Breaking: Democrats Break Rank With Their Leadership, All Call For 1 Thing

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who some consider a potential presidential candidate in 2020, broke rank with her party’s leadership is explicitly calling for the resignation of Senator Al Franken.

Amid sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations brought against Franken, Gillibrand became the first Democrat to call for his resignation.

Fox News reports her call for Franken’s resignation was quickly echoed by a few of her colleagues:

Six female Democratic senators on Wednesday called for Sen. Al Franken to resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct complaints made against the Minnesota lawmaker.

Sens. Claire McCaskill, Maggie Hassan, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patty Murray, Mazie K. Hirono and Kamala Harris all called for Franken to step down.

The women did not mince words.

The New York Senator tweeted, “As elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards—not the lowest. The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated. While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve.”

And, “Over the past weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the moment of reckoning we’re in on this issue of sexual assault and harassment. We have to rise to the occasion, not shrink from it.”

The link send to a post where Gillibrand explains in length how she is “shocked and disappointed.”

Senator Franken Should Step AsideI have been shocked and disappointed to learn over the last few weeks that a…

Posted by Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Senator Hirono joined in, tweeting “Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”

And, “TIME Magazine, by naming ‘The Silence Breakers’ as their ‘People of the Year,’ is recognizing what women have always known: there are men among us who use their positions of power and influence to manipulate, harass, and assault women. What is new here is the women.”

“We are, all of us, speaking out, naming names and demanding that the harassers take responsibility for their behavior. I am proud of each of the women who has come forward, and heartened by the changing climate that has received their stories with acceptance and compassion,” she added.

She continued, “My hope is that this moment for a cultural change will result in women no longer being viewed as objects or toys, but recognized for their abilities and achievements. As regular human beings. Women have endured this behavior, which for too long has been ignored and tolerated.”

She concluded, “But no longer. We can only create a culture where women are respected as equals if we all step forward and be part of the change by holding everyone, especially our leaders, accountable.”

McCaskill echoed the resignation request in a brief tweet:

Democrat Kamala Harris, another Democrat who some speculate could run for the presidency, followed her colleagues.

She tweeted, “Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.”

Senator Murray also added to the calls for his resignation.

She tweeted, “I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It’s time for him to step aside.”

And, “For some time I have talked about returning the word respect to our language, to our actions, and to our politics. That has to start at the top. We must lead by example.”

She referenced her own constituents and family, “Respecting women as equals and not as objects is critical. Sexual harassment, or assault, or in any way using your power to demean women cannot be tolerated. I want my colleagues, my staff, my constituents, and especially my granddaughters to know that is not acceptable.”

She concluded, “It’s time for us as elected representatives to hold ourselves to a higher standard, to set an example, and to live a set of values that is truly representative and worthy of the Congress, our democracy, and our great country.”

Independent Journal Review notes Murray is the “the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Senate.”

They also report three other Democrat Senators and DNC Chair Tom Perez backed their female colleagues:

After a number of female Democratic senators called for Franken’s resignation, three male lawmakers — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) — called on Franken to step down, NBC News reported.

Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, called on Franken to leave Congress, too

Axios reports another five Democrat senators joined in, bringing the total to 15 senators and the DNC chair at the time of publication:

The senators calling for his resignation:

  1. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)“While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.”
  2. Mazie Hirono (HI): “Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
  3. Claire McCaskill (MO): “Al Franken should resign.”
  4. Maggie Hassan (NH): “It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.”
  5. Patty Murray (WA)“I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It’s time for him to step aside.”
  6. Tammy Baldwin (WI)“I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign.”
  7. Kamala Harris (CA)“Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.”
  8. Bob Casey (PA)“I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign. We can’t just believe women when it’s convenient.”
  9. Sherrod Brown (OH)“I agree the time has come for Senator Franken to step aside. … We should be held to the highest standards, not the lowest.”
  10. Joe Donnelly (IN)“Senator Franken’s conduct and behavior are unacceptable and he should resign. I believe there is more work to be done to protect victims of sexual harassment and to reform the system of filing and settling harassment claims in Congress.”
  11. Debbie Stabenow (MI)“Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I believe Senator Franken should do the right thing and resign.”
  12. Heidi Heitkamp (ND)“We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down.”
  13. Ed Markey (MA): “I join my colleagues in calling for Senator Franken to step aside and resign. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, completely inappropriate and cannot be tolerated.”
  14. Michael Bennet (CO)“Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable. I understand Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow morning, and I’m confident he’ll do the right thing and step aside.”
  15. Maria Cantwell (WA): A spokesman said she is calling on Franken to resign.