Leigh Corfman Allegations Timing Is Awfully Similar to Tactics Used on Donald Trump
With a little over a month to go in the U.S. Senate run-off election in Alabama between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones, accusations of sexual impropriety have surfaced against the former. Now, instead of being able to focus on his campaign platform, Moore is struggling for political survival.
I’ll examine the validity and timing of the Leigh Corfman allegations against Moore to determine whether this yet more fake news designed to discredit, or something more.
Leigh Corfman Allegations Against Roy Moore
An Alabama woman named Leigh Corfman has publicly accused Roy Moore of sexual impropriety when she was 14 in 1979. Corfman, now 53, claims that Moore offered to sit with her while her mother attended a hearing at the Etowah County Courthouse in Gadsten, Alabama. She says that Moore then obtained her phone number and proactively set up a series of dates soon after.
While that’s creepy in its own right, the full allegations are more serious than just underage dating. It is alleged that, at some point, Moore removed Corfman’s clothes, touched her over her bra and underpants, and guided her to touch his genitals.
Corfman said the encounter made her uncomfortable, and she asked to leave. She avoided all contact with Moore after this incident. “I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she said she remembered thinking at the time. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” (Source: “Woman claims that controversial GOP Senate candidate initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old,” Business Insider, November 9, 2017.)
Another problem for Moore: Corfman alleges that, on at lease one occasion, Moore served her alcohol, perhaps to facilitate his intentions. Under the Code of Alabama 1975, 28-1-5S (section 26-1-1), the law states: “…it shall be unlawful for person less than 21 years of age to purchase, consume, possess or transport any alcohol, liquor or malt or brewed beverages within the state of Alabama.” (“Code of Alabama 1975, Section 28-1-5,” The Alabama Legislature, last accessed November 10, 2017.)
Furthermore, the age of consent for sexual relations in the state of Alabama is 16 years old.
These Leigh Corfman allegations pose a particular problem for Moore, because he has long been championed as a moral voice of conservative values within the Republican Party. In the words of campaign Chair Bill Armistead, “[Moore] has been a national figure in two ground-breaking, judicial fights over religious liberty and traditional marriage.” (Source: “Conservatives have long praised Roy Moore as a moral champion,” Think Progress, November 9, 2017.)
Moore’s moral pedigree was solidified when, in 2003, he was removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments, despite direct orders by a federal court.
These new allegations, true or false, could significantly damage his perceived moral principles.
Of course, Moore denies all of the allegations against him. In true Trumpian fashion, he has come out swinging against the liberal press.
Moore characterizes the accusations as “last ditch Hail Mary” effort by Democrats to discredit him. Moore’s denial statement called the accusation a “completely false and desperate political attack,” and said, “After over 40 years of public service, if any of these allegations were true, they would have been made public long before now.” (Source: “GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore denies allegation of sexual misconduct years ago with 14-year-old girl,” ABC News, November 10, 2017.)
Leigh Corfman Allegations Timing
While the accusations aren’t doing Moore any favors, there are a few mitigating factors softening the blow.
The first is timing. The misconduct claims are coming almost 40 years after the fact, and only a month before the U.S. Senate special election. Regardless of how credible you believe the accuser to be, one has to question the timing. It’s obviously designed to discredit Moore politically, even if the allegations are ultimately true. That brings the question of motive into the equation.
Another factor working in Moore’s favor is the “desensitization” of dirty politics.
Coming off the 2016 presidential election, which undoubtedly featured the dirtiest campaigning ever, voters are more attuned to intentional defamation without evidence. Case in point: the Fusion GPS Russian dossier on Donald Trump, in which the Democratic Party paid Fusion millions of dollars to produce “dirt.” The whole affair blew up in their face, as it has been proven to be an unmitigated fraud. Fool me once…
Corfman claims she didn’t come forward in 2000 when Moore was campaigning for the state Supreme Court over fears about her children. The problem is, she has been divorced and bankrupt three times; once in 1991 with $139,689 in unpaid claims. Credibility is a major issue here. (Source: “Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14,” The Washington Post, November 9, 2017.)
Three other woman have also come forward with similar allegations against Moore (although without any claims of sexual misconduct). Interestingly, one of the accusers is a sign language interpreter for Joe Biden and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Doug Jones:
DEM PROPAGANDA …
One of the "accusers" cited by @bethreinhard in #RoyMoore story is Deborah Wesson Gibson. Gibson is a Lib who volunteers for #Moore's DEM opponent Doug Jones. Why the hell wasn't this disclosed in the @washingtonpost story?
— Small Biz for Trump (@SmallBiz4Trump) November 10, 2017
This certainly won’t help the accuser’s credibility claims.
Likely Effect on the U.S. Senate Race in Alabama
For the three reasons in particular, it’s unclear what effect this will have on Alabama Republican voters. Both political parties, particularly the Democrats, have used so many dirty tricks to discredit political opponents that such “scandals” are now being greeted with yawns—at least by the electorate.
Granted, there’s no let-up by the liberal mainstream press. They’ll generally do anything to run interference on conservative candidates or causes, while ignoring violations from those who are ideologically aligned. It’s unclear whether the scandal can switch over enough voters in the still-deep red state of Alabama. Moore’s Alabama public service record stretches back 40 years, and he has always avoided scandal until now.
Before the allegations went public, a poll conducted by Mobile, Alabama-based Strategy Research had Moore ahead, with 51 percent support, compared to 40 percent for Jones. This is a similar result from a poll last month commissioned by Raycom and conducted by Strategy Research. The poll sampled 2,200 likely senate race voters, with a margin of error of two percent.(Source: “Roy Moore maintains double-digit lead over Doug Jones, Senate poll says,” AL.com, November 8, 2017.)
If the polls are accurate, the Democrats will need at least six percent of likely Republican voter to turn over. That’s not going to be an easy feat in the age of fake news and defamation desensitization.
Mother Disputes Key Washington Post Facts
Leigh Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, has chimed-in disputing a key facts of the Washington Post hit piece. Most notably, the claim that Corfman was communicating with Moore by phone in her home bedroom. According to the Washington Post:
After her mother went into the courtroom, Corfman says, Moore asked her where she went to school, what she liked to do and whether he could call her sometime. She remembers giving him her number and says he called not long after. She says she talked to Moore on her phone in her bedroom, and they made plans for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house.
The problem is, Nancy Wells has confirmed Leigh Corfman did not have a telephone in her bedroom at the time in question. When asked by Breitbart News the question: “Back then did she have her own phone in her room or something?”, Wells replied, “No… But the phone in the house could get through to her easily.” (Source: Mother of Roy Moore Accuser Contradicts Key Detail of Daughter’s Sexual Misconduct Story, Breitbart, November 12, 2017)
Of course, this raises credibility concerns about the piece. But more than that, it diminishes the odds Corfman could have held the meetings with Moore in secret, as other family members would have been floating around the flat. Corfman did not enjoy the privacy of that her bedroom would have provided.
At this point, it’s a he said/she said situation. It’s impossible to know for sure whether the allegations are true or just political maneuvering on behalf of the Democrats, who are no stranger to using such tactics.
Undoubtedly, the timing of the accusations should provide great pause. Leigh Corfman had 38 years to speak up, including when Moore ran for State Supreme Court, yet she didn’t. By her own admission, Corfman cited “credibility issues” as a prime reason that she didn’t come forward earlier. This situation reeks of gaslighting, which is exactly what the electorate witnessed in the 2016 presidential campaign.
With that said, if further concrete evidence emerges against Moore, he should resign. That conduct is unacceptable from any grown adult, and there shouldn’t be a statute of limitations on morality, even if it did occur 38 years ago.
But I’m not holding my breath for “real” evidence to emerge. And, from the looks of it, neither are Alabama Republican voters.