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social sciences

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Maloney, Sean Patrick (b. 1966)  
page: 1  2  

In 2006 Maloney ran for Attorney General of New York. Receiving about 10% of the vote, he finished third in the primary election, behind Mark Green and Andrew Cuomo, the latter of whom went on to win in the general election. The following year Maloney once again took up public service as First Deputy Secretary to New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, a post that he also held in the subsequent administration of David Paterson. In the Paterson administration, he worked to increase funding for education.

During Spitzer's term Maloney was questioned about a scandal dubbed "Troopergate" that allegedly involved the use of the state police to expose financial irregularities by a political opponent of the governor. In the course of the investigation Maloney was cleared of any participation in the matter, but the issue would resurface.

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Maloney left the Paterson administration in 2008 to resume the private practice of law.

He re-entered the political arena in 2012, when he declared his candidacy for the United State House of Representatives in the 18th Congressional District of New York. After a victory in the Democratic primary, when he won 48% of the vote against four other candidates, he faced incumbent Republican Nan Hayworth in the general election.

In the contest Maloney painted Hayworth as a Tea Party extremist intent on eliminating funding for Medicare and Planned Parenthood, while Hayworth branded Maloney as a "carpetbagger" from Manhattan. She noted that he had moved into the district only a year earlier (but omitted the fact that for 16 years previously Maloney and his family had split their time between an apartment in Manhattan and a country home in nearby Sullivan county).

Hayworth attempted to raise the Troopergate scandal against Maloney, who reiterated that he had done nothing to hinder the inquiry. Andrew Grossman of the Wall Street Journal reported that "[g]enerally, those involved in the investigation on both sides defend Mr. Maloney's conduct." In particular he noted a comment by Steve Cohen, who had been the chief of staff to then Attorney General Cuomo and who called the idea that Maloney had impeded the investigation "misinformed to the point of being laughable."

Maloney's homosexuality proved not to be a significant issue in the campaign. Although Hayworth had some Tea Party connections, she is the mother of an openly gay man, and she received endorsements from the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, as well as from American Unity PAC, the group founded by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer to support pro-equality Republicans.

Maloney was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, as well as the New York Times. He also received support from his former boss Bill Clinton and from Andrew Cuomo, by then the governor of the state, and a strong glbtq ally who had helped to bring marriage equality to New York.

Both candidates supported passage of the Employment Non-discrimination Act, but, in an interview with Julie Bolcer of The Advocate, Maloney cited a difference between them regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which he is committed to repealing.

"The bottom line is, on the most important issue of our time, marriage equality, [Hayworth] will not state a position on DOMA because she does not support marriage equality."

In 2012, when marriage equality for the first time was supported by a majority of American voters, Maloney attempted to make the race in part a referendum on the issue. For fear of losing the support of New York's Conservative Party, which endorses only candidates opposed to equal marriage rights, Hayworth refused to go any further than to state that she considered same-sex marriage a settled question in New York law. Maloney, however, pointed out that her campaign manager resigned his position as a marriage officiant because he refused to conduct same-sex marriages.

While Maloney stressed his commitment to achieving "full equality under federal law" for glbtq citizens, he also told Bolcer that he is not a single-issue politician. He said his first duty is to respond to the needs of his community. He said that "[t]he people in my district are a lot more concerned about why my opponent wants to end Medicare than who I love."

Maloney cited other issues on which he and Hayworth disagreed, including funding for Planned Parenthood--which he favors and she voted to end--and the budget plan proposed by Representative Paul Ryan, for which Hayworth voted but which Maloney decried.

Maloney won the race with 52% of the vote.

Following his victory, Maloney issued a statement saying "I'm headed to Congress fired up and ready to make this country a place where the words 'equality' and 'opportunity' carry serious weight."

Linda Rapp

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social sciences >> Cicilline, David

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social sciences >> Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

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Bolcer, Julie. "Gay Congressional Winner Makes History in New York." The Advocate (November 7, 2012):

Green, Penelope. "Habitats/East 28th Street; Of 11 Homes, 4 Businesses and 3 Adopted Children." New York Times (January 18, 2004): 11.3.

Grossman, Andrew. "Candidate's Résumé Gets New Scrutiny." Wall Street Journal (July 19, 2012): A19.

Hernandez, Raymond. "G.O.P. Congresswoman in Fight to Retain Hudson Valley Seat." New York Times (October 19, 2012): A24.

"Matthew Shepard's Parents Accuse ABC of 'Selective Editing." (November 27, 2004):

Miller, Jonathan. "New York, 18th House District." National Journal (November 7, 2012):

Sederholm, Jillian. "Sean Maloney Elected First Openly Gay NY Congressman; Sexuality Was a Non-issue." Newsday (New York) (November 7, 2012):

"Slain Gay Student Is Eulogized as a 'Gentle Spirit.'" Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) (October 17, 1998): 19.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Maloney, Sean Patrick  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2013  
    Date Last Updated January 15, 2013  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2013 glbtq, Inc.  


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