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Make them pay — with their own money, boot them out

The rules need to be the same across the board.

  • Longboat Key
  • Opinion
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To be sure, no one can claim to be shocked that sexual harassment is and has been pervasive on Capitol Hill. As we all know: Power corrupts. Big time.

The latest spate of revelations, in fact, just reinforces why Americans are so disgusted with national politicians and the D.C. cesspool. It’s good that the scoundrels are being called out.

But to add insult to injury, American taxpayers learned they are paying for the perverts’ hush money paid to their victims. This, of course, comes as a result of Congress, as always, setting up special rules to protect themselves, in this instance its lecherous creeps. (See below.)

You want to end sexual harassment in Congress? That’s easy. 

1) Zero tolerance.  

2) Make them pay. If accused and convicted, they’re fired — out of office. And require the perps to pay the damages out of their own pockets. 

No more special congressional courts or mediation; no slush funds. Make them face the same due process that every private employer-employee traverses. But make their transgressions public when the creeps are booted out. 

The people we send to Washington and state capitals should not be exemplars of vice and detritus, they should be models of virtue and decorum.

It sickens voters how politicians place themselves on pedestals. They often forget they are the people’s servants. And they should act like it.


The following are excerpts from recent news stories. The first two are from the Associated Press; the third is from the Washington Post:

“TALLAHASSEE — The state of Florida has paid more than $11 million over a 30-year period to settle hundreds of cases alleging that state workers were sexually harassed by supervisors and co-workers or were forced to work in a hostile work environment.

“The information released Monday showed more than 300 cases have resulted in payments since 1987. Amounts ranged from a $5,500 payment to a Florida State University student who alleged harassment from a supervisor to a $1.3 million payment to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by nurses who worked at state prisons.

“Nearly 60% of the cases involved employees who worked in the Department of Corrections.”


“WASHINGTON — The government has paid more than $17 million in taxpayer money over the last 20 years to resolve claims of sexual harassment, overtime pay disputes and other workplace violations filed by employees of Congress.

“The independent office doesn’t break the figures down, meaning there’s no way to determine how many of the 264 settlements and awards dealt specifically with cases of sexual misconduct …

“The largest number of settlements, 25, occurred in 2007 when just more than $4 million was paid out. The money comes from an account in the U.S. Treasury.”


“Congress makes its own rules about the handling of sexual complaints against members and staff.

“… Under a law in place since 1995, accusers may file lawsuits only if they first agree to go through months of counseling and mediation. A special congressional office is charged with trying to resolve the cases out of court.

“When settlements do occur, members do not pay them from their own office funds, a requirement in other federal agencies. Instead, the confidential payments come out of a special U.S. Treasury fund.

“… Between 1997 and 2014, the U.S. Treasury has paid $15.2 million in 235 awards and settlements for Capitol Hill workplace violations, according to the congressional Office of Compliance.”


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