A few weeks ago, we reported that Republican candidate for governor of New Jersey, Jack Ciattarelli’s advertisement featuring rape victim Kate Brennan was off message. Now, Brennan herself is asking the Ciattarelli campaign to stop politicizing her experience in an attempt to win points with voters.
In a time when the Ciattarelli campaign has so much to talk about when it comes to Phil Murphy including taxes, unemployment, business closures, COVID-19 pandemic, deficiencies in the DMV, deficiencies in the Department of Labor, face mask mandates, vaccine mandates, school masking and a countless list of other actual campaign topics, Ciattarelli’s campaign seems fixated with Brennan.
It’s quite odd.
The National Organization for Women have joined in support of Brennan’s request for Ciattarelli to stop promoting her sexual assault at the hands of prominent Phil Murphy executive Al Alvarez for political gain.
“National Organization for Women of New Jersey (NOW-NJ) is disturbed by the use of survivors’ stories by candidates for political gain. Last week a political advertisement and website paid for by the GOP Gubernatorial candidate surfaced, that uses footage of NOW-NJ Treasurer Katie Brennan as she shares her harrowing experience of assault,” NOW said. “We applaud Ms. Brennan’s courage in coming forward to enact change in the way survivors of sexual assault are treated within our criminal justice system. Ms. Brennan does not deserve to be further victimized as a pawn in a political campaign by a candidate she does not endorse. Ms. Brennan and NOW-NJ call for the website to be taken down, the ads to be removed from circulation and an apology to be issued to Ms. Brennan.”
“Jack and Diane—Do the work. Hold people accountable. Hold people accountable when it is not politically expedient. Hold people accountable when they are your friends,” Brennan said. “There are many ways to hold people accountable without invoking my image without my permission. Do the work for a better New Jersey. Start with your own campaign—do you have a harassment reporting structure in your own campaign? There are currently three bills stalled in the legislature. What will you do to advance them?”
Brennan further slammed Ciattarelli for his anti gay and lesbian sentiment on the campaign trail.
“Before you hold yourself up as a champion of women, let’s discuss some of your public statements that seek to reverse the progress made in the state. Will you reverse your stance on defunding Planned Parenthood? Will you renounce your anti-LGBTQ statements and commit to advancing intersectional gender equity,” Brennan said. “By going public, I did not forfeit the rights to my own story, or end my trauma. I went public as a force for change.”
“Survivors are not your props. We are not your political pawns. To use me as such, without my consent, is disrespecting survivors. It is disrespecting women,” Brennan said.
Although Brennan is shouting “No!” to Jack Ciattarelli, Jack responded, “Yes”. The candidate’s spokesperson Stami Williams said Jack will keep pressing and pushing on the Katie Brennan topic despite her heartfelt plea asking him to “Please, stop!”.