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Reserved for Politicians?

            It started with a man who was accused of mocking women and using misogynistic, and sexist language.  Powerful women were enraged and wanted justice.  Included among them was one who accused another man of sexual harassment in the past.

            The main-stream news media pounced on the story and it exploded across the country.

            Interestingly the national, public outcry wasn't as loud as one might expect.  The nation seemed to have shrugged its' collective shoulders at the time.

            What's that you say?  I'm wrong?

            Oh, you think I'm writing about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and the Christine Blasey Ford testimony.

            No, no – I'm writing about the latest turmoil in the annual Miss America Contest.

            We know that the CEO of the Miss America Organization, Sam Haskell, resigned after some not-so-nice comments and emails surfaced that disparaged some of the contestants and were attributed to him. 

            Last December, the board appointed former FOX News anchor and 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson to head the group.  Over the year, there has been many changes to the board and the pageant itself.

            That included changes that did away with the swimsuit segment of the judging and declared that it was no longer a pageant but a contest.  Moves intended to allow contestants to be judged by what comes out of their mouth than being judged by their looks. 

            A noble thought and action.  Times change and people change.

            But, a revolt by dozens of states over the past year against the national leadership has inspired calls for Carlson's resignation.

            When the contest was held last month, 46 of the 51 state pageant organizations had called on Carlson to resign, along with 23 former Miss Americas.

            So, what to do now.

            The national Miss American Organization is undertaking a purge of rebellious state officials, terminating the licenses of four states, threatening about 15 with probation - and thanking others whose officials stood by the national leadership in the first Miss America pageant without a swimsuit competition.

            Reports have it that Pennsylvania is among the four states that were notified that their license is being terminated.  Other states have been asked to explain why they acted as they did in the run-up to the pageant.

            A state organization that has its license terminated can no longer claim to be affiliated with the Miss America Organization and must, among other things, turn over bank accounts with scholarship money to the national organization.

            States whose licenses are terminated must replace current leaders. They can request an appeal hearing from Miss America's executive committee.

            According to an Associated Press story, state officials say their opposition is rooted in a lack of transparency and communication from national leaders, and does not involve the swimsuit decision.  They are also dissatisfied with the way the organization is being run.

            By the way, the Miss America Organization would not say how it decided which states to terminate and which to threaten with probation, issuing a statement to The Associated Press that read, in its entirety, "The process regarding Miss America state licensees is confidential."

            And I thought this kind of activity was reserved for politicians.





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