Political Parties Beware: Sexual Harassment Needs to Stop and Be Handled/Immediately

This is a cautionary tale for political parties and those involved in politics.  We know about the #metoo movement in Sacramento.  For years legislators had been protected from charges of sexual harassment—like Debahneh of the San Fernando Valley, finally thrown our of the Assembly, Hertzberg, “warned” about his actions, Brough and his situation causing all Republicans leaders in Orange County demanding his leave Sacramento.

Here we have a case where the head of the Democrat Party sexually harassment Democrat leaders, some from San Diego.  Why did it get this far?  Because the Democrat Party knew about Bauman and his activities and method of operation for years.  Instead of isolating him and taking away his positions—he was allowed to become Cahir of the California Democrat Party.

What surprises me, but I am not an attorney, is that the Party was not sued.  Maybe they were and had a private settlement, I do not know.  But they allowed this to happen, they knew about his proclivities and said and did nothing.  Maybe they argued that they did not know till after the fact.  OK, once they knew what did they do?  As I said this is a cautionary tale for political parties—and I should add businesses.  This is serious stuff.  It needs immediately action.  Those in positions of responsibility need to take note.

In other Bauman cases the Democrat Party paid a lot.  This is from Scott Lays “The Nooner” of 10/11/19:

CADEM SETTLEMENTS: For the LAT, Christine Mai-Duc reports that the California Democratic Party has spent more than $430,000 in attorneys’ fees and 378,348 in settlements to three former employees arising out of the harassment claims against the party and its former executive director, Eric Bauman.”

San Diego Democratic Party Chair Won $150,000 Settlement in Sex Suit, Paper Says

Posted by Ken Stone, Times of San Diego,  10/11/19 

The young chairman of San Diego County’s Democratic Party was paid at least $150,000 as part of a legal settlement in his lawsuit against former state party chair Eric Bauman, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, the chair, and two others sued Bauman in January over sexual misconduct and a month ago asked that the case be dismissed, the paper said.

The Times said Rodriguez-Kennedy — elected party chair weeks after the suit was filed — alleged that Bauman speculated out loud about his sex life during discussions about a job opening with the party.

“He and Wang also alleged unwanted touching by Bauman, including instances when the former chair massaged Rodriguez-Kennedy’s back and neck in front of others and placed his arm around Wang’s waist,” the paper said of the Los Angeles Superior Court suit.

Rodriguez-Kennedy, 31, also is president of the California Young Democrats and the former president of San Diego Democrats for Equality. He declined to comment on the settlement.

“I am not at liberty to discuss this matter,” he told Times of San Diego.

New state party chair Rusty Hicks was quoted as telling the Times: “Our party is at its best when it lives up to our values. One of those values is treating people fairly. We have reached an equitable settlement that begins the process of getting back to the work 9 million California Democrats expect from us.”

In January, Rodriguez-Kennedy was quoted as saying: “I do not know how I can champion these causes if I do not oppose sexual harassment directed at me and other young members in my own party.”

A Times review of state and federal campaign finance filings found that the state party has paid $378,348 in legal settlements to Alton Wang, Kate Earley and Rodriguez-Kennedy, whose suit alleged a culture of harassment and sexual misconduct that was “well-known and apparently tolerated” by top officials.

Bauman resigned as party chair in November in the wake of claims of misconduct toward staff members and activists, the Times noted.

The trio’s lawsuit was settled just days before “John Doe” settled a sex-molestation case against San Diego Unified school board member Kevin Beiser, also a Democrat.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.