Democracy Alliance Says Sexual Misconduct May Exist ‘Throughout Progressive Community’

Dem donor group makes conference-goers pledge not to trade rewards for sexual favors, internal document reveals

George Soros, co-founder of Democracy Alliance

George Soros, co-founder of Democracy Alliance / Getty Images

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The shadowy liberal Democracy Alliance donors club created new guidelines on sexual behavior for participants of its posh California conference last week, including that no "promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors" will be permitted, according to a document obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

On the first day of the Democracy Alliance's fall investment conference, held last week at the La Costa Resort and attended by both high-profile Democratic politicians and big money donors, the group's board of directors resolved that it would set new standards for sexual behavior given the rash of recent stories of abuse by people "in a position of authority or power over another."

"The Board recognized that incidents of inappropriate behavior may exist throughout the progressive community, including at the Democracy Alliance," the resolution states.

The board of directors created a "statement of core values," which can be read below along with the resolution, and asked management to spend the next month exploring additional ways to reduce the chance of inappropriate sexual behavior at Democracy Alliance events.

The core values were stated in a "program participant agreement" that threatens attendees with removal if they fail to "uphold these high standards of integrity and professionalism."

First on the list of the "high standards of integrity and professionalism" is a rule forbidding "unwanted sexual advances," "bullying of a sexual nature," and subjecting others to "the explicit or implicit promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors."

Democracy Alliance ‘Program Participant Agreement' on sexual assault by Washington Free Beacon on Scribd

Also prohibited is "behavior that is verbally or physically unwelcome" and refraining from bullying, ridicule, and any personal attacks during disagreements.

Attendees are also alerted to "not mistreat others for any reason, including race, color, creed, sex, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation or gender identity, military service, personal appearance, or family responsibility."

Attendees were told to report any rule violations to the Democracy Alliance's executive vice president Kim Anderson or its general counsel Deborah Ashford.

A representative for the Democracy Alliance did not respond to an inquiry into whether there was an incident that sparked the decision to outline new guidelines or whether any inappropriate behavior was reported after the new guidelines were laid out.

The board's resolution indicates that the decision to write new behavior standards was due to the recent string of sexual assault accusations that have been reported in the media, such as the many against Harvey Weinstein, a major Democratic donor.

"Recent events reported in the media have caused businesses and organizations to focus renewed attention on issues of sexual and other forms of harassment, particularly but not limited to circumstances where one person is in a position of authority or power over another."

The board added that the Democracy Alliance "must examine and refine its own policies, processes, programs, and culture," as well as "undergo continuous self-reflection and improvement."

"As a community of progressive leaders, we accept our responsibility to create a culture and environment that is consistent with these values," it wrote in the statement of core values.

The activities and attendees of Democracy Alliance conferences remain shrouded in secrecy. The group stepped up security at the resort after the Washington Free Beacon published the schedule for the conference and a list of many of its attendees.

Brent Scher   Email Brent | Full Bio | RSS
Brent Scher is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics.

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