‘Sexism & half-truths’: Katz returns fire at Cabán for campaign ad as Queens DA race intensifies

Photos: Mark Hallum/QNS

For the second time this week, Borough President Melinda Katz is claiming that one of her Democratic rivals in the Queens district attorney race has launched sexist ads against her — but the allegation this time is against one of her three female opponents.

On Friday, Katz decried a two-minute online ad from public defender Tiffany Cabán published that day. Cabán singles out Katz as a remnant of the Queens Democratic Party machine despite there being five other hopefuls in the June 25 primary, saying that Katz accepts campaign funds from the real estate industry.

“But the corrupt Queens political machine doesn’t want me to win because they get rich off of foreclosures, they’ve taken millions from developers and I can’t be bought and controlled. That’s why they’re going all in to elect Melinda Katz,” Cabán says in the ad. “Here’s the simple choice: Your next DA could be a career politician, a career prosecutor or a career public defender. Who would you trust?”

But Katz countered out with a Twitter thread that began with the claim that sexism had played a role in Cabán’s campaign ad.

“Let me be clear. For someone who is supposedly running a “different kind of campaign,” this ad was full of the same sexism & half-truths that the worst kind of campaigns use,” Katz said. “The truth: I first ran on a 3rd party line to challenge the men in power & have spent years supporting women doing the same. I have always been my own woman & always will be, despite the sexist refrain the Cabán campaign is pushing.”

Continuing on in the thread, Katz went on to point out that Cabán has the highest number of small donors and out-of-state contributors, including many from her own staff. Katz also pointed out that the Queens County Bar Association had declared Cabán “not approved” for the race, the only one of the seven in the Democratic field to receive that ranking.

“Tiffany Caban seems to have taken to desperate, dishonest campaigning pretty quickly,” Grant Fox, a spokesman for Katz said. “She’s completely unqualified according to the non-partisan Queens Bar Association, she was caught lying on her campaign finance forms while being funded by billionaires, and now she’s smearing other women to advance her own career. Melinda has been endorsed by the UFT, the National Organization for Women, criminal justice advocates at all levels of government, and Planned Parenthood because she has the experience and a real reform agenda that can fix our broken criminal justice system while keeping Queens safe. The contrast couldn’t be clearer.”

The race has grown increasingly hostile between the candidates with Katz accusing retired Judge Gregory Lasak of sexism as well for mailers sent out that claimed Katz as unqualified.

That same day, at a Sunnyside candidates forum, Mina Malik took Lasak to task for his reputation as a prosecutor with the nickname Mr. Murder.

The Queens DA race also features Councilman Rory Lancman, Jose Nieves and Betty Lugo. The Democratic primary is June 25.

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