From Progress Illinois, Adam Doster,  Friday February 5th, 2010, 4:25pm

A broad coalition of anti-violence and women’s groups held a press conference in Chicago to discuss the recent revelations about the Democrat lieutenant gubernatorial nominee’s history of violence and harassment. Due to their nonprofit status, most of the representatives couldn’t publicly demand that Cohen withdraw from the ballot.  Nonetheless, they strongly repudiated his candidacy.

In Rasmussen’s pre-primary polling, Gov. Pat Quinn struggled among female voters against challenger Dan Hynes. But if Scott Lee Cohen remains on the ticket as his running mate in the fall, you can be sure those numbers will plummet.

Today, a broad coalition of anti-violence and women’s groups held a press conference in Chicago to discuss the recent revelations about the Democrat lieutenant gubernatorial nominee’s history of violence and harassment. Due to their nonprofit status, most of the representatives couldn’t publicly demand that Cohen withdraw from the ballot.  Nonetheless, they strongly repudiated his candidacy. “My immediate response,” said Kelly White of the Chicago Foundation for Women, “was completely and totally appalled.” Watch some clips from the event:

Cohen wasn’t the only topic of discussion. The groups also used the occasion to criticize the General Assembly for failing to provide enough resources to women suffering from domestic and sexual violence.  According to Sami Goswami, policy director for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, the FY 2010 budget slashed funding for domestic violence programs by 9 percent and funding for sexual assault programs by 19 percent. “A state’s priorities are reflected in their budgets,” he said. “These are not the actions of a state that prioritizes addressing violence against women in any meaningful way.”

After the presentation, Chicago NOW’s Michelle Staeger said that her organization’s PAC would take immediate and direct action against Cohen by initiating a letter-writing campaign that demands he step aside. More drastic measures could be on the way. “Cohen needs to follow Gov. Quinn’s advice,” she said, “and do what’s best for Illinois.”

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