Deborah Ramirez is pictured in a 2011 photo posted to the Facebook page of Boulder's Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, where she worked as a victim advocacy coordinator. (Courtesy Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence via Facebook)

Colorado’s Deborah Ramirez lives embattled in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation circus.

A note outsider her Boulder home, posted to a garbage bin, tells visitors “I have no comment. Thank you for respecting my privacy.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, former Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett, and a cluster of Democratic politicos and journalists displayed little respect for her privacy. They used her in their no-holds-barred crusade to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Piecing together events that led to a story in The New Yorker, one finds journalists and politicians maneuvering to elicit a story of Kavanaugh exposing himself to Ramirez in the early 1980s.

Kavanaugh may or may not have committed this disgusting act. Nothing suggests Ramirez would lie. Someone probably did this to her, but she cannot be certain it was Kavanaugh. Her doubts were relatively substantial until men with political interests intervened.

Just as dozens of credible character witnesses speak highly of Kavanaugh, an impressive lineup of Coloradans laud Ramirez. Friends and colleagues know her as a devout Catholic of unassailable integrity and reverence for truth.

Garnett, well known to members of The Gazette’s editorial board, calls Ramirez “as careful and credible a witness as I’ve encountered...”

Friend after friend, colleague after colleague attests to Ramirez’ honesty and humble desire to lead a private life.

If she were a political hack, merely trying to derail a confirmation, Ramirez might boldly declare herself the victim of an event she assuredly recalls in sharp detail. Her honesty precludes this.

“We know Debbie Ramirez to be a woman of great integrity and honor,” says an online post by staffers at Boulder’s Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, where Ramirez worked.

They also wrote this: “We stand by her and her courageous decision to come forward.”

The “decision” came under extraordinary pressure by those opposing Kavanaugh. Even by The New Yorker’s account, Ramirez did not freely make a “decision to come forward.”

The public outing of the Ramirez secret began when a civil rights attorney opposing Kavanaugh gave sketchy details to staffers of Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee. Senate employees alerted reporters, knowing a second accuser could pound a final nail in Kavanaugh’s confirmation coffin. Writers for The New Yorker began pursuing Ramirez.

Bennet aides contacted Garnett, a former Democratic nominee for Colorado attorney general. Laurie Cipriano, Bennet’s press secretary and a friend to members of The Gazette’s editorial board, said the senator’s office reached out to Garnett “should Deborah Ramirez decide to come forward with an allegation...”

Garnett began meeting with Ramirez, as explained in Cipriano’s statement, “to work through how to analyze and present her allegations.”

Prior to the lawyering and heavy-handed political maneuvering, Ramirez resisted The New Yorker’s requests for information. As explained by the magazine, Ramirez feared “her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.” She expressed concern about “her level of inebriation at the time.”

This was the logical inclination of a woman who exudes “integrity and honor.” It is the brand of honesty that leads Garnett to describe her as “careful and credible.”

Even the New York Times respects Ramirez’ concerns about inebriation and lapsed memory, declining to take the story.

After six days of “consulting” with Garnett, Ramirez began talking to The New Yorker. The publication dispenses with any notion Ramirez acted willfully, or out of a desire to expose Kavanaugh.

“Ramirez ultimately decided to begin telling her story publicly, before others did so for her,” The New Yorker explains.

The passage discloses a low journalistic tactic. Talk to us, as we will out you with or without your cooperation.

In her New Yorker interview, Ramirez expresses only “confidence” — not certainty — Kavanaugh was in the dorm.

The Senate, the public, and the press cannot possibly know what happened in a private room 35 years ago.

We only know a woman of high character tried declining demands for personal memories clouded by alcohol, “gaps” and the passage of 35 years.

In courts of law, judges routinely disqualify statements and confessions obtained after hours or days of interrogative badgering. Throw in decades distance, self-doubt by the witness because of confessed inebriation, and these memories have no legal standing. So what? This is the modern court of public opinion. In this arena, anything goes.

Powerful men got what they wanted from Ramirez, immersing her in turmoil she asked to avoid.

For obvious political gain, they mined her personal past.

“I didn’t want any of this,” Ramirez says, as quoted by The New Yorker.

To a bunch of political opportunists, that did not matter. So much for respecting the victim. They elicited and exploited memories she does not trust, then trashed her desire to remain in the background. Maybe there’s a reason she taped that privacy note to the trash.

the gazette editorial board


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