Iowa Dem withdraws from gubernatorial primary over sexual harassment allegations

One person lost a chance at a job today over sexual harassment allegations, and it wasn’t Morgan Freeman. A day after the Des Moines Register reported that three women had accused state senator Nate Boulton of sexual harassment, the Democrat announced he would drop out of his party’s primary for governor:

A popular Democratic candidate dropped out of Iowa’s crowded race for governor on Thursday, one day after an Iowa newspaper reported three women had accused him of sexual misconduct.

Nate Boulton, a Des Moines attorney and state senator, announced his exit from the campaign in an emailed statement that alluded to the accusations reported Wednesday in The Des Moines Register.

“These last 48 hours have been trying. I again offer an apology to those whom I have harmed in any way. It is my hope there is some positive that can come from this moment as we strive to be the better people we can be in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. I know that will be my task moving on from here.”

Boulton may be popular, but he was far off the pace in the Democratic primaries. The Register’s poll earlier this month put him eleven points behind retired businessman Fred Hubbell in second place, 31/20, while a poll from KBUR put Hubbell up 26 points at 46/20. It would have taken a miracle for Boulton to win the June 5th primary at this pace, and Boulton just got the opposite of it.

So what were the allegations? Only one was recent, from an incident in 2015; the other two allegations came from Boulton’s time in law school. They do share a similar modus operandi, though:

One woman told the Des Moines Register that Boulton, now 38, repeatedly grabbed her buttocks at a bar in 2015. Two others told the Register that when Boulton was in law school more than a decade ago, he rubbed his clothed crotch against them, pressing his erect penis into their thighs.

Boulton’s response to the allegations foreshadowed his withdrawal:

“I don’t have the same recollection,” he told the Register. “But I am not going to offer any additional context to this, other than to say if someone’s perspective is that it was inappropriate and I crossed a line and I misread a situation in a social setting, I do apologize.”

He declined to comment on or discuss the specific incidents, saying, “I think if I add context it quickly becomes victim-blaming, and I don’t want to go down that path.”

Er … isn’t that a tacit admission that there are victims? If Boulton didn’t do these things, then the obvious response is … “I didn’t do those things.” If you start off by attempting to “add context,” or even suggest that there is context to add to buttock-grabbing, then you’ve pretty much given up the case. With that statement, and with his distant status in the primary, all that was left was the spending-more-time-with-my-family announcement.

This probably doesn’t change much for the gubernatorial race. Hubbell was set to win the nomination anyway, and the few head-to-head polls against Republican governor Kim Reynolds showed the incumbent with similar and narrow polling leads over both. Reynolds isn’t facing a primary challenge, so she’s conserving her resources for the general election. With this scandal rocking Iowa Democrats — and likely to follow Boulton back to the state senate — Reynolds might get a momentary boost, but it might also burnish Hubbell’s status as an outsider, too. Still, now that sexual harassment has become a specific issue in the race, it will be difficult for Hubbell to argue against having a woman remain in the office … and don’t think Reynolds won’t find ways to remind Iowans of that, too.

The post Iowa Dem withdraws from gubernatorial primary over sexual harassment allegations appeared first on Hot Air.

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At least 8 women come forward and accuse Morgan Freeman of inappropriate behavior, sexual harassment

Actor Morgan Freeman, 80, is the latest famous person to be targeted by the #MeToo movement.

No less than eight women have come forward with allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Freeman.

What are the details of the allegations?

On Thursday, CNN reported that multiple women have come forward to accuse the long-time actor of harassment and more.

According to the outlet, 16 people came forward with various stories about Freeman, and at least eight of them made accusations against the actor. The other eight were reportedly witnesses to alleged incidents.

All of those who came forward remained anonymous, save for the report’s co-author, entertainment reporter Chloe Melas.

One such woman alleged that she was exposed to “months of harassment” from Freeman during her time as a production assistant on one of his 2015 films.

Some of her allegations included “unwanted touching” and verbal sexual harassment, as well as Freeman’s purported propensity to try and lift her skirts to see if she was wearing underwear.

Another woman reported that Freeman sexually harassed her and her female assistant on “numerous occasions” while making a 2012 film.

“He did comment on our bodies,” the unidentified woman said. “We knew that if he was coming by … not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms, meaning not wearing clothes that [were] fitted.”

The outlet reported that “four people who worked in production capacities on movie sets” over the last decade described Freeman as “repeatedly behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable at work,” and some alleged that he subjected them to “unwanted touching.”

Others Freeman reportedly targeted included entertainment reporters, like  Melas.

“Three entertainment reporters who spoke to CNN said Freeman made inappropriate remarks to them during press junkets,” the report proclaimed.

Melas said that she was six months pregnant during her alleged encounter with Freeman, whom she interviewed at a press junket for 2017’s “Going in Style.”

“Freeman, in a room full of people, including his co-stars … shook Melas’ hand, not letting go while repeatedly looking her up and down and saying more than once a variation of, ‘I wish I was there,’” the report read. “[Melas] says he also said to her, ‘You are ripe.’”

According to Melas, cameras were rolling during the junket and caught Freeman’s comment of “Boy, do I wish I was there.”

Any other remarks, however, were reportedly not caught on camera.

Melas reported the incident to CNN’s human resources department, who reached out to Warner Bros. — the film distributor for “Going in Style” — and their human resources department.

Melas said that Warner Bros. could not corroborate her account of the alleged incident because “only one of Freeman’s remarks was on video and the Warner Bros. employees present did not notice anything.”

Other women accused the actor of pressing himself up against them, commenting on their bodies and outfits, and making sexually suggestive remarks.

One male interviewee also called Freeman a “creepy uncle” type.

Most women said that they did not report Freeman’s alleged behaviors because they were afraid for the security of their jobs.

Anything else?

CNN reported that they’d reached out to “dozens more people who worked for or with Freeman.”

“Some praised Freeman, saying they never witnessed any questionable behavior, or that he was a consummate professional on set and in the office,” a portion of the article read.

A spokesperson for Freeman did not respond to CNN’s repeated request for comment on the report, which included “a detailed list of the accusations” against the actor.

What did Freeman say?

Shortly after the CNN report went live, Freeman addressed the allegations head-on.

“Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy,” a statement from Freeman read. “I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected — that was never my intent.”

You can read the complete account of the women’s accusations here.

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German ‘Asylum Fraud’ Scandal Probe Widens to Include 10 More Migration Offices

German migration authorities have widened their probe into asylum application fraud and are now investigating 10 additional field offices on suspicion of granting refugees permissions to stay in the country without proper grounds.

On Friday, the German Federal Office for Migration and Asylum (BAMF) announced that it would review some 18,000 refugee cases in the city of Bremen going back as far as 2000, after the regional office discovered the approval of up to 2,000 asylum stays between 2013 and 2016, which did not match the government’s sanctuary criteria.

On Sunday, the scandal deepened with 10 more asylum decision offices added to the investigation list. BAMF announced that it will examine those branches where the average quotas of asylum applications accepted or rejected in comparison with other offices deviated by 10 percentage points or more, a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said, following a request from the DPA news agency. A total of an additional 8,500 cases from 2017 would be reviewed, she added.

In addition, BAMF will review a complaint from a Rhineland-Palatinate Bingenan office employee, who on February 6 asked the Nuremberg headquarters to evaluate “divergent assessments of asylum procedure” at the office.

The new development follows a scandal in April, when it was revealed that a former BAMF official at the Bremen office was under investigation on suspicion of taking bribes from at least 1,200 asylum seekers between 2013 and 2016. Five other officials at the workplace are now also being probed for possibly taking part in the scheme. They include an interpreter and three lawyers. Amid the corruption scandal, the Supreme Audit Institution was tasked by Interior Minister Horst Seehofe on Thursday to probe the BAMF and the Interior Ministry.

In the meantime, BAMF denied claims that the government had been aware of the asylum fraud as early as February 2017. Suddeutsche Zeitung and the NDR reported on Sunday that, back then, authorities received emails asking the migration authorities to look at the Bremen branch, including a refugee lawyer who worked for the Lower Saxony office.

More than 1.6 million refugees, mostly from Africa and the Middle East, have arrived in Germany since 2014, due to the so-called ‘open door’ policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The influx of migrants has divided the country and significantly boosted support for the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which secured third place in September’s elections and entered parliament for the first time. The rise of the far-right in Germany came after a number of terrorist attacks involving refugees, as well as sexual harassment incidents across the country.

In October of last year, Merkel’s CDU and its Bavarian CSU sister party eventually agreed to cap Germany’s intake of asylum seekers at 200,000 a year. Over the next two years, Germany plans to spend €78 billion on migration-related issues, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday, citing the Finance Ministry’s document.

The post German ‘Asylum Fraud’ Scandal Probe Widens to Include 10 More Migration Offices appeared first on American Renaissance.

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