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Queens Chronicle

Queenswide: Meng knew of firm's ties to adult services ads

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Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012 5:33 pm | Updated: 2:17 pm, Thu May 3, 2012.

When she called on Congress to pass an extension of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday, Ann Jawin of the Center for the Women of New York singled one “one English newspaper” for running ads that promote adult services.

“Those ads say ‘Lovely Latinas’ and ‘Hot Asian Girls,’” Jawin said. “But they promote prostitution. And when you have more customers, you need to get more girls.”

Speaking just prior to Jawin on the steps of Borough Hall was Assemblywoman and Democratic Congressional candidate Grace Meng (D-Flushing), who recently was honored by the center along with Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), one of Meng’s opponents in the June 26 Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District.

Meng on Thursday criticized Congressional Republicans as she too called for passage of the VAWA extension, which provides  funding for services to women who are victims of crimes ranging from domestic abuse to sex trafficking.

But Meng’s campaign also has hired Multi-Media, which has some of the same  management as the Queens Tribune, the paper that runs the advertisements Jawin attacked as promoting adult services.

Multi-Media also operates from the same address.

Meng said she was aware of the ads when her campaign hired Multi-Media, which is run by Michael Nussbaum, who also serves as executive vice president and associate publisher of the Tribune.

“Multi-Media has not been paid by my campaign for consulting,” Meng said. “They do our printing. I’ve spoken to Michael about the ads, and I will be glad to talk to him again.”

Meng also pointed out that her first position in public service was as a volunteer for an organization that provides services to women suffering from domestic abuse, particularly those who did not speak English.

The Borough Hall press conference, which included a number of other women’s advocates, came one day after the City Council held hearings on such ads on Backpage.com, an online publication affilliated with Village Voice Media. The Tribune was not included in the hearings.

Congress passed the VAWA extension after Republican-sponsored amendments that bill supporters say would have weakened the law, were defeated.

Jawin, for her part, said she did not know if Meng knew about the ads before hiring Multi-Media.

“I honored both Grace and Elizabeth Crowley before they were even running,” Jawin said. “They have an excellent track records as advocates for women’s issues.

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