District of Corruption

The Disaster from Delaware

Christine O’Donnell is surely the biggest train wreck the conservative movement has yet produced.

Put aside, for the moment, her Young Earth Creationism and dictates against masturbation (an odd position, by the way, for an unmarried woman of 41.) Put aside the strange financial irregularities that have cropped up throughout her life (she received a BA from Fairliegh Dickinson this past fall after failing to pay tuition for 17 years.) Forget the alleged back taxes (everyone makes mistakes) and her strange accusations of burglary against her Senate opponent Mike Castle. Christine O’Donnell can best be summed up by the 6.9 million dollar “gender discrimination” lawsuit she filed against The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the venerable conservative think-tank and publishing house where she once worked. It seems that this putative “radical conservative” was planning on getting rich via Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

And best of all, she actually lied within her lawsuit -- claiming ISI prevented her from studying for her Masters at Princeton, even though she hadn’t been accepted there nor yet awarded a Bachelors Degree.

The Weekly Standard
By John McCormack
September 12, 2010

Court documents obtained Saturday by THE WEEKLY STANDARD reveal surprising new details about the gender discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Christine O'Donnell in 2005 against her former employer, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative non-profit based in Delaware. O'Donnell … sought $6.95 million in damages. In a court complaint, she extensively detailed the "mental anguish" she suffered after allegedly being demoted and fired because of her gender. And, although she didn't have a bachelor's degree until this year, O'Donnell implied she was taking master's degree classes at Princeton University in 2003.

O'Donnell alleged in a July 1, 2005 complaint filed in district court that she had been demoted because ISI's conservative philosophy dictated that women must be subordinate to men. She claimed she was fired when she contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding her demotion. ISI told the Delaware News Journal that she had been "terminated for operating a for-profit business."

O'Donnell's finances, honesty, and stability have been called into question in light of her false and strange claims. The court complaint raises further questions on all fronts. O'Donnell, who made an annual salary of $65,000 at ISI as director of communications and public affairs, sought up to $6,952,477 million in damages, claiming, among other allegations, that ISI had defamed her and had violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. O'Donnell sought:

  • Up to $3,952,447 in "Direct Damages, including back pay" and "lifetime lost income and liftetime damage to reputation."
  • Up to $500,000 "for emotional distress, humiliation, emotional pain, embarrassment, depression."
  • Up to $3.5 million in punitive damages for "willful, legally-malicious and outrageous conduct" by ISI.

O'Donnell claimed that ISI had caused her to suffer "mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and physical pain and anguish"--and that, according to an amended complaint, she had to "seek treatment for her distress."

According to O'Donnell's July 1, 2005 complaint submitted by herself:

Miss O’Donnell was and is profoundly humiliated by this demotion of being asked to perform clerical and administrative tasks, after appearing on national television as a media and public relations expert and spokeswoman, for a man who was hired straight out of college as ISI’s receptionist and clerical assistant, and whom she had been asked to train previously [emphasis in original]. [...]

For at least six months after being fired, Miss O’Donnell suffered enormous pain, cried frequently at the sense of personal loss and failure caused by ISI, and at the sense of injustice, and could not sleep at night, often wide-awake, replaying the whole scene in her mind, until 5:30 am, and has suffered from understandable and resulting depression.

"Miss O'Donnell's mother and sister both noticed and spontaneously told her at the time, prior to litigation, that she was differently [sic], and urged her to seek medical evaluation," according to the complaint.

An amended complaint, filed by a lawyer on behalf of O'Donnell in September 2005, claimed that O'Donnell did, in fact, "seek treatment for her distress."

"Ms. O’Donnell has suffered extreme emotional harm as a result of the actions taken or not taken by ISI, and statements made by and on behalf of ISI, in the form of grief, shame, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, chagrin, disappointment and worry. This harm has caused physical manifestations, and caused Ms. O’Donnell to seek treatment for her distress."

The amended complaint also claimed that in one instance a male colleague made a lewd comment to her. "On one occasion during her employment, a co-worker, Mr. Cain, in connection with Ms. O’Donnell’s efforts and work on the Gala, ordered or stated to Ms. O’Donnell to 'strap it on,' which was a crude and demeaning reference to an artificial male sexual organ used by some females in order to act like a male in sexual acts," the complaint alleged. "To Ms. O’Donnell’s knowledge and belief, Mr. Cain was never disciplined or reprimanded for making this offensive statement."

Curiously, the July 2005 complaint alleges that "ISI violated its promise to allow Miss O'Donnell time to take master's degree classes at Princeton," thus causing a loss of "earning power."

"Moreover, Miss O'Donnell has lost the increased earning power that a Master's degree from Princeton would have created. In the future with proper finances, Miss O'Donnell should probably be able to return and complete that program, however that increased earning power has been disrupted and delayed for at least three years, given college application cycles, and the damage to her reputation, creating a loss of increased earning power estimated at up to $50,000 per year, for three lost years at $150,000."

According to the amended complaint, O'Donnell had considered not taking the ISI job because "she had applied for admission to a Master’s Degree program at Princeton University, to start in the fall of 2003, and was concerned that the ISI position would not fit with her plans."

But, in fact, O'Donnell had not yet received her bachelor's degree at that time and had not been accepted to a master's program at Princeton.

The Delaware News Journal reported on Saturday: "[O'Donnell's] alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University, sued her in 1994 for about $4,000 in unpaid tuition. She satisfied the debt in 2003 and received her diploma this month after completing an additional course."

Democracy is rule by the terminally mediocre, so perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the likes of Christine O’Donnell can win Republican primaries. But let there be no mistake, if this woman is the type of person conservatives are putting forth in their “class war” against the establishment, then let me declare my allegiance to the RINOs.