While other Democrats are hitting the campaign trail promising free healthcare for all and healthcare for illegal aliens, one Orange County Democrat Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) appears to be trying to get out in front of a political vulnerability lurking in his past.
My district staff attended the OC #ElderAbuseAwarenessDay lecture to learn more about elder abuse – and what we can do to stop it. Our seniors are pillars of society, and they deserve our protection and respect. pic.twitter.com/8OuxemUOR9
— Rep. Harley Rouda (@RepHarley) June 16, 2019
A shrewd political maneuver for the first-term Congressman, who narrowly won a Republican district in 2018. Political observers and local voters recall campaign attack ads against Rouda in 2018 that cast aspersions on Rouda for his policies as CEO of a real estate company. Rouda’s critics claim his policies were tantamount to age discrimination and that he attempted to terminate an elderly employee with terminal cancer due to the high cost of her healthcare.
At the time, liberal blog website, Mother Jones reported:
“The ad accuses Rouda of engaging in age discrimination at his former company. “When this cancer sufferer needed help, [Harley] Rouda said workers like her were a ‘death spiral’ to his ‘bottom line,’” the ad’s narrator states. The ad references a 2006 lawsuit filed by a former employee of Real Living/Realty One, a real estate company where Rouda was CEO. The former employee alleged that she had been wrongfully fired because of her age and the high cost of her medical care. Real Living/Realty One was ordered to pay $1.85 million in lost wages and damages. A second age discrimination lawsuit was filed against the company and settled out of court.”
Local liberal Orange County blog also reported:
“Documents from the courts in Ohio and articles from Cleveland newspapers show that Lee-Ann Spacek was fired as vice president of relocation services for Real Living/Realty One in 2006. She was diagnosed with cancer and a rare blood disorder in 2004, yet continued to work for Rouda’s company. Allegedly, Rouda addressed employees at a company meeting in 2006 where he warmed that the company had “too many older employees” and their health insurance claims placed the company’s future in doubt.”
Given his history with this issue, perhaps he should have attended the #ElderAbuseAwarenessDay seminar himself.