Home Politics Elections Election 2018 OPINION: Sen. Sherrod Brown needs to be held accountable for his abuse allegations

OPINION: Sen. Sherrod Brown needs to be held accountable for his abuse allegations

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Sherrod Brown speaks on healthcare reform in Cleveland

Opinion Writer Charlotte Caldwell argues that the brushing aside of Sherrod Brown’s abuse allegations sets a troubling precedent for #MeToo.

Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio has been accused of assaulting his ex-wife in 1986 by the website MeTooOhio.com, which is run by “dark money.” Dark money is when a political organization spends money meant to influence the voter but the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown.

The one minute video posted on their website claims that Brown’s ex-wife, Larke Recchie, said in court that Brown assaulted her, and after the judge issued a restraining order, he violated it and assaulted her again. This information comes after the #MeToo Movement has blown up with many accounts and accusations on everyone from movie stars to journalists and every profession in between.

The website also makes the point that if former Sen. Al Franken was forced to resign for his own sexual assault accusations, then Brown should be no different. In past elections — such as when Brown ran against then-senator and current gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine in 2006 — Brown was prepared for this topic to arise. He even filmed an ad backing himself up against any backlash, but the topic didn’t surface, and the ad was never used.

Although ex-wife Recchie now denies the abuse accusations made back in 1986, Brown’s hastiness to produce an ad, even though the topic was never discussed, raises suspicion. Upon closer inspection of the court records, the allegations are pretty specific for just being “angry words,” as Recchie claimed.

Brown doesn’t want the matter to be brought up, going so far as saying “it’s a family matter” to try to discourage the investigation, even though politicians are subject to the investigation of any and all scandals upon entry into a race.

Evidence shows that Jim Renacci, Republican opponent to Brown for Senator of Ohio, may have a hand in the website. Majority Strategies — which Renacci’s campaign has paid $37,050 to for political mail and delivery — is believed to be the owner of MeTooOhio.com.

Renacci responded to the website, saying: “Sherrod Brown’s well documented history of domestic violence is deeply troubling. Ohioans deserve to know all the facts, and judge his fitness for public office for themselves.”

This website may have been the perfect opportunity for Renacci to declare his stance on assault to women in order to garner more support from voters.

Many powerful men are already planning on making a comeback after being ousted by the #MeToo movement, including Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein. Even Al Franken said in an interview with WCCO-TV that he may run for office again, after several women accused him of sexual misconduct.

If these men are successful in making a new life for themselves, then Brown could too, and potentially still win the Senate position. With a pretty big lead ahead of Renacci currently, this would not be a hard feat to accomplish, considering voters are not phased by the abuse allegations.

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