Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Packing Wood

I am trying to understand what the hell is with these old duffers and the walking around naked or in a bathrobe, chasing young women who are ostensibly the age of granddaughters and in turn confused as to why these women are upset over being the object of their affection.

The irony is that I would have dated Charlie Rose.  Many women my age as well as women 45-65 who are decades younger and in great shape, his intellectual and emotional equal would be thrilled to be in his company and be an excellent companion. Oh wait that intellectual and emotional equal part might be the problem.

We have predators and pedophiles and Roy Moore,  Larry Nassar US Gymnast Physician and other Coaches from varying U.S. Olympic Sports, Catholic Priests and the fuckwits in Education who feel the need to abuse children.  Sadly I am sure I missed some classification or individual who has been named in the current cycle.

Serial predator and/or rapists include of course Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and a shitload of others that at this count include Louis C.K.,  Rep. John Conyers, Charlie Rose, fuck it I am not doing inventory of this so thank God ABC News did and even that is now out of date

They also neglected to mention New York Times reporter, Glenn Thrush, Fashion Photographer Terry Richardson and as of today add t  John Lassiter, Executive of Pixar,  who is taking a leave after allegations of harassment. And of course Pevert-in-Chief, Donald Trump.

Whew, I need a break, a drink or fuck it everyone just shut the fuck up for a minute.   I have taken issue with two, Jeffrey Tambor  and Senator Franken.  Both seem political or at least some of the accusations do.  And again this is a reality that not all things are crimes nor are true.  Tambor believes that much of this is political and in some way so is Franken as way too many individuals have come forward, both past and present colleagues who feel while one act was stupid the other difficult to substantiate.  And I believe that everyone needs to be heard regardless.

The reality is I recall earlier times when this shit went on and sometimes made front page.  Senator Bob Packwood was one who puts many of these men to shame.  Raging asshole and pervert comes to mind.  Ah everything old is new again.

Before Franken and Moore, there was Sen. Bob Packwood — a serial sexual harasser, reelected anyway

By Kristine Phillips The Washington post November 22 2017

Bob Packwood, now 85, may have lost the political status he worked for and cherished, but he was never completely banished from politics. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Bob Packwood was a socially progressive Republican who advocated for women’s equality. He championed issues such as abortion rights and family leave. He hired women to run his campaigns, promoted them to positions of power and supported their careers. Feminists loved him.

But there was another portrait of the former U.S. senator from Oregon — one that he, himself, revealed in his own words, written on thousands of pages of documents.

In his personal diaries, Packwood described women in objectifying terms.

An intern was a “cute little blonde thing.”

Another was “a very sexy woman” whose breasts stood “at attention” and had the “ability to shift her hips.” She and Packwood drank wine together and had sex on the rug of his Senate office, he wrote.

And she wasn’t the only one; Packwood wrote that there were “22 staff members I’d made love to and probably 75 others I’ve had a passionate relationship with.”

Before Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) — before Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose and Louis C.K and even Bill Clinton, famous and powerful men who found themselves in a quandary of inappropriate sexual behavior — there was Bob Packwood, an ambitious senator who eyed the presidency, then found himself resigning in disgrace and in tears in 1995.

[Why politicians got away with sexual misconduct for so long]

The unraveling of Packwood’s 26-year career in the Senate began on Nov. 22, 1992, less than three weeks after his narrow reelection victory.

The Washington Post ran a lengthy front-page story that Sunday detailing allegations of misconduct and inappropriate sexual advances against the then-60-year-old senator.

Ten women, many of whom were former staffers, recounted their horror stories to The Post.

Some left their jobs within months of the incidents, disillusioned by the boss they once admired.

The image portrayed in the story was that of a troubled alcoholic who groped female staffers behind closed doors and kissed them forcefully against their will, even as he was championing women’s rights in public.

The allegations, which spanned two decades, were hardly a secret on Capitol Hill’s rumor mill.

Yet, in election after election, Packwood managed to secure another term.

Before Leigh Corfman, Reah Bravo, Leann Tweeden, Julia Wolov, Rose McGowan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and dozens of other women who went public with allegations of sexual harassment, there was Julie Williamson, a then-29-year-old legal secretary hired by Packwood after he became a senator in 1969.

She was on the telephone one afternoon, Williamson told The Post, when Packwood, then 36, kissed her on the back of her neck.

“Don’t ever do that again,” she said she told him.

But Packwood followed her into another room, where he grabbed at her clothes, pulled her ponytail and stood on her toes. Williamson said she kept struggling, and Packwood gave up.

She quit her job shortly after.

Years later, in the mid-1970s, there was Jean McMahon.

She told The Post in 1992 that she approached Packwood’s office about a job and later found herself meeting with the senator in his motel room, once during a visit in Salem, Ore., and again on the state’s coast.

On both occasions, McMahon met with Packwood to talk about a speech she was drafting for him. But during the second meeting, Packwood had other things in mind, McMahon said.

“I remember being chased around the table and being grabbed and kissed once,” she told The Post.

There was also Paige Wagers, a then-21-year-old college graduate who worked as a mail clerk in Packwood’s office in Washington in 1976.

Packwood called her into his office one day and told her how much he liked her looks, she said. He ran his fingers through her hair and kissed her on the lips.

Years later, in 1981, Wagers ran into Packwood in one of the Capitol’s underground passageways, The Post reported. They talked, with Packwood seeming to take interest in her new job at the Labor Department. He then opened a door that led to an unmarked office. There, Packwood kissed her again, she said.

“You don’t feel like you’re going to be taken seriously,” she told The Post in 1992. “You are going to be given opportunities only because you’re cute.”

In 1980, there was Gena Hutton, a then-35-year-old divorced mother of two. Packwood, who was running for reelection, invited Hutton, his campaign chairwoman for Lane County, Ore., for dinner at his motel. The meeting was for Packwood to get to know his campaign chairwoman, Hutton told the New York Times in 1993. At the end of the night, Packwood offered to walk her to her car.

“As I started to put the key in the car door, he just reeled me around and grabbed me and pulled me close to him,” Hutton said.

What she first thought was a good-night hug turned out to be a full French kiss.

The allegations stretched into the 1990s. Packwood initially denied them, at times saying he didn’t remember the women, or that he couldn’t find anyone on his staff who knew them. He was not the type to make such advances, he also said.

“I am so hesitant of anything at all that I just, I don’t make any approaches,” he told The Post in 1992, nearly a month before the story was published. “It is simply not my nature, with men or women, to be forward.”

He also sent The Post statements suggesting that some of the women either invited the advances or were lying. The statements contained purported details about the women’s sexual histories and personal lives that might embarrass them and cast doubt on their credibility.

Later, he offered an apology:

“If any of my comments or actions have indeed been unwelcome or if I have conducted myself in any way that has caused any individual discomfort or embarrassment, for that I am sincerely sorry. My intentions were never to pressure, to offend, nor to make anyone feel uncomfortable, and I truly regret if that has occurred with anyone either on or off my staff.”

Soon, more women came forward.

Packwood’s feminist allies were outraged and felt betrayed. A Senate Ethics Committee investigation dragged on for two years, leaving the rest of the country to watch a senator’s painfully slow and highly public fall from grace.

In July 1993, the Senate Ethics Committee sent letters to at least 200 women who worked for Packwood in the Senate since his first election in 1969. The letters were signed by Sens. Richard H. Bryan (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the committee’s chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

“The committee is interested in any information that you may have regarding Sen. Packwood’s conduct, whether that information tends to substantiate allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct, or to refute them,” the committee wrote.

The probe grew wider, with the committee issuing a subpoena for Packwood’s personal diaries.

Packwood, who had sought treatment for alcohol abuse, was defiant, saying entries in his diaries contained thousands of pages of sensitive information, including details about the sex lives of other members of Congress.

The fight to make the diaries public became a drawn-out drama — and a pivotal one at that: The diaries — Packwood’s own words — were the strongest evidence against him.

On Nov. 3, 1993, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve the subpoena, dismissing efforts from Packwood and other Republicans to limit its scope.

On Sept. 7, 1995, after much legal wrangling, the committee released 10,145 pages of documents that came in 10 green-bound volumes. By then, Packwood was on the brink of expulsion from the Senate.

The pages told the self-authored story of a man who forced himself on women on at least 18 occasions and hustled favors from lobbyists, The Post reported. More disturbing was that he also removed or altered some potentially incriminating words in the diaries.

Hours after the diaries were made public, Packwood resigned. Tearing up, he delivered his career eulogy to a quiet Senate chamber.

“I think many of you are aware of why I’m here today,” he said. “I am aware of the dishonor that has befallen me in the last three years. And I don’t want to visit further that dishonor on the Senate. It is my duty to resign. It is the honorable thing to do for this country, for the Senate.

More than two dozen women, many of whom were on his staff, accused Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) of sexual harassment. Packwood resigned on Sept. 7, 1995. (CSPAN)

Packwood’s ex-wife, Georgie, said her husband’s womanizing wasn’t news to her.

She’d heard the rumors, but her husband denied being unfaithful, she told the New York Times in 1993.

Still, their marriage crumbled. He drunkenly belittled her at parties, she said. She spent hours in bed, depressed.

During a visit to a marriage counselor’s office, he made clear what his priorities were.

“I don’t want any responsibility,” she recalled her ex-husband saying. “I don’t want a wife. I don’t want a home. I only want to be a senator. That’s all there is for me.”

Packwood, now 85, may have lost the political status he worked for and cherished, but he was never completely banished from politics.

He became a well-paid lobbyist who occasionally advised lawmakers on tax and budget issues.

In 2015, the Senate Finance Committee that he had once chaired called him to Capitol Hill to talk about his role in overhauling the tax code in 1986.

Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) called Packwood a “great former leader” during his introduction that only subtly hinted at the former senator’s comeuppance.

“I believe in redemption,” Hatch said. “I believe that you don’t judge people for mistakes in the past, you judge them for what they are doing today and frankly he did a terrific job of working on tax reform.”

Packwood would agree, having told Politico the previous year: “I find people in the political arena are very understanding and forgiving.”

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