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Pennsylvania NOW Changes Endorsement Requirements

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Organization for Women sent out a press release today stating it is changing its endorsement requirements in an effort to only support candidates who speak out against not only “sexual harassment and assault in general, but against known elected perpetrators as well.”    

The organization specifically will ask candidates to sign a petition calling for the resignation of state Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), state Rep. Nicholas Miccarelli (R-Delaware), and Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams. The candidates who don’t sign the petition, “no matter the reason,” will not be considered for the groups endorsement.

The group’s press release stated that it will ask candidates at the local and state level how they will address sexual harassment and assault issues as well as if they’ve spoken out publicly against elected officials who have been “found guilty of sexual harassment, misconduct, and/or assault following due process.”  

“At PA-NOW, we believe having such an unequivocal stance about supporting survivors of sexual violence will concretely move forward changing the “rape culture” that infects our society,” said Nina Ahmad, Former President of Philadelphia NOW, longtime NOW member and former Democratic lt. Gov candidate. “Having elected officials be accountable and those running for office “put their money where their mouth” is will create a environment of trust for all who are subjected to such sexual violence. We are finally at a time where such behavior is not going to be tolerated whether in a Supreme Court nominee or local office holder.

The group lauded Gov. Tom Wolf, state Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky (D-Delaware), Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Ryhnart for calling for the resignation of one of more the officials in the petition and went further to deem them as unfit for office.

Audits and investigations have found evidence against all three of these elected officials indicating a serious, long standing pattern of harassment and abuse toward women,” the press release states. “The fact that they still continue to serve and collect a paycheck from taxpayers shows that they think they are beyond reproach. We will prove them wrong.”

“The allegations made against me are without merit and I look forward to defending myself in court,” said Williams. “I believe in the value our legal system has always placed on the fundamental right to due process to guarantee fairness to all parties involved.”

PoliticsPA is seeking comment from Leach and Miccarelli for this story.

The story was updated with comment from Nina Ahmad and Sheriff Jewell Williams.  

19 Responses

  1. When Daylin was in the House of Representatives he was protected by the top lawyer because they are/were very close friends. That same governement lawyer donated large sums of money to his campaigns and is still very active in MontCo politics. Do as I say not as I do! No one cares about getting a NOW endorsement, I wonder how many politicians even know they endorse candidates? Look at the facts, they endorsed about 20 candidates in the spring and only 3 candidates have signed there no tax pledge so far, oh wait, I mean resignation demand promise. These clowns are a joke that no one except the so crazies give a shit.

  2. Micarelli rapes one and maybe two people, threatens to kill one via murder/suicide, and shares unauthorized porn images of the other. Leach makes off-color jokes/comments and touches. NOW calls for identical punishment. Cue folks declaring “that’s because both are the same.”

    This is how #MeToo squandered one of the most righteous, necessary and potent activist mobilizations of our time…maybe the most important one, certainly tied with #BLM.

    1. You can’t call the Me Too movement an important movement if you can’t see the issue with Leach. These are two different issues with one being worse than the other, but Leach made his workplace a toxic dumpsite and attacks his former staff members and rape survivors on his social media pages and in the press.

      Get over yourself.

    2. Steven Todd-

      This is a complete mischaracterization:
      “NOW calls for identical punishment”

      They are asking candidates to call for resignations. What are they supposed to do, ask candidates to show up with torches and pitchforks or tar and feathers?

      1. No they should not. Resignation is identical to resignation. At least you address the substance of my post.

  3. It is nice to see an organization setting the bar higher for our elected officials, rather than lower, as seems to be the Trump trend. Asking that public servants be above reproach on these issues and willing to police their own to qualify for an endorsement is not unreasonable so much as wise.

  4. What about the State Rep Candidate in Berks county the one who made payments and used a gun? Why do these things always end up being about Daylin Leach (I’m sure he loves the attention)? Why aren’t we even more outraged about what is going on in Delco with Miccarelli, he is sticking around so he can collect a pension. It just seems odd to me that’s all

    1. Delco Diaspora-

      The people in Delco and elsewhere ARE outraged by Miccarelli. But, since he stepped out of running, and is being replaced, he’ll be gone soon anyway. Daylin is still in office. The Governor has called for his resignation. Wolf is a total p*ssy, so you know Daylin’s behavior is pretty serious for Wolf to say anything.

  5. This is a disgusting political game that’s trying to take out a truly good man who has taken a stand for everything, as a woman and as a progressive, that I hold important. The me-too movement started off wrong when Al Franken was removed for political reasons by someone wh0 (I believe ) was a threat to her Presidential nomination in 2020. I believe this same tactic was used on Senator Daylin Leach, who was clearly positioned to be our next Congressman, when a similar tactic was used by a competitor. He’s a supportive husband, a GREAT father and an office holder who has worked so hard to drive a progressive agenda. I will not be donating to NOW.

    1. Daylin is a total piece of sh*t.

      I don’t think hiding behind his underage daughter and manipulating her as part of his “defense” is part of being a “good” father, let alone a “great” one. Hitting on young staffers doesn’t make him a “good” husband nor office holder.

      Daylin is an out-of-control egomaniac who is quite nasty/abusive in private communications with people that challenge his image.

      The women know how he treated them.

  6. This is an appalling development for any organization that presumes to champion democratic political choice for all citizens. I am 71 years old, a longtime feminist, and gladly fought those battles in the 1970s, but not to have the contemporary NOW leadership DICTATING political orthodoxy to candidates. Let’s stay in the realm of serious democratic debate, which women can win without coercing candidates into damaging one-size-fits-all orthodoxy. This has all the ideological shortcomings of Grover Norquist requiring Republicans to sign No-Tax pledges. NOW needs to roll this back immeiately. It reduces complex and different cases to authoritarian orthodoxy unbecoming of women who believe their legtitimate cause can succeed by democratic means without bullying candidates into destructive, undemocratic submission.

    1. carolyn marvin-

      I don’t know all of NOW’s prerequisites for candidates, but I wouldn’t be surprised if support for Equal Pay or Abortion Rights were required as well.

      The group certainly has the right to set any conditions they want for endorsement.

  7. This is horrifying and internally logically inconsistent. At least in Daylin Leach’s case he has never been subject to any investigation, aside from The Inquirer’s questionable reporting, nor has he been found guilty of any crime. This is absurd, mob mentality mafiosa crap, the worst kind of feminist politics that is living in the 16th century trying to burn everyone at the stakes for any perceived witchcraft. I will not be donating again to NOW. As a 37 year old woman I can definitively say nothing is to be gained by trying to excise all ‘impure’ men from public view in some kind of mass societal exorcism.

    1. Bros-

      Daylin’s OWN RESPONSE (both publicly and privately) to the allegations is sufficiently disqualifying.

      The Dem Senate Leadership has received complaints about Daylin, and done little more then admonish him “quietly”. It’s not a secret.

      1. What are you talking about? His own response is sufficiently disqualifying? What does that even mean. Defending yourself is now disqualifying? It’s one thing to think someone is a piece of sh*t, whatever that means (evidently this is very personal with you) and it’s another to be found guilty of something after due process. Even the allegations against him are utterly laughable. I think the Victorians would have laughed. Conflating everything into a giant purity test for all males (and females) is a losing proposition that advances nothing and gets us nowhere.

        1. Bros-

          Yes. His response was despicable. He didn’t “defend” himself. He admitted much of the behavior and attacked the women publicly for not being able to take a joke, claimed they lied, and treated the whole matter lightly.

          Multiple people supported their stories ON THE RECORD. Behind the scenes, Daylin and his associates threatened these women with black-balling them getting jobs in politics, or harassed them, or questioning their sanity.

          Daylin’s actions didn’t rise to a criminal level that would have forced Daylin to face a judge/jury under oath, but his guilt HAS BEEN DETERMINED by years of complaints against him that have been verified. The Dem Leadership turned a blind-eye to it, but has long been well-aware of Daylin’s proclivities.

          There is also a VERY credible allegation against him of having sexually molested a woman, Cara Taylor, when she was 17 years old and he was in his 30’s (and a public defender on her mother’s case).

          Daylin is simply not credible. Inside of Montgomery county political circles, the plan has been to cover this up because Daylin’s a big draw for fundraisers and the weak leadership fears retaliation from him. There are female candidates planning to primary challenge him in 2020, who are keeping their heads down for now, so he doesn’t attack them early.

          1. Minor correction:

            Daylin was a private attorney, not public defender for Cara’s mother. According to Cara, Daylin asked her to perform a sex act on him, which was apparently treated as a form of payment for some legal fees owed.

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