PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — “This is Corey Stewart,” the ad begins with the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate casting out the possibility his opponent, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is on a list of those in Washington who’ve committed sexual misconduct and paid settlement money to victims.
The radio ad put to video is designed to cast doubt on Senator Kaine’s character.
“$17 million. That’s how much Congress has paid out in sexual harassment settlements against its own members,” the ad continues.
That is true and false. It is true that it’s $17 million, but it’s not only for U.S. senators, but everyone on Capitol Hill on a wide variety of claims.
10 On Your Side challenged Stewart on the truthfulness of his ad, and he restated the claim against Senator Kaine, “$17 million in settlement payments to silence women who have accused members of Congress and potentially and including Senator Kaine.”
Stewart suggests Senator Kaine is on the sexual harassment list, and the ad states this, “But why won’t they tell us who these senators are? Why not, Senator Kaine? What are you hiding? Are you on that list?”
10 On Your Side asked Stewart whether he is saying Tim Kaine may have done something wrong. He quickly answered, “Yes, I am saying that.”
The truth is Stewart has no evidence that Senator Kaine has done anything wrong. Stewart’s basically throwing political grenades.
Again, 10 On Your Side asked him how he knows that Tim Kaine’s name is on that list.
This time Stewart comes clean, “We don’t know that, but if he is not on the list then how come he is refusing to release the names on the list?”
The ad doesn’t state this, but here’s why.
In December 2017, Kaine sent a letter to the Congressional Office of Compliance, seeking the number of sexual harassment claims filed under the Congressional Accountability Act between 2007 and 2017. If the claims were resolved by monetary settlement, he wanted the total paid to resolve such claims.
Senator Kaine then wrote, “I plan to publicly disclose this information because I believe it will provide some insight into the scope of the problem and help determine solutions for preventing and addressing future incidents.”
Due to confidentiality agreements, Kaine did not ask for names, but it was ultimately Republican leaders who kept the list of names secret which Stewart has a problem with. At the time the information was disclosed, it was reported there were 268 separate incidents that resulted in the payment of about $17 million in taxpayer money.
With that in mind, 10 On Your Side asked Stewart, is it right to put that innuendo out there that Kaine is on the list? His answer, “Well somebody is on the list.”
Yes, someone is one the list, but is Senator Kaine on the list?
Kaine said he’s absolutely not on the list in a September 26 debate.
“You just tried to slip in that there were complaints against me, and that is completely false,” Kaine said.
Stewart: “Well, how do we know that?”
Sen. Kaine: “Well you talk about this beneath dignity. You just think you can make it up, without any facts?”
Again, 10 On Your Side pressed Stewart about producing evidence. “We don’t know if Tim Kaine’s name is on that list or not.”
It is fact, Stewart doesn’t know, and Kaine pushed back in the October 2 debate: “There’s never been a claim filed against me or anyone in my office, and you know that,” he said to Stewart.