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Al-Bahadli Responds To Seattle Democrat Controversy

Majid Al-Bahadli was accused of assault by fellow Democrat Noel Frame

Al-Bahadli at the DNC
Majid Al-Bahadli holds up a sign at the DNC. Image credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer, September 4, 2012

Earlier this week, the Progressive Army broke the story about the controversy surrounding the King County Democrats’ reorganizational meeting that occurred last weekend. At the meeting, 36th District State Rep. Noel Frame publicly accused chair candidate Majid Al-Bahadli of assaulting her at the Democratic National Convention over the summer. Al-Bahadli was running for Chair of the King County Democratic Central Committee but did not win.

Majid Al-Bahadli’s statement

While we had a statement from Georgia Davenport that Majid Al-Bahadli supported, we had yet to see or receive an official statement in Al-Bahadli’s own name. On Friday evening, Majid Al-Bahadli issued this statement to the Progressive Army:

I know a lot of people are waiting to hear my response and I took a while to gather my thoughts.

It takes a long time to grow a tree but it is easy to burn it with a single match. Leaders and people working in politics have a special obligation to be careful with what they say and use their words to build on passion and ideas and bring people together–not to tear people down.

When Noel Frame issued a prepared statement that described me as an aggressive person, as a “bomb-thrower”, to nearly 600 leaders of the party when I had no opportunity to respond, she did something both wrong and harmful –but the circumstances surrounding it were even worse. The night before the meeting Noel told me that she would accuse me of “assault” if I did not withdraw my candidacy for the position of King County Chair of the Democratic Party. Because I believe so strongly in my right to participate in our democracy just like anyone else, there was no way I was going to bow out because of this threat when I knew there was no truth to the charge. Freedom of expression is the foundation of this country and it is essential that we not be intimidated into silence.

I trusted that if Noel carried through on her threat that my fellow democrats would be fair-minded, seek more information, and judge for themselves. For the most part, my faith in these good people was well placed and I am grateful for the outpouring of support that has come my way in the wake of this event.

To the people who believed Noel’s statement and made assumptions about my character without knowing me, you were wrong but you trusted Noel and we’re trying to support her. I am trying not to take this personally and hold no hard feelings toward you.

When you hurt a person, you leave a scar–especially when the wound comes from somebody who you consider a friend. I am a person and I have feelings and it is terrible to be publicly insulted. But I am not made of glass. I will stand strong and continue to speak out and speak up and be a part of the many real fights that we must focus on at this vulnerable time.

Noel Frame hasn’t responded publicly, yet receives important state legislative position

Noel Frame has not made any further comments regarding the matter but Al-Bahadli has told The Progressive Army that Noel has repeatedly reached out for a meeting but he has yet to agree. Frame has also been selected by the House Democratic Caucus Friday to be vice chair of the Washington State Finance Committee during the state’s next legislative session.

Iraqi Community of Washington State’s statement

The Iraqi Community of Washington State Facebook Page managed by Hussain J Alhussiany posted the following response to the controversy:

The Iraqi Community in Washington State condemns the verbal abuse and the character assassination which targeted one of our members Mr. Majid Al-Bahadli in the recent meeting of the Democratic Party in King County. The assailant did not hide her true color and true belief in describing Mr. Al-Bahadli as a bomb thrower. This, clearly shows prejudice and ill will toward him because of his back ground and religious belief. As productive members of this great nation, we call on Noel Frame to publicly apologize and resign for what she did and what she said. Mr. Al-Bahadli is a major contributor to our community and doesn’t hesitate to help and stand firmly with what is dear to us and promote our values of peace and tranquillity.

Written by Andre Roberge

Father, Husband. Went to school for philosophy (university of WA) and now I work for a train company -- Interests include Labor Law, TILA, Unions, Paid Family Leave, Healthcare, Philosophy of Science, Fantasy Football and Open Government-- Fanboy of The Take Down with Nick Nowlin and The Way with Anoa. Follow Andre on Twitter @SubvertingPower.

Andre Roberge is a Researcher and Writer for Progressive Army.

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Al-Bahadli Responds To Seattle Democrat Controversy