A war over women's health coverage continued to eclipse all else Sunday in the gubernatorial primary endgame as women in Hartford protested Dannel Malloy's television commercial depicting John DeStefano as a woman, and Malloy's forces responded with a counter-protest in New Haven.
The two Democratic mayors have been sparring over their competing plans for universal health coverage for months, but the issue grew more contentious last week, when Malloy began airing the add showing DeStefano's head atop the bodies of several women, including one in a maternity outfit.
Have I mentioned that I hate this ad? Because I do. And I'm not alone. But much like our discussion here at CTLP women seem to be divided.
"It was kind of gross - the images," said Beverley Brakeman, the former executive director of the Connecticut National Organization for Women, who was part of a group that carried signs for about an hour outside Malloy's headquarters in Hartford Sunday morning. "The ad itself is very bizarre. I actually thought it was a joke at first. It's a really inappropriate way to get a message across."
A squad of Malloy protesters, meanwhile, returned the favor 90 minutes later by arriving at DeStefano's campaign office in New Haven to reinforce what the controversial ad seeks to dramatize: Malloy's claim that DeStefano has flip-flopped on women's insurance coverage issues.
"They were very angered to hear there were protestors outside the Malloy headquarters in Hartford, and thus they decided to take a stand," said Lisa-Joy Zgorski, Malloy's spokeswoman.
What's interesting is that those protesting Malloy's ad were from women's groups, while those protesting DeStefano's stance/ad/whatever were Malloy supporters. Of course everyone has their own agenda, but I think who protested what is telling.
Perhaps if Dan Malloy were a woman he'd understand why some of us didn't appreciate the imagery.
Keating, Christopher and Lender, John. "Campaign Ad Spurs Protests".