Earlier this week, Amanda Renteria, a democrat in California who is currently challenging Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (D) for Governor, went on Twitter and published a series of tweets demanding that her opponent step down from office for having a history of “misusing his power” and engaging in sexual misconduct.
“Today, I am calling on Gavin Newsom to step down from his position as Lieutenant Governor. Someone with a history of sexual misconduct in the workplace doesn’t deserve to hold elected office in California,” wrote Renteria at the start of her rant.
Today, I am calling on Gavin Newsom to step down from his position as Lieutenant Governor. Someone with a history of sexual misconduct in the workplace doesn’t deserve to hold elected office in California. /1 pic.twitter.com/k1s6YRmkfK
— Amanda Renteria (@AmandaRenteria) March 15, 2018
“Almost daily, we see another headline about sexual misconduct in the workplace in politics. There is something wrong with the culture of politics, and a lot of people are being harmed by it,” she reasoned.
“One politician after another has been forced to step down due to a history of sexual misconduct, drinking alcohol with teenagers, or misusing their power. It’s unacceptable in public office, and Californians are demanding an end to it,” continued Renteria, adding, “and yet, a candidate for the most powerful position in our state has a pattern of misusing his power in the workplace.”
In several other follow-up tweets, Renteria attempted to clarify what she meant. ”In 2007, @SFGate reported – Gavin Newsom had multiple sexual encounters with his appointments secretary while he was mayor. That employee’s husband was Newsom’s best friend and campaign manager,” she wrote in one tweet.
“The scandal was deceptively hidden from the public for more than a year…Newsom’s best friend lost his job, and his marriage was destroyed. The female employee lost her job and entered rehab. The Newsom administration used thousands of taxpayer dollars to cover counseling expenses for the employee…Meanwhile, Gavin Newsom went on to run for higher office,” continued Renteria in a few other tweets.
“Sadly, there’s more. @SFChronicle reported that Newsom, then a 38 yr old mayor, dated a 19 year old student. He took her to a city gala where she was photographed consuming alcohol,” she added, noting, “this pattern of misconduct is completely unacceptable. From Washington to California, citizens have begun calling out misuse of power wherever and whenever it happens. That’s why it’s time for Newsom to step down.”
Toward the end of her Twitter tirade, Renteria stated, “We cannot go back. It is time for violators in the workplace to step down. Or, be forced out…the most progressive state in the union will not go back to a time when we had to politely smile while promoting someone who has harmed his employees. No more. Not ever again.”
Before concluding, she noted, “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to change things for future generations. We have learned the power of our voice. It’s finally time to exercise that power through real action.”
Although disturbing, the allegations against Newsom and the demand that he step down is not surprising. This is because, over the past year, the Democratic Party has been plagued with revelations that members of their party have engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior in the past.
For example, a couple of months ago, it was revealed that a Democratic state lawmaker in Pennsylvania was accused of sexual harassment several years ago. Shockingly, a significant amount of taxpayer money appears to have been used to secretly settle the complaint.
Specifically, documents recently obtained by reporters show that House Democrats in Pennsylvania used almost $250,000 to quietly settle a sexual harassment complaint against Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-PA) back in 2015. Unfortunately, the settlement also included a non-disclosure agreement so most of the details about the incident are unclear.
What is known, however, is that Caltagirone’s accuser started working with him in 2004, kept working with him for about a decade, and was earning about $63,000 a year when she left. Reports also show that out of the roughly $250,000, she was given $165,500 and her lawyer was given $82,500.
What’s worse, the documents show that Caltagirone wasn’t the only Democratic lawmaker to use public funds to end a sexual harassment lawsuit. Back in 2013, former state Rep. Jewell Williams (D-PA), who’s now Philadelphia’s Sheriff, reportedly paid out $30,000 to end a sexual misconduct complaint that had been lodged against him.
And several weeks before Caltagirone’s misconduct was revealed, multiple women publicly accused Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-NV) of sexual misconduct. Although the liberal lawmaker from Nevada, who has repeatedly insisted that the allegations against him are false, has refused to resign, he recently gave up some ground by announcing that he won’t be running for re-election.
In addition to Kihuen, state legislator Matt Dababneh (D-CA), who represents the 45th Assembly District, was also recently accused of engaging in sexual misconduct by two women. But unlike Kihuen, almost immediately after being accused, Dababneh announced that he will be stepping down from office.
Prior to that, Raul Bocanegra (D-CA), another state lawmaker from the same area as Dababneh, was forced to step down from office as well after he, too, was accused of engaging in “unwanted sexual advances” by seven women.
Following his resignation, democrat Bonnie Corwin, who was one of the most outspoken people calling on Bocanegra to resign, announced that she would be running for his seat.
And before that, several women accused Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) of engaging in different kinds of inappropriate sexual behavior. Shortly after being accused, Rep. Conyers reportedly had to be hospitalized due to a “stress-related illness” caused by all of the media attention that he has subsequently experienced.
Upon being released, he decided that it would be best to step down and held a press conference announcing his retirement.
Sexual misconduct must not be tolerated. Hopefully, Renteria is able to successfully pressure Newsom into stepping down from office. On top of resigning, he also needs to back out of the upcoming gubernatorial election.