Top ‘Democrat for Cruz’ Accused of Sexual Harassment

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Sen. Ted Cruz has sought to soften his image as a conservative hardliner and recast himself as a lawmaker unafraid to reach across the aisle—but one of the top figures he’s recruited for his “Democrats for Cruz” group has been accused of crossing far more serious lines.

Cruz (R-TX), facing a tougher-than-expected re-election struggle against Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), lit up social media last month with ads and public appearances featuring supporters from the other side of the partisan divide. And none has featured more prominently, whether on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube, than U.S. Hispanic Business Council President Javier Palomarez.

In a recorded event with Palomarez, the business booster sat alongside the senator—famous for his first-term filibuster antics—as a true bipartisan problem solver.

“I happen to know a different Ted Cruz, the Ted Cruz that never, never gets mentioned in our national media,” Palomarez said at the event. “The Ted Cruz that collaborated with me, a known and lifelong Democrat.”

The shared recording cuts out what Palomarez said they collaborated on: temporary visas for foreign-born tech workers. It also omits some of the less choice commentary and actions the Democrat’s female subordinates claimed he subjected them to at two different employers.

A spokesperson for Cruz did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

As The New York Times first reported in 2018, a lower-ranked colleague of Palomarez alleged in court in 1996 that he made “suggestive comments” and kissed and touched her on a work trip. The matter was ultimately settled, an attorney for the alleged victim told the Times.

A more explosive case arose more than two decades later, when Palomarez’s chief of staff at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce claimed she was “subjected to discrimination on the basis of their gender, sexual harassment, and a generally hostile work environment,” in a lawsuit against the business advocacy group. Her complaint alleged that under Palomarez, then the organization’s president and CEO, she had suffered remarks about her appearance and clothing in the presence of other employees, as well as “inappropriate, unwanted, and unconsented to touching.”

The suit also raised the aide’s concern that Palomarez used to deliberately “play into and perpetuate” rumors the two of them were having an affair through his “handsy” and “flirtatious” behavior. She also accused him of referring to her and other female workers as “fucking bitch.”

The former chief of staff also shared with the Times an email, which she sent to a friend describing an incident in which Palomarez expressed an interest in “being with” her and attempted to kiss her. The woman and the chamber agreed to drop the matter in 2019, court records show.

Palomarez resigned his role at the chamber but denied the allegations, and told the Times that they represented a kind of political reprisal for his cordial relations with former President Donald Trump. But he also filed a lawsuit against a Dallas businesswoman and chamber board chair, claiming she conspired with his chief of staff and other women to besmirch his reputation after he terminated a relationship with her.

Palomarez requested the court allow him to personally depose the businesswoman on a wide range of subjects before the two settled the case in 2019. Palomarez’s attorney told the Dallas Morning News he and his client were “not at liberty” to comment on the resolution at the time.

But in a statement to The Daily Beast, a lawyer for ​​the U.S. Hispanic Business Council, Palomarez’s current group, maintained the advocate had experienced nothing short of total vindication.

“To this day, none of the historically old and discredited allegations you are contacting the USHBC about were proven true in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding,” attorney Tony Rawlins wrote in an email to The Daily Beast. “Not one allegation. Not one case. Not one substantiated finding made by any adjudicative body at any level.”

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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