Congressional Democrats blather on and on and on about how important it is to #BelieveHer and support women who claim they’ve been sexually assaulted but, as we all know, that unquestioning belief is limited by the political affiliation of both the victim and the alleged assailant. If the perpetrator is Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Keith Ellison, or any number of their heroes, well, their victims are just an acceptable loss compared to the “good deeds” they do politically. If the alleged assailant is a conservative, well, of course he is guilty.
Case in point: California Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-San Fernando). The chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Bold PAC since 2014, who took fundraising from $1 million to $6 million in just one year, is accused of drugging and molesting a 16-year-old girl in 2007. The victim, now an expectant mother, filed a civil lawsuit against Cardenas in May, inspired by the #MeToo movement.
Nevertheless, according to the Free Beacon, multiple members of Congress are still partying with Cardenas and raising funds for their hopeful November #BlueWave.
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Great to spend some time with several members of the @hispanic.caucus at #boldpac and can’t wait to welcome several new members after The #bluewave in November 🌊🌊🌊 #2018midterms #takebackthehouse @vgescobar915 @jesuschuygar @senatorsylvia @grcj30 @repraulruizmd @repbarragan @reprubengallego @jimmygomezca @repcardenas @juanabmatias @repbarragan @reproybalallard @repbenraylujan @governorterrymcauliffe @repcarbajal @feroxstrategies #hustle
The incident described in the initial complaint, as reported by the L.A. Times, is horrifying.
“[Cardenas] invited her to play at Hillcrest Country Club in January 2007, when she was 16….Several hours into their game, the suit said, the man handed her a cup of ice water; it had an unusual taste, so she took just a few sips. The pair played golf for four or five hours, when the teenager ‘suddenly collapsed to the ground but did not lose consciousness.’
“The man drove her to the emergency room. During the ride, he reached inside her shirt and rubbed her breasts, the suit alleges. He also reached down her shorts and fondled her vagina, according to the suit. Jane Doe was ‘frozen from shock,’ according to the lawsuit.
“The abuse continued for 30 to 45 minutes as he drove, according to the lawsuit. ‘Ms. Doe remained motionless and speechless throughout the entire incident in fear of what he might do if she did not feign sleep.'”
Politico reported that the victim’s father worked for Cardenas both when he was a Los Angeles City Councilman and when he was a Congressman. Cardenas, through his attorney Patty Glaser (yes, the one who defended Harvey Weinstein) dismisses the allegations as retribution from a disgruntled former employee. Obviously, that scenario sometimes happens, but by looking at the filings a different picture emerges.
In an August filing the girl’s attorneys sought to amend their complaint to add details they contend they couldn’t include in the original filing due to California privacy laws regarding child sexual abuse. According to the LA Daily News, they allege:
“The girl had been living in a mobile home in Pacoima, but Cardenas offered to provide a four-bedroom home for her family in which they would not have to pay rent or for utilities…[and that] ‘Ms. Doe believes her father accepted Mr. Cardenas’ generous offer because he wanted a better life for his family.’
“A San Fernando Valley real estate developer who contributed to Cardenas’ campaign paid for the family’s living expenses in the new home located on a 20-acre lot….
“Cardenas considered the woman’s father to be like a brother to him and hired the man to work for him in his Los Angeles City Council office and later when the politician was elected to Congress.”
Her father “trusted Mr. Cardenas implicitly.” So implicitly that he allowed Cardenas to accompany her to golf tournaments and allowed her accompany Cardenas to speaking engagements. They were together so often, the amended lawsuit alleges, that some people, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, believed she was his daughter.
So, let’s see. He met her when she was 14, around 2005, then groomed her for two years before abusing her. Sure, he did the “right thing” by taking her to the emergency room after he drugged her, but essentially kicked her out at the curb as the car kept going. Then, he employs her father, offers the family a new home in a much safer neighborhood (just living in Pacoima is extremely unsafe; living in a Pacoima trailer park is exponentially worse), and arranges for the rent and utility payments to be made.
And they wonder why she stayed quiet?
After the lawsuit was filed Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer called for an ethics probe, but no probe has been officially announced. Cardenas started a legal defense fund in August, which was approved by the ethics committee.
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, one of the partiers, tweeted his opposition to Brett Kavanaugh. He hasn’t made any similar comments opposing Cardenas’ continued leadership at Bold PAC.
— Ben Ray Lujan (@repbenraylujan) September 7, 2018
Lujan hasn’t made a public comment of concern about the allegations Cardenas faces. In fact, only one Democrat representative has made any kind of waves over the allegation..
“Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D., N.M.), who chairs the Hispanic caucus, has reportedly privately relayed concerns to Cardenas about the lawsuit and the allegations, although she has not asked him to step down from running the PAC.”
Is this just partisan loyalty, or is it something deeper? I believe it’s a healthy amount of both. As I mentioned above, Cardenas took Bold PAC from $1 million in donations to $6 million in 2016 and, as of December 2017, they were on track to raise over $10 million this cycle. Cardenas has become so influential that one analyst said, “Should Democrats take back the House, I think it’s going to have Tony’s fingerprints all over it.”
Multiple Democrat candidates who have accepted contributions from Bold PAC have been called out by their opponents. Two California candidates who have benefited from Bold PAC contributions, Mike Levin and Katie Hill, (neither of whom are Latino) are challengers.
One incumbent, Salud Carbajal, has accepted over $20,000 from Bold PAC since 2016 and was the recipient of nearly $1,000,000 in independent expenditure ads, according to a website funded by his opponent. That opponent, Justin Fareed, called on Carbajal to, “at the very least,”return that $20,000. Carbajal replied to a local newspaper that he wasn’t going to return any money:
“This is not an individual PAC. The goal is to promote diversity and focus on the Latino community,” Carbajal said. “When you consider this important time in history when the president demagogues and goes after the Latino community, it’s more important than ever to ensure we have Latino representatives in Congress, and I am proud to be one of those individuals.”
Ah yes, pivot to attack Donald Trump and claim “diversity.” If this group wants to “ensure we have Latino representatives in Congress,” why are they providing funding to non-Latino candidates like Katie Hill and Mike Levin? If they seek diversity, why are they actively trying to defeat Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and refusing to allow him to join the Hispanic Caucus? Oh, yes, silly me – diversity of thought is not the goal. They’re just looking at skin color and ideology, which is the most prejudiced thing of all.
And, if you have the right ideology, anything can be overlooked – including drugging and diddling a teenage girl and then kicking her out at the emergency room door.