With Kathleen Matthews as Chair, Maryland Democrats Cannot Be Taken Seriously on Women’s Issues
Big news over the weekend was that MSNBC host Chris Matthews was the latest media personality and the latest prominent Democrat to have been involved sexually harassing women:
An MSNBC spokesman confirmed Saturday the company made a separation-related payment to one of Chris Matthews employees after the woman complained about sexual harassment.
Two sources familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that Matthews paid $40,000 to settle with an assistant producer on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” in 1999 after she accused him of harassment. An MSNBC spokesperson contested that claim to the Caller, saying the company instead paid significantly less as part of a severance package.
The woman complained to CNBC executives about Matthews making inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others.
The MSNBC spokesman said that they thoroughly reviewed the situation at the time and that Matthews received a formal reprimand. Based on people who were involved in the matter, the network concluded that the comments were inappropriate and juvenile but were not intended to be taken as propositions.
The woman received separation-related compensation when she left MSNBC and has gone on to work in a number of high-profile media positions. MSNBC declined to comment on whether the employee left because of Matthews or whether this was the only claim in Matthews’ history at the company.
Matthews has been the host of “Hardball” since 1997 and also hosted “The Chris Matthews Show” from 2002 to 2013.
Now this story ties back to Maryland due to the fact his wife, Kathleen Matthews, is the Chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.
Under her leadership, the Maryland Democratic Party has made it a cottage industry of theirs to demand that Maryland Republicans account for everything that somebody who is a Republican has done. For example….
— MD Democratic Party (@mddems) November 10, 2017
— MD Democratic Party (@mddems) December 12, 2017
— MD Democratic Party (@mddems) December 12, 2017
Of course, the direction that Kathleen Matthews has sent the Maryland Democratic Party completely conflicts with what is going on in her own home. Something that WBAL’s Derek Hunter points out.
This is the wife of @HardballChris. She’s also Chair of the @mddems and a fan of pressuring others to distance themselves from accused sexual harassers. Wonder how she feels about her husband having settled a sexual harassment claim? https://t.co/4EnagBV8he https://t.co/zF0f5uUkuw
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) December 17, 2017
It also highlights the culture of sexual harassment that is fermenting under the surface of official Annapolis. As you read the other day, the General Assembly leadership is implementing new procedures to track sexual harassment among legislators and legislative staff:
Maryland will track allegations of sexual harassment made against state lawmakers, and politicians who violate the state’s code of conduct can be expelled from the legislature.
Leaders of the General Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to update the guidelines for reporting and tracking complaints against state lawmakers — though the identity of the accused wrongdoer will remain confidential.
The new policies come amid a national conversation about holding accountable people accused of sexual misconduct, and they follow a tide of allegations of impropriety by high-profile men in Hollywood, the media and politics.
“This is a watershed moment in time, and we want to make sure that everyone is treated fairly, that there’s a place that they can go, and that there’s a remedy,” Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said at the start of the Legislative Policy Committee meeting in Annapolis, where the new policy was approved.
This centralized tracking system will be used to generate an annual report of the number and type of allegations, as well as how they were resolved. But it will not identify the lawmakers or other legislative staffers involved because the reports will be considered a personnel matter.
But as we discussed on Red Maryland Radio this week, that system really does nothing to change anything in Annapolis. It won’t identify who is doing the sexual harassing in Annapolis, it will merely confirm what we already know; that sexual harassment is rampant in Annapolis. Clearly we are not going to paint every legislator with a broad brush, but in general the culture is not a pleasant culture to be around. The number of marriages that have failed among legislators is merely the tip of the iceberg. Everybody associated with politics has heard the rumors of sexual harassment or worse among legislators and legislative aides. As we said on Thursday’s show; it is a scandal that will eventually erupt and engulf Annapolis.
So now, in this culture of sexual harassment in Annapolis in our country, in this time in which everyday people in positions of power are being exposed as sexual harassers, the Maryland Democratic Party is led by a Chairman who almost certainly knew that almost 20 years that her husband was among the many sexual harassers in positions of power.
It’s kind of hard for women to take Maryland Democrats seriously when their chairman was a likely collaborator in keeping issues of sexual harassment from the public. It’s even more ridiculous to see that Matthews spent so much time attacking Maryland Republicans for things that Roy Moore did at a time where she almost certainly knew that she was complicit in covering up the boorish behavior of her own husband.
What other issues of sexism, sexual harassment, or worse is Kathleen Matthews willing to cover up to protect the interests of the Democratic Party?
Under Kathleen Matthews leadership it is obvious that the Maryland Democratic Party will be an organization that is not committed to ending the culture of sexual harassment in politics.