Cory Heidelberger goes after Pat Powers for being a hypocrite:
But the erupting sex scandal in Pierre gives us a remarkably real turntable on which to dissect the hypocrisy of morally vacuous Republican spin blogger Pat Powers. Let’s compare Powers’s response to Republican Representative Mathew Wollmann’s sex with interns to Powers’s coverage of allegations of sexual misconduct by Democratic then-Senator-Elect, now Senator Reynold Nesiba.
Mathew Wollmann has admitted to having sex with Legislative interns during both years of his first term in Pierre. He met interns on the job, asked them out, and had sex with them. One former intern says his sexual conduct was “common knowledge,” but legislators took no action until their decision yesterday to convene an investigatory committee (see 8:20 in SDPB’s video of yesterday’s House Session—and note that the voice vote includes a couple of nays). Wollmann has admitted his actions were embarrassing and “unacceptable.”
Reynold Nesiba was accused of and arrested in November for non-consensual sexual contact. The alleged activity took place before Nesiba took office, outside of work. Nesiba denied wrongdoing.
Cory saying Nesbida denied wrongdoing is not exactly correct. He admits to inappropriate sexual contact, as it was outside marriage (puritan based argument), but he says this to police:
But before the victim invited Nesiba over that night, she texted him saying it wouldn’t be sexual.
The victim told police that she also verbally said “no” to Nesiba multiple times.
At one point, the victim found Nesiba naked in her bed.
When she got mad, he put her (SIC?) clothes back on.
However, on September 30th, Nesiba told police “there seemed to be ambiguity in terms of what the victim did or did not want”, later stating she was playing “hard to get.”
He said he was greeted at the door with a kiss that night, and they continued to kiss once he was inside.
He also admitted to unhooking the victim’s bra, but he stated the victim seemed to like it.
Nesiba said “he did not use any sort of force or cause any harm that he knew of.”
However, an arrest warrant was filed on November 9th, and Nesiba was arrested Monday afternoon.
Nesida did not deny have sexual contact, he only denies that it was wrong.
Troy Jones left a comment pointing out Cory's own hypocrisy:
I can’t help but notice the irony that your very next thread opens with mention of “sex scandal” on an issue about ballot initiatives while you argued for “let the facts come out” on Nesiba before judging.
For different reasons, I am not pleased with either situation but there is only one where there was ever a question of consent which is a difference worth noting.
And don’t get me wrong. As this has progressed, I support the rule proposed. But, the fact two young twenty-year olds with common interests (politics at least) did this is not a scandal unless one is a puritan. Whether a governmental entity or business, such private behavior would not be monitored or regulated. in fact because it would be so prevalent, enforcement is effectively arbitrary and capricious.
As usual Cory refuses to be held accountable and instead deflects that reality by continuing to blame Powers for what Cory himself is also guilty of:
Troy, the sex scandal is real. The facts are out, straight from the person who pursued the sex. No irony there. We have more more substantial facts on the record in the Wollmann case than in the Nesiba case, far more public interest in the violations, and Powers chooses to downplay the Wollmann case. Unacceptable, indefensible, and significantly refutatory to any claim that Powers is a reliable journalist.
Age does not matter. If you’re mature enough to legislate, you’re mature enough not to boink legislative staff. Oh, the sacrifices of public service….
Arguing that governmental offices and business are rife with individuals in the highest positions of power seeking sex from individuals in their organizations in the lowest positions of power does not excuse Powers’s effort to downplay this serious scandal, nor does it say there is no scandal. It says this scandal is only an ugly public manifestation of scandalous practices that riddle our society and should be stopped.
No arguments from me on that position, but again, Cory is not being consistent with his policy position. He doesn't apply the same standard to Democrats. As with Nesiba, Wollman also denied wrongdoing:
They were what I would say is long standing friendships that maybe turned into more. I could pick up the phone today and still call these individuals and have a good conversation and really there’s no question in my mind that I didn’t hurt them. No question in mind that I didn’t hurt them….
To which Cory responded with this:
As neither a lawyer nor a public relations consultant, I say, Good grief, Mat! Pick a lane… and stop talking about yourself in the third person. You don’t have a strong enough hand to play moral arbiter and pretend to speak in the voice of “many” who think young legislators get to boink interns but older ones don’t. You win no chips by playing that hand. You admitted you did wrong; now hush.
So Cory is now playing the role of a puritan, as he hammers Wollman for arguing that he caused no harm. And what is with the "now hush"? If you try and tell Cory something he doesn't want to hear, he gets mad and starts to bully.
So the question I propose is if the interns claim Wollman's advances were not welcome, would Nesiba's argument, that he thought they were just "playing hard to get", cause concern? For Cory yes, but for Pat Powers? Probably not. But when a Democrat makes that argument, Cory is alright with it. Keep this "playing hard to get" in mind when the legislature distinguishes (or not) sexual harassment and sexual contact.
Sexual harassment does involve positions of power within an organization and subordinates. And Cory has been confronted with the fact that Monica Lewinsky was an intern regarding that sex scandal that Clinton tried to cover up with denying it happened.. Here is Cory's hypocritical response to that fact:
Whoa—enough about Clinton. He did his business before there even was a South Dakota blogosphere, so that example doesn’t help us understand what’s happening here.
My point on this post is less about Wollmann or Nesiba and very squarely about Pat Powers and his hypocritical treatment of the two affairs. So far, I haven’t seen anyone disagree with my assessment of how Pat’s coverage of these two affairs demonstrates a gross bias and unreliability.
So now the truth comes out, Cory does not care about the sexual immoral aspect, he is only trying to make Pat Powers look bad. Cory cannot argue that this is a sex scandal, if he considers sexual immoral conduct is not wrong. Yes I know Pat Powers is bias toward the agenda of the SDGOP establishment, but Cory Heidelberger also carries a huge political bias. From a puritan worldview, all of these cases involve sex outside of marriage and therefore have moral issues. A rational person would see problems with them all, and leave political allegiance out of it . But in partisan political blogs, right and wrong is defined by whether or not the person in the cross hairs is a member of your party, not on principles. Both Pat and Cory are guilty of that, and should not be considered reliable journalists. With that said, I still believe they both provide important information, you just have to take it with a grain of salt.
Second, Cory is arguing that people in power should not have sex with those below them in authority, including interns, yet he gives Bill Clinton a pass. Unlike Wollman, Clinton was married. And by the way, the reason I left the Democratic party was because Democrats like Tom Daschle refused to hold Clinton accountable. For Cory sexual immoral acts are rights, unless you happen to be a Republican politician who he wants replaced with a Democrat. So much for his policy position on "equality" and social "justice". Party trumps policy, and for Cory policy is not based on principles. It is based on what he thinks, and if anybody tries to explain why he is wrong, he gets very upset,