Another Democratic Party Leader Has Been Accused of Harassing Women

Another Democratic Party Leader Has Been Accused of Harassing Women

The chairman of the Democratic party in Florida has resigned, following accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Based on interviews with six unnamed female former staffers or consultants, Politico reported Bittel "created an unprofessional workplace environment for women that include (d) persistent inappropriate comments, leering at young women and even inviting them on his private jet", and that, according to one of the women interviewed, "it became a policy that women, especially junior staff, were never to be left alone with him in his office, plane or house". "I was told by other women not to go into his bathroom".

A spokesman for Bittel acknowledged that he kept boob-shaped stress balls and explained that they were a birthday present from a former female general counsel as a joke.

Stephen Bittel released a brief statement on the party's Twitter account Friday shortly after four of his party's candidates for governor called for him to step down. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a personal friend, as well as Bill Nelson, who now faces a tough election fight in 2018 if Rick Scott decides to challenge for the seat.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and businessman Chris King all called on Bittel to resign in response to a report that appeared in Politico.

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"Bittel said this morning he was coming so just plan on it, but he doesn't sit next to POTUS!" Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is also facing allegations of sexual misconduct, and Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken has been accused of forcibly kissing a woman and groping her while she slept.

Bittel said he is working with leadership to set the date for the party to elect his successor. But Bittel soon apologized and spent two days expressing contrition to party leaders.

Bittel is a wealthy real estate developer who was a big money donor to the party.

Bullard says Florida Democrats could chose to promote its first vice president or hold a special election, but neither decision has been made. And some state lawmakers say they sensed the chairman doesn't understand the limits of their power and fundraising capacity in Tallahassee, where Republicans control the Legislature, the governor's office and the three statewide Cabinet posts.

Perhaps Florida Democrats should start asking Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Bill Nelson, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama how Bittel's managed to do that.

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