Robby Soave looks at the controversy over Alex Morse, the 31-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Mass., who is in hot water for sexual intimacy with men as young as 18. Legally, all involved seem to be adults, and no one was anyone’s supervisor or professor, but as long as there’s a power differential these relationships are problematic.
In a Democratic primary race, Morse is running for Congress against incumbent Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
More. The Intercept reports that:
With the allegations short of details or any student claiming to be a victim, the focus has shifted to the origin of the letter. The man serving as chief strategist for the UMass Amherst College Democrats, Timothy Ennis, recently completed a class with Neal, who teaches a journalism course. Ennis, according to two members of the College Democrats chapter, was open about his hopes of working for Neal in the future.
Clare Sheedy, a rising sophomore and a Morse supporter, was active in the College Democrats chapter and knew Ennis through their joint work on behalf of the Pete Buttigieg campaign for president….“He spoke very highly of Mr. Neal,” Sheedy said. “What he said to me was he wanted Neal to be his ‘in’ to politics and work his way up from there.” …
Ennis was president of the UMass College Democrats from April 2019 until April 2020, at which point he transitioned to chief strategist. That same month, Morse said, College Democrats requested a donation from his campaign. He declined, saying that his war chest wasn’t large enough. A number of other Massachusetts politicians, including Neal, did make such donations. The president of the state chapter of the College Democrats later took to Twitter to applaud Neal for donating $1,000 to the Amherst chapter.
Congratulations to everyone who fell for an entrapment scheme straight out of Veep https://t.co/f4nzeeCGLL— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) August 12, 2020