By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The race between Republican-Conservative state Sen. Marty Golden and his Democratic challenger Andrew Gounardes is so heated, the bitterness is starting to filter down to their supporters.
After a National Organization for Women (NOW) political leader criticized Golden, the president of a Republican businesswoman’s group blasted her.
Mary Reilly, president of the New York State Federation of Republican Women, called comments made by Shirley Ranz, president of the Brooklyn-Queens NOW Political Action Committee, a “ridiculous misrepresentation of Senator Golden’s character.”
Reilly also charged that Ranz’s statements do not “represent the views of all women.”
In an endorsement of Gounardes, Ranz cited a recent controversy in which Golden canceled a planned class on etiquette for women that he was sponsoring, following a storm of protests and an avalanche of negative publicity that painted Golden as old-fashioned. The class, to be taught by etiquette expert Phillipa Morrish, was to have taken place at the Bay Ridge Manor on July 24.
"Marty Golden's idea of how to help women is to give them an etiquette class to teach them to 'sit, stand and walk like a model' and 'how to walk down a stair elegantly.' So, not only did Golden vote against the Fair Pay Act, he insults us by holding an outdated, sexist seminar straight out of ‘Mad Men.’ Marty Golden is simply out of touch,” Ranz stated in a press release.
Reilly jumped to Golden’s defense. She also took a veiled swipe at Gounardes, a lawyer who is making his first run at public office.
“It is no surprise that NOW would endorse Senator Golden’s opponent since NOW is notorious for endorsing Democrats, whether the person is qualified for the seat they are seeking or not. In her endorsement, Ranz focused more on Senator Golden than she did on his opponent, which leads one to believe that the press release was nothing more than a vehicle to take a cheap shot at Senator Golden,” Reilly said.
“Senator Golden has been at the forefront on issues that are important to all New Yorkers. Reducing taxes so that people can keep more of what they earn, reducing government red tape so that businesses remain in New York State, increasing public transportation options so that the average citizen can travel safely and easily, and fighting to provide our children a safe, quality public education system are important issues, regardless of a person’s gender.”
Reilly, vice president of RTR Financial Services Corporation, added, “If NOW believes that intelligent women will ignore Senator Golden’s record of excellence in addressing these issues and instead will vote for someone who has no experience in Albany, then I have to wonder what exactly the organizations stands for.”
In the endorsement, Ranz praised Gounardes as a candidate who is “on the right side of women's issues and will work hard to defend and expand women's rights.”
Gounardes has pushed for the passage of the New York Fair Pay Act, a bill that Golden has voted against, Ranz said.