‘ME-TOO’ KAVANAUGH MOMENT, AND NO DUE PROCESS IN JOINT SESSION
In a joint session of the House and Senate this evening, House members opposing the nomination of Karl Johnstone for the Fisheries Board pulled the pin out of their grenade.
Rep. Ivy Spohnholz rose to claim she had been contacted by “more than two women” who said Johnstone had made inappropriate comments that were sexual in nature and that made the women feel uncomfortable. The allegations she made were from anonymous sources.
They were allegations that came after the committee process was completed, they never brought up before, and they were so outrageous that Sen. John Coghill, who serves as Senate Rules Chair, quickly stood up and called for a point of order before Spohnholz could continue.
“This is an accusation that has not been leveled in this building to my knowledge in any credible way” he said. “I would ask that we not go down that road,” he said. “This innuendo and accusation is out of line.”
But the damage was already done. Sen. Bill Wielechowski stood and asked that the nomination of Johnstone be tabled, and that vote to table passed closely, 28-27.
But before it was tabled, Rep. Sara Rasmussen rose to decry the injustice of bringing allegations forward that cannot be defended by the person being accused. There was no due process, she said, and as a mom of a young son, she worried about people making allegations like this against her own son in the future.
Moments before, Rep. Geran Tarr had plainly insinuated that the governor’s nominee to the Board of Education, Bob Griffin, acted like a “pedophile or kidnapper.”
Griffin had been doing a study on school bus routes, and someone called the police concerned about him following school buses.
Rasmussen also rose to object to that unfounded character assassination, and Tarr later apologized for besmirching Griffin’s character. His nomination passed.
Long-time observers say that in the past decade they can never remember the attacks against nominees being so personal, so nasty, so anonymous, and so unfounded. Republicans never made such unfounded and unsavory allegations about nominees of Gov. Bill Walker.