Was beleaguered upstate NY Democrate Eric Massa was a victim of the Democrats’ drive towards passing Health Care Reform? Massa certainly wants you to think so. Massa has been quite vocal on that score. Massa has proactively diminished one instance of supposed harassment that put him under ethics investigation and insisted that he was pushed out of Congress because he wasn’t going to support HCR. Now the Washington Post reports that Eric Massa has actually been subject to allegations of a “pattern of […] physical harassment” going back a year or so. The physical harassment in question? Groping “multiple male staffers working in his office.” From WaPo:
According to two sources familiar with the probe, Massa’s former deputy chief of staff Ron Hikel provided the information about the staffers’ allegations to the House ethics committee three weeks ago.
This comes on the same day White House press secretary Robert Gibbs more or less went off on Massa’s claims during an appearance on Good Morning America: “Last week, he, on Wednesday, was having a recurrence of cancer. On Thursday, he was guilty of using salty language. On Friday, we learned he’s before the Ethics Committee to be investigated on charges of sexual harassment.” The Obama Administration, said Gibbs, isn’t “focused on crazy allegations,” rather making healthcare work more for the American public as opposed to insurance companies.
Eric Massa, notes NPR, is due to guest on Glenn Beck’s show at 5 p.m. today and on Larry King at 9 p.m. Beck’s having him on might be a signal that Republicans are raring to put him forward as a folk hero, the lone dem standing up to his monolithic party on the subject of healthcare reform. If the WaPo’s reporting is accurate, looks like the Right may want to re-think that strategy. [WaPo: see also NPR]