Florida Republicans should be careful of comparisons of Jack Latvala, Roy Moore cases – Florida Politics (blog)
The increasingly ugly Roy Moore train wreck in Alabama poses quite a dilemma for elected Republicans in Tallahassee, particularly those running for higher office, most specifically for House Speaker Richard Corcoran. Moore’s situation is one horn of that dilemma. The other horn is the pickle in which Senator Jack Latvala finds himself.
There are obvious similarities between the two dramas. Both men are accused of deplorable behavior toward women, including physical assault. Both have issued qualified denials. Moore admits to pursuing barely legal teenage girls while in his 30s, but categorically denies the statutory rape of a 14 year-old. Latvala admits inappropriate verbal conduct on occasion, but categorically denies any physical assaults.
And there are obvious differences as well. Moore’s accusers all have names, corroborating contemporary testimony from dozens of witnesses, and a particularly repugnant context given the age of the girls at the time of the occurrences. Latvala’s accusers are all anonymous, with no known corroboration, and one would suspect his accusers were closer to 30 than 14 at all relevant times.
And there is another very big difference. There is no process for an independent evaluation of the charges against Moore, but there is for the charges against Latvala. Each of us must judge Moore by our own lights, and all of us can await the verdict of the independent investigation of Latvala.
Yet the Speaker did not wait. He called for Latvala’s resignation from the Senate before the ding of the incoming POLITICO story on his iPad stopped reverberating. Given both the similarities and the differences between the Moore and Latvala situations, one would expect Corcoran would have already demanded that Moore step aside, as an increasingly large number of Republicans, from Mitch McConnell in D.C. to Jeb Bush in Florida, are