East Bay director of state Democratic Party resigns after sexual-misconduct allegations

The East Bay’s representative to the California Democratic Party has resigned under pressure following allegations that he acted in a sexually aggressive manner toward a 23-year-old woman at a party function in San Mateo County last month, and allegations that he raped another female party member last year.

Craig Cheslog, 46, of Lafayette, also resigned from his seat on the Acalanes Union High School District board, according to a published report. He was recently fired from a job at Common Sense Media.

Cheslog is a former aide to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Cheslog did not respond to phone messages Saturday afternoon and no one came to the door of his Lafayette home when a reporter went there. His lawyer told the Los Angeles Times that her client did nothing wrong and that an objective investigation would clear him.

The allegedly aggressive actions with the 23-year old occurred after a party executive committee that included discussions of how Democrats should respond to the wave of sexual misconduct allegations roiling across the country in recent months following a New York Times reports detailing alleged sexual assaults by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

“Mr. Cheslog acted in an inappropriate and sexually aggressive manner towards one of our members in the public areas of the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel” a Nov. 18 letter, to state party secretary Jenny Bach, from chairman Eric Bauman and three other party leaders, stated.

Bauman said in a phone interview that he and other party leaders “spent a significant amount of time” deciding how to deal with the allegations before making them public in the letter.

Bauman said that when a female party member saw Cheslog allegedly acting aggressively with the 23-year-old woman last month, she confided to others the allegation that Cheslog raped her at a party function last year in San …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

Omarosa’s exit highlights the struggle of black Republicans to fit in at the White House

Colin Powell speaks to a group during a session at the National Venture Capital Association's annual conference in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

By Vanessa Williams | Washington Post

Whether she walked out the door on her own or was escorted out by security personnel, Omarosa Manigault’s departure from the White House this week means that there is no longer an African-American in President Donald Trump’s inner circle.

And the response to the news that she is resigning, or was fired, from her job as director of communications for the office of public liaison suggests that most people didn’t think her presence made a difference anyway because Trump’s administration has been indifferent or outright hostile to communities of color.

Political pundits on TV and armchair analysts on social media reacted with snark and shade upon hearing that Manigault was leaving the West Wing. Leah Wright Rigueur, a professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, was a bit taken aback that “people are celebrating — on the left and the right.” Initial reports described a confrontation at a Christmas party with Chief of Staff John F. Kelly that resulted in her forcible removal from the premises. Manigault called that description “100 percent false.”

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White House sources say Kelly fired her, but she says she resigned on her own.

Manigault’s combative persona and penchant for the spotlight might have contributed to her rocky tenure and unceremonious exit from the Trump administration. But African-Americans in Republican administrations have historically struggled to balance allegiance to their party leaders and to black people skeptical of the GOP’s commitment to improving the conditions in their communities. They are not always embraced by the overwhelming white leadership of the GOP nor by black voters, who are overwhelmingly Democrats …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

Sacramento: Politicians accused of sexual harassment ousted by peers

SACRAMENTO — It’s a central tenet of democracy: The electorate is a politician’s ultimate boss. If voters don’t like what their representatives are up to, they can, as the saying goes, throw the bums out.

But in recent weeks, as a wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations hits politicians in several statehouses and the U.S. Capitol, another force is proving to be as powerful as the electorate: peer pressure.

Two California assemblymen and three members of Congress have resigned in the last two weeks, all facing allegations of sexual misconduct. Each man initially held onto his office for days or weeks after the accusations surfaced. Their resignations came only when their political colleagues called on them to step down.

The degree of peer pressure varied in each case. Still, the resignations point to a major difference between public office and private-sector employment. In movie studios, television networks and some other corporate workplaces, executives have moved swiftly in recent weeks to fire men accused of misconduct. In politics, however, it takes more time for consequences to kick in. And that’s largely because of the collegial dynamics of a legislative body.

“It is challenging. Unlike a voter who is watching from the sidelines, when you are working day to day with someone it becomes a lot more intimate and a lot more awkward,” said Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, who is leading the subcommittee tasked with updating the Assembly’s procedure for responding to sexual harassment complaints.

“We are very tied together,” she said. “We see each other all the time.”

Friedman, a Democrat from Glendale, was one of many Assembly members who circulated a letter last month asking for the immediate resignation of their colleague Raul Bocanegra after several women accused him of groping. Bocanegra, a Democrat from Los Angeles, survived for weeks after the first report emerged that …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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