For the second time, an incident with the Carl DeMaio Congressional campaign is causing me to write a blog entry. DeMaio is challenging Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA). His campaign had been previously featured in the blog when he hired a staffer, retweeted the new staff members excited tweet about his new job, and then discovered that the staffer had previously sent off a series of racist and offensive tweets. More recently, DeMaio has been accused of sexual harassment and then trying to pay off his accuser (its worth noting that the criminal investigation into that complaint has been closed due to a lack of evidence).
Anyway, in today’s entry, it has recently come to light that DeMaio sent out this Email to two staffers. I’m not including the picture – if you want to see it, click the link. The picture itself features an overweight woman, in a bra, eating a chicken nugget.
Kate Lyon, whose name is in the subject, is the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Scott Peters’ campaign. Apparently, DeMaio thinks she is overweight, and decided to mock her with this Email (the woman pictured is not Kate Lyon). It came to light after Todd Bosnich, former DeMaio policy director, released it to the public. Incidentally, Bosnich is the staffer who has accused DeMaio of sexual harassment. Said Bosnich:
Me and Dave [other person on the Email] were pretty shocked because we both know Kate, and while we don’t agree with her politically she is very well respected on both sides. Neither of us responded,” Bosnich told TPM that he and McCulluch didn’t respond to the email.
Needless to say, the Peters campaign was not happy. In a statement, spokesman Alex Roth said:
Kate Lyon is one of the most experienced and respected members of our staff. She previously worked as an attorney, and for NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood. It is disgusting and despicable that this champion for women’s rights, or any woman, would be demeaned this way. I wish I could say it is shocking, but coming from Carl DeMaio, nothing is shocking.
I can’t find a comment from DeMaio on the Email, so it appears to me that he didn’t respond, but…wow. It’s a deeply offensive Email and certainly reveals a lack of respect for women, as far as I am concerned. It also reveals a secondary lesson: don’t put anything offensive in digital format. As a recent scandal in my home state has taught us, once again, don’t ever write anything digitally that you’d be uncomfortable seeing on the front page of your local newspaper.