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Michigan Female Governor Candidate and Sexual Harassment

March Supporting Sexual Assault Victims Held In Los Angeles
Getty Images by David McNew

Former State Representative and Senator Gretchen Whitmer, who is now running for the Governor of Michigan, said she was spoken to in a “very lewd” and “totally inappropriate” way by another male Senator in the Senate Chamber.

The AP is reporting in the Lansing State Journal that Ms. Whitmer has told the AP in a recent interview about this “very lewd” and “totally inappropriate” behavior by another Senator in the Michigan Senate Chamber.

Ms. Whitmer went on to say in that interview:

I could only imagine if you didn’t have such a position that I did how extremely uncomfortable, humiliating and intimidating that would be.  The hard part is that it’s always on the woman to make the determination. Do you confront it? Do you educate? Do you ignore? What is the safest thing for you? What is the best thing for your career? Women have to make these determinations on the fly all the time.

According to the article she did nothing about it and she also declined to identify the senator who made the remarks to her. Ms. Whitmer stated during the interview that she told the man:

What the heck is wrong with you?’ Only I didn’t say ‘heck.’ He was so stunned he kind of backed off and didn’t bother me again.

What concerns me is she is running for the Governor or Michigan but was apparently afraid to confront this man in public.

Why, as a powerful women and perhaps Senate Minority leader and a female Governor at the time when this happened did she not report this?

Why did she allow this man to get away with it and perhaps move on to sexually harass another women?

Why was she not concerned about the incident enough that she could have protected another women from this behavior?

Finally, why is she only bringing this up now when she is running for Governor?

If Ms. Whitmer thought that Senator and his comments were over the line and approached the sexual harassment threshold, she should have reported it. Think about it, as minority leader, she would have done anything she could have to make the lives of Republicans more difficult.

Oh but that then brings us to an interesting point, perhaps it wasn’t a Republican who made these alleged comments to her.  Perhaps it was one of her own caucus (Democrat) members whom she could not afford politically to lose given their poor numbers in the Senate. Now that would certainly be interesting in light of the fact that she wants to be our next Governor.  Could she be covering up for “very lewd” and “totally inappropriate” behavior to protect her own party members?

Remember this is the same women who was part of the entire vagina monologue fiasco back in 2012.  She stood on the steps of the Michigan state capitol to reclaim that place of power for women and their vaginas, why did she not recount the incident she told the AP about during that rally?

According to Electoblog the rally was about:

After being told that uttering the word “vagina” was dirty and “lacked decorum”, Representative Lisa Brown and her colleague Barb Byrum were censored and banned from speaking

It appears that she has no problem with the use of some words used in an inappropriate context.

As a self-avowed feminist and women’s rights champion for many years, it is very interesting to me that she would make an accusation about a former colleague in this environment and then provide no supporting details.  That is not fair to all the men who served with her in the Senate, it cast a shadow over all of them.

The questions you must answer if you are considering her for your next governor are the following:

Did this incident really occur?

If it did occur why did she not report it, could she be covering up for her own party?

If it did occur why did she allow this man to go on and harass other women, she herself admits she was a powerful women at that time?

If it was bad enough to bother her in the way she is describing it now, why did she not have the courage to report the incident?  Remember she wants to be our next governor and part of being the governor is having the courage to take on many hard issues.

I believe in light of her wanting to be our next governor that these are all legitimate questions.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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