Melancon: ‘We Can Only Guess’ Vitter’s Reasons For Opposing Anti-Rape Amendment

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Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA), who is running for Senate in 2010 against Republican Sen. David Vitter, is now stepping up his attacks on Vitter — declaring that “we can only guess” why Vitter voted against a Senate amendment to crack down on rape.

In a new campaign e-mail, Melancon slams Vitter for voting against the Franken Amendment, which would cut off money for military contractors that force employees into arbitration, rather than a court of law, if they are raped:

If a company wants to receive taxpayer dollars, they should not be able to force victims to give up their constitutional rights as a condition of employment.

David Vitter has refused to explain why he voted to allow taxpayer-funded companies to sweep rape charges under the rug. We can only guess what his reasons were.

Tell David Vitter that sexual assault victims deserve their day in court.

(Emphasis in the original.)

Check out the full e-mail, after the jump.

Late Update: NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh sends us this comment: “If Charlie Melancon is truly ‘shocked’ that David Vitter would vote against this amendment, one can only imagine his thoughts on President Obama and Obama’s Department of Defense having the exact same position on this amendment as the Republicans – which they do. Considering Charlie Melancon’s strong endorsement of Obama in last year’s election, it’s fair to ask how Melancon squares this cheap partisan attack today with the Obama Administration’s own position on the Franken amendment? Is Charlie Melancon seriously suggesting that President Obama does not care about victims of sexual assault because that would be news indeed. We look forward to his response.”

Dear Friend,

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while serving in Iraq. When she reported the attack to her employers, she was locked in a metal shipping container and eventually told that a loophole in her employment contract meant that she could not have her day in court.

This month, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment to make sure what happened to Jamie never happens again. It said that no taxpayer money would go to companies that force victims of rape and sexual assault to sign away their due process rights.

I’m glad the Senate passed this amendment overwhelmingly and with bi-partisan support. But I am shocked that David Vitter voted against it.

Believe it or not, this common sense amendment might not be signed into law. Soon a conference committee will meet to decide which amendments make it in the final bill. I’ve written a letter to my colleagues insisting that this provision protecting victim’s rights makes it into the final bill.

There is no reason in the world why companies that take taxpayer’s money should be allowed to sweep rape allegations under the rug.

Click here to watch the video — and tell David Vitter that sexual assault victims deserve their day in court.

We cannot undo the tragic story of what happened to Jamie Leigh Jones, but we can go a long way to making sure it doesn’t happen again. If a company wants to receive taxpayer dollars, they should not be able to force victims to give up their constitutional rights as a condition of employment.

David Vitter has refused to explain why he voted to allow taxpayer-funded companies to sweep rape charges under the rug. We can only guess what his reasons were.

Tell David Vitter that sexual assault victims deserve their day in court.

Sincerely,

Charlie Melancon
Candidate for U.S. Senate

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