As you no doubt know, pro-gun Republican Senator Jeff Kruse was recently stripped of all his committee assignments by anti-gun Democrat Senate President Peter Courtney.
For those who may not be too familiar with how our legislature operates, this punishment essentially makes Kruse incapable of having any influence on legislation, a job voters in his district have reelected him numerous times to do.
The explanation for this unprecedented, and possibly career ending, punishment was an allegation by Democrat Senator Sara Gelser that Kruse had engaged in sexual harassment against her by what has been described as “non-sexual inappropriate touching.” Oh, yeah, and Kruse also smokes in his office.
After this story started making the rounds, we posted a Facebook post that acknowledged that yes indeed, Kruse has smoked in his office. We have actually seen this transgression.
We also commented that if (as of now totally unproven) allegations that he was groping Sara Gelser were true, he might need an eye test. On Tuesday October 24th, we deleted that post after considering how it easily it could be construed to be an attack on Gelser’s appearance and how that was hardly the point. Soon after, there were several media stories commenting on that post and stating how it simply proved that there is an ingrained culture of sexual harassment in Salem, and that we were essentially guilty of it ourselves.
So, now, (since the media considers our commentary newsworthy) we’d like to clarify and expand on those remarks.
First, it’s important to note that Gelser claims that Kruse’s “inappropriate ” touching has been going on, literally, for years. But as far as we can tell, Gelser chose to keep this from the public until she climbed on the Hollywood Hashtag bandwagon following the revelations that a powerful, millionaire, Democrat donor and movie producer was abusing, harassing and allegedly raping young and aspiring starlets.
That, of course, would be Harvey Weinstein, a man who has publicly stated that he HATES guns and promised to singlehandedly “take down” the NRA. Oh, and he also produced such anti-gun classics as “Kill Bill.” As stated, Weinstein is a big donor to Democrats. In the past he sent money to Oregon Democrats.
None of Weinstein’s crimes and disgusting behavior were any secret in Hollywood. They were, of course, kept secret from the public by the mainstream, liberal dominated, media who also knew about his actions but spiked stories, because, well that’s what the left does for each other.
After the revelations were made public, numerous actresses who had been assaulted or otherwise abused by Weinstein started a Twitter campaign to let the world know what they all knew, or had experienced themselves, and kept silent about for years. It was then, and only then, that Gelser decided to join the chorus with her own Tweet. The implication was clear. Although at first she would not name names, she soon made it known that is was Kruse she was accusing.
As far as we can tell, most, or at least many, of the transgressions Gelser has accused Kruse of have taken place on the Senate Floor. It is hard to imagine a more public, populated and videotaped place on Earth. Not only can anyone watch the proceedings on any computer, but the galleries above the chamber provide a bird’s eye view for any member of the public who choses to go there.
In this forum, surrounded by Senators, staff, reporters, police, the public and constant video surveillance, is where Kruse’s alleged outrageous behavior took place….for years. Of course, sitting at the front of this august chamber, high above the floor, with possibly the best view of all, stands the man who stripped Kruse of his committee assignments, Senate President Peter Courtney, who like so many others within spitting distance of the accused…saw nothing, for years. It’s all rather remarkable.
Now in the wake of Gelser’s accusations, the media is publishing quotes from other women (many unnamed) who work in the Capitol in one capacity or another. They include legislators and lobbyists. There is common agreement that there is a pervasive atmosphere of “good old boy” sexual harassment and bad behavior. It’s everywhere, and women there have been too afraid of a negative impact on their careers to talk about it before.
Clearly, politics under the dome in Salem is a damn hostile place for a woman. It’s a wonder they are willing to work there at all given how little opportunity they have.
So it really is hard to understand how we have a female governor, our last two Secretaries of State have been women and the Speaker of the House is a woman.
Almost 30% of all Senators are women. 35% of Democrat Senators are women. 22 of 60 House reps (or over 36 %) are women .
Over 54% of Democrat House members are women. (19 of 35)
As expected, Governor Brown issued a statement about inappropriate touching saying it was “unacceptable.”
Kate apparently does not hold herself to the same standard. We have it on good authority that Kate is not very close to Sheriff Glenn Palmer.
Women hold positions of enormous power in Oregon, and Sara Gelser is one of them.
Gelser is no shrinking violet. She is an affluent, powerful member of the Senate who has no qualms about using slash and burn campaign tactics, including lying about her opponents supporters to get elected. She is a member of the ruling party. And yet..
Gelser alleges that Kruse’s inappropriate behavior began in 2011. That is 5 years before she made any official complaint. 5 lonely years of hell. But Gelser did not even get elected to the Senate until 2015. She and Kruse never served in the House together. When she was elected to the House for the first time, Kruse had already moved onto the Senate. So apparently, Kruse was making his way over to the House to touch her for years. And no one noticed that either.
House Speaker Tina Kotek’s legislative biography says “In 2013, Tina became the first openly lesbian speaker of any state house in the nation.” So Gelser served in the House under a lesbian woman for two years without mentioning to this powerful and very liberal person that a conservative Senator was coming over to their chamber to harass her.
(If you have any doubts about Kotek’s power and her willingness to exercise it, try being a pro-gun House Democrat. Sooner or later you will be neutered and groveling and voting for bills you oppose lest you face her wrath.)
During the years Jeff Kruse forced his unwanted attentions on her, Gelser either suffered in silence or, after 5 years, quietly asked others to intercede on her part. She never loudly and publicly rebuked him. She never slapped him, pushed him away or told him to leave his hands off her.
Former Democrat Senator Jackie Dingfelder also claims that Kruse “placed his hand on her back in an inappropriate way during a committee hearing in 2011 or 2012.” But Dingfelder said “…when Kruse placed his hand on her back she was clear with him that his touching was unwanted. She confronted Kruse then and there. ‘I said, ‘Jeff, don’t do that. That’s inappropriate. Don’t ever do that again.’ And he never did,’ she said.”
Apparently, this is the kind of complex verbal judo Gelser is incapable of.
Kruse has no power over her. He is not her boss, he is not her superior. He is in the minority party and, in many cases his vote, as a conservative, does not even matter. And where were all the male Democrat Senators while this unacceptable behavior was taking place? Surely such champions of women’s rights as Michel Dembrow and Floyd Prozanski would have leapt to her defense even if she was too intimated to do it herself, there on the Senate floor under the watchful eyes of thousands. Surely Mark Haas or Rod Monroe would have never stood for that. Where was Lew Fredrick and James Manning? Where the hell was “eye in the sky” Peter Courtney? This was going on for years. And if Gelser’s allegations are true, there were no real Democrat men in the House in the time she served there either.
Can anyone imagine what would happen to any man who inappropriately put his hands on Democrat Senator Betsy Johnson? He’d quickly find a walking cane coming down on his head. And Betsy doesn’t get around quite as fast as Sara these days.
So here’s the thing. There are three possibilities.
1) Jeff Kruse did what he is accused and no one except Gelser and Ginny Burdick noticed. If so he should change his name to Houdini.
2) Lots of people knew what he was doing but it was never caught on video and no one, except Burdick, (if you believe her) stepped up and confronted him.
3) Gelser is a disingenuous and opportunistic fabricator with a political agenda.
If it was number 2, then the entire Democrat Caucus is no better than all the Hollywood types who went along to get along with the Weinstein machine. And they are all cowards.
But no matter what, it is still an outrage for Gelser to attempt to associate whatever she alleges Kruse did with the fate of countless dewey eyed ingenues who just got off the bus from Peoria and fell into the clutches of the pig Weinstein in hopes of scoring a walk-on part.
Gelser is not some kid whose dreams of being on the big screen let her discard her ethics and morals or some innocent aspiring starlet who found herself locked in a hotel room with a raping dirtbag.
She is an aggressive, accomplished, powerful woman who claims to have been the “victim” of someone who had NO power over her…for years.
She is part of the cabal of anti-gun feminists who would much rather perpetuate the entrepreneurial victimhood of women than to ever encourage them to stand up for themselves and have the means to do it. She has advanced her own career while voting to make sure that the most vulnerable among us are denied the right to protect themselves and she has timed her accusations to deflect the reality that a massive donor to the causes she supports has finally been exposed to the public in spite of years of efforts by the media to protect him.
It’s understandable that the mainstream media would use our comments to imply that we are part of some mass movement to denigrate and belittle women. A quick review of our campaign contributions will make clear that we have spent thousands to support female candidates. For Gelser to imply that she is in the same boat as some kid with stars in her eyes who is abused by powerful man who controls her future is absurd.
When a Republican House Rep was discovered to have taken advantage of a young female subordinate, he was rightfully driven from office. We strongly supported that action. Women (and men who are harassed by powerful women…see “Amanda Marshall”) should never be subject to any kind of improper behavior by someone with power over them.
Sorry Sara. You don’t qualify.