a little farther. That is not the case. The two things can’t be compared at all.

          • DG

            I doubt he meant it literally, and that’s the problem.  Am I to assume those who say there’s a war against women are calling for armed resistance?  Probably not. That’s the problem with this type of rhetoric.  Has it always been used?  Yeah.  But I thought we were supposed to be the enlightened, hip generation that had so grown out of the old ways of those old timers who didn’t know any better.  Or is that just a ruse as well?

            • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

              “War” has multiple meanings, and does not require armed resistance. Thus, the “war on drugs” is arguably just that, as is the “war on women”. You may not care for the usage, but it reflects perfectly legitimate English usage. “War” is being used literally in those cases.

              His usage was unacceptable. He should apologize, and resign.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

      For one thing, like Peterson said, “war on ___” is pretty common to hear. Whether or not you like it when people say “war on drugs,” “war on women,” “war on Christmas,” etc, everyone understands that it’s meant figuratively.
      There’s also a huge difference with using “war” to describe the overall events taking place, and saying specific things like “acid attacks” to describe something that should happen. “War” may be a hyperbolic way of describing fights and disagreements. But I can’t figure out any way to take “acid attacks” figuratively.

      • DG

        I don’t like the ‘war on Christmas’ either.  The war on drugs seems to involve a level of violence to it, so it might be closer to the truth.  I don’t care for what he said, I merely point out that once we condone over the top rhetoric, then it becomes difficult to explain why it’s OK when my side does it, and wrong when the other side does it.

  • judith sanders

    This doesn’t even make any sense.  How are female Senators hypocrites?  Why would they not abide by mandates in their favor? 
     Senators, like most other public officials, already receive equal pay for equal work because of the pay grade structure, which is a matter of public record.  It’s private sectors, like finance and IT, that are able to negotiate salaries with each individual and force employees not to reveal their salaries to each other.

  • Au_catboy

    So the GOP has now openly and proudly admitted that they are the American Taliban.

  • BrianUtterback

    Well, I read that line and thought of the metaphorical meaning rather than the literal, but perhaps that is just because my brain wouldn’t let me think the literal one. He is talking about speech in the first sentence : “when is Tommy boy going to weigh in”, so I assumed that “hurl some acid at” also referred to speech. Of course, it was a poor choice of words since it could be taken both ways. But if he had made the immediate apology and claimed the metaphoric, then I would have cut him some slack. Too late now. The longer you have to think about whether to apologize, the less the apology means.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.pawelski Christopher Pawelski

    For those interested, here are the two threads where Townsend posted his very strange, somewhat creepy and offensive musings (I’m one of the two persons he directed his fire at). He never answered the questions as to what degree they were sanctioned by Hayworth and the Hayworth campaign:

    http://www.facebook.com/NY19CDC/posts/419354794763507

    and

    http://www.facebook.com/NY19CDC/posts/419085698123750

    Btw, I’m a local farmer that lives in the district, specifically in the black dirt region of Orange County. I have worked for roughly 16 years, on a volunteer basis, on public policy issues involving agriculture. I work with elected officials and govt officials on a local, state and federal level on both sides of the aisle in my goal to make things better for farmers and in connection with ag issues. Some of the issues I have worked with (though not all) have been crop insurance reform and disaster aid, labor and immigration reform, conservation programs and the Farm Bill. 

    Nan Hayworth is the most dismal person I have ever dealt with. Period, bar none. This outburst by Townsend is really no surprise to those of us that have had to suffer with Hayworth. Just part of the cold hearted pattern we have seen from her. For example, when much of her district was obliterated by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last year she initially enthusiastically backed Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s position of no additional funding for FEMA unless offsets in the federal budget were found. This earned her a Keith Olbermann “Worst Persons” award! (see: http://current.com/shows/countdown/videos/worst-persons-lucien-chenier-nan-hayworth-and-mike-shaw). 

    While most of our crops were obliterated last year putting us all deeply in debt and while virtually all of the NY Congressional delegation fought for a vitally need ad-hoc crop loss program Hayworth went along with House leadership who blocked it because of prodding by the Tea Party Caucus. She didn’t fight for her farmers, she instead let us drown in the mud.

    So, looking for enemies within the government, looking for cuts versus funding FEMA and not fighting to help her constituents, standing behind despicable staffers who utter disturbing, misogynistic comments, not doing anything for the district but fighting like heck for the criminals on Wall Street that nearly put us in another Great Depression, showing rank hypocrisy by complaining about campaign mailings in 2010 but being one of the biggest mailers in Congress today, it’s all part of a pattern with her that we have become quite used to with Nan “Hurricane/Do-Nothing” Hayworth.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Thank you Christopher, for all that you do. From your farming to your activism, thank you for your tireless efforts. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.pawelski Christopher Pawelski

        Thanks Richard!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopher.pawelski Christopher Pawelski

    It took Hayworth’s campaign until Friday to issue a statement about this. Not Hayworth, but her campaign manager. Here is a link to it: http://www.facebook.com/nanhayworthforcongress/posts/10150839266096478 

    In it they do not apologize for the comments by Townsend, They will not fire Townsend, they blame the FB page, the Becker campaign and the media. They then deflect and talk about irrelevant issues. Though her Congressional and Campaign FB pages have been blasted with comments lambasting her for stance on this they have been scrubbing the critical comments left and right. For those of us that live in the district and have dealt with Hayworth first hand this is not surprising.

    Again, as someone that lives in the district and who has met with Hayworth and has had first hand dealings with her, I find this entire Jay Townsend episode/debacle fascinating and I have a theory regarding it I’d like to share.

    Prior to this incident Hayworth was trying to cast herself (chuckle … ha ha ha …) as a “bi-partisan moderate.” (see:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD1cYZqrjbM) thanks to the fact that the district has become more Democratic in registration due to redistricting. It was fiction, but it was a fiction she was actively trying to create, along with trying to manufacture accomplishments out of whole cloth where none exist. She obviously has been polling and it’s a strategy she has to do in order to survive. A do nothing ideologue is not going to cut it this go around. That may have worked in 2010, but how does the saying go, “fool me once, shame on you …?”So, she is moving along in that strategy and then … POW … along comes Jay Townsend and he throws a major monkey wrench in that plan with his totally offensive and disturbing comments. Okay, what to do …? The comments happen on Saturday. Days pass and there is silence. The blow up starts to occur on Thursday. Now, she has a chance still, at this point, even after Rich Becker calls her out for this, to make lemonade out of lemons. She can totally disavow the statement, offer a sincere and full apology, fire this neanderthal and spend a day at some community center for battered women. It would be the smart political play. Now, we all know there wouldn’t be an ounce of sincerity behind it, but she could have, even at that late point, turned the whole thing around.But she didn’t. She waited all day Thursday, a whole news cycle. And then, finally on Friday, her campaign manager, not even her, releases a statement that:1. Offers no apology for the comment2. Does not fire Townsend3. Blames the Facebook page4. Blames the Becker campaign5. Blames the mediaThis statement and move is stunning in its overall stupidity. You have to sit back and scratch your head and wonder, “who are they trying to appeal to, the wife beating vote?” It further guarantees the furor over it will continue to grow. If they think it will die down they are only dreaming.Or, the better question might be, who are they trying to appease? Does Jay Townsend have some serious political juice with someone who has laid down the law with Rep. Hayworth and dictated to her that in no uncertain terms is she NOT to terminate him? It’s the only scenario that makes sense to me, because keeping this guy and not sincerely apologizing for his comments not only doesn’t make any political sense, it doesn’t make any human sense.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    This morning on his Facebook site, “How to Run for Public Office,” http://www.facebook.com/RunningForOffice  Townsend has issued a typical NONpology:

    On May 26, I posted a stupid, thoughtless, and insensitive comment on a
    facebook page. It was stupid because my words were easily misconstrued;
    thoughtless because my choice of words obscured a point I was trying to
    make, and insensitive because some have interpreted the comment as
    advocating a violent act. To friends, associates, and clients I
    have offered my apology for the embarrassment I have caused, and do
    hereby offer it to the many who rightly found fault with my incendiary
    choice of words. The mistake was mine, and mine only and the
    post in no way was intended to represent the views of anyone for whom I
    have worked or represented.

    So far, nobody’s buying this drivel. Here’s my comment there:

    This
    is just another typical politician’s NONpology, because it is only
    about someone ELSE’S reaction to your statement. It’s the old routine,
    “IF I offended anyone, I’m sorry, (and for those who weren’t offended,
    I’m NOT sorry.)” Your me…aly-mouthed equivocating simply says that you’re sorry because of three things: A. You’re sorry because Somebody ELSE “misconstrued” your meaning. What
    the hell was your INTENDED meaning?? I doubt you’ll ever explain that. B. You’re sorry because you screwed up the “point” you were trying to
    make, which was nothing more than a lame “tu coque” argument against
    female Democratic Senators. C. Again, you’re sorry because someone
    ELSE has “interpreted” your statement as advocating violence. Again,
    this is a dodge of taking true responsibility, because it shifts the
    blame to other people who interpret your words in a way that embarrasses
    you. No, a real, responsible, ADULT apology has no ifs, ands,
    or buts. It does not base itself conditionally on the offense that the
    action might or might not have caused in someone else, and it is not
    targeted only to those who express their offense. A real apology would
    state unequivocally that what you said was stupid, thoughtless and
    insensitive INTRINSICALLY. It was dead wrong and out of line REGARDLESS
    of the reactions of others, and certainly not because it was a
    distraction from your political “point.” A real apology does not contain
    a mitigating excuse. I would say that you’re “as insincere
    as…” but then I’d have to issue my own apology to whomever or whatever
    despicable person, animal, or thing that I’d used in my analogy.See More

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1580385201 Sharon Hall

    Because, sadly, Republicans are stupid like that.  Stupid and blind, as if they had thrown acid in their own eyes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GIK2LNOOIERDVWXBJBN76JAHH4 Cheryl Kohout

    I don’t know what to say. This is so painful on so many levels.

    I’ve been thinking about my friend and former Congresswoman who took a bullet in the head after a vicious campaign where she was put in the cross hairs by the VP contender. And now we have calls for throwing acid in the faces of her colleagues in the other chamber.

    So when it happens … when some deranged person, whose insanity is untreated because, well, we just can’t afford to treat the mentally ill  … will the Republicans again lash out and say it was a deranged madman and politics had nothing to do with it?

    I’ve seen this script before … it doesn’t end well. The FBI really needs to pay a visit to Mr. Townsend.

  • Hibernia86

    Now, Jay Townsend is obviously an asshole. You can be a conservative and just be deluded, but the fact that Jay Townsend is willing to use his real name on an internet chat room and throw these kind of trollish statements shows that he has been consumed by rage. His post doesn’t even really make sense. How are the democratic women senators not following the mandates they set on the private sector?

    That being said, I think what Jay Townsend was trying to say was that he wants to make nasty comments to the democratic women senators which will, in his eyes, mock them into seeing the “truth”. I don’t think he was speaking literally the same way (as is debated below) the use of the “war on women” phrase doesn’t mean that women in America are literally being shot by GOP congressmen.   


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X