Oh Happy Day!
To the conservative priests and ministers in Queens who rallied behind a violent domestic abuser and supported him from their pulpits saying voters faced a "tough decision" -- Um, not really.
Peralta -- son of working class immigrants who defends tenants and fights for health care in his working class neighborhood and yes, happened to vote 3 times for marriage equality, Versus:
Montserrate -- stole a quarter of a million dollars in taxpayer funds through a sham charity he set up, cut his girlfriend's face "accidentally" with a broken glass, dragged her bleeding profusely through his building lobby where he was caught on tape (oops), then drove her 14 miles past 8 other hospitals to take her out of the city to Long Island for emergency care, then was convicted of crimes in said incident and expelled from the State Senate by his peers...
Tough decision? Voters did not think so.
In what should become a model for how LGBT activists deal with elected officials who vote against equal rights, Fight Back New York's campaign to defeat former State Senator Hiram Monserrate paid off big. Monserrate was defeated easily by Jose Peralta by a 3 -1 margin. Perralta is a member of the State Assembly who voted for marriage for same-sex couples three times.
Monserrate, who was convicted of a misdemeanor for an assault in which his girlfriend's face was slashed with a broken bottle, was one of 38 state senators who voted against the New York marriage bill last year. Monserrate's defeat is a clear message to politicians: vote against LGBT equality and use our families as political footballs and we will take you out.
From The New York Times:
Mr. Peralta, meanwhile, had a virtual army of outside supporters at his disposal, including union members, women's rights groups and gay activists, among them members of Fight Back New York, a well-financed political action committee that works to oust state senators who oppose same-sex marriage and put Mr. Monserrate first on its list.
Fight Back New York is a smart and aggressive new PAC focused on one thing: defeating anti-equality New York state senators. In a matter of weeks, Fight Back New York built a political machine that sent out nearly 100,000 pieces of hard-hitting direct mail to educate voters, made 10,000 targeted phone calls to prime voters, launched an aggressive online information campaign, and produced a powerful video message from Cynthia Nixon.
As Nixon says in the video, "We've tried the carrot. Now its time for the stick."
Fight Back New York's work doesn't end with the defeat of Hiram Monserrate. Its really the beginning.
From a recent Fight Back New York email:
In the next several weeks, we will together build a stronger, more robust campaign that will set its sights on where we can have the most impact for additional victories in the September primary elections and the November general elections. Each and every one of the remaining 37 New York State Senators who voted "no" to marriage equality-Democrats and Republicans-will be fair game.
Join with Fight Back New York to build a pro-equality state senate.