Let’s just call it the “Bubba Rule” here in the Empire State.
The Rule simply states that any time a New York Democrat is being investigated for sexual harassment (which is seemingly quite often), said Democrat will no longer be allowed to work around interns. It is implemented with the belief that the lawmaker is such a perpetual sexual predator, that they can’t possibly control themselves around female interns. It has been previously invoked for such deviants as Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who was witnessed leering at his 14-year-old intern.
Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, who now has four official sexual harassment complaints against him from his female staff, and another two pending, is the latest to have the Bubba Rule invoked.
Gabryszak allegedly sent videos to multiple women on his staff that showed the Assemblyman receiving oral sex in a bathroom stall, offered one woman a $100,000/yr position if she moved to western New York to get away from her fiance, told one that “she aroused him sexually,” once referred to Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis with a sexually graphic play on words, and lamented the fact that if prostitutes were ever to unionize, he’d never be able to afford their services.
With that, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Governor Cuomo have said that this type of action will not be tolerated under their watch … this time anyway. Silver has, on multiple occasions, used taxpayer money to cover up sexual harassment and/or assault complaints against Democrat lawmakers or their staff throughout his career.
But darn it, this time they’re serious you guys! How do I know?
Silver is hiding the interns…
Via the New York Post:
An upstate New York lawmaker will have to do without interns while officials investigate sexual harassment claims against him.
Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said the decision to forbid interns to Buffalo-area Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak was made out of an abundance of caution.
The two remaining women on Gabryszak staff, Caitrin Kennedy and Virginia Curtis, have been placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.
Kennedy was among four women who filed court papers earlier this month alleging Gabryszak created a “hostile and offensive work environment” with lurid and sexually charged come-ons that included invitations to massage parlors and strip clubs.
There is a fundamental breakdown in the thought process being used here by Silver. You don’t remove money from a bank in order to prevent a robber from breaking in. If I’m fat and inside a McDonald’s, you don’t go and wipe out the entire supply of french fries so I’m not tempted to inhale them. And you don’t remove interns from their positions because their boss can’t keep his eyes off of them, or his offensive comments to himself.
Here is an excerpt from a law firm specializing in sexual harassment, which advises victims not to quit their job – which is tantamount to the interns being removed in this case:
You do not have to endure a sexually hostile work environment; your employer is legally required to make it stop. Don’t just quit to get away from the offensive environment.
In this case, Silver is ‘making it stop’ by allowing Gabryszak to continue working, while the women on his staff are placed on administrative leave.
The removal of interns was a tactic previously employed by Silver in the Vito Lopez case. Lopez, who was being accused of harassment for a second time (the first was concealed by taxpayer payoffs to the victims), was unanimously rebuked by the Standing Committee on Ethics and Guidance, stripped of his Housing Committee chairmanship, had funding and resources cut off from the Assembly, and was banned from hiring employees under the age of 21.
Why the age specific ban? Lopez, it seemed, could not be trusted around interns either. According to multiple sources, he was witnessed leering at a 14-year-old female intern, commenting on her “sexy attire”, and saying she should be emulated by the other ladies in his office. The comments toward the 14-year-old were so startling that it prompted another employee’s mother to call 911, and the police to file a sexual harassment/child abuse report.
Republican and possible gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, has ripped Governor Cuomo and Silver for their handling of these sexual harassment cases, stating that they have “created a permissive culture that has allowed such behavior to go on” in the State Assembly. Astorino even went so far as to state that he “would never allow (his) two daughters to work in the Assembly with what’s been going on.”
What makes sexual harassment “permissive” in the New York Assembly?
The Lopez case was a prime example, in which an ethics committee found that earlier payoffs enabled Lopez to continue his reprehensible actions. So why wouldn’t somebody like Gabryszak think it’s perfectly acceptable to harass his staffers?
Lopez, Kellner, Boxley … the list goes on. If this were a Republican epidemic, their careers would be over after the first instance. But it is a Democrat epidemic, an epidemic that should stop with Silver or Cuomo. The governor however, a man who once vowed to clean up Albany, has now presided over several new harassment claims and allegations without so much as a slap on the wrist for the Speaker.
With the Gabryszak case, Cuomo says that if the allegations against him are true, “I think he should resign.” Unfortunately Governor, your statement lacks teeth. Until focus is cast on Speaker Silver, the War on Women in New York will continue unabated.
Silver has consistently swept sexual harassment complaints under the rug, has continually used taxpayer funds to placate victims, and by extension has allowed these unprofessional and abhorrent behaviors to be perpetrated upon other victims. He has proven willing to sacrifice ethics for his allies in government. Now his solution is to remove interns from the workplace.
He is a panderer to predators, and must resign alongside Gabryszak.