Pelosi adopts zero tolerance policy for House harassers
News that several women, including former Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Melanie Sloan, had stepped forward with allegations of sexual harassment and abusive behavior at the hands of Rep. John Conyers, the ranking member the House Judiciary Committee and founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, broke last week. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weak, equivocating response went over among Democrats — particularly women younger party menbers — like the Hindenburg.
It took Pelosi over a week to change course, and yesterday she called on Conyers to resign.
Late yesterday, another House Democrat was accused of serial sexual abuse:
A woman who worked as the finance director for a promising Nevada Democrat is alleging that he repeatedly harassed and made sexual advances toward her during his 2016 congressional campaign — and like many young people on campaigns all over the country, she did not know what to do with her complaint and didn’t feel comfortable bringing it to the campaign’s leadership.
So she quit her job. And he’s now in Congress.
Samantha, whose last name BuzzFeed News is withholding at her request, began working for Rep. Ruben Kihuen early in his campaign to unseat Republican Rep. Cresent Hardy in December 2015 and quit by April 2016. Starting in February of that year, Samantha, who was 25 at the time, said Kihuen, who was then 35 and still competing in the primary race, propositioned her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections. On two occasions, she says he touched her thighs without consent.
Pelosi reacted far more quickly than she did in Conyers’s case:
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) called for Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) to resign late Friday amid sexual harassment allegations.
Kihuen is the second House Democrat that Pelosi has called on to step down in as many days in the wake of such allegations, following Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.).
“Across the nation, in every industry, brave women are coming forward to share stories of harassment that must be heard,” Pelosi said in a statement after speaking with Kihuen on Friday night.
“In Congress, no one should face sexual harassment in order to work in an office or in a campaign. The young woman’s documented account is convincing, and I commend her for the courage it took to come forward,” she continued.
“In light of these upsetting allegations, Congressman Kihuen should resign.”
Pelosi should draw a line with a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to sexual harassment — but she should not stop there.
The entire House Democratic leadership should do what needs to be done to break through anti-Dem media bias and be forcefully outspoken about Republican GOP sex harassers. This is a winning position not only with women in general but most anyone with a conscience.
Start giving ’em hell, Nancy.