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Posts tagged ‘sexual harassment’

Gay Mayor Who Heavily Attacked Kavanaugh Now Desperate for Due Process


Reported By Ben Marquis | Published February 18, 2019 at 7:09pm

During the contentious confirmation hearings of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in October 2018, countless officials and pundits on the left played the role of judge, jury and executioner in regard to vague and uncorroborated allegations of sexual assault lodged against the nominee.

One of Kavanaugh’s many outspoken critics was the Democratic mayor/city council member of West Hollywood, John Duran, who was sharply critical of the judge’s behavior during the confirmation hearings and seemed to have uncritically accepted at face value the unconfirmed allegations of sexual misconduct that had been made public.

West Hollywood media outlet WEHOville reported in Oct. 2018 that Duran had joined with the rest of the city council to officially condemn Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court. Duran said, “Brett Kavanaugh’s display of rage and belligerence at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings proves that he does not have the temperament to be a judge — much less on the Supreme Court.”

“It is abhorrent to think we are placing our future, our equality, and our liberty in the hands of a drunken frat boy who sexually assaulted a teenage girl while his friend Mark Judge stood by and laughed. This is a sad moment in the history of our nation,” Mayor Duran added.

Fast-forward just four months and now the openly gay mayor of West Hollywood is singing an entirely different tune when it comes to the credibility of sexual misconduct allegations against individuals in positions of power, as he has come under fire in his own “#MeToo” scandal.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Duran stands accused of having sexually harassed at least three current or former members of the Gay Men’s Chorus in L.A. — of which Duran serves as chairman of the board — which consisted of his sticking his hand down their pants or making sexually suggestive comments.

The mayor also stands accused of using the gay dating app Grindr during public meetings, including in at least one instance of using the app’s messaging service to repeatedly make unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances toward an aide for a fellow council member.

On top of that, Duran has also been linked to the scandalous deaths of two gay black men at the home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck. Duran, who is also an attorney, used to represent Buck.

Despite calls for him to resign from several of his fellow council members, the unashamedly homosexual mayor stands defiant, and told the Times that it was all just a “culture clash,” and that, “If somebody expresses himself or herself sexually, that doesn’t make it harassment, per se.”

As to the use of Grindr to pursue sexual acts with the council member’s aide, that aide’s boyfriend — city events service coordinator Mike Gerle — filed a formal complaint against the mayor. Gerle said, “It’s about consent. … He has this sense of entitlement that because we’re gay, ‘I can do whatever I want with you because that’s our culture.’ He’s decided that’s our culture. He doesn’t understand that every gay man gets to decide what interactions he has. You don’t get a pass.”

For his part, Duran hypocritically sought to demand the due process he had denied Kavanaugh and defend himself from the accusations lodged against him in a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, a post that concluded with a vehement “HELL NO” in response to the demands that he resign.

Duran wrote, “SEXUAL HARASSMENT is a serious issue. Accusations must be taken seriously and addressed. This has been extremely painful for women for decades and decades. But once the allegations are made and received, there MUST be an investigation before conclusions are reached.”

“This is DUE PROCESS of law in the courts. And I know those rules do not apply in the court of public opinion,” he continued. “It’s much easier in this social media world for people to read something, ‘like’ it, retweet it and then move on.”

“But none of us (including me) wants to ever be accused falsely and have people jump to opinion and conclusion without any process in between. That is contempt prior to investigation,” he added, apparently oblivious to how differently he treated Kavanaugh versus how he demands to be treated.

After playing up all of the work he had done over the years on behalf of the gay community, Duran noted, “Now, I understand that the ground has shifted in a tectonic way with the ‘Me Too’ movement. I get that. But the pendulum swings too far when accusation is treated as truth, and mobs swirl around rumor and conclusions are drawn based on someone’s race, gender or sexual orientation and accusation alone. That leads to injustice.”

Too bad Duran didn’t apply that same standard to Kavanaugh just four months ago, while he hypocritically now demands it be applied to himself.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments. He has covered current events and politics for Conservative Tribune since 2014.

Trump Paid Stormy Himself. Congress Paid Its Victims $17 Million out of Treasury. Who’re the Real Criminals?



Reported By Cillian Zeal | December 10, 2018 at 12:16pm

The one person who seemed to sum up the Democrats’ reaction to Michael Cohen’s guilty plea — and subsequent allegations against President Donald Trump — was Rep. Jerry Nadler. There’s long been speculation that the New York Democrat is considering impeachment hearings against Trump and anyone around him regardless of what the evidence might entail. A report from the day after the midterms had the powerful ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee ranting on a train about impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also talked about going “all in” on Russia.

Well, Russia might not work out, but how about Cohen? On TV this weekend, Nadler talked in grave terms about Cohen’s claim that Trump directed him to pay Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement and paid him back. This would, according to Nadler, be a sufficient reason to remove Trump from office.

“They would be impeachable offenses. Whether they’re important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question,” Nadler said in an appearance on CNN.

“Certainly, they’re impeachable offenses, because, even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.”

This is hardly a surprise; from Day One, Nadler has called Trump “not legitimate” as a president. But the media is lapping it up. They seem to forget two things.

One, campaign finance issues — and it’s questionable as to whether this falls under the aegis of campaign finance — are generally settled without impeachment proceedings, mostly because they aren’t important enough to justify an impeachment.

The second is, well, how does Congress have any room to talk?

Yes, $17 million of taxpayer money has been spent on settling, among other things, sexual harassment claims in Congress, and we pretty much don’t know anything about the cases. As CNN noted, the names of those involved are withheld not only from the public but also from party leadership.

“A source in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office told CNN that Ryan is not made aware of the details of harassment settlements. That source also said that the top Democrat and Republican on the House administration committee review proposed settlements and both must approve the payments,” the network  reported in November 2017.

“Similarly, a source in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office told CNN that Pelosi also is not made aware of those details, and that they are confined to the parties of the settlement and the leaders of the administration committee.”

This is essentially the cozy system that the establishment has set up so that it doesn’t have to face repercussions from sexual harassment lawsuits, discrimination suits and the like. There are also other rebarbative elements of how the system is set up, too long to detail here but enraging in their own right.

But this is perfectly legal.

Trump, meanwhile, paid a much smaller sum to women who allege he had consensual sex with him in order to obtain an NDA. Because of the methodology of obtaining it and the question of whether or not it should have been included in campaign finance reports, we’re now talking impeachment. Apparently, Nadler isn’t going all-in on Russia, he’s going all-in on Stormy. I guess it’s easier.

So, yes, Nadler can continue to claim that “the president was at the center of a massive fraud — several massive frauds against the American people.” That doesn’t actually mean anything. If we scrutinized the campaign ledgers of everyone in high office for any sort of problem, we’d probably have to extirpate at least half of them from their position.

Now, here’s the thing: I haven’t seen the Mueller report. Neither has Nadler. For all I know, Trump is implicated in a panoply of heinous crimes and his ties with Russia were way more extensive than we thought. Or it could be a very big nothingburger, albeit a nothingburger dressed up like a very appetizing somethingburger and advertised incessantly in the media like it was the Arch Deluxe circa 1992.

I still have my money on the latter, and I think Nadler does too. He heavily qualified whether the alleged campaign finance violations rose to the level of impeachability.

“You don’t necessarily launch an impeachment against the president because he committed an impeachable offense,” he said. “There are several things you have to look at.”

“One, were impeachable offenses committed, how many, et cetera. Secondly, how important were they? Do they rise to the gravity where you should undertake an impeachment? An impeachment is an attempt to effect or overturn the result of the last election and should do it only for very serious situations. That’s the question.”

My guess is that Nadler finds they were very important, committed with great frequency and rise to the gravity where one should undertake an impeachment — an impeachment which would overturn the result of the last election, which elected a president Nadler has already declared as “not legitimate.”

The rest of us might look at the report and realize this has nothing on what Congress has been doing for years. Whether that makes it right is an entirely different question, but the contrast will still make a huge difference in terms of how Americans view any attempts at impeachment.

After all, Trump used his own money to pay for an NDA through a liaison, which would generally garner a minor fine at most if you even concede it was a campaign-related expense. Congress used $17 million of your money to pay for its mistakes, some of which involved sexual harassment. They took every possible step to make sure you didn’t know about it. And they made it all perfectly legal.

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Writing under a pseudonym, Cillian Zeal is a conservative writer who is currently living abroad in a country that doesn’t value free speech. Exercising it there under his given name could put him in danger.

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