New York Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell is taking aim at Mitt Romney's record on bullying aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
In a new video released today, the gay, Democratic lawmaker slams Romney for his record on LGBT issues while governor of Massachusetts.
"As a state legislator, I often look to other states to see how they're addressing the problems in our society, he says. "So, I looked to Massachusetts wondering how they were dealing with bullying. I was very distressed to learn that Governor Romney refused to send out a booklet to schools because it included protections for transgender children."
The video is the latest in the American Bridge and the Courage Campaign's "Mitt Gets Worse" campaign aimed at highlighting what they view as the Republican presidential candidate’s "anti-LGBT agenda."
O'Donnell — Rosie's brother — talks about his efforts to pass marriage equality and anti-bullying laws in New York and criticizes Romney's efforts to hinder anti-LGBT bullying programs as governor. The reference is to this Boston Globe report from earlier this month, where the Globe reported:
Romney aides said publicly at the time that publication of the guide had been delayed because it was a lengthy document that required further review. But an e-mail authored in May of that year by a high-ranking Department of Public Health official - and obtained last week by the Globe through a public records request - reflected a different reason.
“Because this is using the terms ‘bisexual’ and ‘transgendered,’ DPH’s name may not be used in this publication,’’ wrote the official, Alda Rego-Weathers, then the deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Anthony Rapp, the original star of RENT on Broadway, is featured in the second video out today, and he too talks about Romney's record on bullying issues, as well as the state's record on HIV/AIDS funding during his time as governor.
The campaign launched this past week and previously featured a video by the lead plaintiff in the Massachusetts case that led to marriage equality in the state, Julie Goodridge.
David Brock, the founder and chairman of American Bridge, told BuzzFeed of the campaign and new videos, "In less than a week we've seen thousands of people view our videos, sign up to join our rapid response team and spread the word that under Mitt Romney, things would get worse. Much worse. American Bridge, Courage Campaign, and our grassroots supporters are just getting started. Over the coming weeks and months we'll continue to hold Romney accountable on issues important to the LGBT community and our allies."
Provided exclusively to BuzzFeed before their launch, here are today's videos from O'Donnell and Rapp:
Chris Geidner is a Supreme Court correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Chris Geidner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.