Sustained Outrage

Domestic violence = political suicide

If we ever needed a reminder that domestic violence crosses socioeconomic lines, we need look no further than headlines from around the country last week.

scottleecohen.jpgFirst, Scott Lee Cohen (right), the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Illinois, dropped out of the race on Sunday after information surfaced about several allegedly violent incidents with women in his past.

As the Chicago Tribune reported:

Since Cohen won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, it has become widely known that he was accused of abusing his ex-wife and holding a knife to the throat of an ex-girlfriend — a woman who was herself charged with prostitution. He also admits using steroids in the past.

Cohen was arrested in 2005 on domestic battery charges for allegedly pushing his then-girlfriend, Amanda Eneman, against a wall and holding a knife to her throat. The charges were dropped when she failed to show up for a court date. He has denied the allegations and called that relationship tumultuous.

hirammonserrate.jpgThen on Tuesday night, the New York State Senate voted to remove Sen. Hiram Monserrate (right), a Queens Democrat who was convicted of misdemeanor assault in a 2008 incident with his girlfriend. The vote was 53-8 to expel Monserrate, and imperiled the ability of the slim Democratic majority to pass legislation, the Albany Times-Union reported.

Monserrate last month was found “unfit to serve” by a nine-member Senate panel of inquiry that examined the circumstances surrounding a December 2008 incident involving Monserrate’s girlfriend, whose face was badly cut by a broken glass. A Queens judge acquitted him of several felony charges, but found Monserrate guilty of misdemeanor assault.

The Senate panel, which deemed the incident a “crime of domestic violence,” recommended that the full chamber should consider measures to censure Monserrate, expel him or both.

These political downfalls should send a clear message that society has recognized that domestic violence, no matter who commits it, will not be tolerated.