Women protest re­cent tweet by Slaugh­en­houpt

Other of­fi­cials share thoughts on the mat­ter

The Calvert Recorder - - Front Page - By TA­MARA WARD tward@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecTAMARA

Nearly 20 women heeded a call to ac­tion and staged a silent protest at the Calvert County Board of County Com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing Tues­day.

The protest was in re­sponse to Com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Evan Slaugh­en­houpt’s (R) con­tro­ver­sial tweet last week draw­ing a cor­re­la­tion be­tween him­self and U.S. Supreme Court nom­i­nee Brett Ka­vanaugh, who was re­cently ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault.

“We don’t protest Mr. Slaugh­en­houpt’s sup­port of Ka­vanaugh, but his flip­pant at­ti­tude about vi­o­lence against women. Mr. Slaugh­en­houpt drew a false equiv­a­lency be­tween child­hood games and al­leged at­tempted rape — im­ply­ing that such in­ci­dents are ac­cept­able child­ish be­hav­ior,” Owings res­i­dent He­len Mary Ball said dur­ing the pub­lic com­ment pe­riod on be­half of the women stand­ing be­hind her in the court­room.

“We can­not al­low such a sen­ti­ment to go unan­swered. Vi­o­lence against women is a per­sis­tent is­sue in our com­mu­ni­ties and in the na­tion and it should not be dis­missed so ca­su­ally. Mr. Slaugh­en­houpt, we will not get over it, as you im­plied,” added Ball, who is a mem­ber of the Calvert County Demo­cratic Women’s Club.

Ef­forts to fill the room with women sit­ting qui­etly and somberly dur­ing the BOCC meet­ing were ini­ti­ated a few days ear­lier by CCDWC and were spread by email.

“I came be­cause I raised three chil­dren in this county, two of them daugh­ters. I stand for them to­day so that they grow up in a world and a coun­try that doesn’t ac­cept ha­rass­ment as a joke — it’s not a joke. It’s never OK,” Dunkirk res­i­dent Jackie Cut­lip-Niles said in an in­ter­view with The Calvert Recorder af­ter the com­mis­sion­ers’ meet­ing.

Slaugh­en­houpt tweeted, “I as­saulted a young lady; 1st to 4th grade birth­day gaunt­let in school. Child­hood friend of my af­fec­tion had a birth­day had to run the aisles. As did oth­ers, I smacked her on her but­tocks. I feel so dis­qual­i­fied for any po­si­tion to­day. NOT! Get over it peo­ple. Con­firm Ka­vanaugh.”

“I was that girl at that party. I was the girl that was slapped on the ass. I was the girl who was ha­rassed, I was that girl who was pushed down and it’s not ac­cept­able ever,” Cut­lip-Niles shared emo­tion­ally. She is also an as­so­ciate mem­ber of the Calvert Com­mis­sion for Women.

Slaugh­en­houpt and the four other com­mis­sion­ers sat qui­etly dur­ing Ball’s speech. Al­most all of the demon­stra­tors left im­me­di­ately after­wards be­fore Slaugh­en­houpt could ad­dress or re­but their con­cerns dur­ing the com­mis­sioner re­ports por­tion of the meet­ing.

He said the na­tion is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a “hy­per par­ti­san en­vi­ron­ment” and that peo­ple are mis­in­ter­pret­ing his state­ment or twist­ing his words to fit their bias.

“What is be­ing at­tempted is the im­po­si­tion of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, which is noth­ing more than thought con­trol,” Slaugh­en­houpt said. “I refuse to be sub­jected to such an­tics, as I am a free Amer­i­can.”

Slaugh­en­houpt said the left­ists and pro­gres­sives have cor­rupted “a once hon­or­able” Demo­cratic Party and their in­tent is to smear the rep­u­ta­tion of Ka­vanaugh by fab­ri­cat­ing charges against him. He quoted con­ser­va­tive ra­dio talk show host Mark Levin on the bat­tle be­tween “those who sup­port con­sti­tu­tion­al­ism and those who sup­port pro­gres­sivism.”

“Pro­gres­sives are not com­pas­sion­ate. Pro­gres­sives don’t have big hearts. In the name of peo­ple, they de­stroy peo­ple. In the name of pub­lic, they de­stroy so­ci­ety. They are power-hun­gry. They are con­trol freaks,” Slaugh­en­houpt con­tin­ued, quot­ing Levin, with whom he said he shares the same views.

Slaugh­en­houpt also quoted con­ser­va­tive po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Tucker Carl­son on at­tempts by Se­nate Repub­li­cans to re­solve the is­sue, al­leged re­sis­tance by Democrats and pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios for charg­ing Ka­vanaugh, stat­ing that there has been no fed­eral crime.

Slaugh­en­houpt said the con­tro­versy is not about Ka­vanaugh or the decades-old al­le­ga­tions. “It’s about left­ists de­stroy­ing due process and the pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence and the dis­trac­tion of this coun­try.”

Just be­fore the meet­ing ad­journed, Com­mis­sioner Pat Nut­ter (R) said Slaugh­en­houpt’s views do not rep­re­sent the board. In a fol­low-up call to The Calvert Recorder the next day, Nut­ter said, “I cant speak for the other com­mis­sion­ers, but Evan’s views don’t re­flect my opin­ion. I thought I made it clear at the meet­ing.” Nut­ter said, in ret­ro­spect, he un­der­stands why some peo­ple may feel the four com­mis­sion­ers should have spo­ken up re­gard­ing the protest or the board pres­i­dent’s com­ments dur­ing the meet­ing.

“He doesn’t just rep­re­sent Repub­li­cans in Calvert County. He rep­re­sents ev­ery sin­gle per­son, whether they’re Repub­li­can, Democrats and any­one in be­tween,” said Demo­crat and Lusby res­i­dent Lau­ren El­yard, who stayed in the court­room, adding that she was up­set to hear the way Slaugh­en­houpt speaks about the peo­ple he is sup­posed to rep­re­sent. El­yard said it was re­ally dis­heart­en­ing know­ing that he looks at all the women in the court­room protest­ing and just sees bit­ter, an­gry, power-hun­gry peo­ple who don’t care about their fel­low neigh­bors.

“Just know­ing that that is his men­tal­ity — it’s just poi­sonous and that’s not some­thing that needs to be any­where near our lo­cal gov­ern­ment,” El­yard said.

Dur­ing a Calvert County Cham­ber of Com­merce can­di­date fo­rum Wed­nes­day evening, both Slaugh­en­houpt’s tweet and the silent protest were vaguely ref­er­enced in a ques­tion from the au­di­ence about so­cial me­dia and com­mis­sion­ers’ deco­rum. Both Com­mis­sion­ers Mike Hart (R) and Steve Weems (R), who are up for re-elec­tion, were par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fo­rum. Slaugh­en­houpt, whose term ends at the end of this year and is not seek­ing re-elec­tion, was not among the par­tic­i­pants.

Hart did not di­rectly ad­dress the is­sue but did say he has never been dis­re­spect­ful to peo­ple on so­cial me­dia de­spite the nu­mer­ous at­tacks he has re­ceived, but “can’t speak for other folks” on the board.

“I am sorry for what hap­pened yes­ter­day,” Weems said, re­fer­ring to Slaugh­en­houpt’s state­ment af­ter the protest, liken­ing the sit­u­a­tion to Mayor Jean­nine James of La Plata, who was “lam­basted” for her opin­ions on so­cial me­dia re­gard­ing Nike us­ing Colin Kaeper­nick in an ad.

“I was ad­vo­cat­ing for a blan­ket state­ment and the ma­jor­ity chose not to do that — but I wanted to do that,” Weems said. “In essence, I am in pur­ga­tory right now. I got this cur­rent board and I’ve got to main­tain ci­vil­ity with it and de­fer, but I also know that there is an­other board com­ing.”

Af­ter the fo­rum, Weems clar­i­fied with the Recorder that he pro­posed a state­ment be is­sued af­ter Slaugh­en­houpt’s ini­tial tweet say­ing his views don’t rep­re­sent those of the board of com­mis­sion­ers, but the board “was not of one mind.”

Cut­lip-Niles was also at the fo­rum and said such a state­ment from the board im­me­di­ately af­ter Slaugh­en­houpt’s tweet would have made a huge dif­fer­ence. She said while the apol­ogy from Weems was wel­comed, she is “hold­ing out hope” that the board pres­i­dent will apol­o­gize.

STAFF PHOTO BY TA­MARA WARD

Twenty women sat silently in protest Tues­day to Com­mis­sion­ers’ Pres­i­dent Evan Slaugh­en­houpt’s (R) tweet com­par­ing child’s play to al­le­ga­tions against U.S. Supreme Court nom­i­nee Brett Ka­vanaugh.

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