It took almost a week, but Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins responded today to last Wednesday’s statement by her Republican opponent John Murtagh, who knocked Barack Obama through the McCain campaign for his alleged ties to William Ayers, a former member of the terrorist group the Weather Underground.
Stewart-Cousins offered harsh words for Murtagh, saying he is “becoming a ‘tool of swiftboat-politics’” and appears to suggest that he was involved in vandalism at her office earlier this year.
The Ayers group firebombed Murtagh’s childhood home because his father was a state Supreme Court justice presiding over the trial of the so-called “Panther 21,” members of the Black Panther party indicted in a plot to bomb New York landmarks.
“What I would like Senator Obama to do is level with the public about his relationship with a man who is responsible for multiple terrorist attacks against government targets – and in the case of my family home, where they attempted to kill us,” Murtagh said in the statement.
Stewart-Cousins said today Murtagh “began his campaign by exploiting a traumatic incident that occurred during his childhood. The McCain-Palin campaign enlisted him to tell his story to associatively smear Senator Barack Obama and divert attention from the issues that really matter to the American people.”
The rest of her statement:
“One has to question Mr. Murtagh’s judgment in becoming a ‘tool of swiftboat-politics’ and, certainly, in deciding to serve as a pro-bono lawyer for a leader of a group of anti-choice protesters that were alleged to have participated in physical harassment, bomb threats, and in four cases, the firing of bullets into windows.
“What happened to the Murtagh family in 1970 was reprehensible. It is surprising, given all of his statements, that Mr. Murtagh does not consider his efforts on behalf of an individual who led a protracted effort to terrorize women and their health-care providers a cause for concern to the voters of the 35th Senate District. It is not surprising that Mr. Murtagh continues to run a campaign that is contradictory and misleading.”