Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester gave the following remarks Monday "on the heels of a second patient admitting to sexual relationship with Scott Desjarlais while he was her doctor."
Standing alongside Brentwood-based neurologist, Dr. Ronald Wilson, "who came in support of state Sen. Eric Stewart and ethical doctor-patient relationships," Chairman Forrester gave his remarks at the Tennessee Legislative Plaza:
"Thank you all for being here.
In the last two weeks, we have learned a lot of distasteful things about Congressman Scott Desjarlais.
"We now know that he had four or more extramarital affairs, including at least two sexual relationships with patients.
"We know that as a doctor, Desjarlais not only abused his wife’s trust, but he exploited his patients, too— from flirting with patients, writing prescriptions for his dates and sharing illegal drugs.
"He’s trampled on the doctor’s code of ethics and clearly violated state law by having sex with his patients.
"Scott Desjarlais shouldn’t be in Congress — he should be in jail.
"Scott Desjaralais wants to say this race is about dirty politics, but in reality it’s about a dirty politician.
"One who sleeps with his patients. One who prescribes drugs on dates. He’s not fit to be a doctor. And he’s definitely not fit to be in Congress.
"When Desjarlais ran for Congress in 2010 — he told us he was a pro-life, pro-family conservative doctor.
"He asked voters to trust him and they did.
"The problem was that he was never truthful about who he really is.
"Now we’ve learned that Scott Desjarlais has had sex with at least two patients.
"One who claimed to be pregnant and he pressured to have an abortion.
"Regardless of who thought what about the pregnancy, the conversation happened, and Scott Desjarlais admitted it.
"Yesterday we see on the front page of the Times Free Press, TV news and plastered all over the Internet, that Scott Desjarlais’ girlfriend-patient number two has stepped forward.
"And there are at least four mistresses that Desjarlais has admitted to.
"How many more were patients?
"Tennessee law is crystal clear: Doctors are prohibited from having sex with their patients. The Tennessee State Board of Medical Examiners’ Sexual Misconduct Statement and Policy, says “sexual contact with a patient is misconduct and is considered to be a violation” of state law.
"Doctor Desjarlais ran his medical practice like a CraigsList cathouse and now he’s mad people are upset about it.
"I’ve got news for him: Citizens and voters have a right to know whether their public officials have lived up to their own moral standards.
"Citizens deserve to know whether their public officials have honored the law and their professional code of ethics.
"When you promote values of family and integrity and have the ability to set rules that our families have to live by, voters expect that you at least hold yourself accountable to the values you talk about.
"He says his experience as a doctor makes him the best choice for Congress.
"But Scott Desjarlais has zero credibility as a doctor because we know he finds it perfectly acceptable to run his medical practice like a personal dating service, write prescriptions to dates and have sex his patients.
"Scott Desjarlais says he doesn’t want to talk about his personal life — he says he wants to focus on the issues facing Tennessee.
"But when Eric Stewart challenged him to a debate of the issues Scott Desjarlais is the one who won’t show up.
"He’s the one in hiding and refusing to address the issues.
"Everyone can see that Scott Desjarlais is an unethical, lying fraud.
Everyone, except Scott Desjarlais and those at the Tennessee Republican Party.
"We are seeing a conspiracy of silence to protect and defend a man who deserves no defense at all.
"Seven days later, our open records request with Governor Haslam’s office goes unanswered.
"Not one elected Republican in the state has even said — “No, I don’t think doctors should have sex with their patients.”
"And Governor Haslam and Sen. Corker and Sen. Alexander and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Chairman Devaney and the rest of his party continues supporting Desjarlais’ campaign with their silent cooperation.
"There are certain times when leaders need to step up and make the difficult decision to hold their candidates accountable for breaking the law and betraying their values.
"Their approval and support of DesJarlais’ unethical behavior and hypocrisy makes it painfully clear that the Tennessee Republican Party is only concerned with one thing — holding on to power.
"Accountability is not limited to party lines, however. There are plenty of Republican voters who believe there should be consequences for a doctor who has sex with his patients.
"These Republican voters want leadership from Governor Haslam, Sen. Corker, Chairman Devaney. Republican leaders, what are you going to do to shut down this embarrassment?
"Those who stand in silence with Desjarlais and refuse to condemn his action have no moral authority to pass laws for the rest of us.
"Let me be clear: Republicans who stand in silence now are standing in support of Scott Desjarlais and his unethical behavior.
"How many more patient mistresses have to come forward before Governor Haslam and his party condemn this unethical monster?
"The imprisoning cloud of scandal is hanging heavily over Scott Desjarlais.
"He can no longer be an effective advocate for Tennesseans. His presence in Congress embarrasses our state and undermines our credibility.
"He had sex with at least two patients. He admitted it. He prescribed drugs on dates. He shouldn’t be a doctor and definitely shouldn’t be in Congress. "His party should hold him accountable and force his resignation."
Brandon Lewis of the DesJarlais campaign said, "We have absolutely no intention of resigning. Our opponent is not a credible candidate and his far-left views and support of ObamaCare do not reflect the values of Tennessee's Fourth District. Voters see this smear-campaign for what it is: a desperate attempt to distract from Congressman DesJarlais’ record of support for lower taxes, job creation, and repealing Obamacare. Even former Congressman Lincoln Davis said these attacks destroy families and have no place in politics.
"It is unfortunate though that Chip Forrester has decided to resign from his post. He has done so much to help achieve Republican victories in Tennessee over the last few years. "