The effort to turn the 31-year-old Mayor of Holyoke Massachusetts into a sex predator fell flat Monday when an LGBTQ political group reiterated its support.
The Victory Fund’s continued their endorsement of Alex and called on the media to “avoid reinforcing tired homophobic tropes or sensationalizing this story because of Alex’s sexual orientation.”
In their statement, they reiterated that “Alex” has been “open” about his relationships with other men ‘including students enrolled at local universities” he met using “dating apps, and reminded the public “there are no allegations of non-consent or of anyone underage.”
They joined commentators like Krystal Ball of the Hill-TV, Ryan Grim of the Intercept and Matt Taibi. whose stories often appear in Rolling Stone, in calling the scandal a political hit, designed to help Richie Neal-the powerful Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee who is in a fight for his political life. He faces a primary challenge from Alex Morse who became Mayor of the Western Massachusetts City at age 22 after graduating from Brown University. He has been reelected 4 times.
Neal, 71, is a Washington power was first elected in 1988 and proudly calls himself the “Dean of the “New England Congressional Delegation.”
Morse is another young progressive taking on the Democratic establishment in a heated primary on September first.
The Victory Fund debunked the accusations that were “released one week before the first debate and three weeks before the primary.” They labeled the charges of sexual harassment “vague and anonymous” that are “timed with the political calendar.” It is one week before the first debate and three weeks before the September political primary. The accusers are doing a “disservice to voters who want a progressive member of Congress.”
The controversy started on August 7th when the Daily Collegian release a letter
No gay group at the University of Massachusetts filed a complaint. It was made by the College Democrats of Massachusetts and then released anonymously to the student news paper the Daily Collegian saying Morse used “his position of power for romantic or sexual gain.” These contacts occurred most frequently on Tinder and Grindr.
The University of Massachusetts immediately opened an investigation in a statement that was often substantively supportive of the mayor. The University made it clear that existence of different power relationship make the relationships “inherently problematic” but not prohibited. No faculty member may have sexual contact with a student he teaches, otherwise the policy protects the free choices of students and faculty. No one has accused Morse of dating people he taught.
Morse taught at the University between 2014 and 2019 and the statement makes it clear they had no complaints on file about the Mayor.
The story quickly went national and the local chapter of the Sunrise movement rescinded its endorsement, but the national chapter merely suspended their support. Sunrise National condemned “the homophobia that we have seen laden in the discourse we have seen play out since these allegations surfaced and praised Alex for participating in “processes” with students that will repair “harm”.”
Only 3 out of 13 Mt Holyoke Council members called on the Mayor to withdraw. A move he defiantly rejected.
According to the Boston Globe one student who had a sexual encounter with Morse found out afterward that Morse is a mayor and university lecturer. This information made him “uncomfortable.” Taibi noted this recitation of events is the opposite of using his position for sexual “gain.”
Everyone supporting the Mayor quickly noted the 31-year-old Mayor is close in age to College students.
A heavy turnout is predicted on September First where the main event is Joe Kennedy’s campaign to oust the incumbent Senator Ed Markey, a sponsor of the Green New Deal.