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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

100 Percent Class

posted by on October 29 at 14:29 PM

Via Goldy:

When pressed on the issue, [Republican lands commissioner Douglas Sutherland] displayed a flash of what got him in trouble in 2005, when he rubbed a female employee from her neck to her back moments after meeting her and then either said before a group of colleagues that he “could have felt … up front” or “could have felt the other side.” The woman later quit her job in a move Sutherland has conceded was likely caused by the incident, for which he apologized.

Speaking to a female reporter about forest certification, Sutherland made an unprompted analogy, “You have to do things in logical sequence: you wouldn’t put your coat on to go outside, then put your underwear on. Well, I don’t know what you do with your underwear.” He laughed.

You’d think that after sexually harassing a young female employee and intimidating her out of a job, Sutherland would’ve learned to keep his mouth shut, especially around reporters. And while Sutherland’s performance as lands commissioner may be unaffected by the fact that he likes to feel up female employees, Sutherland has crossed the line between flirtatious good-ol’-boy and grabby sleaze too many times to call these isolated incidents.

A side note: In looking up stories about Sutherland for this post, I stumbled across this August 2000 P-I article about Democrat Mike Lowry, a former governor who was charged with sexual harassment, charges he settled for $97,000. The reporter quoted Cathy Allen, a local political consultant and founder of the Northwest Women’s Political Caucus, saying that her group could not endorse someone who had sexually harassed a female employee. “The shadow of his past hangs heavy,” she said. Allen was so offended by Lowry’s actions that she said she’d rather endorse his Republican opponent—a Pierce County politician named Doug Sutherland, who may have been a Republican, but at least hadn’t harassed anybody. My, how times have changed.

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Isn't being a a "flirtatious good-olí-boy" NOT okay?

What flirty words are okay?

Posted by PC | October 29, 2008 2:50 PM

I fail to see how the joke in the last paragraph is sexual harassment. Inappropriate perhaps, unfunny certainly, but hardly harassment.

Posted by pragmatic | October 29, 2008 2:50 PM

He said underwear?! I am outraged!

Posted by burgin99 | October 29, 2008 2:53 PM

ECB doesn't know what flirting is. In her mind any attempt by a male to garner the affection and attention of a female is rape.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 29, 2008 3:03 PM

@2: I didn't say it was. The reporter isn't his employee, for one thing. What I said was that it was inappropriate--which it was.

Posted by ECB | October 29, 2008 3:04 PM

Aren't there real issues in this campaign?

Posted by Trevor | October 29, 2008 3:04 PM

Since you guys are so obsessed with harassment, how about covering all the gay on straight harassment at high tech businesses on the eastside.


Oh, that doesn't concern you...?

Yep, welcome to Hypocrattle, wash-In-Ton.

Posted by John Bailo | October 29, 2008 3:10 PM

@6 Clearly no. As the Stranger staff so helpfully points out regularly, the important issues of the day are things like sharrows vs bike lanes, and whether to demolish 2 story "historic" buildings in an increasingly dense neighborhoods.

Posted by pragmatic | October 29, 2008 3:13 PM

LMAO at Bailo. LMAO!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 29, 2008 3:16 PM

Bellevue Ave rapes me on a daily basis (and I don't mean the cute kind of rape)! He says "baby I just want to be with the biblical sense"!!! Sometimes he even wears a McCain mask!

Posted by Mrs. Witch Huntress Ave. | October 29, 2008 3:34 PM

This: "a former governor who was charged with sexual harassment, charges he settled for $97,000." is EXACTLY why things like that should be a concern for any public office -- those settlements are paid from the state, which mean my tax dollars. In other words, don't elect someone who could be brought up for sexual harassment charges if you don't want to be paying for the settlement later.

Posted by financial risk | October 29, 2008 4:31 PM

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