FeaturedNewsPoliticsThe SouthSider

Missouri Democrats blast Haas for Facebook spat with woman

ST. LOUIS – Bill Haas says he was just carrying on a late-night conversation on Facebook Messenger with a woman on Saturday. But the Missouri Democratic Party contends it was much more serious.

The party said Haas, who has been running for various offices for close to three decades, engaged in “inexcusable” behavior.

“Bill Haas’ behavior is deplorable, inexcusable, and grossly immoral harassment of women has no place in the Democratic Party,” said a statement from the party.

The statement said the party was asking Haas to stop all of his campaigns immediately. He’s now running for the Democratic nomination for state senate in the 5th District. 

“We encourage any and all women who have been harassed or experienced unsolicited comments by Mr. Haas to contact us and share their experience, if they feel comfortable doing so.”

Andrew Storey, director of outreach and party affairs for the Missouri Democrats, said little more. He said the party learned of the incident late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, but wouldn’t comment further.

“We stand by our statement,” is all he said.

 The statement said, “The Missouri Democratic Party will not support any candidate who doesn’t treat men and women with empathy, compassion, dignity and respect.”

Haas, though, said that he had done nothing wrong although he had done some silly and embarrassing things.

“The Democratic Party asking for women to come forward is beyond contempt, and any who do, one might say that it says more about them than me,” he wrote in an email.

 “They ought to at least with their names and details so I have a fair chance to respond,” Haas wrote.. “That’s my story and I’m going to stick to it.”  

Over the years, Haas has run for mayor, school board member, congressman, president and other elected offices.

He won the Democratic primary for the Second District U.S. representative seat in 2008 and was elected to the St. Louis Board of Education in 1997, 2003, 2010 and 2014.

Often good for a quote, he wrote in a blog in 2005 that he’d thought of committing suicide because of his deteriorating finances. A Cleveland native and former corporate lawyer, he ran a personal ad in 1996 asking for an independently wealthy wife.

Something more serious may have happened in the Facebook Messenger conversation on Saturday night.

Haas said he had been Facebook friends with the woman for several weeks or months or weeks – he wasn’t sure. A short time before the conversation, she sent out a mass message asking friends to contribute to a political campaign.

Whereas he would normally block solicitations, he didn’t this time, he said, because, “She was pretty-ish; and it was for a Democrat.”

They exchanged brief greetings from time to time until Saturday night, when they kept messaging.

“So I asked if she were alone, [because] if not, chatting might not be convenient. I’ve actually never asked that before, so why this time? I don’t know; I don’t chat that often at night on messenger, or even during day;” Haas said.

“She said ‘no’; so I said ‘bf?’ [boyfriend?]. There was no answer, and then I said, ‘Your profile says you’re “interested in men.”’ No answer. End of conversation.”

According to Haas, he started getting harassing tweets every 2 minutes soon after the end of the Facebook conversation.

“Starting within minutes of my conversation with her ending, I was told by one of the tweeters that she had written all her contacts asking them to report (and, it seems) report me. This instead of just deleting me from messenger. And she didn’t report me herself, I guess, because there was obviously nothing to report. So she thought she’d harass me instead.”

After dealing with that for 23 hours, he suspended [deactivated, not deleted] his Twitter account. He since has reactivated it.

Jim Merkel

southsidemerkel@gmail.com Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit www.jimmerkelthewriter.com.

Related Articles

One Comment

  1. not bad, Jim, one of best writers around; did we really need all that other information? all true; accurate reporting of our conversations; much better than the sorry-ass Post Dispatch story; the part I wish most you might have included is the hypocrisy of MODems giving Steve Robers a free ride on such issues. the most I’m accused of is heavy flirting, and if I might do that at times, might, this isnt an example of it; Mr. Roberts had an alleged assault against him in a bar investigated by the police and sued by his married gf b/c she thought he doctored her drink; neither matter went very far, but dont remember MODems asking him to step down or suspend his campaign; and asking women to come forward beneath contempt. The woman in question is a member of the MO DNC delegation, and I learned today going thru my phone on something else that she had texted me twice (once her, once on her behalf) asking for her vote for the convention delegation. I replied I didnt appreciate them buying the party van and cold-texting people without consent for their vote; mailing, maybe. So I told them I wouldnt vote for her b/c intrusion. So maybe she remembered and this was payback? for saying hello, we’ve talk, profile says interested in men, do you have a bf? then dropping when didn’t seem interested? unapologetic unrepentant; Dem party made a mistake when did this at her request without remembering who I was running against; I think Jim used word report twice when once it was supposed to be “harass” as it seems. That’s a cyber-crime and I intend to make report to FBI. I’m still getting abusive texts. Two women have contacted me this week trying to get me to come on to them (“I like older men; talk flirty to me”. Yikes! One fb whose profile listed bf since 2014; other deleted her twitter account when I asked if she’d like to talk to media about who might have put her up to this, after I asked for more information about here. I’m the victim here. This shit started with Mark Osmack supporters in 2018 congressional race about some of my tweets to get me to drop out. You know how many tweets I’ve deleted in my life? NONE! I’m not running, and I’m not hiding. I’m sometimes silly and adolescent but will own who I am and the kind of state senator I will make. I may steal this election. If I cant stand up to twitter trolls, wont make much of state senator standing up the Republicans and for people with even less power than I have. Nice effort and writing, Jim!

Leave a Comment

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: