YWCA Returns Lawyer’s Donation for Statements ‘Deeply at Odds’ with Organization’s Values

The Silicon Valley YWCA returned a $4,500 donation from attorney James McManis over comments he made that downplayed Brock Turner’s sexual assault of Chanel Miller after a campus party at Stanford in 2016.

McManis offered the cash gift to support the non-profit’s annual “Inspire Luncheon,” which took place on Oct. 30 and featured Dolores Huerta and Christine Blasey Ford, who made a rare public appearance to accept the YWCA’s Empowerment Award. An email sent out before the event featured a long list of sponsors that included the McManis Faulkner law firm.

That didn’t sit well with some of the attendees—Stanford law professor Michele Dauber among them—who balked at the optics of a victim-blaming attorney getting credit for chipping in for an event honoring women and survivors.

McManis was one of the most prominent defenders of Aaron Persky, the judge recalled from the bench in 2018 because of the brief sentence he gave Turner two years earlier. Dauber, who led the campaign to oust the jurist, has been an outspoken critic of McManis ever since he made comments that disputed settled facts of the case against Turner and cast doubt on Miller’s claim of victimhood.

Among other offensive remarks during the campaign, McManis told a Vogue correspondent that Miller “was not attacked” and “had been drinking before she arrived at the fraternity party.” He also claimed that the impact statement she read in court was penned by someone else, though he acknowledged that he hadn’t “independently verified” the allegation.

YWCA Silicon Valley Executive Director Tanis Crosby said the decision to return the several-thousand-dollar donation to last week’s event owed to statements like those.

“We appreciate all that the firm has done for us in the past,” she told Fly. “Unfortunately, they’ve taken some positions that are deeply at odds with the values of the YWCA. They’ve cast aspersions about a client of the YWCA and, to be clear, we believe and support survivors. Full stop.”

Dauber echoed Crosby’s sentiment: “There is no way that McManis should be allowed to ‘pinkwash’ his reputation by donating to the YWCA, an organization that serves survivors—including Miller herself.”

McManis did not return a request for comment.

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21 Comments

  1. Plainly the YWCA’s overarching value is that it doesn’t welcome differences of opinion. I suppose its culture is rather like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but in reverse. That’s good to know. I’ll steer clear.

    • This isn’t just a difference of opinion. Brock Turner was caught in the act, and one of the men who did cried when he saw the victim’s state. Anyone who says she was asking for it, which the article quoted, is a liar. Right vs. wrong is not an opinion.

      • > Anyone who says she was asking for it, which the article quoted, is a liar.

        It is WELL ESTABLISHED HUMAN BEHAVIOR that, sometimes, women DO ask for it.

        That is the fundamental, eternal legal and ethical issue with sexual misconduct cases where there are no direct witnesses: HE SAID – SHE SAID.

        Fascist female tribalists can bully society into believing that women are more believable than men, but bullying is just regressing into primitive tribalism and creating an ethos of female gender privilege.

        “Feminism” is driving the “war on boys”, feminizing them, and ultimately creating a social environment where masculinity is being defined as a “disease” to be treated with drugs and surgery.

        Enough. Time for women to be women, men to be men, and for “speaking truth to the powers” of social division and nihilism.

        Being male is NOT a crime.

        • Again, Bubbles, we agree! Being male is a not a crime! But let me me fix your statement…. Rape is definitely a crime. And someone who’s passed out cannot “ask for it”.

          Small minds… always wandering off the path, off topic. Good thing there are grown ups around.

          • > Rape is definitely a crime. And someone who’s passed out cannot “ask for it”.

            HE SAID – SHE SAID.

            There were no independent witnesses.

            So, let’s convict the male.

            And, we’ll convict the judge, too, just to show what powerful fascists we are.

    • You are correct – the culture at the YMCA is very intolerant of rapists, pedophiles, etc. Thank you for steering clear.

    • “Like the HMT, but in reverse”

      I don’t think you understand what you’re saying, stop now lol.

    • At least three people are misunderstanding my comment, or pretending to do so. This has nothing to do with Brock Turner’s blameworthiness. My point, which will be obvious to any fair-minded reader, is that the YWCA won’t abide people who think it’s a bad idea to recall a judge simply because they wanted the judge to hand down a different sentence to a criminal defendant.

      The ousting of Judge Persky was an assault on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. That’s my opinion. You might disagree. If I ran a club, I wouldn’t insult you by returning your donation merely because you disagree with me.

      We live in an era of staggering intolerance of differing perspectives, and I’m sorry to see people here endorsing that woeful state of affairs. Our collective primness is indeed redolent of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and whether it comes from the woke or the late Jerry Falwell makes no difference.

  2. YWCA should have kept the money–but issued the condemnation. Senator Alan Cranston once got a donation from Ferdinand Marcos supporters. He issued a strong condemnation of Marcos, recited his record of strong condemnation, told the press Marcos supporters have given to the “wrong guy”. But he kept the donation.

    I believe that is the appropriate way to do it. Giving the money back simply means that everyone else who gave you money has you bought. If you can’t take their money and still vote against them; you don’t belong in government. (Cleaned-up Jesse Unruh quote).

    • > If you can’t take their money and still vote against them; you don’t belong in government. (Cleaned-up Jesse Unruh quote).

      Rich:

      I’m getting a glimmer of hope that there still may be a chance to save your immortal soul.

      If we gave you some money, could you convey your message to some Republicans?

    • > Stanford law professor Michele Dauber among them

      Good grief! Michele Dauber is a PhD in sociology. That’s about as far away as can be from being a :”law professor”.

      Law professors presumably care about “the law” and not about who you are.

      Sociologists care only about who you are and your tribe, and law really has nothing to do with anything.

      • Yeah, Stanford must be full of idiots!! I can’t believe this story! Hey everyone! Renowned investigative lunatic internet commenter SJBoilsAndBubbles figured it out! They hired a Sociology PhD into the law school? What do law and society have to do with each other anyway!!?

        Wait, what!? They’re related after all? You mean to tell me she has a law degree AND a PhD? And tenure? How we’re so many mistakes made and SJBrainsInsideOut is the only one that noticed!

        • > GET THE HOOK

          Is that you, Michele?

          > How we’re so many mistakes made and SJBrainsInsideOut is the only one that noticed!

          And why would you assume that I’m the only one that noticed? You don’t know how many people noticed.

          But then, you don’t know a lot of things, and people are too polite to tell you.

    • > Dauber echoed Crosby’s sentiment: “There is no way that McManis should be allowed to ‘pinkwash’ his reputation by donating to the YWCA, . . .”

      By the way, are the Democrats ever going to get around to making Dauber their state party chair?

      I think every public appearance and utterance by her will be worth ten million in donations to the Trump campaign.

      Right now, if the California Democrat Party leaders would just shut up and not say anything, Dems will win California in a breeze in 2020.

      But Gavin Newsom and Michele Dauber are fully capable of shooting their mouths off and making California Democrats look like a caravan of mental patients.

      Trump may not be able to resist the delicious photo ops of a Trump rally in America’s largest “homeless” camp, or in Turdistan by the Bay,

      • You’re smoking crack if you think CA would vote for NOT the Democratic nominee, but I’m sure Mrs Dauber appreciates the power you ascribe to her, lol

        • > You’re smoking crack if you think CA would vote for NOT the Democratic nominee,

          You need to learn how to think outside of your refrigerator box.

          I never said that CA would not vote for the Democratic nominee (for governor?).

          But the genetic lunacy of California Democrats presents enormous opportunities for Trump to gain political advantages,

          California Democrat politics is a freak show. Donald Trump is a political P.T. Barnum. Trump knows how to put on a spectacle that “puts butts in the seats”. What better spectacle for the center ring of the Big Top than a parade of freaks, and dancing bears and sword swallowers and clowns packed into a tiny car. In other words, the California Democratic Party.

          Trump is a one man voter turnout machine. In one month, he boosted the vote for an unpopular Republican governor in Kentucky by twenty points.

          Ballot petitions to recall Gavin Newsom are being circulated. Reports are that the signature gathering is going well.

          Suppose that in the final weeks of signature gathering, Trump visits California and holds patented “Trump rallies” in northern and southern California. The Democrat lunatic fringe, AntiFA, Code Pink, etc, etc turn out and put on their special brand of political theatre for the TV cameras.

          America is outraged. California is outraged. The Trump fundraising network is swamped with a tsunami of donations.

          Signatures for the Gavin Newsom recall flood in. Recall of Newsom qualifies for the November ballot.

          Democrat challengers for Newsom come out of the woodwork. The list of Democrat candidates for governor is zanier than the candidates for president.

          Trump visits California again and again, raising tens of millions of dollars and beaming the California Democrat freak show to the rest of America.

          Trump rallies highlight the “homelessness” in Los Angeles, the poop piles in San Francisco, the “sanctuary cities” everywhere, the power of special interest lobbies (Hollywood, Google, Facebook), the crime wave caused by Prop 47, etc. etc.

          Glassy eyed, drug addled Democrat candidates stare into the cameras and shriek that TRUMP IS WRONG – CALIFORNIA IS A PROGRESSIVE MIRACLE! America watches and listens.

          Gavin Newsom is recalled, Michele Dauber is elected governor,

          Republican pick up ten House seats in California and gain a majority in the U.S. Congress.

          Dems lose super majorities in both chambers of the California legislature.

          But, Michele Dauber is Governor! DEMOCRATS WIN!

          > You’re smoking crack if you think CA would vote for NOT the Democratic nominee,

          Be careful what you wish for.

    • Rich, I have the same question… why return the money? Keep it, it’s yours, they gave it you! But just be sure to follow up with the condemnation, of course.

  3. Stoopid McManis making stuff up, saying “that the impact statement she read in court was penned by someone else”,
    and then confirming that he didn’t know where he heard it from.

    Typical right wing nuts with their BS conspiracy theories. Making stuff up, running off at the mouth. My grandma knew how to deal with dumb little boys like that, and they wouldn’t get away with it.

  4. The NRA would welcome Mr.McManis donation , I’m sure they could arm a few more women for $4000 bucks

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