On September 10, Scott Stringer, the Manhattan Borough President, defeated former Governor Eliot Spitzer in the Democratic primary for New York City Controller. Everyone knew of Spitzer’s sexual problems, but few were aware of Stringer’s baggage. A week before the election, Bill Donohue sent Stringer a letter, and published his open letter the same day.
Hon. Scott Stringer:
The Daily News reports today that in 1996 you voted against withdrawing the tax-exempt status of Zymurgy, an organization affiliated with the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). When Zymurgy filed papers in 1994 seeking this status, it said it wanted to “foster, promote and advance greater knowledge and understanding of human sexuality….” Gov. Mario Cuomo granted the group its non-profit status; he assumed the stated intention was sincere. It was not.
When you voted against pulling the tax-exempt status of Zymurgy, you already knew that its real goal was to promote child rape, yet you did so anyway. Were it not for Attorney General Dennis Vacco, who persevered on appeal to deny the child molesting activists their tax-free status, they might still be in business.
Your spokeswoman, Audrey Gelman, said you voted the way you did for constitutional reasons. No one believes you. There is no constitutional imperative allowing an organized band of child rapists not to pay taxes. Moreover, were the lawmakers who disagreed with you, which was most of them, acting unconstitutionally? You need to educate us.
The motto of NAMBLA/Zymurgy is, “Eight Is Too Late.” That’s right—if a kid hasn’t been violated by age eight, it’s not worth the effort. This is the group you defended. We need a complete and honest response: Why did you side with them? We will blanket the Catholic community with this release, and we will disseminate your response, if you have one.
The following day, the New York Post revealed that Stringer initially voted against Megan’s Law, the registry that tracks convicted sex offenders once they leave prison; he later voted for it. He said his vote against the law was fear that sex offenders would be driven underground. No one believed him: his defense of Zymurgy undercut his credibility.
Stringer is also pals with Terry Richardson, a fashion photographer known for exploiting women of all ages, including his own mother (he photographed his mentally disabled mother naked from the waist up).
Audrey Gelman is Richardson’s girlfriend; she is also Stringer’s press secretary. The two of them are links to the fat cats in the fashion industry who helped to finance Stringer’s campaign. All of them know of Richardson’s perversions. As the Wall Street Journal said, Stringer has “fashion photographer Terry Richardson on his team.” Indeed, Richardson opens the doors for Gelman, who in turn “corrals” fashion industry donors to give to Stringer.
The media flagged Spitzer’s sexual baggage, but it played down Stringer’s, thus allowing him to win. We did not enter this controversy with the intent of affecting the outcome—we had no dog in this race. As everyone knows, we don’t pick winners and losers, and we are scrupulously non-partisan: we go after Republicans and Democrats alike.
We decided to speak out about Stringer’s sordid past because many of the same media that gave him a pass have relentlessly focused on priestly wrongdoing. This just goes to show, one more time, that it is not sexual offenses that upset the media—it’s the profile of the offender. When it’s a celebrity, they look away; when it’s a priest, they sharpen their blades.