Genocide Denier Faces Opposition From Nation’s Largest Women’s Political Organization

LOS ANGELES– Genocide denier Congressman Steve Cohen of Tennessee faces a new hurdle in his desperate effort to be re-elected to the U.S. Congress. Earlier this month, EMILY’s List endorsed Cohen’s challenger Nikki Tinker, who will face him in an August 7, 2008 Democratic Primary.

Cohen, a proud member of the Congressional Turkish Caucus, is an active denier of the Armenian Genocide and opponent of H.Res. 106. Cohen narrowly defeated Tinker by 6% in a Democratic Primary race in the summer of 2006.

With more than 100,000 members across the country, EMILY’s List is one of the largest political action committees in the nation. Since its founding in 1985, EMILY’s List has raised over $240 million to elect 70 pro-choice Democratic women to the U.S. House, 13 to the U.S. Senate and eight governors. Most recently, Armenian American Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) became the 70th female Member of Congress to secure strong support from EMILY’s List.

If successful in challenging Cohen this August, Nikki Tinker would be the first African American woman elected to Congress from Tennessee and the youngest African American woman currently serving in the House. The Ninth Congressional District Tinker seeks to represent in Congress is over 60 percent African American. According to a June 5, 2008 article in the Washington Post, Cohen is the only white member of Congress to represent a majority-African American district.

"We are pleased that EMILY’s list has joined the growing list of responsible individuals and organizations seeking the defeat Armenian Genocide denier Steve Cohen," remarked the Congressman’s constituent, Dany Beylerian of Memphis, Tennessee. "I look forward to August 8th, the day when Nikki Tinker will be the Democratic Party’s nominee to represent the people of Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District. Change is coming to Washington, DC this year and positive change means kicking genocide deniers like Cohen off of Capitol Hill," he added.

In response to the EMILY’s List endorsement of Nikki Tinker, Cohen’s campaign responded by insulting the organization and its supporters. "Steve Cohen doesn’t have the proper plumbing for EMILY’s List. His record as a state senator and congressman doesn’t mean anything to EMILY’s List because he’s not the right gender," said Cohen campaign manager Jerry Austin.

On October 17, 2007, just seven days after the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res. 106), Cohen joined Congressman John P. Murtha, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense at a press conference to urge the House Leadership to not bring the Armenian Genocide Resolution to the House Floor for a vote. Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL), chairman of the Congressional Turkish Caucus, also participated in this genocide denial press conference. In an October 18, 2007 article by New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, Cohen was quoted explaining his opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution: "I’ve got the compassion for the people, the Armenia’s that are fighting for their ancestors," said Cohen. "But these are real-life situations, and sometimes your heart has to give in to your head and do what makes sense for your country."

The ANC-PAC is a non-partisan federally registered political action committee established to support campaign committees for Members of Congress who share the values of the Armenian American community. The ANC-PAC is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the voice of the Armenian American community is clearly heard in our nation’s capital. The ANC-PAC continues a century old tradition of Armenian Americans engagement on the public policy issues facing national political leaders, both in the U.S. Congress and the White House. For more information please visit www.ancpac.org

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