October 3, 2018

CAUGHT IN THE #METOO UNDERTOW? Bredesen Brags of ‘Zero Tolerance’ Harassment Policy as Tennessee Governor: All reporting indicates major issues with Bredesen’s handling of abuse claims.

Bredesen, who was Tennessee’s governor from 2003 to 2011 and is now running for U.S. Senate, defended himself from criticism from Republican opponent Marsha Blackburn for his handling of harassment claims as governor.

“Both as mayor and governor, I had a zero tolerance policy with any kind of harassment of women,” Bredesen said. “Whenever this has happened in my purview it’s been something I’ve come down on very, very hard.”

Bredesen’s claim during the event flies in the face of reported facts during his tenure as governor, when reporters caught his administration covering up details of sexual harassment allegations and helping the accused land jobs elsewhere.

Most egregious in the findings was the Bredesen administration’s practice of shredding documentation of the accusations, which was found by both The Tennessean and the Associated Press to be done only when the accused were high-profile members of the administration.

The most public case came with Mack Cooper, who was Bredesen’s top lobbyist in the governor’s office before he was fired for violating the state’s workplace harassment policy. All the details of Cooper’s offense were shredded.

Bredesen insisted the decision to shred documents wasn’t part of a “cover up,” but acknowledged he had no way of proving that. He eventually ordered his administration to put an end to its practice of shredding documentation in harassment cases.

Bredesen also appeared to push back against a comment he made regarding sexual harassment in 2005 when he said, “Anytime you mix men and women together in a work environment there’s going to be issues.”

As an old white guy running against a woman, he’s going to have to deal with this.

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