A website that was launched a week ago Thursday is highlighting the controversy in the race for the Las Vegas City Council seat for Ward 5. The site attacks the three different women who accused former Congressman Ruben Kihuen of sexual harassment, by outing them using their names and photographs.
The website that 8 News Now has decided not to name, even includes a link to the House Ethics Committee’s report.
That report found the allegations from his accusers to be credible and resulted in an admonishment, which is the lowest level of discipline available. However, the website also advances the theory that the women’s allegations were either unsupported or politically motivated.
The woman behind the “No Means No, Ruben” campaign which is actively working to keep Kihuen off the city council said the website was despicable.
“It’s absolutely disgusting and whoever did it needs to come out and say who they are and I think the man that is at the center of all this running for city council, Ruben, needs to not just say that he’s not a part of this but actually come out and say exactly how awful this is,” said
Maria-Teresa Lieberman, “No Means No, Ruben” campaign.
Kihuen said on Twitter on Wednesday that he wasn’t aware of the site, and that he doesn’t support it. He said he would also direct his attorneys to ask that the website is taken down.
8 News NOW searched an internet registration database Thursday, but the only thing found was that the website’s owners were anonymous.
Also, on Thursday in response to 8 News NOW’s requests, Kihuen released a statement denouncing the site, saying he was concerned about the privacy of his accusers. That statement reads:
“I am appalled and disgusted by this rogue website,” Kihuen said. “My campaign immediately issued a statement admonishing the authors when we found out about it and used the site’s feedback submission form to demand they take it down. From the beginning, I have always felt and expressed deep concern for the privacy of the women involved. We have asked the Nevada Secretary of State to investigate the matter, advising them that we are not affiliated or supportive of the website in any way.”
“I was one of those people that supported him for a long, long time; even admired him,” said Lieberman. “I thought that he was someone that represented me, represented my type of experience, our mothers are housekeepers; we both are from another country and had to struggle in this country and to see this other side of him come out did feel like a sense of betrayal, but what was worse was his reaction to it.”
Several high-profile female politicians have all come out against Kihuen, including senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, along with Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez Thompson and State Senators Pat Spearman and Yvanna Cancela.
The off-year municipal elections are usually low-turnout contests, which means even in a crowded race, anybody can win, or at least force a runoff. Early voting in municipal elections starts on Saturday and runs through March 29.