We believe Candace Faber's accusations should be taken seriously and fully investigated. Fain has denied the allegations in two statements. He called for a full investigation. However, an investigation does not appear likely. His accuser told reporters she does not intend to file a police report or file a lawsuit against him.
On Sept. 4, The Seattle Times editorial board wholeheartedly endorsed Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, for re-election.
We said, “Fain has been a leader on education policy, built a bipartisan coalition to enact a strong family- and medical-leave law, helped extend financial aid to immigrant students no matter their legal status, protected state food assistance for families with young children and was a leader in framing the last state transportation budget.”
That endorsement stands, despite a Seattle woman’s allegation, first made on Twitter, that the senator raped her in 2007 after a party in Washington, D.C.
Since the accusations were made, a few people have asked whether the editorial board will withdraw its endorsement of Fain. We suspected more questions would come when ballots arrive in mailboxes next week. Rather than wait, we decided to explain why we are not withdrawing the endorsement.
Most Read Opinion Stories
We believe Candace Faber’s accusations should be taken seriously and fully investigated.
Fain has denied the allegations in two statements. He called for a full investigation. However, an investigation does not appear likely. His accuser told reporters she does not intend to file a police report or file a lawsuit against him. The D.C. police department won’t investigate without a complaint. And the alleged incident occurred before Fain was elected to the Senate. The senator’s colleagues aren’t sure who would have jurisdiction to do an investigation.
Yet, because of this timing — with the election just a month off — Faber’s allegation could prevent Fain from returning to the Legislature.
Complicating the situation is that the spectacle around the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh rolled like thunder into this 47th Legislative District race. The Sept. 27 testimony of Kavanaugh’s accuser was what Faber said prompted her tweet.
The Seattle Times editorial board has considered Faber’s allegation and writings, and talked to a number of Fain’s colleagues on both sides of the aisle. And, we received a letter from prominent elected women in South King County who share their own thoughts on the issue and Fain.
This is not a matter of believing one over the other. Rather, it is about fairness to both parties. Faber has legal recourse but has not filed a police report or a civil suit. She has talked about wanting to hear Fain “acknowledge the truth.”
Such accusations deserve scrutiny because of the profound effects on the life of the accused, his family and friends.
Without more information, we have concluded there is not enough information to withdraw the endorsement. It is difficult to fairly determine truth in a situation where the accuser chooses not to pursue any legal recourse.