BRISTOL - Connecticut Democrats urge Republicans to denounce Mayor Ken Cockayne after he was unanimously censured by the City Council.
Cockayne was censured - a formal disapproval - Monday night for the second time in a little over a year. City Council unanimously censured the mayor based on a report conducted by attorney Michael Rose that identified the mayor violating the city’s sexual harassment policy, dishonesty and retaliation.
Connecticut Democrats urged Republicans to denounce Cockayne in a press release that also recognized a separate press release by the Republican National Committee from earlier this month. It called on Democrats and the Democratic National Committee to return Harvey Weinstein’s donations to the party due to recent sexual harassment allegations.
"During three-decades worth of sexual harassment allegations, Harvey Weinstein lined the pockets of Democrats to the tune of three quarters of a million dollars. If Democrats and the DNC truly stand up for women like they say they do, then returning this dirty money should be a no brainer,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in the press release. It then cited the donations made by Weinstein to the party. Connecticut Democrats responded in their press release: “It’s only fair to ask whether the Connecticut Republican Party continues to support Cockayne, and, if not, why they have not returned or donated the $425 the party received in donations from Cockayne and, if they plan to donate them, where the Republican officials will donate their contributions,” reads the press release. It then listed all the donations made by Cockayne in the past three years.
The press release from the Democrats contextualized the mayor’s censure by acknowledging the social media movement #MeToo. The movement consists of women reaching out with the hashtag acknowledging they have been sexually harassed or assaulted in an effort to show the public how common sexual harassment is.
Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director Michael Mandell said, “Over the last several days, millions of women have bravely come forward and made public that they have been sexually harassed. It’s clear that harassment and assault are widespread problems. These allegations against Mayor Cockayne should disqualify him for re-election on Nov. 7.
“We are calling on the Connecticut Republican Party, as well as the GOP gubernatorial candidates to whom he has donated, to disavow their support of Mr. Cockayne and return his donations. While Connecticut Republicans just woke up to this problem last week, it is not a one-time issue for the Connecticut Democrats, and we must fight sexual assault and harassment regardless of where and when it occurs. One incident is too many and should be loudly condemned.”
When chairman of the Bristol Republican Town Committee, Jeff Caggiano, was asked if the party was still endorsing Cockayne, he did not comment. Though, he said he will when the redacted report is released, which City Council voted to be this Thursday.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at email@example.com or at 860-973-5088.