Republican PAC slams Dem House candidate on sexual harassment allegations

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC, released an ad Thursday against California Democratic House candidate Gil Cisneros citing sexual harassment allegations against him.

The 34-second ad details a claim made by Melissa Fazli, a Democratic state assembly candidate, that Cisneros invited himself to her hotel room and “demanded sex in exchange for supporting her campaign.” 

“It’s wrong. It’s disgusting. Gil Cisneros, have you no shame?” the ad said.

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Cisneros denied the claims in May shortly after they came out. He accused a primary opponent at the time of pushing the “falsehood.” 

“Every news publication that has researched this allegation has found that Ms. Fazli’s story does not add up, and subsequently chose not to write about it,” the campaign said in a statement at the time

A spokeswoman for the Cisneros campaign called the sexual harassment allegation "patently false" on Thursday.

“While Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRubio discovers Native American heritage through TV show Feminine hygiene products to be available to House lawmakers using congressional funds Former Ryan aide moves to K street MORE and Washington Republicans refuse to hold the Trump administration accountable, they have no problem using their special interest and dark money connections to politicize a patently false allegation,” said Daphne Sigala, a spokeswoman for the Cisneros campaign, in a statement to The Hill.

“This is politics at its worst and dangerously undermines the MeToo movement and the survivors who step forward with legitimate accusations," she added. "There are multiple eyewitnesses, including an Emmy award-winning Fox News television journalist, and photos of Cisneros’s whereabouts that contradict this allegation."

CLF is a Republican super PAC aimed at keeping the GOP majority in the House of Representatives.

Cisneros, a philanthropist and education advocate, is running in California’s 39th Congressional District to replace retiring Rep. Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceLawmakers propose banning shark fin trade Bottom Line Exiting lawmakers jockey for K Street perch MORE (R-Calif.). He will face off against Republican Young Kim in November. 

The race to replace Royce is tight, with The Cook Political Report rating it as a “toss up,” but Democrats are hopeful of their chances to flip the seat after Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears Exclusive: Biden almost certain to enter 2020 race MORE won the district by 8.6 points in 2016. 

It is unclear what impact the allegations will have on the race. Kim and Cisneros prevailed in California's "jungle" primary in June, finishing first and second, respectively.