UPDATE #3: Denver7’s Blair Miller with more local support for Deborah Ramirez:
Lisa Calderon, who currently teaches at Denver’s Regis University and was Ramirez’s supervisor while the two worked together at Safehouse Progressive for Nonviolence (SPAN), said the attacks on Ramirez were unfair.
Ramirez has been working for Boulder County as a volunteer since 2013, but had been a victim’s advocate coordinator for SPAN before that and still is a board member. Calderon, who was the policy director of SPAN from 1995 to 2007, said Ramirez joined the nonprofit about halfway through her tenure.
“She is someone who has great integrity,” Calderon said of her former co-worker and employee. “She’s dedicated her life to working with victims.”
Calderon said that Ramirez was initially a volunteer but that she decided to hire her because she was detail-oriented and went above and beyond at work. Calderon said Ramirez was eventually responsible for a 24/7 crisis response team, a group of volunteers coordinated by Ramirez to go to domestic violence incidents and provide support to victims.
If any of you have advice for Sen. Cory Gardner on what to do about this, now’s the time.
UPDATE #2: Sen. Michael Bennet says it: the nomination “should not move forward” until the FBI can investigate.
Both Dr. Ford & Ms. Ramirez have said they are willing to provide their accounts to the FBI under oath. Anyone who is disputing their accounts should also be willing to do so under oath. The nomination process should not move forward until the FBI investigates these allegations.
— Michael Bennet (@SenBennetCO) September 24, 2018
UPDATE: The Denver Post with a similar theme:
Friends of Deborah Ramirez say she’s a private person with a life and career focused on volunteerism and community service.
She’s the senior volunteer coordinator at the Boulder County Department of Housing & Human Services, where she’s worked since February 2013. The 53-year-old Boulder resident also is on the board of the nonprofit Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, which helps domestic violence victims…
“I believe her without hesitation,” [Scott] Fliegelman said in an interview. “I can’t imagine that Debbie would fabricate anything, much less anything of this nature, and that’s why I really felt for her.” [Pols emphasis]
Fliegelman said Ramirez is a humble person who went to Yale, then chose a career path focused on helping others, including women in crisis.
Denver7’s Blair Miller has more reaction to the explosive allegations yesterday from a Colorado woman of sexual misconduct by U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Yale University in the 1980s, including more information on the background of the accuser that reinforces her credibility:
A Colorado woman is the second in recent weeks to come forward publicly and accuse U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of committing sexual misconduct while he was a teenager, and she has hired high-profile Colorado attorneys to represent her…
Lara Day, a spokesperson for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, confirmed to Denver7 Monday that Garnett would be transitioning out of representing [Deborah] Ramirez and that Boulder-based John Clune of Hutchison Black and Cook would be taking over as counsel for Ramirez. Garnett did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Denver7 Sunday night.
Clune declined to comment when reached by Denver7 Monday morning.
But Clune did release a statement on Twitter from the board and staff of Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN), where Ramirez is a volunteer and board member, who spoke in support of Ramirez and her character.
“We know Debbie Ramirez to be a woman of great integrity and honor. We stand by her and her courageous decision to come forward. It is never simple or easy for survivors to share their experiences. To do so in the face of public scrutiny requires a level of personal strength that is true to the person Debbie is. She has our support, our respect, and our admiration,” they wrote. [Pols emphasis]
One of the most important lessons from the recent movement for accountability for men who commit sexual misconduct of all kinds has been the overarching need to set aside presumptions and respect the women who are coming forward with these painful stories of abuse. In the case of both of the public accusers against Brett Kavanaugh, we have credible, well-educated and professional women with nothing to gain from coming forward with these allegations and everything to lose. Deborah Ramirez’s experience in particular as a volunteer and board member of a local domestic violence charity means she understands the issues women face holding their assailants accountable.
Today, as supporters of Kavanaugh leap reflexively into attack mode against Ramirez, they’re doing so without any regard to her actual background–a background that, like Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s, is inherently credible. Although Kavanaugh’s supporters doubtless feel compelled to do so this is extremely risky, because there is absolutely nothing in the story of either of these accusers as reported so far to justify the bile being hurled against them.
With the midterm election fast approaching, popular backlash against these attacks on women who are by all accounts above reproach could take down many more Republicans than Brett Kavanaugh, whose prospects of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court appear to be dimming by the hour.