So far, five women have accused… OOPS!
Make that SIX women have come forward to tell of Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s disgusting, grabby, inappropriate behavior.
That’s right. We woke up to a fifth accuser, as told by Joe Cunningham, and our breakfast hadn’t even digested properly before news of a sixth woman is making the rounds.
This particular victim of Al Franken’s creepitude is actually a former New England elected official. She’s remaining anonymous, for now, but if you’re the type who likes to dig into these things, this was in 2006, just before Franken began his run for the Senate, and it happened during an onstage event.
By coming forward, this as-yet-unnamed woman is hoping Franken will be prompted to take responsibility for his actions.
So far, we’ve gotten a lot of, “I don’t remember this” and “I’m sorry you felt disrespected.”
In other words, it’s not that he’s a lecherous scumbag, but that the responsibility falls on these overly sensitive women who took things the wrong way.
HE is the victim, you see.
Speaking to Jezebel.com, the latest accuser offered:
“I want my name associated with my own accomplishments,” she told us, “and not publicly linked to a man’s bad behavior.”
I can understand that.
According to the woman’s account, she was working as the chair of her town’s Select board in 2006 when Franken, who was then a host for the progressive radio station Air America, came to her community. The woman was invited to appear as a guest in a live taping of his show and be interviewed in a theater in front of a large audience. Jezebel has independently confirmed that she appeared on the show.
More pieces of the puzzle, for you diggers out there.
After the interview, the woman tells us, “I reached out my hand to shake his.” Then, she says, “He took it and leaned toward me with his mouth open. I turned my head away from him and he landed a wet, open-mouthed kiss awkwardly on my cheek.”
The woman says she was in disbelief. “I was stunned and incredulous. I felt demeaned. I felt put in my place.” She says, too, that although they were in an extremely public place, no one noticed: “It was onstage in front of a full theater… It was insidious. It was in plain sight and yet nobody saw it.” She adds, referring to the women who say Franken groped them during photo ops: “The other women’s accounts of him grabbing their buttocks in front of their mothers and husbands, I believe them.”
Why is he trying these things in such public settings?
Well, that again puts the women in the more vulnerable and awkward position. Either they do nothing, out of some sense of propriety, or they go ape and commit a battery in front of witnesses.
So let’s do a quick rundown of the women who’ve opened up about uncomfortable, disrespectful encounters with Franken:
- Leeann Tweeden, a model and radio host, said he forced his tongue in her mouth, then later took a photo of her sleeping, either groping, or simulating groping her breasts (neither appropriate) while on a USO tour.
- Three separate women stepped forward to say that Franken gripped their buttocks during photo-ops. At least one of those was at an event to honor women, and one said he also suggested they find a bathroom to slip into (presumably for sex).
- His fifth accuser, Stephanie Kemplin, was stationed in Iraq during the Iraq war and met Franken on a USO tour in 2003. During a photo-op, she claims he cupped her breast and held his hand there, until she turned her body to remove his hand.
- An unnamed sixth accuser claims he attempted an inappropriate kiss on the mouth.
This sixth woman has a sister and a friend, with all three being liberals, totally behind Franken’s deplorable political agenda, but who all feel his actions require he step up and take responsibility.
The former elected official tells us that while she’s long admired Franken’s politics, she decided to talk about the incident to encourage him to accept responsibility for his actions.
“My intent in coming forward is not to negate the good work he’s done or smear his name,” she told us. “I want him to take personal responsibility for his actions, learn from this, not repeat the behavior, and go forward with respect in all his interactions with women.”
Do you know what would be taking responsibility?
Stepping down. Getting out. He’s proven that he has a history of poor judgment and a disrespectful attitude that is unbecoming of the office he holds.
That he is not fully owning his bad acts shows that there’s no remorse (beyond getting caught).
I said last week that we hadn’t seen the end of accusers and that more would come forward, because there’s always more.
Franken is big on lecturing his political opponents on proper behavior. Let’s see him turn some of that righteous indignation inward and do the right thing.