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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NRA Opts To End Lawsuit Rather Than Reveal Defendants Names

Last week, we reported that a judge refused to allow a lawsuit filed by the NRA to proceed with the defendants’ names protected by a pseudonym. The NRA argued that the use of pseudonyms was necessary to spare these two young people, both of whom are over the age of 18 but under 21 and thus affected by the new law, from harassment that we all know would come about.

After all, look at what happens to a young girl who simply points out the inconsistency in the law. A famous comedian and actor decides to target her for hate and ridicule.

That didn’t matter to the judge, however. As a result, the NRA has decided to halt their lawsuit.

The National Rifle Association opted to stay a lawsuit challenging age restrictions for gun buying in Florida instead of revealing the identities of the plaintiffs in the case. With the case in limbo, the NRA appealed the court’s ruling denying the organization from using pseudonyms for the two 19-year-old NRA members serving as plaintiffs in the case.

“NRA is unwilling to sacrifice these young adults to the perverted filth, hatred and threats of violence from gun ban supporters,” said Marion Hammer, head of the NRA’s Florida affiliate and former NRA president, in a statement. “We must stand up for the First Amendment right to protect the Second Amendment in court without being exposed to hate and violence from gun ban supporters.”

Although the judge overseeing the case expressed sympathy for the NRA’s reasoning — plaintiffs facing ridicule on the Internet for their political beliefs — he explained the NRA’s request to use fictitious names lacked precedent. Federal law permits using pseudonyms in cases deemed sensitive and the plaintiff faces reputational or economic risk.

Florida lawmakers set restrictions for gun buyers under the age of 21 in response to a 19-year-old gunman with an AR-15 rifle entering a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February and murdering 17 people and injuring 15 others. The measure applies the same age restrictions for buying a handgun to buying a long gun.

I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed by this. I understand the NRA’s decision and even respect it, but that doesn’t change the fact that I wish the lawsuit would have proceeded. This was a knee-jerk reaction law that won’t really do anything to make anyone safer. It merely prevents legal adults from buying a gun for a few more years, which means citizens who are able to live on their own can’t purchase a firearm for self-defense.

Nothing about this is right.

But, again, I get the decision. I understand it and respect it. I just hate the results of that decision, which I’m sure everyone at the NRA hates as well.

This, however, is part of why there has been this push to stigmatize gun owners. The effort is to make it difficult for anyone to stand up for their right to keep and bear arms, just like this. These two young adults have a right to arm themselves, but because of the stigmatization that has gone on, they’re afraid to step into the light because they know what will happen. They know the hate and scorn they’ll receive.

That’s a very real part of it.

So, again, it’s a shame, but it’s also understandable.

The post NRA Opts To End Lawsuit Rather Than Reveal Defendants Names appeared first on Bearing Arms.

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NYT’s Glenn Thrush, who was reprimanded for harassing women, under fire for ‘crap karma’ tweet on homeless people

The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, who was famously demoted from his premier post covering the White House over allegation that he was a serial harasser of women, is under fire over a now-deleted tweet on homeless people invading his subway line because it was raining today in D.C.:

It looks like his new assignment covering HUD might not be the best fit for him:

And this doesn’t make the NYT look very good:

Thrush tried to clarify matters…

…but that didn’t go over well either:

How about take 3?

And swing and a miss! YOU’RE OUT!

***

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