Senator ignores Rape Victim's pleas

Sharon - posted on 11/03/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/02/...|hp-laptop|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2009%2F11%2F02%2Fsen-david-vitter-caught-on-tape-arguing-with-local-rape-victim%2F



www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/02/sen-david-vitter-caught-on-tape-arguing-with-local-rape-victim/?icid=main|hp-laptop|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2009%2F11%2F02%2Fsen-david-vitter-caught-on-tape-arguing-with-local-rape-victim%2F



Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) had a heated exchange with a constituent over the weekend when she asked him why he opposed a bill that will protect the rights of some rape victims to take their attackers to court.



The bill stems from a 2007 case in which a Halliburton employee accused several co-workers of raping her when she was working for the company in Iraq. Her employment contract specifically required her to settle her complaint in arbitration rather than in criminal court. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) sponsored an amendment to the defense spending bill to block federal funding from government contractors with similar employment contracts. Vitter joined 29 Republicans in opposing the measure, which passed the Senate 68 to 30 in October. Republicans at the time said it would give Congress too much influence over Pentagon contracts.



At the weekend event, a woman, who has not been named in the media, approached Vitter after a health care town hall event that the senator sponsored in Baton Rouge. A video of the encounter shows her speaking to the senator as he is leaving, saying, "Senator, I am a rape victim."



Vitter stops briefly to speak with her, but the two begin to speak over each other once the discussion turns to the Franken amendment.



Eventually Vitter says, "You realize President Obama was against that amendment and his administration was against that amendment?"



She responds, "But I'm not asking Obama. I'm asking you."



"Do you think he's in favor in rape?" Vitter asks rhetorically. "No." He then walks away and leaves the building.



As he walks away, the woman calls out, "What if it was your daughter?"



A staffer from the Louisiana Democratic Party taped the exchange and posted on the party's YouTube channel. Kevin Francks, a spokesman for the Party said the woman is a New Orleans native who went to the event to protest Sen. Vitter's position on the Franken bill, but that the Democratic party did not coordinate her comments to the senator or know of her prior to this weekend's interaction. Vitter is up for reelection in 2010.



"I think it was disconcerting that Sen. Vitter did not appear to give this rape survivor the time of day," Francks said. "I doubt he would have turned his back if she had been a representative of Halliburton."



Sen. Vitter's office did not respond to requests for comment on the event, but the senator did speak with a local television station at the town hall, which he said was organized so that he could hear from his constituents about their concerns. "I think people's biggest frustration is that they think they're being shut out of the debate and they just aren't heard in Washington," Vitter told WBRZ-TV.



Video of Vitter's confrontation with the woman is below.

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Isobel - posted on 11/04/2009

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I don't know...I'm a little disappointed. I don't see why these men shouldn't be held liable criminally AND civilly.

[deleted account]

Here is a list of senators who voted for and senators who voted against the amendment to the bill:



http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/ro...



It's attached to a bill with a lot of financial information in it-you can read the full text or a summary here, as well as see what the latest major action redgarding the bill is:



http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?...



And here's Al Franken arguing for the amendment (scroll down just a bit from the top and you'll see the video):



http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-right...



So far as I can tell, from the list of proceedings below, Obama hasn't seen this bill or the amendments to it. I'd like to know what Vitter was talking about.:



http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?...

Sara - posted on 11/04/2009

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Laura, from what I understand the Department of Defense under the Obama Administration did not support it because arbitration agreements are nonbinding when it comes to criminal acts such as rape. Crimes can still be prosecuted by the government, no matter what Halliburton's contracts say. If that is true, I wonder why no charges have been made against these men or in other cases.

Isobel - posted on 11/04/2009

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I would love to hear even one of these senators stand up and explain their reasoning. The only one I can think of is to be anti-democrat. To deny a woman's right to recourse is appalling!

I must admit though, I'm with Amie...does anyone know if it's true that Obama didn't support it either?

JL - posted on 11/04/2009

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I was disgusted with all 30 senators that voted against the Franken bill. I just don't follow an arguement that favors business rights concerning contract agreements over the individuals right to have criminal activities heard in an open criminal court. Not only was she raped but she was also held in a shipping container and threatened to keep her mouth shut. Criminal activities such as rape, kidnapping, murder and ect should not be dealt with an arbitrary matter where the business holds all the power. Employees even those working overseas for American companies should have access to the criminal court system, because it takes away the suspcious nature concerning the business and governement interest in keeping criminal situations that occur in the defense industry under wraps. This bill is about putting power in the hands of the individuals, in the hands of the vicitms. A business handling rape charges through arbitrary means is all about setting up a system that is meant to protect business assets not prevent criminal acts. Our soldiers are held to higher standards why not hold our defense contractors and the businesses getting these billion dollar contracts to those higher standards.

Sara - posted on 11/04/2009

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I am appalled by this as well, but what I guess I don't understand about the Halliburton contracts is that arbitration agreements are nonbinding when it comes to criminal acts such as rape. Crimes can still be prosecuted by the government. So why weren't the men who raped her arrested?

Traci - posted on 11/03/2009

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I don't know the whole Halliburton story...I know I've read it before...I'm just not remembering right now.



Either way...I'm not a fan of Vitter anyhow...he likes to sleep with hookers. Creep. Anyone who does that is a loser with a capital L.

?? - posted on 11/03/2009

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I probably would have kept after him, myself. But I'm that kinda bitch, I would have followed him until he got in a car and took off and even then I probably would have tried to smash a window or something

Amie - posted on 11/03/2009

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Wow great deflecting tactic. I won't answer I'll make them focus on Obama by saying he's against it. /:) Does anyone know if that's true?

Regardless the man is vile.

Ugh after watching the video I feel like taking a bat to his head.

?? - posted on 11/03/2009

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I'm starting to think speaking for yourself means pawning responsibility onto others and talking in circles to avoid having to answer for yourself... why answer "I'm asking you" when you can say "ask them instead"

[deleted account]

What an asshole. And what a stupid rule this company has. That should be illegal.



And what a prick for bringing Obama's vote into it rather than giving his own reasons for voting against the bill.



I have no idea what else was attached to that bill. But I wonder...

Sharon - posted on 11/03/2009

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Ok, true to form the aol link didn't work but directly below is the same link minus the http:// portion.



I don't think this article needs debate but I do think the issue is of a huge interest to us women.

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