The national conversation on sexual misconduct by people in power was the biggest social issue of 2017, and it doesn’t show any sign of stopping in 2018.
In local politics, there has been no larger debate than the allegations against Mickey Kasparian, a labor leader accused by two women of sexual misconduct. One says he he groped her several times and once held her down to his office sofa, the other says she was coerced into a sexual relationship with him in the workplace. He denies all the allegations against him.
Kasparian is the head of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 and the San Diego Working Families Council. Until his recent resignations, he was president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council and a member of the local Democratic Party’s Central Committee.
He has been an ally Democratic candidates and the county’s party alike, and his support has made the allegations the thorniest issue in progressive circles since former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
The accusations will be sorted out in the various lawsuits that are currently underway, but politically, it’s more complex. To help keep things straight, and see where Democratic candidates and incumbents stand, the Union-Tribune has created a spreadsheet to follow how incumbent Democrats and candidates respond.
They will all be emailed with a series of yes-or-no questions that ask if Kasparian should resign from Local 135, should he leave the Working Families Council, has the local Democratic Party responded appropriately to the allegations and will the politician accept support from Kasparian. So far county supervisor candidates have all been contacted, and more will be emailed in the coming days.
Besides responses to the four questions, the speadsheet also tracks when Democrats were first contacted and when they replied (or haven’t replied), among other details. The goal is to be as transparent as possible. The spreadsheet will be updated with responses as they come in. Progress is being tracked at http://sdut.us/kasparian.
Feedback from readers will help make this process better, so please do not hesitate to email or leave a comment in the chat section of the spreadsheet or email the reporter.