After months of dodging questions and providing weak and “lawyerly” statements about the sexual harassment case involving former Democrat Representative John Arnold, Alison Lundergan Grimes finally came forward and said she was “disappointed” that Arnold won’t be punished. She also confirmed she would keep the $250 donation from Arnold.
But what’s most bizarre, is that despite failing to criticize Democrat House leaders for their handling of the scandal, failing to call for Arnold’s resignation, and failing to give back the money, Grimes took it a step further and actually blamed Republicans for bringing these issues to light and calling on her to speak up.
“It shouldn’t be this difficult for a candidate running on women’s issues to speak out strongly against sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Kentucky GOP spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper. “Alison Lundergan Grimes truly showed her steadfast partisan loyalties by once again failing to address House Democrat leaders’ mishandling of the sexual harassment case, and clearly proved that she’ll always choose her Democrat powerbrokers over Kentucky women.”
Check out her comments (or lack thereof) on the issue below:
Grimes “Whiffed” When Asked About The Arnold Sexual Harassment Scandal. “But Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who mentions virtually every time she speaks that she is the state’s only female constitutional officer and who has been a champion of abused women, whiffed, giving a lawyerly answer rather than a heartfelt one when asked her thoughts on the subject. ‘I strongly believe there is no place for harassment in the workplace whether you are female or male, and such behavior cannot be tolerated. All Kentuckians deserve a safe work environment. Due process must be afforded to protect all parties involved, while also ensuring the public’s full confidence in the ongoing investigation,’ she said in a statement.” (Joseph Gerth, Op-Ed, “House Leaders Slow To Address Sexual Harassment Allegations,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/25/13)
Allegations Against Arnold By Three Staff Members Include “Inappropriately Touching Them, Stroking Them, And In One Instance, Grabbing One Woman’s ‘Fancy Red Lace Panties’ As She Was Climbing The Steps To The State Capitol Annex And, In Another, Slapping A Woman On Her Rear.” “Three legislative staff members have accused Arnold, a Sturgis Democrat, of inappropriately touching them, stroking them, and in one instance, grabbing one woman’s ‘fancy red lace panties’ as she was climbing the steps to the state Capitol Annex and, in another, slapping a woman on her rear. The picture of the state legislature painted in the complaints filed with the state Legislative Ethics Commission is a permissive culture more like a fraternity house than a statehouse.” (Joseph Gerth, Op-Ed, “House Leaders Slow To Address Sexual Harassment Allegations,” Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/25/13)
Grimes Campaign “Dodged” On Whether A Democrat State Senator Accused Of Sexual Harassment Should Resign. “When asked this week about the accusations levied at state Rep. John Arnold by two female staffers, a Grimes campaign spokesperson told WFPL harassment of women in the workplace should not be tolerated, but dodged whether Arnold should resign.” (Phillip M. Bailey, “Reaching Out To Women Voters, Mitch McConnell Says Democrats Dividing Kentuckians Along Gender Lines,” WFPL, 8/30/13)
Grimes “Still Declined To Say Whether” Arnold Should Resign. “Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes slightly ratcheted up her rhetoric Friday about the allegations of sexual harassment against a sitting Democratic state legislator but still declined to say whether the lawmaker should resign. Instead, Grimes — a lawyer by training who is in her second year as secretary of state – said she agrees with ‘all efforts to hold’ Rep. John Arnold accountable.” (Ryan Alessi, “Grimes Slightly Sharpens Her Concern Over Harassment Saga While Her Campaign Hammers On Women’s Issues,” CN|2’s “Pure Politics,” 9/8/13)
“Grimes Has Said Little Publicly About The Allegations Against Arnold.” “Grimes has said little publicly about the allegations against Arnold, of Union County, even as her Senate campaign continues to make women’s issues a centerpiece of her run against Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.” (Ryan Alessi, “Grimes Slightly Sharpens Her Concern Over Harassment Saga While Her Campaign Hammers On Women’s Issues,” CN|2’s “Pure Politics,” 9/8/13)
Lexington Herald Leader’s Sam Youngman: Grimes’ Charge Of Sexism Would Have Been Strong “Had She Been A Forceful Voice This Summer When State Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, Was Accused Of Sexually Harassing Three Women Staffers.” “Like Palin, Grimes has a lot of work to do to satisfy voters’ questions about where she stands on the issues. Last week, Grimes and her Democratic supporters expressed outrage after the National Republican Senatorial Committee promoted a picture of Grimes’ head on the body of Amber Lee Ettinger, the so-called ‘Obama girl.’ It’s up to individual women to decide whether they were offended, but how much stronger would her hand have been had she been a forceful voice this summer when state Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, was accused of sexually harassing three women staffers?” (Sam Youngman, “Grimes And McConnell Face Pitfalls As They Woo Women,” Lexington Herald Leader, 11/25/13)
Grimes Wouldn’t Call for Democratic State Rep. Arnold’s Resignation “Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is declining to call for Democratic State Rep. John A. Arnold to resign, leading her opponents to call her less than genuine about “fighting for Kentucky women.” Arnold is currently facing formal complaints from three employees for sexual harassment. The allegations date back to 2009 and include Arnold grabbing the underwear of a staffer and touching the thigh of a female legislator. Grimes, who is currently in a Senate race against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), has issued two statements regarding the matter but has so far refused to call for Rep. Arnoldto step down. (Elizabeth Harrington, “Grimes Won’t Call for Democratic State Rep. ArnoldsResignation,” Free Beacon, 9/10/13)
After Failing to Call for His Resignation, Grimes Refuses to Return John Arnold’s Donation “Cooper said the state’s GOP is also asking Grimes to return a donation from former Kentucky state Rep. John Arnold (D), who resigned in September amid sexual harassment allegations. “We are asking for Alison Lundergan Grimes to return that donation. If she really cares about standing up for Kentucky women she should do that,” Cooper said, according to WFPL. “And if she doesn’t we can only assume either she condones sexual harassment and disgustingly inappropriate behavior in the workplace or she’s more concerned with her liberal allies campaign cash than the women of Kentucky.” (Paige Lavender, “Alison Lundergan Grimes Criticized By Kentucky GOP Over Donation From Woody Allen,” Huffington Post, 02/10/14)
Grimes Declines to Take Questions About Frankfort Sexual Harassment Case “Likely Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes told about 150 Fayette County Democrats Tuesday night that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has “yesterday’s view of women.” Then she declined to answer questions about a former Democratic lawmaker accused of sexual harassment.” (Sam Youngman, “Grimes declines to take questions about Frankfort sexual harassment case,” Lexington Herald Leader, 4/8/14)
Grimes ‘Disappointed’ Arnold Won’t Be Punished. “Likely Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes said Wednesday she was disappointed that former state Rep. John Arnold, D-Sturgis, won’t be punished by a state ethics panel for his alleged sexual harassment of three legislative aides.” (“Grimes says she’s disappointed by ethics panel’s decision not to punish former lawmaker,” Lexington Herald Leader, 4/9/14)
Grimes “Glad” Arnold Resigned. “After refusing Tuesday night to take questions about Arnold from reporters for the Herald-Leader and cn|2 Pure Politics, Grimes released a statement Wednesday that said she is glad that Arnold resigned last September.” (“Grimes says she’s disappointed by ethics panel’s decision not to punish former lawmaker,” Lexington Herald Leader, 4/9/14)
“Grimes keeps donation from lawmaker accused of sexual harassment after speaking with women” “Grimes has made women’s issues a focal point of her campaign against U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. But she has refrained from speaking publicly about the alleged sexual harassment. A spokeswoman for Grimes said she will keep the donation.” (“Grimes keeps donation from lawmaker accused of sexual harassment after speaking with women,” Associated Press, 4/9/14)
GRIMES BLAMES REPUBLICANS?