Another Ga. Republican lawmaker is being sued for sexual harassment in the courtroom. Sen. David Shafer, who is also a leading Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, is referring to the accusation that he sexually harassed a veteran lobbyist as “politics, not the truth.”
The lobbyist making the accusation, a 20-year Capitol veteran, said Shafer retaliated against her after she rejected his advances and harassed her after helping her get a bill passed in 2011. Shafer has called the lobbyist “a 15-minute, attention-seeking wannabe trying to settle an old score.” It seems like if he didn’t do it, all he has to do is say so, but instead he feels the need to attack his accuser.
Shafer also has a history of introducing useless, tone-deaf policies. Last year he introduced a policy that attempted to incentivize people living in poverty to create savings accounts by making banks offer lottery-like rewards. “It’s an effort to use the thrill of a lottery prize to encourage savings,” said Shafer.
In line with his party’s general feelings about poor people, Shafer’s insulting insinuation is that people living in poverty don’t have savings accounts because they aren’t fun. Rather than address Georgia’s shockingly low $5.15 an hour minimum wage, poor educational opportunities and the state’s exploitative work practices, lawmakers like Shafer prefer to characterize people living in poverty as small-minded folks who choose not to save money unless it’s set up like a game for them.
Shafer’s sexual harassment tendencies and pathetic policies bring to mind another Georgia lawmaker — Johnnie Caldwell. Last year, Better Georgia worked with the producers of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on a story about Caldwell. Caldwell was a judge who was eventually kicked off the bench for using his position to sexually harass women. He also wrongfully imprisoned a man for six years by denying him his right to a lawyer. He later became a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.
We weren’t paying enough attention in 2012, 2014, and 2016, so an accused sexual predator who got kicked off the bench was able to run unopposed three times and become a Georgia lawmaker. If we don’t pay more attention this time, another accused sexual predator may just become lieutenant governor.