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Category Archives: Stupid Democrat Tricks

John Conyers and How Congress Covers Up Sexual Exploitation

If you saw my conversation with my board curmudgeon,  you would have seen I worked in the Halls of Congress for some years as part of my work for a computer manufacturer in my early career. So I am aware of the extent to which Congress excludes themselves from compliance with certain laws (like EEO) and covers up malfeasance.

If they are digging up Conyer’s dirt…

There is going to be hell on the Hill shortly – Because beside some of these guys, Conyers is a relative saint.

And Conyers ain’t no saint.

She Said A Powerful Congressman Harassed Her. Here’s Why You Didn’t Hear Her Story.

“When you make private settlements, it doesn’t warn the next woman or the next person going into that situation.”

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat and the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former employee who alleged she was fired because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”

Documents from the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News include four signed affidavits, three of which are notarized, from former staff members who allege that Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly made sexual advances to female staff that included requests for sex acts, contacting and transporting other women with whom they believed Conyers was having affairs, caressing their hands sexually, and rubbing their legs and backs in public. Four people involved with the case verified the documents are authentic.

Conyers confirmed he made the settlement in a statement Tuesday afternoon, hours after this story was published, but said that he “vehemently denied” the claims of sexual harassment at the time and continues to do so.

And the documents also reveal the secret mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret: a grinding, closely held process that left the alleged victim feeling, she told BuzzFeed News, that she had no option other than to stay quiet and accept a settlement offered to her.

“I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go,” she said in a phone interview. BuzzFeed News is withholding the woman’s name at her request because she said she fears retribution.

Last week the Washington Post reported that Congress’s Office of Compliance paid out $17 million for 264 settlements with federal employees over 20 years for various violations, including sexual harassment. The Conyers documents, however, give a glimpse into the inner workings of the office, which has for decades concealed episodes of sexual abuse by powerful political figures.

The woman who settled with Conyers launched the complaint with the Office of Compliance in 2014, alleging she was fired for refusing his sexual advances, and ended up facing a daunting process that ended with a confidentiality agreement in exchange for a settlement of more than $27,000. Her settlement, however, came from Conyers’ office budget rather than the designated fund for settlements.

Congress has no human resources department. Instead, congressional employees have 180 days to report a sexual harassment incident to the Office of Compliance, which then leads to a lengthy process that involves counseling and mediation, and requires the signing of a confidentiality agreement before a complaint can go forward.

After this an employee can choose to take the matter to federal district court, but another avenue is available: an administrative hearing, after which a negotiation and settlement may follow.

Some members of Congress have raised major concerns with the current system over the years, but the calls for an overhaul have grown louder in the post-Weinstein era. Members have argued that 90 days is too long to make a person continue working in the same environment with their harasser; that interns and fellows should be eligible to pursue complaints through this process; and that it is unfair for a victim to have to pay for legal representation while the office of the harasser is represented for free by the House’s counsel.

In this case, one of Conyers’ former employees was offered a settlement, in exchange for her silence, that would be paid out of Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget. His office would “rehire” the woman as a “temporary employee” despite her being directed not to come into the office or do any actual work, according to the document. The complainant would receive a total payment of $27,111.75 over the three months, after which point she would be removed from the payroll, according to the document.

The draft agreement viewed by BuzzFeed News was unsigned, but congressional employment records match the timing and amounts outlined in the document. The woman left the office and never went public with her story.

The process was “disgusting,” said Matthew Peterson, who worked as a law clerk representing the complainant, and who listed as a signatory to some of the documents.

“It is a designed cover-up,” said Peterson, who declined to discuss details of the case but agreed to characterize it in general terms. “You feel like they were betrayed by their government just for coming forward. It’s like being abused twice.”

Other lawyers named as representing the accuser could not be reached for comment. The Office of Compliance did not confirm or deny that it had dealt with the case.

“Pursuant to the Congressional Accountability Act, the OOC cannot comment on whether matters have or have not been filed with the office,” Laura Cech, publications and outreach manager of the Office of Compliance, told BuzzFeed News in an email when asked to comment on this case.

Two staffers alleged in their signed affidavits that Conyers used congressional resources to fly in women they believed he was having affairs with. Another said she was tasked with driving women to and from Conyers’ apartment and hotel rooms.

Rep. Conyers did not admit fault as part of the settlement. His office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday, but released a public statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

The documents were first provided to BuzzFeed News by Mike Cernovich, the men’s rights figure turned pro-Trump media activist who propagated a number of false conspiracy theories including the “Pizzagate” conspiracy. Cernovich said he gave the documents to BuzzFeed News for vetting and further reporting, and because he said if he published them himself, Democrats and congressional leaders would “try to discredit the story by attacking the messenger.” He provided them without conditions. BuzzFeed News independently confirmed the authenticity of the documents with four people directly involved with the case, including the accuser.

In her complaint, the former employee said Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and often asked her to join him in a hotel room. On one occasion, she alleges that Conyers asked her to work out of his room for the evening, but when she arrived the congressman started talking about his sexual desires. She alleged he then told her she needed to “touch it,” in reference to his penis, or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.

She alleged Conyers made her work nights, evenings, and holidays to keep him company.

In another incident, the former employee alleged the congressman insisted she stay in his room while they traveled together for a fundraising event. When she told him that she would not stay with him, she alleged he told her to “just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go.”

“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee said in the documents.

Three other staff members provided affidavits submitted to the Office Of Compliance that outlined a pattern of behavior from Conyers that included touching the woman in a sexual manner and growing angry when she brought her husband around.

One affidavit from a former female employee states that she was tasked with flying in women for the congressman. “One of my duties while working for Rep. Conyers was to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources,” said her affidavit. (A second staffer alleged in an interview that Conyers used taxpayer resources to fly women to him.)

The employee said in her affidavit that Conyers also made sexual advances toward her: “I was driving the Congressman in my personal car and was resting my hand on the stick shift. Rep. Conyers reached over and began to caress my hand in a sexual manner.”

The woman said she told Conyers she was married and not interested in pursuing a sexual relationship, according to the affidavit. She said she was told many times by constituents that it was well-known that Conyers had sexual relationships with his staff, and said she and other female staffers felt this undermined their credibility.

“I am personally aware of several women who have experienced the same or similar sexual advances made towards them by Rep[.] John Conyers,” she said in her affidavit.

A male employee wrote that he witnessed Rep. Conyers rub the legs and other body parts of the complainant “in what appeared to be a sexual manner” and saw the congressman rub and touch other women “in an inappropriate manner.” The employee said he confronted Conyers about this behavior.

“Rep. Conyers said he needed to be ‘more careful’ because bad publicity would not be helpful as he runs for re-election. He ended the conversation with me by saying he would ‘work on’ his behavior,” the male staffer said in his affidavit.

The male employee said that in 2011 Conyers complained a female staffer was “too old” and said he wanted to let her go. The employee said he set up a meeting in December 2011 to discuss “mistreatment of staff and his misuse of federal resources.” The affidavit says that Conyers “agreed that he would work on making improvements as long as I worked directly with him and stopped writing memos and emails about concerns.”

Another female employee also attested that she witnessed Conyer’s advances, and said she was asked to transport women to him. “I was asked on multiple occasions to pick up women and bring them to Mr. Conyers[‘] apartment, hotel rooms, etc.”

BuzzFeed News reached out to several former Conyers staffers, all of whom did not want to speak on the record. One former staffer, who did not want to be named, said she was frustrated by the secretive complaint process.

“I don’t think any allegations should be buried…and that’s for anyone, not just for this particular office, because it doesn’t really allow other people to see who these individuals are,” said the former staffer. “When you make private settlements, it doesn’t warn the next woman or the next person going into that situation.”

Another staffer said Conyers’ reputation made people fearful to speak out against him. Aside from being the longest-serving House member and the ranking member of a powerful committee, Conyers is a civil rights icon. He was lauded by Martin Luther King Jr. and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Your story won’t do shit to him,” said the staffer. “He’s untouchable.”

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was not aware of the settlement.

“The current process includes the signing of non-disclosure agreements by the parties involved. Congresswoman Jackie Speier has introduced legislation that will provide much-needed transparency on these agreements and make other critical reforms,” Pelosi said in the statement. “I strongly support her efforts.”…

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Clinton Goes There – Questions About Trump’s Legitimacy

Yook long enough. Many of us see the Chumph’s election as illegitimate, not just because of voter suppression and Russian meddling.

About time someone comes out and says it.

It is also true the election never should have been that close. And that failure sits squarely on Hillary and her campaign staff’s lap.

Hillary Clinton on Trump’s Election: “There Are Lots of Questions About Its Legitimacy”

In an exclusive interview with Mother Jones, Clinton says Russian interference and GOP voter suppression efforts may have cost her the presidency.

A year after her defeat by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton says “there are lots of questions about its legitimacy” due to Russian interference and widespread voter suppression efforts.

In an interview with Mother Jones in downtown Manhattan, Clinton said Russian meddling in the election “was one of the major contributors to the outcome.” The Russians used “weaponized false information,” she said, in “a very successful disinformation campaign” that “wasn’t just influencing voters—it was determining the outcome.”

Republican efforts to make it harder to vote—through measures such as voter ID laws, shortened early voting periods, and new obstacles to registration—likewise “contributed to the outcome,” Clinton said. These moves received far less attention than Russian interference but arguably had a more demonstrable impact on the election result. According to an MIT study, more than 1 million people did not vote in 2016 because they encountered problems registering or at the polls. Clinton lost the election by a total of 78,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

“In a couple of places, most notably Wisconsin, I think it had a dramatic impact on the outcome,” Clinton said of voter suppression.

Wisconsin’s new voter ID law required a Wisconsin driver’s license or one of several other types of ID to cast a ballot. It blocked or deterred up to 23,000 people from voting in reliably Democratic Milwaukee and Madison, and potentially 45,000 people statewide, according to a University of Wisconsin study. Clinton lost the state by fewer than 23,000 votes. African Americans, who overwhelmingly supported Clinton, were more than three times as likely as whites not to vote because of the law.

“It seems likely that it cost me the election [in Wisconsin] because of the tens of thousands of people who were turned away and the margin being so small,” Clinton said.

 

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Secret Sauce In Va Election? Black Anti-Trump Voters

While white non-Hispanics make up 68% of Virginia’s population, black folks make up 20%.

Turnout for the 2016 race was low for black voters, With Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate supporting Trump and being against the removal of confederate statues and memorabilia, and the recent events in Charlottesville – it is looking like black turnout this election will be the highest since the Obama years.

Northam’s campaign has pursued the normal mamby-pamby Democrat losing attempt to appeal to white voters who aren’t going to vote Democrat in the first place. The threat of having a white supremacist like the Chumph as Governor has electrified the Minority vote for him this round, but his strategy may have costs should he win and pursue higher office.

David Smith, Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax are pictured. | AP Photo

Winchester Mayor David Smith (right) leads Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam ( second from right) and Lt. Gov. candidate Justin Fairfax (second from left) on a tour of downtown Winchester’s pedestrian mall during a campaign stop by Northam and Fairfax on Oct. 25.

Activists eye post-Charlottesville surge in black voting in Virginia

Democratic activists expect a surge in black political engagement fueled by backlash to this summer’s violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville could tip the scales in Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial race.

Black voter turnout rates have been down around the country in the post-Obama era, from the 2016 presidential election through a string of special elections in 2017. It has been a long-standing source of concern for Democrats in Virginia, where up to one in five voters in recent elections has been black and where some have criticized Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s outreach to black voters.

But amid a toxic political environment, activists going door-to-door say they have seen African-American interest in voting spike since the summer, when low engagement alarmed Democratic pollsters hoping to elect Northam over Republican Ed Gillespie. Turnout already shot upward in heavily black areas during the Democratic primary, compared with the last contested primary in 2009, and Northam won big in those regions in June. Since then, black political groups have run a steady stream of radio and digital ads invoking Charlottesville and inequality in the criminal justice system, including NFL players’ protests of the issue. And they are talking with voters one-on-one in Norfolk and other African-American population centers to make a personal case about voting this year.

“They feel that it’s not politics as usual,” said Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC, which has been working with the Northam campaign to turn out African-American voters in Hampton Roads. “They know that something else is going on here.”

When BlackPAC first polled voters of color in the state in August, what it found concerned it. The percentage who said they were extremely likely to vote was in the high 60s, and Northam was trailing Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 performance among voters of color.

But voters also said the political environment scared them. Fifty-four percent of black voters said they felt minorities were under attack, and 73 percent agreed with a statement that voting would “send a resounding message to [President Donald] Trump.”

Framing a vote as a way to stand up to racism increased willingness to turn out. Now, nearly 90 percent of those contacted by BlackPAC during door-to-door canvassing are willing to sign a pledge card to vote, and organizers said Gillespie’s ads accusing Northam of trying to “erase history” and take down “our statues” are part of the reason why.

As a BlackPAC canvasser went door-to-door in a majority-black Norfolk neighborhood on Halloween, voters mentioned crime, support for public housing, voting rights and the unfair criminal justice system as reasons they would be voting this year. But one issue loomed above all. Sharon Williams, a disabled middle-aged woman, mentioned how her mother used to talk about the Ku Klux Klan when she was growing up. Williams thought the stories were just to scare her, until one day she saw some hooded men drive down her street.

“They’re trying to start that all over again,” Williams said.

Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Keith Ellison, who recently campaigned with Northam in Prince William County, said he had a visceral reaction to Gillespie’s advertising promising to keep Confederate monuments up in Virginia.

“The people who erected them wanted to make a point about who mattered and who didn’t,” Ellison told reporters, noting many of the statues were built as African-Americans pushed for civil rights during the 20th century. “And so, my opinion? When somebody says they’re for keeping a Confederate monument in the middle of downtown, to me, that says ‘You are subhuman, you don’t have any right to do anything except serve others.’”

Ellison also said Gillespie’s campaign tactics, and Trump’s rhetoric, were alerting voters.

“When Trump makes false equivalencies about neo-Nazis and the KKK and when Gillespie stands up for the monuments, we all know what that means,” Ellison said.

BlackPAC’s ads in Virginia have also addressed Charlottesville directly, both on the radio and online. Another group, CollectivePAC, has run digital ads invoking former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is alleging NFL owners colluded not to sign him following his protests of police brutality last year.

“The first time I saw those people in Charlottesville trying to intimidate people of color, it made me angry,” a female narrator says in one of BlackPAC’s radio ads. “Trying to take away our voice. Then when they came back, it made me determined. No one is going to take away my voice.”

BlackPAC’s closing-argument ad uses images of the violent protests in Charlottesville and the civil rights movement.

“White supremacy stormed into Charlottesville and is being used for political gain,” a female narrator says in the 30-second ad. “We’ve fought too hard for progress to watch it pushed back in the name of Making America Great Again.”

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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Impeaching Pelosi

When the senior Democrat can’t get behind impeaching the penultimate danger to Democracy and public safety in America…Maybe it is time for a change of leadership.

 

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Donna Brazile Exposes DNC

The DNC operated as a financial arm of the Hillary Campaign. And rigged the Primary against Bernie.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in High Crimes, Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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“A Better Deal”… For Whom?

Centrist Democrats keep cutting off the Progressive side of their Party, and then whimpering when they lose. As if becoming white-right lite is going to make them competitive in a race where they have lost their key majorities.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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Stuck on Stupid – Democrats Roll Out Same Old Failed Plan

The Democrats are well on their way to losing the 2018 election, chasing the wrong voters – for the wrong reason.

They want to win, the program is real simple.

  • The first step being to execute complete and total war on conservatives.
  • First platform statement – Should the Chumph still be in office, the first bill passed  – will be his impeachment, and removal from office any of his appointees
  • Bring the progressives back into the party – cut the mamby-pamby shit and stand for something.
  • Tie Republicans to grandma losing her Social Security check.
  • Tie Republicans to those sick relatives dying with no medical care.
  • Pass a law, criminalizing “Fake News” and bring back the “Fairness Doctrine”
  • Tie Republicans to jobs loss.
  • Use the fear factor that the POS and the Republicans will get us into nuclear war.
  • Tie Putin’s Bitch to the loss of America’s standing in the world.
  • Talk about efforts to develop jobs in Middle America – the billions going into small business incubators and investment.
  • Get back to talking about Green Jobs in transforming the country
  • Put the DOJ back together and working for the people instead of the KKK
  • Restore all decisions made by the POS’s appointed in the various government agencies to the state they were when the POS had the Russians steal office for him.

And that is just a start.

 

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2017 in Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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