Democrats Call for NJ Party Leader’s Ouster After ‘Turkey Tampon’ Video Surfaces
NEWTON — A YouTube video that uses a cooked turkey to demonstrate how to use a feminine hygiene product is coming back to haunt a rising star in the state's Democratic Party.
A petition seeking the removal of Katie Rotondi as the chairwoman of the Sussex County Democratic Committee cites her leadership style as well as an old comical video in which she and another woman insert tampons into the cavity of a cooked turkey. Rotondi is seen feeling the turkey while referring to her "vulva." In another clip, she squeezes cranberry sauce through her fingers while discussing her "uterine lining."
The 2015 video with less than 600 views is on the YouTube channel Women Study Women's Studies, which has a single subscriber.
Rotondi was elected as chairwoman in June to succeed Leslie Huhn after serving as the head of the Sussex County Young Democrats.
A petition signed by members of the county committee refers to Rotondi's “inappropriate and unprofessional behavior" and questions her integrity, decision-making and lack of respect for other members of the committee.
“She has prioritized her personal interests above the interests of the SCDC. She has publicly advertised her close working relationship with certain public officials in order to bolster her own authority," the petition says.
The petition also claims the party has "atrophied" under her leadership.
The executive committee threatens to quit if Rotondi remains as chairwoman.
A copy of the petition tweeted by Politico NJ's Matt Friedman mentions the video, which was discovered by "a Republican operative," as bringing "embarrassment and disgrace" to the committee.
Rotondi responded by saying that most of those who signed the petition have not been to a meeting in the past six months and called their allegations "false." She did not address the petition's concerns about the video.
"It’s unfortunate that they are exploiting the toxic environment that women face in politics by tying their petition to that serious issue, as every false claim only serves to undermine actual victims and survivors," Rotondi said in a written response to the petition.
Rotondi told the New Jersey Globe that she’s been an actress and comedy performer for about 10 years. According to her biography on IMDB, she appeared in three episodes of a TV show called "Terms of Service" and was a producer, writer or director of a number of projects.
The Sussex County Democratic Committee and Rotondi did not return requests for comments.