America is wrapped up in the sexual harassment issue. Prominent men from media, entertainment and politics have been accused, caught, socially convicted and run off the public stage by their own misdeeds that finally caught up to them. Some are hanging on and trying to weather the storm and some just may stand falsely accused by vengeful rivals who are seizing the opportunity presented by hyperawareness. There appears to be one such case involving Brevard’s own former State Representative Ritch Workman.
Ritch, after a long appointment process, is the governor’s choice for a seat on the Public Service Commission. First he was a nominee on the list. Then he was a vetted finalist and forwarded to the governor for consideration. Finally he was selected by the governor for the appointment. The process took months.
In all that time Ritch’s name was known to be in consideration by anyone who cared to know. There was nary a word of any objection to him being considered or even appointed. There was also no word of inappropriate behavior that would disqualify Ritch from consideration, even in the current environment.
And then Monday came. Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto issued a press release to multiple outlets claiming that Ritch had, “approached me from behind, pushed his body up against me, made vulgar and inappropriate comments and gestures until other attendees intervened.” She also said she found his conduct to be abhorrent.
How abhorrent? So abhorrent that she remembers and announces these horrible acts and her opposition to his nomination a year and half after the event in the most public way imaginable and the way likely to do the most damage to Workman politically and professionally.
I am convinced that the allegation leveled at former State Representative Ritch Workman is shady on the facts and is in fact a political hit.
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and her co-conspirators should have hired a professional hit man. Her amateur actions weren’t just a hit; they were a carpet bomb that not only damaged Workman’s Public Service Commission nomination and any other political aspirations, but his wife, his ex-wife and children as well.
Look, Ritch was a politician. If there are political rivalries, play the game on the political field and do your best. Benacquisto could have taken action to stop the nomination at any time during the lengthy process. She did not. She suddenly reacted to abhorrent behavior a year and half after the fact. A year and half after she could have acted had she been so offended, had the event actually occurred as she stated.
When you take out the political rival and harm his family in the process, it’s you who are out of line.
These unsubstantiated allegations, if strong enough, could have withstood scrutiny in a confirmation hearing. Yet, the senator must have feared that. Her statement now claimed she would never give Ritch a confirmation hearing in the Senate Rules Committee that she chairs. The hit job was already done.
Which leaves us to ask ourselves…why did she go after his family? Why the press release?
Oh, there was evil intent in this one, just not by Ritch!