THE REACTION

May 09, 2018 at 4:45 am

Sonia Ossorio, president of National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) of New York, reacts to Schneiderman’s resignation. She joins us in the studio to explain the betrayal felt by many women who thought of Schneiderman as a champion of gender equality.

Aired on May 08, 2018.

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>>> I THINK THESE WOMEN WERE
ESPECIALLY COURAGEOUS.
THEY WERE DEALING WITH THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE TOP LAW
ENFORCEMENT, ACCORDING TO THE
ARTICLE, THEY WERE THREATENED
NOT TO SAY ANYTHING.
AND ANY CAME FORWARD ANYWAY.
>> GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO THIS
MORNING CALLING THE ALLEGATIONS
AGAINST ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN
ESPECIALLY SHOCKING GIVEN HIS
VERY PUBLIC ROLE AS CHAMPION OF
THE ME TOO MOVEMENT AND ADVOCATE
AND ALI ON WOMEN'S ISSUES OVER
HIS CAREER.
IN 2010 WHILE STILL A STATE
SENATOR SFR MANHATTAN
SCHNEIDERMAN INTRODUCE ADD BILL
TO MAKE INTENTIONAL
STRANGULATION A VIOLENT FELONY.
THAT YEAR THE NATIONAL
ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN BRANCH
ENDORSED HIM FOR HIS SUCCESSFUL
BID FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL, CITING
HIS UNMATCHED WORK IN PROTECTING
WOMEN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF
DOMESTIC ABUSE.
TODAY THE ORGANIZATION CALLS FOR
THE ONE-TIME ALLY TO BE HELD
ACCOUNTABLE TO THE HIGHEST
STANDARD OF THE LAW.
AND JOINING ME NOW IS THE
PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL
ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN'S NEW
YORK CHAPTER, SONIA ORSILLO.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU.
>> SONIA, FIRST OF ALL, YOUR
FIRST REACTION WHEN YOU HEARD
THE SHOCKING AILS?
>> UTTER SHOCK.
YOU HAD TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT
TWICE TO LET IT SINK IN FOR A
MOMENT.
>> DID YOU KNOW MR.
SCHNEIDERMAN?
>> CERTAINLY.
>> UM-HUM.
>> WE HAVE WORKED WITH HIM OVER
15 YEARS.
>> UM-HUM.
>> SO IT WAS QUITE SHOCKING TO
HEAR THESE ALLEGATIONS THAT WERE
VERY CREDIBLE.
>> UM-HUM.
>> AND CORROBORATED.
AND EGREGIOUS.
>> YEAH IT'S NOT JUST -- IT'S
NOT ONLY HARASSMENT, IT'S ACTUAL
ATTACKS, BUT PHYSICAL ATTACKS.
I MEAN OF THE KIND -- AND ADDED
TO THAT THERE WAS RACISM
INVOLVED IN SOME OF THE COMMENTS
THAT HE MADE SO SOME OF THE
WOMEN.
BUT MY QUESTION IS, YOU KNOW, AS
I SAID IN THE INTRODUCTION, HE
WAS A VERY PROGRESSIVE
POLITICIAN WHICH IS WHY YOU GUYS
ENDORSED HIM OVER THE YEARS.
AND I WONDER SWB SWUB SAID THIS
MORNING -- AND IT SEEMED TO
STRIKE A TONE WHICH IS WHY DO
PROGRESSIVE POLITICIANS HAVE A
SENSE OF SECURITY THAT SOME OF
ENEMY CAN DO THINGS LIKE MR.
SCHNEIDERMAN DID AND ONE PERSON
SUGGESTED THAT IT WAS PERHAPS
THE LINGERING CONSEQUENCES OF
THE -- OF THE MONICA LEWINSKY
SCANDAL AND BILL CLINTON.
WHEN WOMEN ORGANIZATIONS SAID
ALL IS FORGIVEN AS LONG AS THE
POLITICS ARE CORRECT.
DO YOU THINK THERE IS ANYTHING
TO THAT.
>> THAT'S BEEN A LONG TIME.
WHILE YES THERE HAVE BEEN MANY
PROGRESSIVES WHO HAVE REALLY
BEEN GUILTY OF REALLY BAD WAIVER
IN THIS CASE UNLAWFUL BEHAVIOR,
IT'S -- IT'S NOT JUST IN THAT
DOMAIN.
WE HAVE SEEN OVER THE LAST YEAR
THAT IT IS -- IT MEETS NO CLASS
ISSUE, RACE ISSUE.
>> UM-HUM.
>> INDUSTRY, I MEAN THERE ARE
MANY IN THE MEDIA, MEN IN
HOLLYWOOD.
>> SURE.
>> THERE HAVE BEEN POLITICIANS
FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME.
I THINK IT'S MORE AN ISSUE OF
THEY BEGIN TO THINK THAT THEY'RE
ABOVE THE LAW.
>> YEAH, AND OF COURSE IT'S NOT
JUST PROGRESSIVES.
I MEAN CONSERVATIVES HAVE BEEN
CHARGED AND PROVED TO HAVE BEEN
ABUSERS AS WELL.
NOW, WAS THERE EVER ANY HINT
THAT THIS PERSON HAD THAT KIND
OF RESPONSE.
>> AND WE'RE ONLY ALLEGING
BECAUSE IT HASN'T BEEN PROVEN.
ALTHOUGH AS YOU SAY THE
WITNESSES, THE VICTIMS ARE VERY
CREDIBLE.
WAS THERE ANY BEHIND BEFORE
THIS?
>> NOT -- NOT TO ME.
>> UM-HUM.
>> AND I DON'T BELIEVE TO MANY
PEOPLE.
BUT THERE IS ALWAYS A CIRCLE OF
PEOPLE WHO KNOW.
>> UM-HUM.
>> WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEBODY WHO IS
A SERIAL ABUSER.
>> YEAH.
>> THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE
IN HIS CIRCLE WHO HAVE WITNESSED
IT OR SEEN IT.
AND I THINK THAT'S THE NEXT
PHASE IN THE ME TOO MOVEMENT IS
THINKING ABOUT THOSE OF US WHO
ARE COMPLICIT.
>> RIGHT.
>> IN ALLOWING THIS TYPE OF
BEHAVIOR TO FESTER.
>> RIGHT, ENABLES EVEN IF ONLY
BY THEIR SILENCE.
>> UM-HUM.
>> BUT, YOU KNOW, THE REASON I
ASK -- I'M SURE YOU'VE SEEN THIS
IN THE NEWS TODAY -- BECAUSE
BACK IN 30U DONALD TRUMP TWEETED
WIENER IS GONE, SPITZER IS GONE
NEXT WILL BE LIGHTWEIGHT A.G.
ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN?
IS HE A CROOK WORST SINCE
SPITZER AND WIENER?
JUST A COINCIDENCE OR WAS HE
ONTO SOMETHING FIVE YEARS AGO.
>> I THINK IT'S A COINCIDENCE
PROCESS.
HE WAS TARGETING ANY ELECTED
OFFICIAL, ANYBODY ELSE WITH
POWER WHO WAS ACCUSEDING HIM OF
SOME KIND OF CRIME OR LOOKING
INTO BUSINESS DEALINGS.
>> BETRAYAL OF WOMEN.
YEAH, WE WERE TALKING IN THE
GREEN ROOM.
HOW IN THE WORLD -- I MEAN
UNLESS THAT SMALL CIRCLE THAT
YOU WERE JUST MENTIONING, YOU
KNOW, BEGINS TO SPEAK UP, AND
IT'S USUALLY A SMALL CIRCLE.
YOU ARE RIGHT -- UNLESS THEY
BEGIN TO SPEAK UP, WHAT DOES AN
ORGANIZATION LIKE N.O.W. VET THE
POLITICIANS WHOSE POLITICS SEEM
TO BE FINE?
>> YOU KNOW, I WONDER IF WE WILL
START HEARING ABOUT THESE
STORIES SOONER RATHER THAN
LATER.
>> UM-HUM.
>> THESE FOUR WOMEN DID NOT HAVE
TO COME FORWARD.
>> RIGHT.
>> AND THEY DID IT UNDER VERY --
CIRCUMSTANCES THAT WERE -- WERE
DANGEROUS.
BECAUSE HE HAD THREATENED THEM
IN THE PAST.
>> UM-HUM.
>> BUT THEY CAME FORWARD AND
THEY HAVE SAID THAT THEY DIDN'T
WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO ANYBODY
ELSE.
AND ALSO ONCE ONE OF THEM FOUND
OUT THAT THERE WERE OTHERS THAT
THAT REALLY EMBOLDENED HER.
AND I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF
WE START HEARING STORIES,
GETTING THOSE TESTIMONIES FROM
WOMEN WHO HAVE THE STORIES TO
TELL ABOUT PEOPLE RUNNING FOR
OFFICE.
>> SURE.
>> BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY GET INTO
OFFICE.
>> SO, YOU KNOW, YOU TWEETED
THIS MORNING AS IT STANDS RIGHT
NOW THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT
ATTORNEY CY VANCE IS THE ONE
INVESTIGATING MR. SCHNEIDERMAN.
YOU DON'T THINK THAT'S A GOOD
IDEA.
TELL US WHY.
>> MR. VANCE WAS -- IS UNDER
INVESTIGATION BY THE A.G.'S
OFFICE HERE IN NEW YORK.
>> UM-HUM.
>> FOR MISHANDLING OF THE HARVEY
WEINSTEIN CASE INVOLVING AMBRA
BATTILANA IN 2015 JOO.
>> RIGHT.
>> THAT'S AN INHERENT KRSKT OF
INTEREST.
HE CAN'T BE INVESTIGATING THE
AG'S OFFICE OR ERIC
SCHNEIDERMAN.
SO I THINK THE MOST TRANSPARENT
THING WOULD BE SOMEBODY ELSE
INVESTIGATE, A SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR OR ANOTHER OFFICE.
>> IS N.O.W. GETTING INVOLVED IN
TRYING TO MAKE THE SELECTION FOR
THE IMMEDIATE REPLACEMENT?
>> ABSOLUTELY.
WE ARE ALREADY THINKING ABOUT
WHO WOULD BE A GOOD REPLACEMENT.
CERTAINLY IT WOULD BE NICE TO
HAVE A WOMAN IN THE POSITION.
>> UM-HUM.
>> THAT WOULD BE A NICE CHANGE
OF PACE.
SO THERE ARE -- THERE ARE A LOT
OF CAPABLE AND READY WOMEN WHO
COULD DO IT.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO, YOU KNOW,
SUPPORTING SOMEONE WHO, GREAT
FOR THE JOB.
>> WELL, SONIA THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US TODAY.
I KNOW IT'S A LAST-MINUTE CALL
BUT I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.
>> GRASSIA.
>> DE NADA.

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