Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Reminding Jim Jordan: Former GOP Speaker And Wrestling Coach Denny Hastert, Now In Prison, Adamantly Denied He Molested Boys-- Until He Admitted It


A couple of months ago I was researching a story on Janet Garrett, the Democrat who ran against Jim Jordan in a deep red Ohio congressional district in 2014 and 2016 and is running against him again this year. Jordan wants to be Speaker and, at the time, I wrote Like Denny Hastert, Jordan was a wrestling coach. A career politician, he was in the state legislature from 1994 'til 2006 when he wormed his way into Congress, representing a deep red, poorly educated, nearly 90% white district (PVI is R+14) with no cities. McCain won the district with 54.4%. Romney took it with 56% but Trump crushed Hillary 64.3% to 30.7%. Jordan was one of the founders of the extremist House Freedom Caucus and in 2017 John Boehner summed up his career in politics very simply: "Jordan was a terrorist as a legislator going back to his days in the Ohio House and Senate… A terrorist. A legislative terrorist." So when the news broke this morning tying him to another one of those wrestling coach-sex-stories, I wasn't taken aback as most people were.

Unless you're an absolute DWT fanatic, I don't expect you to remember right-wing hypocrite Wes Goodman, closet case by night, anti-gay super-fascist by day-- and the heir apparent to Jim Jordan, his mentor, day and night. Jordan's boy was caught having consensual sex with another adult male in his district office, but that was no one-time faux pas-- it never is. Goodman led a secret gay life and was somewhat notorious for making unwelcome advances to younger men. Jackie Borchardt reporting: "In public, Wesley Goodman was an up-and-coming conservative who championed pro-family and anti-LGBT causes and aspired to someday run for Congress. In private, he exchanged salacious texts and emails with gay men he met on Capitol Hill, and sent sexually suggestive messages to young men he met through conservative circles who were too intimidated to publicly complain, according to three people who knew him when he worked in Washington." It wasn't just the "inappropriate behavior" he was just outed for. And, yes, he worked for Jim Jordan while he was engaging in predatory behavior towards young men-- usually Republican college students-- in DC and back in Ohio.
Goodman was seen as a rising conservative star and a good networker who could help young people get jobs in conservative organizations, the Republican activist said.

"People never really wanted to come forward against someone in power," the operative added.

...Donnelly said the last time he saw Goodman was at a conservative event in 2009. Goodman was there with Jordan to urge support for the congressman's D.C. Defense of Marriage Act, which would have overturned a local law allowing recognition of same-sex marriages. Goodman was handling the issue for Jordan, Donnelly said.

A friend of mine who served in the state legislature with Jordan told me it was no secret that Jordan protected Goodman. No one, however, knew about the wrestling coach episodes that were revealed yesterday by NBC News and the Columbus Dispatch. According to the Dispatch, Ian Fury, a Jordan spokesman, sent them a written statement that Jordan "never saw any abuse, never heard about any abuse, and never had any abuse reported to him during his time as a coach at Ohio State." No one believes it since it was widely known that Jordan knew all about the Goodman scandal before it broke, endorsed Goodman, based on his "character, experience and passion" to serve, for the legislature, and studiously ignored it while young conservative boys were being molested.
A trio who wrestled for U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan when he was an assistant coach at Ohio State University now say the Urbana Republican knew about abuse perpetrated by the team doctor two decades ago and did not report it.

Former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato, one of the first victims to report Dr. Richard Strauss’ alleged misconduct to Ohio State, told The Dispatch he is disappointed by Jordan’s response, calling the congressman “a coward.”

He knew, did know, and it’s very disappointing that he has now denied knowledge, not once, but twice,” DiSabato said. “I’ve never known Jim Jordan to be a coward, frankly, but this shows that his own interest in seeking higher office is more important than the health, safety and well being of his friends and athletes who competed for him and with him.”

DiSabato was one of three former OSU wrestlers who confirmed the account to NBC News.

...Former student-athletes from 14 sports have reported allegations of sexual misconduct relating to Strauss, the university said in an update last month. Additionally, some students who were not athletes have reported sexual misconduct, as well those who were familiar with Strauss through a private medical practice he ran in Columbus in the 1990s.

Investigators are also now looking into whether Strauss also may have treated high school students.

Ohio State in April announced it was investigating accusations that Strauss abused team members when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s, during a period that overlapped with Jordan serving as assistant wrestling coach. Strauss died in 2005.

Jordan has denied knowing about the abuse, telling The Dispatch this spring, “I had not heard about any type of abuse at all.” He said then that “no one reported any type of abuse” to him.

But three former wrestlers told NBC News that it was well-known that Strauss showered regularly with the students and inappropriately touched them during appointments. One wrestler said he told Jordan directly about the abuse.

...Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, urged caution, saying, “every one of us deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”

“I can’t tell you who’s telling the truth or how much of it is the truth,” he said. “We’ll just have to let it come out.”

He said the news isn’t likely to quash his chances of becoming the speaker of the House, saying Jordan was “very unlikely” to become speaker in the first place.
NBC adds that Mike DiSabato, a former wrestler, whose allegations against Strauss prompted Ohio State to open its investigation, called Jordan a "liar."
“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato said. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

DiSabato said he reached out to Jordan this year, before going to the university, to tell Jordan that he planned to go public with his allegations. Jordan told him to “please leave me out of it,” DiSabato said. “He asked me not to get him involved.”

Dunyasha Yetts, who wrestled at Ohio State in 1993 and 1994, said he and others told Jordan about Strauss.

“I remember I had a thumb injury and went into Strauss’ office and he started pulling down my wrestling shorts,” he said. “I’m like, what the fuck are you doing? And I went out and told Russ and Jim [Jordan] what happened. I was not having it. They went in and talked to Strauss.”

Yetts said he and his teammates talked to Jordan numerous times about Strauss.

..."So it’s sad for me to hear that he’s denying knowing about Strauss," he said. "I don’t know why he would, unless it’s a cover-up. Either you’re in on it, or you’re a liar.”

This morning, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Jordan was lying about not having been contacted about the investigation. "Lawyers hired by OSU to probe the allegations said Jordan was contacted-- both by phone and email-- to request an interview, but he never responded. And three members of the wrestling team under Jordan insist that he knew about the abuse but looked the other way." Jordan says everyone else is lying, not him.
“Despite claims to the contrary, Congressman Jordan’s office has not received a request for interview from the investigative team. We have demanded that they send us the supposed communication and remain willing to assist in any way that we can.”

A written statement from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur attorney Kathleen Trafford, provided by the university, said investigators had previously contacted Jordan’s office by email and phone to request an interview.

“To date, Rep. Jordan has not responded to those requests, but we understand from public statements issued on his behalf today that Rep. Jordan is willing to talk to the investigative team,” Trafford said.
Wrestlin' Around by Chip Proser

So far, no one has come out and accused Congressman Jordan of molesting any underage boys, just covering it up. It is odd, though, that he covered up child molesting both for Strauss and then, years later, for Goodman. What the hell is that all about? One thing we do know for sure-- you cannot trust these hypocritical homophobic Republicans around young boys. They just do not ever seem to be able to resist. Just call it the Hastert Rule.

So this isn't about wrestling but maybe you'll find it as relevant as I did. Tom Morgan is a local progressive activist in Jordan's district and a member of Get Equal. "A few years ago I went to one of his town hall meetings with a friend. We asked him [Jordan] about marriage equality. He mocked us, publicly, in front of everyone there... and encouraged them to do the same. This public 'servant' put us in danger that day." And one more thing: There are 258,868 in Jordan's people who have a form of public health insurance. Do the people in Ohio's 4th congressional district know how Jim Jordan votes?

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At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing in this is surprising. lots of 'wide stances' among republican white men, starting with mcturtle.

But you failed to apologize for being grotesquely redundant with: "a deep red, poorly educated, nearly 90% white district". Each implies the others. DUH!

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guy like that should live in Alabama. They like molesters there.

At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite the coincidence on both career paths, a closeted predator right next to him and he just didn't have a clue.


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