Does a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Sexual Misconduct Allegations Make Sense for the DCCC?

CNN – “Democrat Andrea Ramsey announced Friday morning she was dropping out of the race to fill a competitive House of Representatives seat in Kansas amid news of a 2005 lawsuit that accused her of sexual harassment. The case was dismissed in 2006 and multiple sources with knowledge told The Star the man had reached a settlement with LabOne, the company where Ramsey had been the executive vice president of human resources. Ramsey told The Star she was unaware of any settlement.”

It is incredibly important that people that have been harassed in workplace come forward and tell their stories so that those in power are held responsible for their actions. That being said, this particular case makes me want to call bullshit. Ultimately, the question of “due process” can’t enter into the conversation because unless an actual assault occurred, these allegations are a breach of an ethical code not necessarily a legal one.

This sounds like a disgruntled employee who was underperforming, knew he was on the way out, and lashed out. It is possible that I’m employing a bit of double standard here because the powerful person is a woman, but all I’m saying is that it may not be black and white. That is the true problem with this movement. Being accused in a zero-tolerance culture is just as bad as a conviction in the eyes of the public. When the DCCC walks away from your campaign based purely on the allegation, it makes you look guilty without proper inquiry. That assumption of guilt will make it hard for her to get another job let alone run for elected office in the future.

I suppose it’s good that the democrats aren’t necessarily letting party loyalty outweigh morality, but to me this feels like a move intended to avoid the wrath of the public. I also understand that the DCCC is wary of running a candidate like this for fear of the allegations being the focal point of the entire campaign. I can’t say that I know much about Andrea Ramsey as I haven’t followed Kansas congressional elections particularly close to this point, but at a time when high quality candidates seem to be few and far between, discounting someone because of a harassment case that was thrown out in 2006 seems harsh.

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