Ohio Democratic gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray has recently taken to deploying his wife, Peggy, on the campaign trail in a possible effort to detract from #metoo and discrimination problems in his record that have been uncovered by Ohio conservative media in recent months.
Joined by former Gov. Ted Strickland’s wife, Peggy Cordray recently took to the campaign trail to argue that her husband would be better for Ohio women than Attorney General Mike DeWine because, per WTAP, “women will have a large presence in a Cordray administration.”
But the Ohio Attorney General’s office, under DeWine, has a strong record of hiring women into key senior positions. Mary Mertz serves as First Assistant Attorney General. Kim Murnieks serves as Chief Operating Officer for DeWine. Pamela Vest-Boratyn serves as DeWine’s General Counsel. As a U.S. Senator, he also had a female Chief of Staff, Laurel Pressler.
By contrast, while Cordray’s CFPB certainly employed many women, the agency was plagued with sex discrimination and sexual harassment claims.
Under Cordray, the CFPB was the subject of so many Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints by women and minorities that its record of discrimination was investigated by the U.S. House of Representatives.
A quarter of CFPB’s African-American, Asian-American and female employees told the General Accounting Office (GAO) that they had been the targets of discrimination at the agency. The GAO subsequently ripped the Bureau for failing to provide a “fair and inclusive workplace.”
In particular, the GAO called out CFPB for prioritizing “personal connections” and maintaining an attitude of “favoritism” in hiring, as opposed to hiring based on merit.
Many former employees of the Bureau under Cordray have described it as a “toxic” place to work.
Robert Cauldwell, the first president of the CFPB labor union, told the Ohio Star that abuses at CFPB were “systemic” and “beyond the pale,” though he has faulted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was originally intended to head CFPB for the hiring of abusive managers and blames Cordray for keeping them in place.
Cauldwell has vocally pushed back on the notion that Cordray is a champion of the advancement of women, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment policy.
“This idea that Rich Cordray was fair to employees and a proponent of inclusiveness is just wrong. It’s a joke,” he told the Star. “Not only was there unfair systems in place but we had the most EEOC complaints of any agency in the federal government even though we were one of the smallest agencies, by far, with only about 1,200 people at the time.”
According to Cauldwell, CFPB paid approximately $5 million to address discrimination in performance reviews.
Broadly, Cordray has been most attacked by his former staff for prioritizing hiring well-connected lefty activist figures over more qualified individuals, as opposed to allowing influential men hired by the agency to engage in Harvey Weinstein-type behavior and rampant discrimination.
Nonetheless, at least one former CFPB employee has told Third Base Politics that what went on CFPB under Cordray appears to be right out of the entertainment industry’s #metoo playbook.
Cordray’s record in this regard has largely gone un-scrutinized in the media, according to one Republican strategist because he is “a dishwater-dull, lackluster snooze-fest candidate.”
Be that as it may, given the recent raft of scandals plaguing everyone from big names in business to Members of Congress, Cordray’s record with regard to women employees seems worth of scrutiny, especially given his wife’s claims this week.