CA Assemblymember Allegedly Went Full Weinstein on Lobbyist in Vegas
Last week lobbyist Pamela Lopez spoke before a California Assembly committee investigating complaints of rampant sexual harassment and assault issues in Sacramento, both inside the Capitol and at off-site events. Lopez described an incident where a sitting assembly member pushed her into a bathroom and masturbated in front of her, asking her to touch him while he did, but declined to name the politician.
Today, she did. In a letter addressed to the Rules Committee Chair Ken Cooley, Lopez went on record naming Asm. Matt Dababneh (D-San Fernando Valley) of the assault.
The assault occurred in January 2016 at a private event hosted by mutual friends in Las Vegas which was attended by a number of political colleagues.
“When I went to the bathroom after being at the party for a few hours, I felt the weight of a body push me into the restroom. I heard the door slam behind us. When I turned around I saw that it was Matt Dababneh. He stood blocking the door and began to masturbate and move toward me, urging me to touch him.
“It was a terrifying experience. During the time he blocked me in that room, my instincts were focused on escaping without any physical contact and in a way that would not cause a scene. Before the ordeal ended, he told me not to tell anyone.”
Lopez first described the incident in October. She didn’t name a location, but didn’t correct assumptions in published stories that it happened in Sacramento, knowing that if she did, it would be easy for people to figure out the identity of the lawmaker. After testifying last week and hearing assurances from lawmakers that they were serious about cleaning up the culture, she decided to publicly name Dababneh.
After delivering the letter, Lopez held a press conference with her attorney.
Before she went public, Dababneh and his attorneys apparently believed she was talking about him, because she was served with a cease and desist letter Friday.
Why don’t more women come forward? There’s your sign.
Lopez was joined at the press conference by Jessica Yaz Barker, who said Dababneh sexually harassed her when both were staffers for Congressman Brad Sherman. Dababneh was the district director, and Barker was a subordinate.
Pamela and I aren’t the only women that Matt has harassed. His conduct ranges from unwanted touching, verbal abuse, verbal harassment, and much worse.
Once the news broke naming Dababneh as the lawmaker in Lopez’s story, the floodgates opened on Twitter:
The most damning thread came from the former president of the UCLA Democrats:
Let this sink in a minute. A man who was president of a large college organization didn’t feel it was his place to speak up? The Democrat party prides itself on being the party that works to stamp out sexual harassment and mistreatment of women, yet this man felt he should turn away? Was that because he thought, “Oh, this is just politics” or because he felt his own political future would be harmed if he made a fuss?
But now with corroboration? Why shouldn’t each allegation be at least investigated?
Lest someone write off Bash’s mini-rant as some kind of sour grapes or musings of a crazy person, a contemporary confirmed his initial tweet.
Richard Mathews, president of the North [San Fernando] Valley Democratic Club, quoted Bash’s tweet and said:
If it was such an open secret, why was Dababneh allowed to run for Assembly? He was first elected in a special election in 2013, and there is no way he would have been allowed to do so without the blessing of the Democrat power structure. It’s now been four years since Dababneh took office, apparently using his office as ground zero for his perverted fantasies. Yet everyone just relied on the whisper network until a couple of brave women stared down legal threats and career suicide and said, “Eff you, Matt Dababneh and your enablers.”
It’s despicable and disgusting. California lawmakers better protect these women and keep cleaning house until all of the scum and mold are bleached out of the building. From what my sources tell me, there are at least three more incumbent lawmakers who should be very nervous about now.