Category Archives: Senate

Two More Women Accuse Al Franken of Sexual Assault | Nov 23 2017

Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken Of Inappropriate Touching

|| HuffPost

Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, puts his hands on his face while questioning witnesses during a Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017 Congress is putting Facebook, Twitter and Google under a public microscope about Russia’s use of their networks to meddle in the 2016 election, a day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation disclosed its first indictments and guilty plea. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week. Leeann Tweeden, a radio host, wrote last week that Franken had kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. On Monday, Lindsay Menz accusedFranken of groping her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years.

In a statement to HuffPost, Franken said, “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”

The first woman, who spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity because she’s worried she’ll be harassed online for making the allegation, said Franken groped her when they posed for a photo after a June 25, 2007, event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis.

“My story is eerily similar to Lindsay Menz’s story,” the first woman said. “He grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”

The second woman told HuffPost that Franken cupped her butt with his hand at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, then suggested the two visit the bathroom together. She spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that the allegation could affect her position at work.

“My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman said. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”

“I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom,” Franken told HuffPost.

‘We Stood Next To Each Other … And Down His Hand Went’

The first woman, a 38-year-old book editor who was living in Minneapolis at the time, told HuffPost that she had just finished performing with a feminist choir at the Women’s Political Caucus event, which Franken and his wife, Franni Bryson, attended. After the ceremony, she and other members of the choir approached him for photos.

“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America [on which Franken had a radio show] every day,” the first woman said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went.”

HuffPost spoke to two sources close to the first woman who corroborated her account.

One fellow choir member, Sarah, remembers not only being there for the groping incident but hearing another choir member say that Franken wouldn’t stop looking at her chest.

Ten years ago, it was easier to shrug off predatory behavior as “boys being boys,” Sarah said, especially when that predatory behavior came from a political ally.

“At the time … people weren’t as willing to speak against people they felt like were on their side,” Sarah said. “It’s really disappointing. And it’s crappy. Ten years ago we were also at an age where there was still a feeling of powerlessness, or that boys will be boys.”

People are saying that this is a right-wing conspiracy. It’s not. I’m a liberal person. … I voted for him after this happened.

The first woman’s best friend, who likewise wished to remain anonymous, remembers hearing about the groping incident the day after it happened.

“She was in this all-women’s choir and he was at an event where she performed, and she told me that he basically grabbed her ass,” the best friend said. “It was a ‘Can you believe this happened to me?’ kind of thing.”

…Continue more @ HuffingtonPost.com

New York Times Urges Al Franken to Resign | Nov 17 2017

NYT: Franken Should Go

|| New York Times

“New York Times op-ed columnist Michelle Goldberg writes that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) should resign his Senate seat after journalist Leeann Tweeden accused the senator Thursday of groping her and kissing her without her consent during an alleged incident in 2006.

From the New York Times:

Oh no, not Al Franken, too.

Before Thursday, I’d hoped Franken would run for president in 2020. A hugely gifted communicator with entertainment chops, he seemed well suited to take on Donald Trump, assuming the demagogic showman seeks re-election. A decade ago, when Franken first considered running for Senate, I spent a few days trailing him around Minnesota and found him serious, earnest and decent. As a lawmaker he’s been — in what now seems an awful irony — great on issues of sexual assault. He was behind one measure that made it easier for people who are sexually victimized while working for defense contractors to find justice and another ensuring that survivors don’t have to pay for their own rape kits. He hired feminist women, including Stephanie Schriock, who managed his 2008 campaign and is now president of Emily’s List.

So my first instinct is to say that Franken deserves a chance to go through an ethics investigation but remain in the Senate, where he should redouble his efforts on behalf of abuse and harassment victims. But if that happens, the current movement toward unprecedented accountability for sexual harassers will probably start to peter out. Republicans, never particularly eager to hold their own to account, will use Franken to deflect from more egregious abuse on their own side, like what Trump and Roy Moore are accused of. Women with stories about other members of Congress might hesitate to come forward. That horrifying photo of Franken will confront feminists every time they decry Trump’s boasts of grabbing women by the genitals. Democrats will have to worry about whether more damaging information will come out, and given the way scandals like this tend to unfold, it probably will.

It’s not worth it. The question isn’t about what’s fair to Franken, but what’s fair to the rest of us. I would mourn Franken’s departure from the Senate, but I think he should go, and the governor should appoint a woman to fill his seat. The message to men in power about sexual degradation has to be clear: We will replace you.”

….Continue reading more @ NYT

 

Flashback: That Time Franken Joked About Raping a CBS Reporter

|| TownHall

“As a comedian and writer for “Saturday Night Live,” Al Franken was quoted in a 1995 New York Magazine article discussing a joke for the show about raping CBS reporter Lesley Stahl.

“’I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then when Lesley is passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out. I put her in various positions and take pictures of her,’” Franken was quoted saying.

It’s not the first time the Democratic senator’s comments have resurfaced. They were used during the 2008 Minnesota Senate race along with vulgar remarks he made in a 2000 column for Playboy.”

….Continue reading more @ Townhall

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) Accused of Sexual Harrassment | Nov 16 2017

Los Angeles TV host alleges Sen. Al Franken kissed and groped her without her consent

|| Business Insider

“Los Angeles TV broadcaster Leeann Tweeden alleged in a 790 KABC column that Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota kissed and groped her without her consent in 2006, while she was part of a United Service Organizations tour to entertain military service members abroad.

Tweeden said that Franken had been headlining the tour and wrote a comedy skit in which Franken’s character attempted to kiss Tweeden’s character. Tweeden said she believed she could turn her head or cover his mouth with her hand “to get more laughs from the crowd.”

But during a rehearsal of the kiss that Franken repeatedly insisted on, Tweeden said, Franken forcefully kissed her.

“He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me,” Tweeden wrote. “We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”

Tweeden said she felt “disgusted and violated” by the kiss and pushed Franken away and told him that if he ever did that again, she “wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.”

Later, the pair performed the skit and Tweeden said she turned her head to dodge Franken’s kiss.

She added that she told neither the tour’s sponsor, the Sergeant Major of the Army, nor the USO representative about the incident.

“At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself. I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done and they knew how I felt about it,” Tweeden wrote. “I tried to let it go, but I was angry.”

But Franken’s alleged misconduct didn’t end there, Tweeden said. Franken groped her breasts while she was asleep during the 36-hour trip back to Los Angeles — an incident captured in a photograph that Tweeden didn’t see until she was back in the US.

“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. … How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?”

Tweeden said she told her husband about Franken’s behavior and showed him the photograph. She said she did not speak publicly about the incidents because she was worried about backlash and damage to her broadcasting career.

But thanks to the slew of recent public allegations made against prominent figures such as film producer Harvey Weinstein, Tweeden said she is no longer afraid to come forward.

“Senator Franken, you wrote the script,” she wrote. “But there’s nothing funny about sexual assault … You knew exactly what you were doing. You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed.

“I’m telling my story because there may be others.”

In a statement sent to Business Insider, Franken apologized to Tweeden.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it,” he said.”

….Continue reading more @ BI

 

Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It

|| KABC

“By Leeann Tweeden

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.

Also on the trip were country music artists Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas, and some cheerleaders from the Dallas Cowboys. The headliner was comedian and now-senator, Al Franken.

Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.”

….Continue reading more @ KABC.com

 

 

 

Was Gloria Allred Accuser’s Signature a Fake? | Nov 14 2017

IT’S A FAKE! Analyst Says Judge Roy Moore Signature Inside Gloria Allred Accuser’s Yearbook Was FORGED

|| theGatewayPundit

“Known for his insightful take on politics, journalist and author Thomas Wictor believes Judge Roy Moore’s signature in Gloria Allred accuser Beverly Young Nelson’s yearbook is a forgery.

The sevens in 1977 to the right of “Christmas,” are very different from the sevens in the date (12-22-77) above “Old Hickory House.”

“Look at the two versions of the number “7,” tweeted Wictor.

“”12-22-77” and “Olde Hickory House” were written by a different person,” he added.

Next, Wictor points out “the “R” and “y” in “Roy,”” are not written the same way.

The inflection of the “Y” is more pronounced in Moore’ signature as Chief Justice. The “R” is noticeably longer in the  signature of Chief Justice, as well.

Photo credits: Thomas Wictor

…Continue reading more @ TGP

 

Collusion on Judge Roy Moore Accusations? | Nov 11 2017

Roy Moore’s Two Accusers: Leigh Corfman’s Age was 17 not 14, Has History of Making False Allegations, Deborah Gibson A Dem Volunteer for Moore’s Opponent

|| 70 News

“Deborah Wesson Gibson: a Democrat  volunteer for Roy Moore’s Democrat  opponent Doug Jones and sign language interpreter for Joe Biden.

Leigh Corfman: allegedly has a history of making false allegations, charged with misdemeanors and had issues with IRS . Below are the following:

I’M FROM ETOWAH COUNTY, ALABAMA, AND LEIGH CORFMAN SEEMS TO HAVE DATED MY BROTHER IN 1976, MAKING HER OLDER THAN 17 AT THAT TIME! NOT 14, IN 1979. ROY MOORE IS BEING SMEARED OR THERE IS TWO LEIGH CORFMAN … SOMEONE IS LYING ON  INVESTIGATE GADSDEN HIGH ANNUAL PLEASE

Roy Moore’s main accuser Leigh Corfman has had three divorces and major financial problems. Filed for bankruptcy three times, once in 1991 with $139,689 in unpaid claims. She has had multiple issues with the IRS and has been charged with multiple misdemeanors as well. Hmm….

People in AL are posting on ‘s FB page that this “brave” woman – Leigh Corfman, has claimed several pastors at various churches have made sexual advances toward her.

…Continue reading more @ 70 News

 

Judge Roy Moore on Sean Hannity Show: ‘We Have Some Evidence of Some Collusion’ Against Me in WaPo Smear

|| Breitbart

“MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Judge Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, told nationally syndicated radio host Sean Hannity on Friday afternoon that his campaign is conducting its own investigation into the allegations against him and has “some evidence of some collusion” against him.

Moore said when Hannity asked him to respond to the dozens of establishment Republicans demanding he step down from his race for the U.S. Senate:

If you step aside for any allegation, then you might as well not run because when you run you’re going to get allegations. First, I would tell these individuals they wouldn’t make good judges. They wouldn’t make good people in the judicial system because you are innocent until proven guilty. In this case, this woman has waited over 40 years to bring a complaint four weeks out of an election? It’s obvious to the casual observer that something is up. We’re also doing an investigation and we have some evidence of some collusion here but we’re not ready to put that to the public just yet.

Hannity, in response, asked Moore whether that means he is “trying to prove” his innocence—to which Moore affirmed that he was:

Well, just like you said, they’re doing it to defeat this senate campaign. They’re bringing something, they’re trying to mix something up from other girls that never said anything about sexual impropriety and they’re all labeling it on this 14-year-old. I had nothing to do with this. This is a completely manufactured story meant to defraud this campaign. They’re losing. They’re 11 points behind. They don’t like my acknowledgment there is a God. We’ve refused to debate them because of their very liberal stance on transgenderism and transgenderism in the military and bathrooms. They’re desperate. Sean, they’re simply desperate.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

Sen Flake flakes out of Senate | Oct 24 2017

Jeff Flake Out, Will Not Seek Re-Election

|| Breitbart

“(Washington, DC) Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election in 2018.

A late August poll showed Flake primary challenger Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona state senator, ahead of Flake by double digits. The poll showed twice as many Arizona Republicans supporting Ward than Flake.

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he is reported to have said he would consider spending $10 million to back a challenger to Flake.

Shortly after news broke of his plans to retire, Flake took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to explain his decision to abandon a re-election bid.

The announcement comes just a few days after conservative radio host Laura Ingraham and Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon campaigned for Ward in Phoenix.”

….Continue reading more @

Sen Feinstein Seems to Require A ‘Religious Test’ for Judicial Nominee | Sep 10 2017

Dianne Feinstein’s comments on judge nominee’s faith ‘chilling,’ Notre Dame president says

|| Washington Examiner

“University of Notre Dame president John Jenkins issued a rebuke to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Saturday, stating that the lawmaker’s line of questioning into the religious beliefs of a judicial nominee and Notre Dame professor was “chilling.”

“It is chilling to hear from a United States Senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge,” Jenkins wrote in a letter to Feinstein.

At issue were comments Feinstein made during a hearing Wednesday on the nomination for Amy Coney Barrett, a Roman Catholic, for a spot on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Republicans have raised the concern that Barrett was effectively subjected to a religious test.

“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”

Feinstein’s office later clarified to National Review that she was referring to abortion rights.

“I am one in whose heart ‘dogma lives loudly’, as it has for centuries in the lives of many Americans, some of whom have given their lives in service to this nation,” Jenkins, a Holy Cross priest, wrote Saturday. “Indeed, it lived loudly in the hearts of those who founded our nation as one where citizens could practice their faith freely and without apology.”

What prompted Feinstein’s comments, in part, was a 1998 article Barrett wrote on the role regarding the responsibilities of Catholic judges with respect to the death penalty. Barrett’s co-author for that article, Catholic University president John Garvey, defended her in an op-ed published by the Washington Examiner Thursday, writing that “our point was that judges should respect the law, even laws they disagree with.”

On Friday, Princeton University president Christopher Eisgruber, a constitutional scholar, wrote to Feinstein to defend Barrett, stating that “the questions directed to Professor Barrett about her faith were not consistent with the principle set forth in the Constitution’s ‘no religious test’ clause.”

…Continue reading more @ Washington Examiner