Clinton ally knocks Claire McCaskill over sexual assault bill

At a fundraiser for female senators and candidates on Friday, Susie Tompkins Buell paused to say a few words about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s military assault bill — and to break partisan ranks to criticize a top Democratic woman who didn’t support it: Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Buell, the California-based co-founder of Esprit and the North Face, is one of Hillary Clinton’s closest friends and one of the party’s top donors. Between campaigns for Clinton, John Kerry, and Al Gore — and organizations like Media Matters and Democracy Alliance — Buell has given millions to Democratic causes. She hosted 10 female senators and two candidates in San Francisco on Friday afternoon at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. …

“I also wanted to thank all of you senators that are present so very, very much for standing up with Kirsten Gillibrand’s military assault bill,” said Buell at the event, according to an attendee who provided a record of the remarks.

“And, I just want to go out on a limb here, because I’m 71 and I get to do that,” Buell went on. “Our friend Madeleine Albright once said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’ And I believe that.”