Kirsten Gillibrand and Wendy Long are two highly accomplished professionals running to represent New York in the United States Senate–and they both just happen to be women who often disagree about the most appropriate ways to address the issues now facing the state and the nation at large. This is a sign of a healthy democracy, right?

Well, last night, the two participated in a debate at Skidmore College sponsored by Your News Now on New York 1. They discussed matters of import like the “contraception coverage” mandate and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s decision to use $100,000 in taxpayer dollars as hush money in the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal.

This is all serious, relevant stuff, but we’re more interested in something that all women like: The E.L. James spanking expose 50 Shades of Grey. Every living woman loves that book, right? Well we thought so, but when the debate moderator had the audacity to ask the candidates whether they’d read it during the “lightning round”, they just laughed and laughed!

Now we’re confused. What did Social Times say about Election 2012 turning into a big joke?

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