The GW College Democrats called on the College Republicans to disavow a Republican Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, the day after the College Republicans issued a blanket condemnation of politicians accused of sexual harassment and assault.
College Republicans Chairwoman Allie Coukos penned a blog post Monday calling for all Congressmen accused of sexual misconduct to comply with an ethics committee review. She said any man found in violation of ethics should “take whatever punishment is handed down to him” – including resignation.
“As more come forward, and as their claims are determined credible, these men should face the full force of the law,” Coukos wrote in the post. “There should be no payouts. There should be no apology letters and moving on.”
For weeks, the political sphere has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct directed at figures in both major parties. Former Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., announced his resignation Tuesday facing mounting accusations of inappropriate behavior toward female employees, and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said Thursday that he would soon step down in the wake of allegations that he tried to forcibly kiss and grope a number of women.
At the same time, Roy Moore, the Republican candidate in Alabama’s upcoming Senate special election, has lost the support of several prominent Republicans following claims that Moore initiated unwanted sexual contact with teenage girls. After initially disavowing Moore, the Republican National Committee is now once again backing him in the race.
President Donald Trump has also been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 13 women.
In a statement Tuesday, the College Democrats condemned politicians accused of misconduct and challenged the College Republicans to denounce Trump and Moore by name. The organization called on the College Republicans to disavow Moore’s candidacy and – should he win the race next week – call for him to be expelled by the Senate.
“Public officials who abuse others must face political and social repercussions for their actions,” the group wrote in the statement. “As student advocacy organizations, we have the responsibility to hold them accountable. This issue should not be partisan – we owe it to future generations to end this tradition of abuse.”
Sara Dougherty, the director of public relations for the College Republicans, said that while the organization appreciates the College Democrats’ statement, it was “political in nature and distracts from the serious issue at hand.”
“We challenge the College Democrats to focus on supporting survivors of sexual assault, not attempting to start a fight via Facebook,” she said in an email Wednesday.
Robert Dickson, the vice president of communications for the College Democrats, said the organization did not intend to begin a political fight by posting a Facebook statement but instead wanted to send the message that all alleged abusers should be condemned, especially after the RNC reinstated its support of Moore Tuesday.
“It’s uncomfortable to confront your own complicity in abuse, and we hope that the College Republicans’ discomfort results in tangible action,” Dickson said in an email Thursday.