In today's Hartford Courant, Mark Paznoikas reports on a situation that could be trouble for State Dems.
A Republican legislative leader complained Monday that state Senate Democrats are refusing to fire two employees caught on video rummaging through the desk of a Republican co-worker.Under any circumstances, this is a no-no. In a typical office workplace, it's enough to get someone fired. But the Democratic leadership is taking an odd tack by not dismissing the aides:
The Legislative Office Building's security cameras recorded the two Democratic employees going through the desk of a Republican aide assigned to the government administration and elections committee.
"It appears at this point to be a case of unprofessional, prank-like behavior," said Patrick Scully, a Senate Democratic spokesman. "We are looking into it fully. If deemed necessary, disciplinary action will be taken."Democrats pride themselves on taking the moral high road and paying extra attention to fairness in all areas. I can imagine the outcry should the aides have been Republican and the victim a Democrat. I think the phrases "Republican dirty tricks" and "echoes of Watergate" may have been bandied about. So it's a little disturbing to see the Democratic leadership dismiss this incident in such a cavalier manner.
...(House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk) said the two Democratic Senate aides, both men, had created a "hostile work environment" for the female GOP staffer and should be dismissed.I think the Democratic Leadership needs to reassess the situation and decide how they would like it handled if Republican aides were guilty of a similar transgression. Then they should lead by example and do exactly that to the guilty parties.
Cafero said the video showed one Democratic aide sitting at the woman's desk after 5 p.m. last week, rearranging papers and examining the contents of file drawers and a bulletin board.
"In my opinion, this was no prank," Cafero told reporters at a hastily called press conference late Monday afternoon. "I don't know what it is."
Cafero said Capitol police examined the surveillance recordings after the woman complained that someone had gone through her desk. Most public areas in the Capitol and Legislative Office Building are under video surveillance, including the open cubicles used by government administration and elections staff.
Because otherwise, they're just paying lip service to their idea of justice and fair play.