Tag Archives: Alabama special election

Sex enters a key political contest

A Hollywood film mogul has had his career wiped out over allegations of rape. Same for an Academy Award-winning actor. Women are streaming forward to say “Me, too.” The public seems to more or less have accepted the women’s view of what happened with these men.

Many other men in the entertainment industry are facing similar accusations.

OK, then. What about a candidate for the U.S. Senate? A Republican former state supreme court chief justice is facing charges of sexual contact with an underage girl.

Who do we believe here? Roy Moore, the accused candidate, or the woman who was 14 years of age at the time the incident allegedly occurred?

This “Me too” environment has elevated the issue of sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment to a whole new level of visibility.

I am in no position to assess the value of what the accuser has said Moore supposedly did. Republican leaders are saying that “if it’s true,” Moore has to pull out of his Senate contest against Democratic opponent Doug Jones.

Here is where the matter gets sticky. The election will take place slightly more than a month from now. How does someone prove an allegation of a crime that occurred nearly 40 years ago in such a short span of time? Absent that proof, how do voters respond?

Moore is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Then again, so are the many other men in public life who’ve been accused of sex crimes ranging from making inappropriate remarks to flat-out rape. The public, though, is quick to presume the worst about those others.

Will the voters in Alabama do the same to Roy Moore?

This situation is going to get real sticky … real fast.

Suddenly, the ‘Bama Senate race has gotten quite intense

Well now. I didn’t see this one coming.

A woman has accused Republican U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore of making a sexual advance toward her when she was just 14 years of age. Moore was 32 years of age at the time … allegedly.

Oh, brother.

Moore is set to face off against Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the December special election to the Senate seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.

As if Moore didn’t have enough baggage already, given his troubled tenure as Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, now he’s got this matter with which to deal.

Republican leaders are asking Moore to quit the race — if the allegations are true. Moore isn’t owning up to anything, of course. The woman, Leigh Corfman, who’s now in her early 50s, is standing by her story.

Who’s telling the truth?

It’s not unheard of for these kinds of sexual encounters to come to light long after they occurred. When I heard of this, my mind turned immediately to the scandal that brought down former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, a Democrat who also once served as Portland mayor and was transportation secretary in the Carter administration.

Goldschmidt was accused of messing around with a girl who was babysitting his children back in the 1970s. He eventually acknowledged doing it and then resigned in disgrace from every board on which he was serving when the accusations came forth about a dozen years ago. He has vanished from public view. His picture was removed from the ring of governors at the Oregon Capitol Building in Salem.

If Moore stays in the race, the issue then becomes this: How is his opponent going to handle this one? Does he make it a campaign issue or does he let Moore’s political fortunes simmer in the heat that is sure to build as questions continue to mount?

The late Texas U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen once called politics a “contact sport.” I sense a serious collision might be about to occur down yonder in Alabama.

Now, let’s wait for Alabama to tell us more

Before Democrats and Republicans draw too many conclusions about what the Virginia and New Jersey races for governor tell us about the state of play in American politics, let’s cast our gaze down yonder to Alabama.

Republican nominee Roy Moore is running against Democratic nominee Doug Jones for the U.S. Senate seat left open when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.

Moore is drawing the bulk of national attention. Why? Because he’s built a controversial career as an Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. He was ousted not once, but twice from the bench for failing to follow the rules. He refused to follow an order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from public property; then he said county clerks didn’t have to obey the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage throughout the nation.

Judge Moore has been called the “Ayatollah of Alabama.” Nice nickname, eh?

Jones is the state’s attorney general. To be honest, I know damn little about Jones, other than he’s running as the non-Roy Moore. He is a former U.S. attorney who has prosecuted KKK members and has fought to enforce civil rights laws. He lacks the, um, color of Roy Moore. He also lacks Moore’s nutty views about whether Barack Obama was constitutionally qualified to serve as president and whether Muslims should be barred from serving in public office.

I am going to pull for Jones to win the Senate election next month.

If he does and the Republicans’ vise grip on this seat is pried loose, then I believe the Grand Old Party should start sweating bullets.