Democratic Congressman Raul Ruiz is radio silent in the wake of some of his female colleagues in the U.S. of Representatives this week sharing incidents of sexual harassment involving lawmakers.
Ruiz, who represents the 36th Congressional District and faces re-election in 2018, is also tight-lipped about House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s announcement this week that House members and their staffs will now be required to take mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training.
The announcement was made the same day that California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier and Republican Barbara Comstock appeared before a House Administration Committee hearing and shared their experiences of being sexually harassed.
On Tuesday, Speaker Ryan said, “Today’s hearing was another important step in our efforts to combat sexual harassment and ensure a safe workplace. I want to especially thank my colleagues who shared their stories,” Ryan said in a statement to Roll Call. “Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and staff.”
The goal, he said, “is not only to raise awareness, but also make abundantly clear that harassment in any form has no place in this institution.”
Ruiz has not been seen or heard publicly on the issue.
Three Republicans are currently challenging Ruiz, who was first elected to Congress in 2012. Those vying to become the Republican nominee in the June 5 California Primary are Dan Ball, Kimberlin Brown Pelzer and Stephan Wolkowicz.
Uken Report attempted four times over two days – by phone and email to both his Coachella Valley office and his D.C. office – to secure a comment from Ruiz.
Ruiz refused to respond to all efforts.
It begs the question why a U.S. Congressman would remain mum on an issue that is permeating media, Hollywood, Congress and beyond.
In Washington, the dark problem is receiving more daylight and sunshine each day.
The Coachella Valley’s own former Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer on Wednesday shared her experience with sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, saying it was a “shaming” and “belittling” incident.
Boxer said on MSNBC that when she was a member of the House in the 1980s, she was humiliated by inappropriate comments from her colleagues at a hearing after she presented a bill.
On Thursday morning, news broke that a Los Angeles radio news anchor accused Sen. Al Franken of groping and kissing her without consent in open letter on the radio station’s website.
The unprecedented number of women – and men – coming forward with painful, graphic and detailed accounts of inappropriate behavior has been often described as a watershed moment.
A pair of female Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday that would overhaul policies to combat and report complaints of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.
Ruiz is mum.