Senior Pa. Dem adviser tells women: Stop 'crying boo-hoo' about men | Philly Clout
A senior adviser to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has some strong and dismissive thoughts on sexual harassment. Philadelphia's building trades unions will court Amazon in Seattle by air. And Vince Fumo hangs with Joey Merlino.
Meet Valerie Kean Staab.
She's among a handful of senior advisers to Marcel Groen, the head of Pennsylvania's Democratic Party.
She's not a big fan of women (generally). She's pretty tired of this whole #metoo movement, with all the "crying boo-hoo" every time a man touches a woman — she's witnessed many a woman "shoving their boobs" in the faces of powerful men.
And she likes to share her views on Facebook.
"These omg he touched my ass bulls— has to stop," Staab wrote on her Facebook page earlier this week, a post that began with the disclaimer that she's "never been a big fan of women to start with."
She continued: "If your [sic] sexually assaulted Call the police. If someone touched your ass go get counseling. I have personally watch [sic] women over and over sexually harass men. They just move on."
As she explains in another recent Facebook post: "You have true victims of violence. Then you have 'I don't like the way he touched me,' it's getting to be a witch-hunt."
Staab, a self-described "girl from the country" who has never "been a sheep," called back Thursday and was, in a word, unapologetic.
It's true, she said, that she prefers the company of men to women — she was raised in a household teeming with brothers and male cousins, so it's just what she's used to.
And it's true, she said, that she believes women make choices, and "you are a victim if you permit yourself to be a victim."
"We are blurring the line between bad behavior and criminal behavior," she said. "I live in the real world, where there are men who try to come onto you. If you don't like it, stand up for yourself."
She doesn't expect everyone to agree with her, she said, but Facebook is a great place to start that debate.
As for Groen, he acknowledged the comments weren't particularly sensitively worded, but he also played Switzerland.
"It's not the line of the party," he said, adding that "there are lots of people who express views that are not the mainstream of the party. But we need to permit people to speak as long as they don't cross the line."
Unions court Amazon from above
Last year, we reported that John Dougherty, head of the Local 98 electricians union and the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, had acquired drones with high-definition video cameras and planned to deploy them to disputed work sites to spy on nonunion contractors from above.
You know, typical Johnny Doc stuff.
So, Clout was not at all surprised to learn that Dougherty has now hired an airplane to buzz around Amazon's Seattle headquarters towing a banner ad to try convince the company to build its second headquarters in Philadelphia.
The plane is scheduled to be in the air Friday from 9 a.m. to noon (Pacific Time). The message: "Amazon, pick Philly! Go Eagles & Seahawks!"
Dougherty had tried to schedule a plane with the same message to overfly CenturyLink Field prior to Sunday's Eagles-Seahawks game. But that didn't work out due to NFL regulations, said Dougherty spokesman Frank Keel.
"We got shot down on that," Keel said.
Not the best choice of words, Frank, but OK.
Keel said Dougherty also wanted to purchase a full-page ad in the Seahawks' gameday program. They were rebuffed on that, too. Probably something to do with the fact that the Seattle area is trying to convince Amazon to build its second headquarters in … the Seattle area. Which makes sense to … basically nobody.
Now, if only we knew what the Amazon brain trust was thinking for the new location? Maybe deploy a Local 98 drone to peer into Jeff Bezos' office?
Alas, Keel doesn't believe the union drones are currently operational. He said they are likely "still in a closet somewhere."
Vince & Joey & Chickie’s & Pete’s
Clout can confirm: Two of South Philly's best-known natives are big fans of Crabfries.
Former state Sen. Vince Fumo, who spent more than four years in federal prison on public corruption charges and now runs his own lobbying firm, was recently spotted at the Chickie's & Pete's restaurant in South Philly's Packer Park neighborhood.
Also there that night: Reputed Philadelphia mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, who has done his share of time behind bars too and faces trial in January for a federal racketeering indictment of 46 alleged La Cosa Nostra members filed in 2016.
South Philly being South Philly, the two parties merged for a time into one.
"I stayed for a little while with him and his friends — who were my former constituents — but I left way before he did," Fumo told us by email. "Staying out 'to the wee small hours of the morning' is not my style."
If ever a Clout item needed a Sinatra reference, this was it.
Staff writers Angela Couloumbis, William Bender, and Chris Brennan contributed to this column. Tips: firstname.lastname@example.org.