It’s all because of “toxic masculinity”? Tell that to Kansas Democrat Andrea Ramsey.
Democrat Andrea Ramsey dropped out of the race to take on Kansas GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against her — and, she claimed, national Democrats abandoned her campaign.
Ramsey announced she was pulling out of the race Friday, in a lengthy statement denying that she engaged in any harassment or retaliation against a former colleague.
Wait, what? A woman? A Democrat? Sexual harassment? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet, it did.
The case stems from Ramsey’s time as vice president of human resources at the company LabOne, according to the Kansas City Star. She allegedly made sexual advances towards a subordinate and retaliated against him when he rebuffed them.
The man was eventually fired. He sued the company and included the accusations against Ramsey in the case, which was eventually dismissed. Ramsey was not party to the lawsuit, so she was not involved in resolving the case.
It’s not that the story is unfamiliar. Claims of sexual harassment and retaliation are banal, and as the mantra goes, “believe the victim.” So, despite the fact that Ramsey wasn’t a party to the suit, never had the opportunity to challenge the claims, she gets saddled with the taint nonetheless.
“Had the false allegations been brought against me directly, I would have fought to exonerate my name and my reputation,” Ramsey said. “I would have sued the disgruntled, vindictive employee for defamation.”
Accusers tell the truth. Accusers lie. Accusers are right, wrong, mistaken, malevolent. Which is why we build courtrooms, but when you aren’t allowed the opportunity to face the witness, you have no opportunity to test the accusations against you.
But why didn’t Ramsey persist despite these accusations, fight in the political trenches to vindicate herself? Because her own party threw her under the bus.
Ramsey, an attorney, said she was being denied due process to combat the allegations, and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had said it would not support her campaign.
“The DCCC, as gatekeeper of endorsements and campaign funding, has made its choice, once again putting its thumb on the scales by not allowing the democratic primary process to proceed,” Ramsey said.
It’s not that Ramsey wouldn’t make a brilliant member of Congress for the Democrats. She was a leading fundraiser, endorsed by E.M.I.L.Y’s list, an attorney and a woman. As a judge previously pointed out to me when he noted that only four women served as appellate judges in Kansas, it wasn’t the most enlightened state when it came to putting women in positions of power.
So no, it wasn’t about Ramsey at all. It’s that the party wasn’t up for the fight, which might expose it to charges of hypocrisy when it slung equally untested allegations against its opponents. Ramsey may well have been completely innocent of all accusations, above reproach in her personal conduct, as well as a great candidate for Congress. But she’ll never get the chance.
Andrea Ramsey denied allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. Andrea Ramsey was denied the opportunity to defend her honor from the allegations. This is why due process matters, and why it matters for everyone. She deserved better than to be thrown under the bus. Everyone deserves better than that.