Sexual Harassment Scandals Engulf Michigan Democratic Party, as Whitmer, Dillon Refuse to Support Victims
LANSING, MI, November 21, 2017 –Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon and presumptive gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer are silent today, once again, in the face of shocking and appalling new accusations of sexual harassment committed by a prominent member of the state Party they lead.
Under Gretchen Whitmer and Brandon Dillon’s leadership, the Michigan Democratic Party has become mired in a rapidly expanding culture of sexual violence and sexual harassment, resulting in multiple lawsuits, state and federal settlements with victims (at taxpayer expense), and even jail time. The Michigan Freedom Fund today demanded Democrats – starting with Whitmer and Dillon – do the right thing, put politics aside, and protect the women victimized by prominent members of their state Party.
Since 2015, elected Democrats from Michigan have been investigated, sued, charged, convicted, and forced to resign. In that time, both Whitmer and Dillon have refused to offer a single public word critical of a member of their Party, to demand a single resignation, or to address the festering culture of sexual violence and harassment that has engulfed the Michigan Democratic Party.
“Gretchen Whitmer and Brandon Dillon are cowards. For all their rhetoric about protecting women and standing up to sexual assault, they have yet to offer a single condemnation of the cretins and felons running rampant in their party,” said Terri Reid, President of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “One story after another. Sexual violence and harassment are festering inside the Michigan Democratic Party, and ruining lives. Victims’ stories will continue to come to light, until Whitmer and Dillon do something about it and carve away the rot from inside their own Party. Tragically for the victims, they’ve proven time after time they have absolutely no interest in doing the right thing.”
Sexual harassment and violence on Brandon Dillon and Gretchen Whitmer’s watch include:
- Late last night, explosive new reports exposed multiple instances of sexual harassment by Democratic Congressman John Conyers, bringing to light a 2015 legal settlement with a former staffer who sued after allegedly being fired for refusing Conyers sexual advances. Multiple other women who once worked for the Congressman have come forward to accuse Conyers of sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advances. Brandon Dillon and Gretchen Whitmer refuse to stand up for his victims.
Democratic state Senator Virgil Smith was arrested for beating his ex-wife, chasing her, naked, down a public street with a semi-automatic rifle, then riddling her automobile with bullets as she fled in terror. Smith accepted a plea bargain, spent time in prison, and resigned in disgrace. Brandon Dillon and Gretchen Whitmer have never once publicly defended Smith’s victim or addressed Smith’s disgusting assault, even standing silently by while he disregarded his plea deal and ran for Detroit City Council.
Democratic state Representative Brian Banks was forced to settle a lawsuit brought by a former state employee who accused Banks of repeatedly sexually harassing him, then molesting him. Brandon Dillon and Gretchen Whitmer have never once publicly defended Banks’s victim or addressed the molestation or lawsuit.
- Since resigning, Banks has launched a political action committee to prepare for his next run for public office. Brandon Dillon and Gretchen Whitmer could speak up and put a stop to it, but have said nothing.
- This month, Democratic Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s chief of staff, Dwayne Duron Marshall, was forced to resign after multiple accusations of sexual harassment were leveled by former staffers. The women claim they made the Congresswoman aware of the harassment and she did nothing to stop it. Dillon and Whitmer have refused to defend his victims or hold Lawrence accountable for allegedly ignoring the women being victimized in her office.
Michigan Freedom Fund is a nonprofit organization run by Michiganders for Michiganders, working to advance, promote, and protect Michigan workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information on the Freedom Fund, please visit www.MichiganFreedomFund.com.