The Women’s Caucus of the Rhode Island Democratic Party is calling for embattled party leader Joe Delorenzo “to be immediately removed from his position as second vice chair of the RI Democratic State Committee,” the group said in a statement.
Delorenzo took to AM radio earlier this week to disparage a female Democratic legislator who alleged she was sexually harassed at the State House.
“If the party leadership does not immediately remove Mr. DeLorenzo, and further condemn his sexist and dangerous remarks, we call on the members of the state committee to call for an emergency meeting and vote for his removal,” the group said in their short statement released this morning.
While Governor Gina Raimondo has called for Delorenzo to be removed from his post, male party elders, such as Chairman Joe McNamara and House Speaker Nick Mattiello, have remained silent. Neither could be reached for comment. UPDATE: Senate President Dominick Ruggerio denounced Delorenzo’s comments on Twitter and said it’s “appropriate” he resign.
If he doesn’t, I stand with other Democratic leaders to demand action to remove him from his leadership role with our state party. 6/6
— Gina Raimondo (@GinaRaimondo) October 18, 2017
Delorenzo first came under fire when he disparaged the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in comments to the Providence Journal, which provoked a letter suggesting he resign from a mostly female group of state and local lawmakers and party officials.
He then made matters much worse for himself by going on the John DePetro Show and disparaging Rep. Teresa Tanzi, a Democrat, for alleging she was sexually harassed at the State House. DePetro’s show is a known safe space to disparage and belittle women and the progressive left.
“Someone might have said ‘Teresa, your hair looks good,’” Delorenzo told DePetro. “But as far as going out there and saying ‘oh, for sexual favors, we’ll pass your bill.’ Eh, I don’t think so.”
Already in progressives cross hairs, Delorenzo’s patently insensitive comments set a fire among the progressive base of the Democratic Party, and dramatically increased the number of Democrats calling for his resignation. A Change.org petition calling for Delorenzo’s resignation has garnered hundreds of signatures.