Franken right to resign

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

U.S. Sen. Al Franken will step down, but he’s not happy about it.

Garrison Keillor is gone from NPR. Just vanquished one day after complaints of sexual misconduct. I’ll miss Keillor more than Franken.

There are raging debates on social media. There are people, mostly female, with legitimate complaints. In that context, read today’s statement by Toni Van Pelt, president of the National Organization for Women: (Yes, NOW still exists.)

“Al Franken was right to resign. He’s been a good senator, but his career cannot be valued higher than his obligation to treat women with respect. Minnesota will get another good senator, and I hope it’s a woman.

“Once all the prominent people who’ve been revealed to have sexually harassed co-workers resign, there will still be a culture that disrespects women in place. Al Franken is not the problem. The problem is a workplace culture that treats women as objects and accommodates their abusers.

“It’s not about how many famous people have to resign, or whether they’re Democrats or Republicans. It’s about men who protect men, institutions that protect their own, and a legal system that protects victimizers over victims.”

Well said.

Harold Ford Jr. fired

Breaking: The Daily News in Memphis has just reported former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. has been fired from Morgan Stanleyfollowing a company investigation into allegations he harassed, intimidated and forcibly grabbed a co-worker, according to Huffington Post. The HuffPo story says Morgan Stanley has confirmed Ford’s dismissal “for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies.”

Vice mayor: Finbarr

When Knoxville City Council reorganizes at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, following the swearing in of five new members, I expect Finbarr Saunders to be named vice mayor. Here’s why:

  • The newbies aren’t organized to elect one of their own. And that would be presumptuous, anyhow.
  • George Wallace and Marshall Stair are eyeing a race for mayor in 2019. Getting elected vice mayor would give one an advantage over the other – an advantage fellow council members don’t want to give.
  • That leaves Saunders and Mark Campen, and Campen says he’s not a candidate.

“(Finbarr) is the most senior council member and has served well,” Campen responded when asked if he would be a candidate. “He is also retired, allowing him more time to dedicate to the position. If he wants it, that’s who I will be supporting.”

OK then. Finbarr’s got two votes already.

Party time

The swearing-in ceremony is always fun as family and campaign supporters show up to celebrate. Winners are Stephanie Welch, Andrew Roberto, Seema Singh-Perez, Lauren Rider and Gwen McKenzie.

Saying goodbye are Nick Pavlis, Duane Grieve, Brenda Palmer, Nick Della Volpe and Daniel Brown.


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