"Congressional candidate Carl DeMaio wants voters to know that he's down with the whole women's rights thing: access to birth control, equal pay, etc. But, behind the scenes, if you're a woman he disagrees with, you could be the subject of ridicule.
On Jan. 22, DeMaio sent an email to two members of his staff, campaign spokesperson Dave McCulloch and then-policy director Todd Bosnich (Bosnich has accused DeMaio of sexually harassing him and trying to buy his silence). The email's subject line is "Kate Lyon" and includes a photo of an overweight woman wearing a bra and eating what looks to be a Twinkie. (The woman in the photo is not Lyon.) Based on the email's metadata, it appears to be authentic.
Kate Lyon is the deputy campaign manager for Scott Peters, the 52nd District congressional representative whom DeMaio's challenging in the upcoming election. Earlier in the day on Jan. 22, she's responded to a tweet from McCulloch and was critical of a new DeMaio TV ad that compared Congress to Lindsey Lohan and cockroaches. "U thought ur boss's cockroach ad was representative of new type of [Republican], someone trying to change Washington? Typical," Lyon tweeted at McCulloch.
We checked with Lyon and the Peters campaign before publishing this. Spokesperson Alex Roth provided a statement:
"Kate Lyon is one of the most experienced and respected members of our staff. She previously worked as an attorney, and for NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood. It is disgusting and despicable that this champion for women’s rights, or any woman, would be demeaned this way. I wish I could say it is shocking, but coming from Carl DeMaio, nothing is shocking.""
I can barely type about this because it is so putrid. I sat stunned at my desk for a full 2 minutes with full on rage about this. On what front am I most offended? As a campaign staffer? As a woman? As a person who has struggled with their weight? I DON'T EVEN FUCKING KNOW.
As one commentor on this article observes, "DeMaio presumes fat female bodies are a punchline rather than recognize the proud, lived experience of many who live with dignity in a world that would demean them." Not to mention how completely classless it is to go after campaign staff. Not to mention the long history of sexualizing women in politics in order to take their power away. I won't republish the picture because who knows if it was even put on the Internet consensually (certainly not for this purpose) but it is easy enough to find. Carl DeMaio is disgusting in a lot of ways, but for me this takes the cake.