Arizona representative Trent Franks has issued a new statement in that he announced his resignation effective immediately upon learning of his wife’s admittance the hospital. The initial statement issued by Frank’s office suggested he would resign by January 31 however, it appears those plans have abruptly changed.
Frank’s decision to resign effective immediately came on the heels of a report issued by Politico which stated the congressman offered 5 million dollars to a staffer in return for her to act as a surrogate.
“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. due to an ongoing ailment. After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017.”
Franks initial statement discussed in detail the troubles he and his wife have experienced in trying to conceive and/or adopt a third child. Franks also discussed the process by which they were able to conceive their twins via a gestational surrogate and how his familiarity of the topic added to an uncomfortable work environment:
“Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.”
Politico cited GOP House sources that claimed two of the women Franks approached were unsure if Frank’s was suggesting to impregnate them through in-vitro fertilization or a sexual encounter.
The report also claims a former staffer of Franks stated the congressman made an attempt at convincing her the two were in love. The staffer claims when she rebuffed the congressman’s advances, she was reprimanded. If true, this is textbook sexual harassment and the congressman should be held accountable.
The spokesman acting on Trent Franks’ behalf denied all allegations contained within the Politico report however, the damage is done as Franks has formally resigned.
The alleged actions of congressman Franks may not seem like the traditional case of sexual harassment, but it certainly is considered sexual harassment. If the congressman made a 5 million dollar offer to a staffer in return for her to serve as he and his wife’s surrogate, of course she would feel an immense amount of pressure to comply. Anytime a boss asks anything of a staffer, whether it be personal or professional, there is pressure to acquiesce. There is nothing professional in asking staffers to act as surrogates and it is extremely easy to understand how uncomfortable this conversation must have been.
It is fair to point out that a 5 million dollar offer is considered extremely high since there are numerous women who offer gestational surrogacy for $100,000.
It appears there was enough evidence for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to urge Franks to tender his resignation. With the current temperature of the public’s discourse pertaining to sexual harassment in the work place coupled with very recent resignations/retirements within the Democratic Party, there was no alternate avenue to pursue here. Had Ryan not leaned on Franks to resign, the Democratic Party would have used Franks’ Ethics Review to detract attention form their own scandals. Scandals that are starting to tear the liberal-progressive platform to shreds and expose the abject hypocrisy that is rife within the Democratic Party.