Roofies, Assaults, and Resignations (Oh My!)

Democratic politicians have experience waging war on women

September 4, 2012

Democratic politicians have plenty of experience waging a war on women, a WFB news analysis reveals.

Most recently came the news that Donny Ray Williams Jr.—a congressional Democratic aide who worked on several Senate subcommittees and for a coterie of Democrats including Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), Sen. Herb Kohl (Wisc.), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.)—had been charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a host of women:

Donny Ray Williams Jr., 36, who served as staff director for a Senate subcommittee and worked in the offices of several members of Congress, gave at least one woman Ambien and assaulted her while she was unconscious, according to court papers.

Williams was charged with 10 counts of first- and second-degree sexual abuse and related charges in connection with attacks that authorities said occurred between July and December 2010. During that time, according to his profile on the LinkedIn Web site, Williams was staff director of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the leaders of the New York delegation to the DNC, is under fire for his handling of a pair of sexual harassment lawsuits, according to the New York Daily News. It was recently revealed that Silver signed off on a sexual harassment settlement that resulted in a pair of women collecting six figure, taxpayer-funded paychecks to avoid an embarrassing and potentially expensive lawsuit against fellow Democrat Vito Lopez:

Despite having been forced to address the Lopez scandal for much of the day, Silver managed to have a little fun bowling at an event for the New York delegation Monday night. He was even joking about rolling a strike. "What can I say?" he said, according to a tweet by an Albany Times-Union reporter. "If I’d had bowling shoes, I would have bowled two strikes."

Fun and games aside, Silver’s political judgement, and his tremendous power, is being questioned because it was with his blessing that Rita Pasarell, 30, and Leah Hebert, 29, both former high-ranking members of Lopez’s Assembly staff, were given $103,080 in taxpayer money in June to avoid further litigation. Lopez, 71, pitched in another $32,000 of his own money to keep quiet accusations against him. …

The fiasco has spawned dual investigations into the sexual harassment charges against Lopez, one by the Ethics Committee and another by the Staten Island district attorney, who has been appointed special prosecutor. Gov. Cuomo said he would reserve judgment on Silver’s role in the Lopez scandal until he reviews results from the two probes.

Some of the Democratic National Convention’s (DNC) brightest lights are well known for their mistreatment of women. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is chairing the DNC, engaged in a sordid affair with a reporter that ruined his marriage of 20 years and threw into question his judgment as an elected official:

Villaraigosa's admission cast a fresh shadow over his own personal conduct: He has two adult daughters born out of wedlock and his wife filed for divorce in 1994 over a separate affair for which he later publicly apologized. They eventually reconciled.

It may also have damaged his carefully crafted image as a family man, something he has reinforced over the years by appearing with his family in campaign literature and -- until this week -- on the city's website. And it is unclear how the political fallout will treat one of the region's most recognizable figures.

The revelation also raised ethical questions about Salinas' decision to become involved with a politician she was covering as a journalist. Several media analysts condemned the relationship as a conflict for her and the mayor and suggested that Salinas' bosses should have taken immediate action to remove her from handling any Villaraigosa coverage.

The sexual exploits and mistreatment of women by former President Bill Clinton, Wednesday night’s headline speaker, are the stuff of legend. A documentary released earlier this year detailed how Bubba’s years in office were just one long temptation to which he would eventually succumb:

Bill Clinton was besieged by 25 women a day who flocked to see him before he even got to the White House.

A TV biography of the former U.S. President claims that he was already a huge hit with the ladies during his initial bid for governorship in his home state of Arkansas in the 1970s.

Former senior aides said that women were 'literally mesmerised' and swarmed around him 'like flies to honey.’

Conspicuously absent from the North Carolina-based convention is John Edwards, the one-time Democratic senator from the Tar Heel State and contender for the Democratic slot in the 2008 presidential election. Edwards is perhaps best known now for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife and siring a child with his mistress. His campaign contributors would go on to pay for the mistress and the child’s care so as not to spoil Edwards’ shot at the White House.

The Democratic Party’s problem with women extends beyond individual miscreants: Senate Democrats, the Democratic White House, and key Democratic House leaders all pay their female staffers less on average than male staffers, WFB analyses have shown.

However, the Democrats are equal opportunity exploiters. Suzanne Barr, a senior Obama appointee to the Department of Homeland Security, resigned recently after being accused of a variety of sexual misdeeds:

Barr is accused of sexually inappropriate behavior toward employees. The complaints are related to a sexual discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a senior ICE agent in May. …

In one complaint, Barr is accused of telling a male subordinate he was "sexy" and asking a personal question about his anatomy during an office party. In a separate complaint, she is accused of offering to perform a sex act with a male subordinate during a business trip in Bogota, Colombia. She's also accused of calling a male subordinate from her hotel room and offering to perform a sex act.