San Diego Democrat Party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy has taken a leave of absence from his position after allegations of a rape that occurred in his home came to light just last week. The allegations came from a Facebook post from Democrat activist and former Mayoral candidate Tasha Williamson. In the post, Williamson wrote, “The Chair of the San Diego Democratic Party needs to tell the Party about the allegations against him! Allegations of sex without consent are rape! Several men have been accused of this in the party, and the party has failed to investigate, support, and protect a victim in this incident.” An ethics committee has been formed by the party according to party leadership. A source close to the matter said, “ The ethics committee is a joke, Will will save himself, that’s for sure.”
This is not the first time that Rodriguez-Kennedy has been subject to controversy and the Democrat Party in San Diego, for that matter. In 2012, a restraining order was filed against Rodriguez-Kennedy, showing his history of inappropriate behavior. This all has followed a long line of misconduct which includes his accusation of financial misconduct back in 2018 as well. In 2013, Mayor Bob Filner was forced to resign after it was discovered he assaulted a number of women on numerous occasions. Rumors of Filner’s behavior had been prevalent when he was in Congress, but the Democrat Party did not care as shown throughout their divisive history, any monster is better than a Republican in their eyes.
Another example of the San Diego Democrat Party turning a blind eye to misconduct allegations was in 2019. SDUSD Board Member Kevin Beiser was accused sexual misconduct and abuse allegations. The abuse reportedly took place over a span of five years, from 2013 to 2018, starting when the accuser was an intern in then-Congresswoman Susan Davis’ office. The Board voted to remove Beiser from the board but as of today, Beiser still remains on the board.
The Democrat Party should take a stand to stand with the victim and support them in these trying times. One of the founding principles of our nation is innocent until proven guilty, but it is time to stand with the victim and help their voice be heard. These allegations should be taken seriously and presented to an independent jury, not in front of the Democrat ethics committee, to which Rodriguez-Kennedy is the former chair and has a remaining number of connections.
As a person in a perceived position of power, Rodriguez-Kennedy should have and still should be working to create a safe environment for all his employees and volunteers. A couple of years ago, Rodriguez-Kennedy found himself as the victim in a case of unwanted touching. In that case, Rodriguez-Kennedy told The Los Angeles Times, “I do not know how I can champion these causes if I do not oppose sexual harassment directed at me and other young members in my own party.” Even with this history and effort towards ending that behavior Rodriguez-Kennedy finds himself now the accused perpetrator of these nasty actions.
Although, as we’ve seen time and time again in their Party, it’s do as I say, not as I do. As a victim in a similar case, you would expect some sympathy and the want to create a safe and accepting environment for the victim to be helped. But instead, he seems to be somewhat unfazed by the allegations. He has taken a somewhat lackadaisical approach saying, “I guess it doesn’t matter that I can prove my innocence but I look forward to process (sic) that allows me to get the truth out there.” Maybe Rodriguez-Kennedy thinks he can keep this quiet, or he does not think that the allegations are that serious and do not warrant such inquiry. Despite his approach to the situation, a police report has been filed, and while no charges have been filed, the case is being looked into by the District Attorney’s office.
The rape in question also occurred at the house that Rodriguez-Kennedy and San Diego City Councilman Stephen Whitburn live in. How long has Whitburn known of these accusations? Why did Whitburn not step in and stop this or file any police report? If Whitburn knew about the allegations, why did he not go to the other party leaders? Our team has reached out to Whitburn for comment but has made no comment regarding the allegations against Rodriguez-Kennedy. If Whitburn knew about the allegations and did nothing to stop or report them, he should be held accountable and should resign from his office immediately.