May 10, 2014

Texas Democrat Senate Runoff Is "War On Women" Spectacle

On the one hand, you have Kesha Rogers, an African-American woman who has twice been selected as a congressional candidate. The Texas Democrat establishment has a history of spurning the voters' choice and reusing to allow her to participate in party events -- clear evidence that they don't like women and minorities who think for themselves rather than following the views of the party establishment. Not that I don't agree with them that LaRouchies are nuts -- but shouldn't a party that claims to be "democratic" respect the outcome of democratic elections?

But on the other side of the runoff, you have a guy who supports sexual harassers and fires women who complain about them.

A chain of dental clinics owned by wealthy Dallas businessman David Alameel, the Democrats' top choice in the U.S. Senate race, entered into a federal court agreement in 2008 to settle claims brought by four women who said they lost their jobs after complaining about a sexually hostile work environment.

Alameel strenuously denied any wrongdoing this week, as he did throughout a trial in Dallas County District Court and a subsequent federal suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Now there are some interesting issues in how this played out in court, but the key thing is that Alameel ultimately settled with the EEOC -- the same sort of settlement that has recently been held up as "proof" that Clippers owner Donald Sterling is guilty of racist acts, not just racist speech.

And let's consider the details of this matter, so you can make a more informed decision on the matter.

The May 2008 federal consent decree ended a five-year legal battle that started when four women claimed they were sexually harassed by their supervisor, Kadri Cumur, then chief financial officer of Jefferson Dental Clinics, which at the time included 11 dental practices in the Dallas area.

The women's 2003 lawsuit accused Cumur of repeatedly engaging in inappropriate personal remarks and offensive touching at the company headquarters where they worked. In one instance, he allegedly reached inside one woman's blouse and touched her bra. Another woman testified that he unbuttoned her blouse. When one of the women turned down his invitation to dinner, he allegedly called her a "whore."

* * *

The four women who sued claimed that when they took their complaints to Alameel, he acknowledged that his wife and son had previously expressed doubts about Cumur's behavior. But after initially firing Cumur, the women alleged, Alameel immediately changed his mind and rehired him.

A few days later, according to the women, the clinic instituted new workplace rules prohibiting female employees from wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses. Three of the women, identified in court records as Heather Sooter, Carol Cantu and Linda Householder, were reportedly fired. A fourth, Esmeralda Jimenez, said she quit.

Apparently the new workplace rules ALSO included a rule that female employees were not permitted to "talk out of turn." I guess that makes it pretty clear what Alameel thinks is the proper place of women -- covered and silent. Are those the sort of values that Texans really want to get behind?

Of course, that does seem to be a value that Texas Democrats support. After all, she is a woman who regularly talks out of turn from the point of view of party leaders, and they want her silenced. And that, my friend, is a war on women.

UPDATE: I wrote this as a comment on a local left-wing blog the other day, and I think it fits here as well.

Even though I'm a Cornyn backer who endorsed him early, I might consider voting for Kesha in the general election just to watch the outpouring of racism that would come from the Democrats. I can see the headlines now -- "Democrats Refuse To Allow Black Woman To Caucus With Them", "Democrats Refuse To Give Black Woman Committee Assignments", "Democrat War On Black Women Continues", etc.

The words and actions of Democrats if Rogers gets the nomination -- much less wins the general election -- will be quite illuminating.

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