Another male California Democrat is allegedly a disgusting sexual predator, according to a letter recently sent to the Secretary of the California Democratic Party by a number of top leaders.
Craig Cheslog, who is the Region 2 Director and an elected school board member, reportedly raped a party member at a November 2016 CDP Executive Board meeting. The woman didn’t report the rape at the time, but after she witnessed Cheslog behaving “in a sexually aggressive manner” in public during this fall’s Executive Board meeting came forward to other party leaders, who are now calling for his resignation.
This letter was sent November 29 to CDP Secretary Jenny Bach and recently leaked to various political bloggers in the Golden State.
The scan of the letter isn’t easy to read; here’s the meat of the allegations (emphasis added):
We have received multiple reports that Mr. Cheslog acted in an inappropriate and sexually aggressive manner towards one of our members in the public areas of the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel. These inappropriate actions occurred late Saturday night, November 18, 2017, at the Winter 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting. The level to which this activity advanced made a number of those in attendance uncomfortable and created an unwelcoming and unsuitable environment.
Further, witnessing this activity triggered a reaction in one of our members who subsequently reported to our Chair that Mr. Cheslog had raped her at a CDP Executive Board meeting the previous year (November 2016). While no legal adjudication has been reached in this matter, these appalling allegations paired with the inappropriate behavior observed and reported this past weekend lead us to conclude that Mr. Cheslog should no longer serve as an officer of the California Democratic Party.
But it’s okay for him to remain as a member of your party?
A few observations.
First, these members of the CDP did the right thing in submitting this letter almost immediately after the meeting. But, in this environment, if they hadn’t – especially since the Matt Dababneh case was happening simultaneously with less grievous particulars – they would have been raked over the coals, and rightfully so. When you’re the party more or less in charge of a state where over 140 women who work in politics have signed a letter condemning the blatant sexism and culture of harassment in the Capitol, you ignore this type of behavior at your own risk.
Second, what the hell, Mr. Cheslog? Are you a special kind of stupid? Do you think you’re that untouchable that you can act that way in November 2017 and get away with it? As you might have seen, you cannot hug female co-workers. (I won’t write “anymore” because, really – and call me a Vulcan – there’s never a place for hugging in the workplace anyway.)
Next, have the signatories asked for a law enforcement investigation into the reported rape that occurred at their leadership meeting in 2016? That may be information they are privy to but, in respecting the privacy of the woman reporting the assault, are withholding, and that’s absolutely acceptable. But if they have knowledge of a serious crime, there’s no excuse for not reporting it to law enforcement.
In addition to his elected position with the Acalanes Union High School District Board of Trustees, Cheslog had been employed by Common Sense Media. His employer apparently was informed of the allegations on the same day the CDP was, and the company terminated him after an investigation into his behavior.
On Wednesday November 29, we received information about highly inappropriate behavior by Craig Cheslog, who was an employee of Common Sense at the time. The conduct represented a serious violation of both company policy and the way in which our employees are expected to conduct themselves in the community at large. We immediately suspended Mr. Cheslog and conducted an investigation. As a result of the investigation, Mr. Cheslog’s employment with Common Sense was terminated.
It gets worse. Cheslog has been a board member for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Northern California since 2009. His concern for women’s “choice” apparently doesn’t extend to granting them the ability to choose their own sexual partners.
The Women’s Caucus of the California Democratic Party issued a statement, posted to their Facebook page using the hashtags #CADemWomen and #WeSaidEnough (but without Craig Cheslog’s name):
CA Democratic Party Women's Caucus Executive Board statement on sexual harassment allegations against party leaders: #cademwomen #wesaidenough
Statement by the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus regarding recent sexual harassment allegations against party leaders:
The California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus believes that each and all of us – especially elected party leaders – must create a culture of dignity and respect and use our powers to fight harassment, discrimination, bullying, and abuse.
We support victims coming forward with a path to justice, due process, and transparency so that our party can do the hard work of building a culture of respect and equity for all.
A school board trustee, working with a company whose mission is to protect children from the harmful influences of media, who views women so poorly that he believes he can steal their virtue on a whim. Irony is too light a word to describe this, and unfortunately he’s probably not the only one.