Chuck McConnell: Senator Baumgardner is innocent, will not resign |

Chuck McConnell: Senator Baumgardner is innocent, will not resign

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner is innocent of the accusations of sexual harassment made against him and concluded to be true in the recent Steamboat Pilot & Today Editorial Board editorial. I have spoken to Baumgardner at length about this issue. He told me without equivocation he did not do the things alleged.

Why were these allegations made in the first place you ask? It’s simple, politics. Democrats are in the minority in the Colorado Senate by a thin one-vote margin. Senate District-8, Sen. Baumgardner’s seat, represents that one vote.

Baumgardner did not receive due process. Instead, the Editorial Board of the Pilot accepted selected statements from the investigation and proceeded directly to guilty. The due process clause (which appears in the 5th and 14th Constitutional Amendments in the Bill of Rights) states that “No American citizen shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without the due process of law.” The Board’s editorial came to its conclusion without the benefit of due process.

How would anyone like to be convicted of a serious allegation by a judge who said you are “more than likely” guilty? It is clear that another person looking at the same information in this investigation could easily have reached a very different conclusion.

It is unfathomable that the Pilot Editorial Board would demand resignation of a publicly elected official, who has served Northwest Colorado residents for 10 years, without even one phone conversation with him. To excoriate Sen. Baumgardner without hearing directly from him is one-sided and absolutely unfair.

The editorial stated, “Sexual harassment in the workplace shouldn’t be politicized.” I sure agree, but by picking on one of the five or six Colorado legislators accused of harassment actually politicized the subject.

Was it simply random selection that the one legislator just happened to be a Republican Senator? I think not.

Your editorial did not help the movement to empower women to bring “instances of sexual harassment to light.” It does, however, abet the Democrat wish to take over the Senate.

Stepping down by Sen. Baumgardner in the face of false accusations would be an affront to justice. It would bow to what is so prevalent in today’s media — guilt by accusation. Guilt is only assessed in America’s system by the concept of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That bar has not come close to being reached. And more importantly, Baumgardner is innocent of the allegations.

Guilt by accusation is abhorrent to the American system. It is, in my mind, pure politics and badly fails the test of fairness.

Sen. Baumgardner will not resign.

Chuck McConnell

Steamboat Springs

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