Dear Commons Community,
Roy Moore, the Republican Nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, has been accused by several women as having made sexual advances to them. As reported by The Washington Post:
“Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.
It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.
“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”
Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.
Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.
Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.”
While some Republicans have called on Moore to step aside if these allegations are true, the fallout was uncertain for a candidate who is considered a hero in some Alabama circles for his conservative cultural stances. Mr. Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was twice removed from that office for his positions on gay marriage and a Ten Commandments display. Yesterday he strenuously denied the allegations the women made about him in on-the-record interviews included in the report, published by The Washington Post. And it was clear that many in his conservative base were in no mood to desert him in a race for a Senate seat Republicans consider crucial to maintaining their majority in the upper chamber.
John Skipper, 66, a former chair of the Mobile County Republican Party, declared the allegations “total contrived media garbage.” Mr. Skipper said that he would still support the candidate and that he figured most of the Alabama Republicans he knew would probably do the same.
“Most of them will not be shocked,” he said, “and will rather be expecting these shenanigans being pulled by the Democrats as standard operating procedure.”
Whether Mr. Skipper’s prediction proves true remains to be seen. But the report unquestionably introduced new waves of uncertainty and turmoil into a race for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, the attorney general. The Democrats would love to win this seat to give them one more vote in the Senate.