Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

August 27, 2004

by V

Florida GOP, RNC, BC04 sued

If this stuff is true, it's pretty ugly:

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "Republican Party Sued for Race Discrimination and Retaliation"
Nadia Naffe, who worked as a Field Director in Southwest Florida for the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), filed a lawsuit today in federal court alleging race discrimination and retaliation on the job. Along with the RPOF, the lawsuit names the Republican National Committee and Bush-Cheney '04 as defendants. The complaint is available at http://www.findjustice.com.

During August 2003 until April 2004, when Naffe worked for the Republican Party, she was the only black Field Director in Florida. Her lawsuit claims that she was required to perform job assignments against her will that concentrated on black organizations, events and issues. Naffe alleges that she complained to the party's officials about this illegal practice, known as "race matching," but that her complaints were ignored...

After seeking and failing to get assistance from the Republican Party, Naffe contacted the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in March 2004. The lawsuit alleges that shortly afterwards she was verbally threatened with firing by the RPOF's General Counsel, Robert Sechen. As retaliation, Naffe was fired a month later for reasons that her lawsuit alleges were fabricated.

...The lawsuit alleges that Naffe was subjected to racially insensitive and stereotypical statements by RPOF Executive Director of Party Development Terry Kester including the following:
-- Instructing Naffe to contact African-American Republican Clubs to discourage their members from attending an NAACP march because "The last thing (the RPOF) want(s) to see is some black guy on television wearing a Republican shirt and responding to the press in an ignorant way."

-- Routinely referring to African-Americans as "you people" or "your people."

-- Telling Naffe that she was being given race-matched job assignments because "you understand your people."

-- Showing Naffe a portrait of the late Senator Strom Thurmond and boasting that he believed Thurmond was "the best Senator who ever lived."

The lawsuit alleges that when Naffe complained to the Chairman of the RPOF, Carole Jean Jordan, about the discrimination she was experiencing, she was told that the offending supervisor could not help the way he was because "he comes from a redneck part of the state."

The lawsuit alleges that when Naffe complained about being required to perform job assignments because of her race, the RPOF's Deputy Director of Party Development, Christina Sheppard replied, "Well, you are pigeon-holed, so just deal with it."

The lawsuit further alleges that after Naffe informed the RPOF that she had contacted the EEOC and retained an attorney, the General Counsel for the RPOF, Robert Sechen, called her and yelled, "You don't have the right to an attorney. You don't have the right to speak to the EEOC. If you do that, you will lose your job."

The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Sechen was true to his word. The RPOF terminated Naffe's employment on April 2, 2004 within weeks of her filing an EEOC charge.

"Ms. Naffe rallied behind the Bush-Cheney campaign hoping to find compassionate conservatism," said Mehri. "Instead of true conservatism, she found herself faced with discrimination and intolerance. And instead of compassion, she found retaliation."

"The Republican Party just doesn't get it. They should have known that race matching in the workplace has been prohibited for years," added Smith. "By filing this lawsuit, we intend to stop the Republican Party from continuing these illegal practices."
I wonder if this'll make any noise in Florida...
Posted by V at August 27, 2004 08:34 AM

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