Outspoken #MeToo campaigner Cristina Garcia – a California assemblywoman who captured national media attention as a “silence breaker” in the movement – reportedly told her staffers that having sex with elected officials “was a good way of getting information” from them.
Garcia, chairwoman of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, is also accused of groping a staffer and a lobbyist, hosting a game of “Spin the Bottle” and demanding that staffers drink alcohol and go to happy hour with her.
Four of Garcia’s former staffers said she “spoke graphically” about romps with other lawmakers in their offices, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The staffers wouldn’t say which lawmakers slept with Garcia “out of respect for their privacy,” their lawyer, Daniel Gilleon, wrote in a letter to the Assembly Rules Committee.
The staffers themselves haven’t been named, either. Gilleon said revealing their identities might hurt their chances of obtaining jobs in the Legislature again.
“The former staffers also said Garcia pressured them into drinking in the office and at outside events, belittled her aides and often disparaged other lawmakers,” the Chronicle reported.
Garcia, a Los Angeles Democrat, is on a leave of absence. She was an outspoken women’s advocate in the #MeToo movement until a former staffer and lobbyist accused her of groping them.
Daniel Fierro said an inebriated Garcia cornered him and began touching his back, squeezing his derriere and attempting to grab his groin area in 2014.
A Sacramento lobbyist, who remains anonymous, said she tried to grab his groin when the two were at a political fundraiser in 2017.
In a Facebook response to Gilleon’s letter, Garcia wrote, “I will address each of these issues individually after the investigations into these allegations are closed.”
The allegations don’t end there.
David John Kernick, 38, who worked for Garcia in 2014, has filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Kernick claims he was fired for questioning whether staffers should be asked to play the kissing game “Spin the Bottle.”
“It was definitely uncomfortable,” Kernick told Politico.
He added: “But I realized it’s different for a man than for a woman. … You know it’s inappropriate, but at the same time, you may wonder, ‘How many women do you work for that act like that?’ You think … ‘Maybe she’s just really cool.’ It muddies the waters.”
Another anonymous staffer said Garcia creates a situation where there was a “power imbalance.”
“It was a power imbalance,” the staffer told Politico. “You’re telling me, ‘We’re going to go to happy hour,’ and I don’t want to do that. It was something that was central – ‘We’re going to go out.’ … and I was, ‘I don’t want to hang out with you, I want to go home.'”
In his Feb. 11 column, “This woman represents everything wrong with America,” WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah awarded Garcia the Joseph Farah Award for representing “everything wrong with the new ethos of sexual morality in America today.”