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‘Dem “Dirty Old Men”

Congressmen exposing their genitals on the House floor—getting to go unnamed


By —— Bio and Archives--November 17, 2017

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Congressmen exposing their genitals on the House floor

Anthony Weiner is in the slammer for exposing his genitals via Internet photos,  but congressmen who expose their genitals and grab private parts—on the House floor—not only get away with it but get the privilege of going unnamed.

Genital-exposing politicians (GEP, for short) are said to come from both the Democrat and Republican parties, and, incredibly find protection in the system as it stands.

‘Dem “Dirty Old Men”

Even though the public is not provided with their ages, let alone their names, Canada Free Press calls them ‘Dem (slang for them) “Dirty Old Men”, a moniker we think is fitting because the White House has long been a second home away from home for Hollywood,  and because, until he was outed,  alleged sexual predator movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was hosted by the White House many times during the 8-year tenure of Barack Obama, who, along with his protégé Hillary Clinton, accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in Weinstein donations.

Why wasn’t it until it got to the stage where lawmakers in both parties agreed to move from “voluntary” support for sexual harassment awareness training to “mandatory” sexual harassment training for legislative branch staffers, and until it was revealed that “about $15 million in taxpayer dollars has been paid out by the house on behalf of harassers in the last 10 to 15 years,” that lawmakers saw fit to let their constituents in on the dirty secret that “congressmen expose their genitals and grab private parts—on the House Floor?!

In the age of Big Brother Surveillance, there are no cameras recording the activities on the House Floor?!

Open up your, Archives C-Span, you have a whole new revenue stream awaiting you.

“Efforts to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill gained momentum on Tuesday as female lawmakers shared stories of male colleagues engaging in predatory behavior. (The Hill, Nov.14, 2017)

“Those stories ranged from comments asking “Are you going to be a good girl?” to harassers exposing their genitals and grabbing private parts on the House floor.” 

What possible good are any of their stories if the perpetrators get to go unnamed?

“Lawmakers in both parties had already expressed support for mandatory sexual harassment awareness training, which is currently voluntary for legislative branch staffers. But they went further in a House Administration Committee hearing on Capitol Hill’s harassment policies and said even more can be done in a male-dominated workplace where sexual harassment can be pervasive.” (The Hill)

What good was “voluntary” sexual harassment awareness training for legislative branch staffers if support exists for “mandatory” sexual harassment awareness training now?

“Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), a member of the House Democratic leadership, told The Associated Press earlier this month that a male colleague had ogled her and touched her inappropriately on the House floor when she first began serving in Congress. (The Hill)

“Sánchez declined to name the lawmaker when asked about the incident on Tuesday. “She never filed an official complaint, but learned to avoid being near him.”

 

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Sánchez maintained a silence that kept the offending lawmaker on the loose, and one that put others at risk of sexual harassment

In other words Sánchez maintained a silence that kept the offending lawmaker on the loose, and one that put others at risk of sexual harassment.

Silence, Rep. Sánchez, is not always golden.

“Since then, Sánchez told reporters, she’s advised newer members to do the same. (The Hill)

“When you are new to a workplace, you don’t always understand what the policies and procedures are, or what the avenues for reporting those kinds of incidences are,” Sánchez said.

“Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), in testimony before the panel, said at least two current members of Congress have engaged in sexual harassment.

“Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) offered another example. She shared a story of a male lawmaker — still in Congress — who asked a young female staffer to bring materials to his residence. He opened the door dressed in only a towel, invited her inside and proceeded to expose himself. 

“The staffer subsequently quit her job.

“That kind of situation, what are we doing here for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?” Comstock asked. 

 


Even if the staffer quit, wouldn’t whom she worked for be easy to determine?

The answer is: Nothing, Rep.Comstock, absolutely nothing.

Even if the staffer quit, wouldn’t whom she worked for be easy to determine?

“Speier had previously shared her own experience of having a chief of staff forcibly kiss her when she was working as a congressional staffer in the 1970s. (Hill)

“Since then, Speier said she’s received a multitude of calls to her office from people sharing their own stories of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.”

“Now I know you can file an ethics complaint,” she added. “Now, of course, through hindsight, we can look at the Harvey Weinstein [case], and you see hundreds of women who have very similar … stories. You can see a pattern; when it’s happening to you, you don’t have the benefit of the 30,000 foot view.”

“None of the three female lawmakers accused any of their colleagues by name of sexual harassment. Comstock said she heard the story secondhand and did not know the lawmaker’s identity, only that he is still a member of Congress.

How is it possible that Comstock does not know the lawmaker’s identity but that he’s still a member of congress?

“Yet she acknowledged it’s hard to hold harassers accountable to their constituents if no one will name them publicly. (Hill)

“That’s up to the victim, is the problem,” Comstock said after the House Administration Committee hearing, suggesting that women often don’t feel comfortable coming forward until they feel like there’s comfort in numbers. “There’s that blaming that women do. There’s ‘did I ask for it?’ ”

 

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Members of the public at large “don’t feel comfortable” that lawmakers are keeping mum on the names of congressman who expose genitals and grab private parts on the House floor no matter the reason, Reps. Speier, Comstock and Sánchez.

“Speier plans to introduce legislation this week to overhaul the process available for staff to file harassment complaints. (Hill)

“Under the current system run through the Office of Compliance, staffers must go through months of mediation and counseling with the employing office before they can file a formal complaint. They must also sign nondisclosure agreements.

“If staffers do go forward with a complaint, they can either file it in court or seek an administrative hearing that leads to negotiations for a settlement.

“Such settlements are paid out by a fund operated by the Treasury Department.

“Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who practiced employment law for three decades before serving in the House, said in testimony before the panel that lawmakers should establish a uniform, streamlined process for sexual harassment training and overhaul the complaint process.

“Female lawmakers have been leading the charge in forcing Congress to reckon with sexual harassment, both by sharing stories and introducing legislation.

“But Comstock said it’s critical for male members to take part in the conversation.

“It is uncomfortable for women to talk about. I still feel kind of uncomfortable to talk about it,” Comstock said.

“So it’s important that the men talk about it too, because then it’s not just the women saying something and making men feel uncomfortable. But the men say, ‘I have daughters. I have wives. I have stories and I can name names.’ Or tell colleagues to knock it off who are doing it.”

“Well, it is my responsibility to address the seriousness of this issue. These survivors are subject to a non-disclosure agreement. I’m not going to violate their non-disclosure agreement,” Speier responded.

“I think moving forward we have got to take steps to make sure that there is transparency. That in fact, the harasser is not going to have the settlement paid for out of the U.S. Treasury and have all the taxpayers paying for it. It should be something that is paid for by the individual.”

“Todd followed up by asking Speier if taxpayer money has been used to protect the identities of these members of Congress.

“We do know there is about $15 million that has been paid out by the House on behalf of harassers in the last 10 to 15 years,” Speier revealed, on Tuesday.

“One member of Congress has been – has settled a claim, and there has been a taxpayer settlement,” Speier told Todd.

“Todd asked Speier if taxpayers have a right to know to know about these settlements.

“Well, I think you do have the right to know. But right now, under the system, you don’t have a right to know,” Speier informed Todd. “We do know there is about $15 million that has been paid out by the House on behalf of harassers in the last 10 to 15 years.”

“Todd seemed flabbergasted by the amount of money that had been paid out over the last 10 to 15 years.

There is no “transparency” without naming names, Rep. Speier.



Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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