As some of the biggest names in the news media and Congress continue to be fired and accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, it is critical that we know where our Congressional members stand on the issue.
It is one of the biggest stories of the time, often referred to as a “watershed moment.”
Some of the most revered journalists and storytellers – Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor, Charlie Rose, and Bill O’Reilly — have been fired, their reputations forever tarnished. They stand accused of some of the most vile and despicable behavior imaginable. In some cases, their wives and children are left to pick up the pieces and hold the families together – or at least try.
In Congress to date, Democratic Sen. Al Franken and U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit are facing allegations of sexual misconduct. Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House, has since stepped aside from his post as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid an ethics investigation of the sexual harassment allegations. Both men have said they will not resign. On Thursday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Conyers to resign.
It is difficult not to feel personally betrayed – as a consumer of their work and as a voter.
Some female lawmakers, including former Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono, have shared their own experiences with sexual harassment in recent weeks.
As allegations of sexual harassment in Congress continued to bubble up, Uken Report reached out in a good faith effort to Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz to get his thoughts. Four attempts over two days to both his Palm Desert and Capitol Hill offices failed to garner a response. Even some Democrats questioned the Congressman’s silence.
Uken Report published a story to that effect on Nov. 16. On Nov. 17, in a series of three Tweets, Ruiz made his position clear. In fairness to him, it is important for Uken Report to highlight his stance.
Some bold, and I use the word loosely, keyboard warriors said Ruiz did not owe me “shit.” That’s an interesting take on independent journalism. I had reached out to his office weeks before to introduce myself and explain how I’d enjoy working with his office as the 2018 mid-term elections approach. My goal is to be fair and accurate while holding local, state and national officials accountable. Uken Report has a significant following and was hoping the Congressman would see that, respect that and understand that Uken Report is a conduit of information to the public.
Some of his Republican challengers have – Dan Ball, Doug Hassett and Stephan Wolkowicz.
Here are Ruiz’s Tweets:
It is worth noting the House on Wednesday voted to require annual sexual harassment awareness training for all members and staff.
The measure requires members and staff to undergo anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training during each session of Congress. Interns and fellows would also have to take the training.
Members and staff will have to complete the training no later than 180 days after the second session of the current Congress begins in January.
The House vote follows a move by the Senate earlier this month to require the training for its members and staff.
Until now, Capitol Hill employees were not required to undergo training to recognize and combat sexual harassment. Some offices voluntarily made their workers receive the training, but it was not a universal policy.