Franken, Conyers and Franks, apologies and resignations What's Your Point? December 10, 2017

- This week's panel: Bob Price - Associate Editor Breitbart Texas, Nyanza Moore - progressive commentator and Houston attorney, Tony Diaz- Chicano educator and activist, Marcus Davis - host of "Sunday Morning Live",  Jared Woodfill, conservative attorney, and Jessica Colon - Republican strategist. discuss the ongoing allegations and resignations for sexual harassment and misconduct.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota announced on Thursday that he will resign in the face of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. He joins a long list of lawmakers ousted by scandal.

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- Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. Is retiring next month after revealing that he discussed surrogacy with two female staffers.

- Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. Retired abruptly Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations by former staff members. The 88-year-old Conyers was the longest-serving House member.

- Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa. Resigned in October after the anti-abortion lawmaker allegedly urged his mistress to end a pregnancy.

- Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. Resigned in 2011 after posting lewd pictures of himself on Twitter. He initially claimed he had been hacked, then admitted to sexting with various women. He later was sent to prison after he was caught sexting with a teenage girl.

- Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., Resigned in 2011 after he was accused of sexually harassing the 18-year-old daughter of a political donor.

- Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. Resigned in 2011 after admitting to an affair with the wife of his chief of staff. Ensign was accused of helping the husband get a job as a lobbyist to try to keep him quiet.

- Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y. Resigned in 2010 after he was accused of sexually harassing male staffers in his congressional office, including engaging in unwanted tickling.

- Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind. Resigned in 2010 after admitting to an affair with a female staffer.

- Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla. Resigned in 2006 after media reports that he engaged in sexually explicit instant message conversations with teenage, male congressional pages. At least 10 people came forward to allege that Foley had sexually harassed them or made inappropriate sexual comments.

- Rep. Robert Livingston, R-La. Announced his resignation in late 1998 after being chosen as the next House speaker, citing adulterous affairs. Livingston shocked his colleagues by announcing his decision to the House as it debated the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He left Congress in March 1999.

- Rep. Mel Reynolds, D-Ill. Resigned in 1995 after being convicted of sexual assault, statutory rape and other charges stemming from a sexual relationship with an underage campaign worker.

- Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore. Resigned in 1995 after a series of women, including former staffers and lobbyists, accused him of sexual harassment and assault. A report by the Senate Ethics Committee described Packwood's "physical coercion" of women and "a habitual pattern of aggressive, blatantly sexual advances, mostly directed at members of his own staff." The committee recommended his expulsion. Packwood resigned before the Senate could vote to expel him.

- Rep. Donald "Buz" Lukens, R-Ohio. Resigned in 1990 after being convicted of contributing to the unruliness of a minor for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. Lukens initially refused to resign from Congress, but was defeated in a GOP primary and later resigned.

- Rep. Jon Hinson, R-Miss. Resigned in 1981 after being arrested on sodomy charges.

- Rep. Wayne Hays, D-Ohio. Resigned in 1976 after The Washington Post reported that a 33-year-old clerk with House Administration Committee said she had been placed in her job to be his mistress.

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The only woman in Florida's governor's race says she has a perspective that will allow her to address what she calls a sexual harassment epidemic in state government.

Democratic former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham outlined her proposals to address ethics problems in government on Thursday, including the creation of an ombudsperson to independently investigate harassment complaints.

She said she, like probably every woman at her press conference, has had a "me too" moment.

Graham said as a woman, she has an ability to talk about sexual harassment in a way that will resonate with everybody.

Another Democrat in the race also announced a proposal to address sexual harassment.

Businessman Chris King said in a Facebook video that he would create an office for victims' advocacy to investigate harassment and assault.

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A rising figure in the Democratic Party has dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor in New Mexico, amid renewed concerns about decade-old complaints of sexual harassment at a previous job.

Democratic New Mexico state Sen. Michael Padilla withdrew his name Monday as a candidate for the state's second-highest office after once-strong support eroded. He described past accusations against him as issues of a hostile workplace environment and not sexual misconduct, while casting himself as a proponent of ending workplace harassment "of any kind."

Two federal lawsuits say Padilla harassed women while managing Albuquerque's emergency call center in 2006. Padilla was accused of making inappropriate comments and of asking women on dates despite repeated rejections - claims he denies. The city ended up settling "sexually hostile work environment" claims stemming from Padilla's six-week tenure overhauling a problem-plagued 911 center.

The allegations surfaced in 2012 and in 2016 during Padilla's campaign for Senate. He won both times.

This year, however, Padilla had come under increasing pressure from Democrats to exit the lieutenant governor race.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democratic candidate for governor, last month urged Padilla to withdraw and said there was no room for excuses for his past actions.

Padilla announced his decision as a group of female Democrats prepared to hold a news conference against his candidacy.

"I do not want to be a distraction as we come together as New Mexicans to solve this unacceptable work place issue," Padilla said in a statement Monday.

Heather Brewer, a Democratic political consultant based in Albuquerque, said Padilla's decision was positive.

"We cannot tolerate leaders who have a history of irresponsible behavior around sexual harassment," she said.

Regarding Padilla's political future as a state senator, she said that "ultimately the Senate and the voters are going to have to make that decision."

Statehouses nationwide are dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct in a wave of claims against powerful people in politics, entertainment, business and elsewhere.

On Monday, a Republican state lawmaker called on staff at the Legislature to publicly disclose more about the handling of recent reports of sexual harassment in the Statehouse.

Rep. Kelly Fajardo asked for more information about the outcome of two complaints of alleged sexual harassment involving Capitol maintenance staff and not lawmakers, as well an email containing allegations against a state senator that never resulted in a formal complaint.

Legal representatives for the Legislature say they are reviewing what additional information can be released.

Fajardo is part of a working group of lawmakers preparing revisions to the Legislature's workplace harassment policies.

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