Kevin Parker is a Democratic New York State Senator under fire for telling a woman “kill yourself” in response to a parking dispute.
Candace Giove, the deputy communications director for the New York State Senate Majority, retweeted a post about an “arrogant” New York State Senator who had blocked off an entire bike lane in Manhattan.
She wrote that the parking placard was assigned to Parker.
“However, the license place # on the placard does not match the vehicle,” she wrote. “So he either used it in another car or gave it to someone to use, both of which are not permitted.”
“Kill yourself!” Parker tweeted in response.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Kevin Parker Told GOP Official To Kill Herself Over a Parking Dispute
The dispute began when a Twitter user complained that a car with a parking placard assigned to the New York State Senate was blocking “the whole of the 2nd ave bike lane btw 43rd and 44th.”
“I got to the bottom of this,” Giove, a former New York Post reporter and Independent Democratic Committee communications director, wrote in response. “The placard is assigned to @SenatorParker. However, the license plate # on the placard does not match the vehicle. So he either used it in another car or gave it to someone to use, both of which are not permitted.”
“Kill yourself!” Parker wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.
“Did a Senator just write this to me?” Giove asked.
2. Kevin Parker Later Apologized to Candace Giove, Then Attacked Her Again
Parker later apologized to Giove for urging her to kill herself.
“I sincerely apologize. I used a poor choice of words. Suicide is a serious thing and and [sic] should not be made light of,” he wrote.
Less than an hour later, Parker was back to attacking Giove.
“@Candicegiove is on the wrong side of history for every important issue facing New York State!” he declared.
3. Parker Says His Constituents ‘Don’t Care’
Parker later told The Times-Union that Giove is a “Twitter troll” and that his constituents “don’t care” about the parking dispute.
“This is a tempest in a teapot,” Parker said. “The fact is, the person we’re talking about here is a ‘Twitter troll’ who represents a conference that on every issue has been on the wrong side of history – a women’s right to choose, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, voting rights.”
“I’m sure people in my district don’t care,” he continued. “Come on, people don’t care about that. What Republican legislation has there been for suicide prevention? When [Giove] was with the IDC, where was the anti-suicide legislation she was putting forth?”
“Candice is the one coming after me,” he added. “Where’s Candice record been on suicide?”
Asked if he still stands by his apology, Parker said “absolutely.”
“I am standing by it, absolutely. I should not have said it,” Parker said. “But as communications director for the IDC, she was on the wrong side of history on every issue, pitting people against each other.”
4. Parker Was Previously Accused of Having ‘Toxic’ Anger
The New York Times editorial board called out Parker in a 2010 editorial called “A Toxic Anger.”
“When he arrived in Albany almost eight years ago, State Senator Kevin Parker was known as the intelligent and charming Brooklyn Democrat with a bright future,” The Times editorial board wrote. “Now he is known as the man with frightening rages that could erupt at any time and on almost any subject.”
The editorial went on to note that he was charged with punching a traffic enforcement officer, was accused of menacing his staff and fellow senators, and was charged with assaulting a New York Post photographer.
The Times editorial board at the time called for Parker to be censured and for Democrats to recruit a “qualified replacement.”
5. An Aide Accused Parker of Shoving Her, Knocking Her Glasses Off & Stepping On Them
In 2008, Parker was accused of assaulting a 32-year-old female aide named Lucretia John.
John said that Parker pushed her during an argument at his campaign headquarters, knocked her $300 glasses off her face and onto the floor, and then stepped on them.
Parker responded by filing a counter complaint claiming John was the one who assaulted him.
Parker was also accused of threatening the former aide after she went public with the allegations. The Senate investigated the charge but no action was taken.
“I have seen incidents with him where he got angry with me,” City Councilman Kendall Stewart said at the time. “I have seen him lose control with other candidates. I’m embarrassed that he’s our senator.”
“The public doesn’t seem to understand that this guy has a serious problem. He has to learn to govern himself before he can govern anyone else,” he added.