Remove Gerry Studds’ Name from National Marine Sanctuary [OPINION]
In 1996, the Congress honored retiring Congressman Gerry Studds by adding his name to the federal designated Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of New England. His name is still on the sanctuary, and that should be corrected.
In addition, the federal government maintains a glowing and misleading biography of the late Democrat on the website of the Commerce Department. The website neglects to mention that the man they are honoring was censored by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives for giving alcohol to minors who were interning as pages in the House, and having sex with some of those boys.
The Commerce Department website does mention that Gerry Studds was a teacher at St. Paul’s, a private high school in New Hampshire, before entering Congress. It fails to mention the report about Studds’ molestation of boys at the school. Rather, the government website falsely implies that Studds left his teaching position to pursue public service as an elected official.
The profile on the taxpayer-supported website contains tributes from congressmen and senators. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy is quoted as saying, "Gerry's leadership changed Massachusetts forever and we'll never forget him.” Former Rep. William Delahunt, who replaced Studds, says “we will remember Gerry for his quick wit. He once boasted to me that his pivotal role in the revival of the striped bass was not in legislating a recovery plan, but in his inability to catch any."
Actually, we remember Studds for his ability to use lures and hooks to catch children rather than his inability to catch striped bass.
“Gerry Studds, a history teacher and assistant house master, allegedly invited a student to his on-campus apartment and asked him if he wanted to smoke marijuana. The student told investigators he did, but ‘passed out’ and later woke up with his shirt unbuttoned and Studds rubbing his chest. The student said he heard similar stories from other students.” -- MassLive.com
“The lawsuit described an alleged incident in the late 1960s involving one of the plaintiffs, Keith Mithoefer, when he was a student enrolled at the school and Mr. Studds was a teacher. According to Mr. Mithoefer, the two went out to dinner and along a deserted road on the way home, Mr. Studds pulled over, offered Mr. Mithoefer a cigarette, and later placed his hand between Mr. Mithoefer’s legs and suggested that he perform a sex act.” --New York Times
These stories and allegations about Studds’ behavior with children are in addition to the fact that he was censured for “sexual misconduct” by the House in 1983. He brazenly turned his back on the House as they rebuked him for having sex with male interns, and was described as “not apologetic” for his behavior because he didn’t think it was wrong to do what he did.
It is time for the federal government to remove a documented sex predator’s name from this federal sanctuary.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.