Friday October 29, 2010

Christine O’Donnell Sex Slander Hit Piece Erupts Days before Election

By Kathleen Gilbert

DOVER, Delaware, October 29, 2010 ( – Backers and opponents alike have condemned an anonymous tabloid piece claiming to recount a one-night stand with Delaware’s staunchly pro-life Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell three years ago, published by the gossip website Gawker days before the Tuesday election.

The explicit piece’s author, later identified by The Smoking Gun as 28-year-old Philadelphia resident Dustin Dominiak, claimed that O’Donnell arrived at his apartment drunk on Halloween night in 2007. Dominiak described how “things got physical” with the Senate candidate but, although the piece was entitled “I had a one-night stand with Christine O’Donnell,” they did not have intercourse.

O’Donnell’s campaign blasted the piece as “just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with,” and criticized Democrat opponent Chris Coons for remaining silent on the piece.

A spokesman for Coons later called the piece “despicable, cowardly and has absolutely no value at all to any Delaware voters.”

Gawker editor Remy Stern told Yahoo that the tabloid paid “in the low four figures” for the story, and defended the piece, saying, “If it was any politician whose private life diverged from his public life in such an interesting way, we’d be interested in that.”

But the piece – which goes so far as to describe aspects of the candidate’s anatomy – was less warmly received by both the left and right blogosphere, sparking a deluge of condemnation from the likes of Salon, Wonkette, and Feministing.

The pro-abortion National Organization for Women, which has been known to stand up for women’s rights in the political field, at first declined to comment on the piece. “We’re going to pass on this one,” spokeswoman Mai Shiozaki told The Examiner.

Hours later, however, NOW President Terry O’Neill published a statement condemning the piece but expressing hope for O’Donnell’s defeat. “Let me be honest: I look forward to seeing Christine O’Donnell defeated at the polls, but this kind of sexist attack is an affront to all women, and I won’t stand for it,” stated O’Neill.

O’Donnell is well-known for her opposition to abortion, except in the case of a threat to the mother’s life.

Wendy Wright, president of the conservative Concerned Women for America, called the affair “a despicable distraction, the kind that has become the trademark of people with no integrity who oppose conservative women.” “Their sexist smears are so predictable now that the people who look bad in this are those who traffic in ‘by any means necessary’ schemes,” Wright told

According to Monmouth University poll data released Friday but collected prior to the Gawker scandal, O’Donnell has shrunk Coons’ 20-point lead two weeks ago by nearly half.

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