When Republican voters in Oregon go to the polls Tuesday to pick their standard bearer in this fall's Senate election, they'll find themselves with a much different set of considerations than simply where the candidates stand on the issues.
In recent days, a stunning report emerged about GOP frontrunner Monica Wehby. An ex-boyfriend called police in April 2013 and accused Wehby of "stalking" him and harassing his employees at the timber company he runs.
The 9-1-1 call he made to authorities also emerged.
Republicans are crying foul. They're not accusing Wehby's opponents, who include state House Rep. Jason Conger, of leaking the story. The dirty tricks move, they insist, comes from Democratic operatives. Charges of sexism also are flying, Politico reports.
According to a police report,
Andrew Miller even considered getting an order of protection against Wehby. The two were going through a breakup, he told police, and she was "very, very upset and angry."
Wehby, he told police, "showed up at his home uninvited about five times within . . . 10 days," the report says.
"Miller told me Wehby has showed up at his home uninvited about 5 times within the last 10 days," the police report says. "Miller told me that the last few times he has observed as Wehby knocked on the doors and rang the door bell repeatedly for the duration of about 10 minutes before finally leaving."
On the night Miller filed the report, he alleged, she jiggled the handle of one door and when she found it to be unlocked entered his home looking for him.
Wehby was subsequently pulled over by police and agreed not to return to Miller's house without permission. The details of her emotional stress then get more personal.
She said that she and Miller were close and then at Easter, things changed.
"Miller does not answer/return her calls or talk to her at all," the officer wrote. "She told me that she just wanted to speak with Miller to try to sort things out."
The two have since sorted things out and remain friends, and Miller says he regrets filing the report. He's even backing Wehby financially, The Daily Beast
The headline on writer Patricia Murphy's story asks, "Is this the Democrats' War on Women?"
Republicans, including and Wehby, say it most certainly is.
"They can't use that war on women stuff with me," says Wehby, 52. "They can't say I hate women and children, puppy dogs and ponytails, and all of the other things that Republicans are supposed to hate."
Furious defenders of Wehby, who has the support
of national Republicans in what was already expected to be a tough battle against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley, say the report raises stereotypes that female candidates are overly emotional.
Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University, disagrees.
"When you are heading into election day, to the extent that your opponent has any information that would lead voters to question your leadership, your competence, your integrity, or your empathy, it's fair game," Lawless told The Daily Beast.
"Although this particular case makes Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction' look particularly salient, if a male candidate had engaged in behavior that could potentially be used to make him look unstable, we'd be just as likely to see that in the news."
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