Nebraska GOP Gov Candidate Just Gonna Sue Away All His Sexual Assault Accusers
Another woman has come forward with allegations that Charles Herbster, GOP candidate for Nebraska governor, groped her at a 2019 Republican fundraising event. Elizabeth Todsen is currently 26 and is a former political aide to Nebraska state legislators.
“For years I have struggled with an experience I had with Charles W. Herbster,” she said in a statement issued by her lawyer. “At a political event in 2019, Herbster sexually groped me while greeting my table.”
2019 is the same year that the New York Post and People ran articles where men whined that the #MeToo movement had them too spooked to mentor women or even “interact with women in common activities.” Boo hoo! Looks like the Herbster didn’t share these fears. Earlier this month, Nebraska state Sen. Julie Slama, a Republican, claimed he reached up her dress at the same event.
Instead of apologizing and blaming the demon liquor, Herbster sued Slama and suggested she was a tool of his political rivals. He launched a gross attack ad at Slama, aligning himself with fellow innocent men Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh.
The bizarrely Jenga-themed ad states: "Clarence Thomas. Then Brett Kavanaugh. Lies piled up to ruin them.”
Neither Thomas nor Kavanaugh were formally acquitted in a court of law. The accusations against them were credible. Republicans just didn’t give a fuck and put them on the Supreme Court anyway.
The ad notes that Slama once worked for term-limited Gov. Pete Ricketts, who’s supporting Herbster’s opponent Jim Pillen. Ricketts also gave jobs to Slama’s husband and sister, which we’re supposed to assume is nefarious somehow.
And even after the supposed incident, the accuser kept contacting Herbster ... texts, calls, meetings, even invited Herbster to her destination wedding in the Dominican Republic.
This textbook victim blaming is utterly repulsive. Slama, who was 22 at the time of the incident, said she’d “prayed I would never have to relive this trauma.” She didn’t volunteer this information but confirmed reporting from the Nebraska Examiner about Herbster’s alleged public grope fest. She said: “Today’s Nebraska Examiner report about Charles Herbster sexually assaulting me in 2019, when I was 22 years old, is true.”
Slama had alluded to the alleged assault during a speech on the floor of the Nebraska legislature, although she did not identify Herbster by name.
Sen. Julie Slama speaks about sexual harassment and the need for new policies in the Nebraska Legislature in the wake of Sen. Mike Groene's resigning for having taken photos of a female staffer without her knowledge.pic.twitter.com/z2oj2OiNJW— Nebraska Public Media News (@Nebraska Public Media News) 1645560530
His campaign spokesperson, Emily Novotny, announced that Herbster will also take“ legal action” against his latest accuser, Todsen. It’s like he’s personally funding a law firm, as well. Considering that Todsen came forward after Herbster unleashed his smear campaign on Slama, Herbster might want to shut the fuck up and stop provoking his accusers.
Herbster strongly rejects the accusations and reminds us that he has known women professionally for longer than his accusers have been alive.
For over 30 years, I’ve employed hundreds of people ... I’ve respected and empowered women to run my company, my farm and now my campaign. Not once has my integrity EVER been challenged in this manner.
This proves nothing in itself, as powerful older men can easily intimidate younger women into silence. Later, playing the victim of the Jezebels, he told a Nebraska radio station: “They did it with Brett Kavanaugh. They certainly did it with Donald J. Trump and now they’re trying to do it with Charles W. Herbster.”
Whiny conservatives talk about Kavanaugh like he’s living under a freeway instead of serving for life on the Supreme Court and all set to kill Roe v. Wade. Trump was caught on tape boasting about grabbing women by the pussy, and more than two dozen women have accused him of sexual misconduct. He was still elected president because America is often a misogynist trash heap
Of course, Herbster enjoys Trump’s continued support. They are scheduled to appear together at a Greenwood rally Sunday. This is neither shocking nor exculpatory.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."