Stewart ad again makes harassment claim without substantiation

Stewart ad again makes harassment claim without substantiation
Corey Stewart and Tim Kaine debate each other in September. (Source: NBC Washington)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Republican Senate candidate Corey Stewart released a radio ad on Wednesday, again suggesting his opponent, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, is hiding possible sexual harassment allegations against him because the list of the accused has not been released.

“17 million dollars. That’s how much Congress has paid out in sexual harassment settlements against its own members,” begins Stewart’s radio ad.

But that statement is not accurate, according to the Congressional Office of Compliance, which released a report on workplace complaints on Capitol Hill last year.

It says a large portion of the complaints filed over the last twenty years involved cafeteria workers, groundskeepers, and Capitol Hill employees other than lawmakers, and complaints included all types of workplace misconduct, not just sexual harassment.

“Is it really believable that it’s the gardener, the cafeteria worker, who’s sexually harassing people in congress?” Stewart said in response to the add. "Is that really believable? Would you doubt for a moment that if it was the cafeteria worker, the gardener, or the Capitol Hill Police officer who is sexually harassing a woman, do you think they would hold onto that information? Don’t think that for a minute. It’s definitely members of Congress.”

Kaine’s spokesman Ian Sams sent us the following response to the ad:

This is a desperate lie from a candidate so starved for attention that he will apparently stop at nothing to try to win political office. There is zero truth to this pathetic smear. Even Corey admitted after the last debate that he had zero evidence for his false claim. The truth is that Tim Kaine has never received a single complaint in the Senate. In fact, Senator Kaine has been a leader in getting Congress to release more data on sexual harassment claims. Republicans are in the majority; perhaps Corey should take up his demands with his own party leadership. The only thing Stewart has revealed with this attack is his total lack of character and moral fiber.

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