Pat Meehan, a Republican Representative from Pennsylvania, has announced his retirement at the end of the term. The announcement came just days after he was accused of sexual misconduct by a senior aide and using taxpayer money to pay for the harassment settlement.
Meehan defended himself saying that the relationship with his staffer wasn’t sexual but that he did act inappropriately toward her. Ironically, Meehan was on the House Ethics Committee which handles investigations into scandals like sexual harassment accusations.
Meehan’s misconduct just adds more fuel to the fire that is currently burning up the Republican party’s chance of getting the female vote...and the decent human being vote.
His retirement opens a House seat in a suburban Philadelphia district that is favored to be won by Democrats, especially since the Supreme Court just ruled the current (GOP-drawn) congressional maps illegal, a redrawing would make the district more Democratic.
Republicans are tiptoeing around Meehan’s debacle, trying not to criticise but still promising to keep his seat Republican. Steve Stivers, a Republican Committee Chairman, had this to say: “While I’m disappointed by the circumstances leading to Congressman Meehan’s retirement, I thank him for his dedication to his district. We must always hold ourselves to the highest possible standard – especially while serving in Congress. I am confident that the voters of Pennsylvania’s 7th District will elect a strong conservative who will represent their values.”
It is doubtful that Pennsylvania’s values include sexually harassing women, and it is unlikely that they would want another Representative that shows “his dedication” by using their tax money to pay off his misconduct settlements.