Philadelphia Inquirer | Maria Panaritis column on #MeToo

“Are Sen. Daylin Leach, Rep. Tom Caltagirone the first #metoo dominoes to fall in Pennsylvania?”
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 20, 2017
by Maria Panaritis, Regional Columnist

…it looks as though Pennsylvania now has its very own #metoo Ground Zero.

In Delaware County, it was like an alternate Democratic universe.

Top Dems there haven’t been high on the guy who helped make medical marijuana law in Pennsylvania. They don’t like Leach’s chances in the Congressional midterm race because Meehan’s seat is so gerrymandered to favor Republicans they can’t see someone like Leach pulling off a Hail Mary win there.

Delco’s emerging power hitters in the party don’t seem inclined to kowtow to the bigwigs in Montco who also run the state Democratic organization. It was grassroots newbies and outsider types who walloped Delco’s entrenched Republican establishment for the first time a few weeks ago in local elections.

And their de facto leader — a relative newcomer who herself doesn’t fit Harrisburg’s establishment politician mold — minced no words in calling for Leach’s head.

Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky said Tuesday that Leach, despite his progressive bona fides, is no longer fit to represent women.

“He did not take responsibility,” Krueger-Braneky told me. “And beyond not taking responsibility, he attacked the women who had come forward with some really strong language on social media.”

On Wednesday, she joined Wolf in calling for Caltagirone’s departure, too.

“The conspiracy of silence that protects harassers and abusers in the state Capitol while leaving victims economically and professionally vulnerable or isolated must end, now,” she said.

Harrisburg is a tough place for women, where fewer than one in five lawmakers is not a man. As cases come to light, she said, there should be swift and equal outrage for offenders of all political stripes.

Until then, buckle up.

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