It’s time for the Democratic Donor Alliance to show Stephen Bittel the door

BITTEL ART (11)

It has been a year since former Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel resigned his post due to allegations over bizarre sexual behavior.

With a half-dozen FDP employees and consultants describing him as misogynistic and demeaning and sharing sordid stories about him having fake breasts on his desk and asking employees about their sexual proclivities. The scene was ugly, and it came during the peak of the still-roaring #MeToo movement.

The creep show that is Stephen Bittel is still roaring, too.

As reported by the Miami New Times, a new complaint filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court alleges the real estate billionaire sexually harassed a female employee by describing his sexual partners’ pubic hair and his pornography preferences, offering to take her on a lingerie shopping spree.

To top it all off, there was some unwelcome touching: He grabbed and fondled her feet on his private jet.

Filing the disturbing 27-page lawsuit is 34-year-old Andrea Molina, who worked for five years as director of acquisitions for Bittel’s real estate firm, Terranova. Combined with the FDP staffers who came forward last year, seven people have accused Bittel of misogynistic and demeaning behavior.

To be clear, Stephen Bittel has the right to his day in court. He has a right to be heard and, if falsely accused, the right to public vindication.

But when there’s this much smoke — and there’s about as much smoke here as there is in Southern California right now — it is a fair presumption that there’s at least a little fire.

With that, how can an organization with such a political and (now) public face as the Donor Alliance continue to allow Bittel to be a leading part of its team?

How can these good people — and this is not the place to name names — continue to affiliate and associate with a man who was so publicly ousted from the Chair of his own party and is now facing more ugly accusations?

With his name and his money being associated with several related political committees, nobody can easily claim he is not part of that group.

This is the post-Harvey Weinstein era. The post-Bill Cosby era. The post-Kevin Spacey era. The post-Louis CK era. If 2017 could be boiled down to two words: “Time’s Up.”

And when it comes to the Democratic Donor Alliance’s relationship with Bittel, there’s only one move. Tell him his time is up and to not let the door hit ‘ im on the way out.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.



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