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Alaina Hampton: Women who stood with Lang “truly disheartening”

Thursday, May 31, 2018

* Press release…

“Rep. Lang’s press conference today was a perfect example of why victims don’t come forward. To see so many Democratic women standing with and singing the praises of a powerful man, just hours after he was accused of harassment, in an effort to undermine his accuser, was truly disheartening. To the women who stood with Rep. Lang today–think about what message you sent to all of us who have been victimized by men in power in Springfield.”

–Alaina Hampton

* She’s referring to these folks…

And if you somehow don’t know who Alaina Hampton is, click here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - One hand //ing - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:25 pm:

    So…these women just need to keep quiet?

  2. - Anon-I-Guess - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:31 pm:

    Women who have worked with Lang for years don’t get to comment, but Hampton, who literally knows no one involved here and never worked in the Capitol, does. Alright then.

  3. - Snapper - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:35 pm:

    I don’t know these female legislators personally, but The Lang presser just goes to show that the post from last week was right. This is all show business for the legislators when you put a camera in front of them.

  4. - Chris P. Bacon - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:40 pm:

    State politics has finally gotten interesting, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons.

  5. - Moe Berg - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:43 pm:

    Loncar’s event was bizarre. Hampton attacking these women as mere pawns with no agency and no right to share their experiences and express the truth as they see it speaks volumes.

    Clearly, they weren’t expecting Lang to refuse to be portrayed as a monster.

    The press conference looked like a political hit job - a view only reinforced by kicking the day off with Proft. Hard not to think this is an attempt to hijack the legitimate issue of sexual harassment in our society with (quite likely) a made-up tale meant to serve a purely political end.

  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:57 pm:

    ==Hard not to think this is an attempt to hijack the legitimate issue of sexual harassment in our society with (quite likely) a made-up tale meant to serve a purely political end.==

    Anyone who’s seen Lou Lang in Springfield outside of chambers isn’t the least surprised by such accusations. I don’t know if they’re true or not, but nothing about the man leads me to immediately jump to the conclusion that all of these accusations are just “made up tales”

  7. - Befuddled - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:02 pm:

    Hampton probably should have listened or watched the press conference before commenting because none of these women said anything about the allegations. In fact, they said it should be investigated. Standing up and saying you know a person and their character doesn’t mean you are dismissing the accusations (as frivolous and nonsensical as they may be).

  8. - Who else - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:08 pm:

    ==Hampton attacking these women as mere pawns with no agency and no right to share their experiences and express the truth as they see it speaks volumes.==

    That’s not how I read her statement. Women have agency to speak their truths. The issue with the Lang press conference is that women used their truths (of not having been harassed by a specific man) to discredit another woman speaking her truth (of being harassed by that same specific man.)

    If we’re trying to ascertain whether Lang touched this woman below her underwear line or suggested that he’d like to have dinner alone with her, it is irrelevant whether any of the women who stood with him also experienced those things at his hands.

  9. - Mercy - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:22 pm:

    For the love of God. Whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty. Why does it have to be guilty even when you’ve been proven innocent?

  10. - Gone Through This - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:24 pm:

    ===f we’re trying to ascertain whether Lang touched this woman below her underwear line or suggested that he’d like to have dinner alone with her,====
    I can understand how the former can be objectable but going to dinner is a problem?

  11. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:25 pm:

    Quite likely made up tale? Please fill us in on your basis for this outrageous claim.

    Not surprising at all colleagues would have a different experience than someone needing assistance to pass legislation. Totally different dynamic


  12. - Responsa - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:27 pm:

    The time worn spectacle of selected “supporters” standing behind a nervous politician at a podium is particularly unseemly on those occasions (such as this) when they genuinely can have no knowledge of the truth of what went on between that politician and others. Bravo to Alaina for saying what needed to be said.

  13. - Anon - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:28 pm:

    If these women legislators wanted to make a statement that “it should be investigated” they could do that in a written statement, or have their own press conference. These women legislators stood with & behind Lang at his own press conference, sending the message that they are with the accused.

  14. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:30 pm:

    ===Whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty===

    It’s still very much alive in courts of law.

  15. - Texas Red - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:45 pm:

    Party first

  16. - Moe Berg - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:46 pm:

    I’d redirect to the transcript Rich printed. Wild accusations about a “$170 something million” bribe that has already fallen apart don’t really bolster the credibility for any of the other claims. Nor does starting the day with a political hit man like Proft. It’s like going to the Illinois version of Breitbart.

    If Hampton is going to suggest the women legislators are being used, fine. I’d wonder the same about Loncar.

  17. - Wensicia - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:54 pm:

    I’m really offended that who should stand by whom has become a sexist question. This is ridiculous, as is the posturing by both sides.

  18. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:59 pm:

    LP, Responsa and Texas Red: champions of the harassed and oppressed. Your support for Alaina Hampton, Maryann Loncar and Denise Rothheimer is noted, as is Dan Proft’s.

    That’s very progressive guys. Keep it up!

  19. - state worker - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:04 pm:

    There is nothing wrong with saying that the accused is a good person with great qualities. There is nothing wrong with saying that someone guilty is a good person with great qualities. And obviously, there’s nothing wrong with saying an accuser is a good person with great qualities.

  20. - Amalia - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:11 pm:

    well, I’m offended that a Me Too accusation was deeply buried in a rambling press conference. actually, it was not even buried in the rambling. until a reporter directly asked what happened, Ms. Loncar did not even explain what she alleges happened to her in the MeToo realm, a touch of her back while she alleges Lang made a comment about how happy her husband must be and a call to ask if she was alone re dinner. did I miss something? because the presentation of events…including a big one immediately found to be false by this blog helm….was so distracting that any real point was lost.

  21. - Ihatepolitics - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:12 pm:

    So if I, as a male, accused Hampton of something like this, should her male friends and colleagues just abandon her because of an allegation? I don’t think so

  22. - Pekin and Peekout - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:13 pm:

    Suffice to say a dark day for the Blue Room.

  23. - walker - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:16 pm:

    They each seem to be telling their own truth, as they experienced it.

    Just as I believe and respect Alaina, I also believe and respect the women at both press conferences today.

    The challenge is to figure out how to define what’s broken in ways that we can start to fix it.

  24. - James in Lakeview - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:40 pm:

    These people are Rep. Lang’s friends. You support your friends. You don’t desert them because they’ve been accused of something.

    These women were up there saying, we’ve been in the same position as Loncar, and we were not treated as she claims to have been treated. Their perspective is far more relevant than Miss Hampton who knows absolutely nothing about the allegations.

  25. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:50 pm:

    ===Whatever happened to innocent till proven guilty===

    =It’s still very much alive in courts of law.=

    But, first you gotta get to court.

  26. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:52 pm:

    What is “progressive” about supporting victims of harassment by powerful men from whatever party or job they are in?

    Doesn’t everyone have Mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and female friends they want treated respectfully?

    Your liberal condescension is totally unwarranted 47th

    There is no “progressive” high ground here and in fact the only two legislators accused so far are in fact “progressives”

  27. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 7:59 pm:

    ===What is “progressive” about supporting victims of harassment by powerful men from whatever party or job they are in?===

    “I hope she doesn’t have a family. I will bury her.”

    Glad to have you on board LP. Keep up the good work.

  28. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:08 pm:

    LP, do you believe and support Trump’s accusers?

  29. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:11 pm:

    Even if every accusation were invented, having women do this is reprehensible.

  30. - Perrid - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:17 pm:

    Yes it would have been much better if everyone automatically believed the accuser and immediately convicted Lang in the court of public opinion. I’d agree that these women can’t now judge any kind of review or investigation into Lang, but I have no problem with people picking a side if they think they are right. And if they admit they are wrong, if and when that is shown.

  31. - dbk - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:41 pm:

    Just reread Rich’s post of Oct. 24 2017, “open letter alleges sexual harassment,” signed by 130 individuals.

    A quote from the AP follow-up: “The incidents mentioned in the letter don’t accuse anyone by name but the letter does outline scenarios involving male legislators, including a ‘chamber leader.’”

    During the past seven months, the very small number of women who have come forward (3? 4?) to “name names” have not been very well received by the majority of commenters on this blog.

    Is this an accident? Did these women feel they have nothing (left) to lose by speaking out?

    From the letter itself: “Everyone has at least one story of their own, and the common thread has been that most times we’ve had to brush these advances off out of fear of retribution or of being accused of leading someone on or have been encouraged to stay quiet.”

    Offhand, I’d say that fear of retribution / being accused of leading someone on is still rife in the hallowed halls of the Capitol.

    It seems to me that once specific complaints are voiced, the accuser is shown to be a person unworthy of trust, or a bit “off,” or only peripherally connected with “real politics” as practiced in the Big Leagues, etc.

    And yet, Rep. Lang resigned all positions except for his seat itself. And Kevin Quinn lost his job. And Ira Silverstein was roundly defeated in his primary race. So something’s going on - these men didn’t resign / lose their jobs/ lose their primary race without reason.

    I don’t think things will change until those harmed come out and name names, perhaps en masse, perhaps guided strategically by a master in orchestrating this type of revelations (think Gloria Allred or her daughter, Lisa Bloom).

    It all comes across as very weird - inexplicable, actually - that while the atmosphere in Springfield is generally acknowledged to be toxic for women political operatives (legislators, their staffs, lobbyists, activists, and campaign staff members), nobody seems to be culpable of much of anything except being a (male) politician.

    I don’t know any of the parties involved, but there’s something strange and contradictory about this picture.

  32. - Mad Brown - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:45 pm:

    AH doesn’t speak for anyone but AH. As it should be. And her trajectory should be through the legal channels, and not in the court of public opinion, unless she chooses to keep the conversation there. And that will be a harsh forum. Sad, but true.

    Lou Lang isn’t part of her issue, nor are any of these women.

    Many, many, let me add another, many victims never have an audience, a platform, an ally or even a friend. AH would do best to persist on her path and let other courses take theirs. And perhaps her success can give others hope.

  33. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:47 pm:

    ===And her trajectory should be through the legal channels===

    Who died and made you king?

  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:49 pm:

    …And why are you giving advice to someone that she should not give anyone else her advice? Seems awful hypocritical to me.

  35. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:49 pm:

    No idea about tne abuse allegations, but calling women reprehensible because they publicly support a man over a woman seems just as sexist as the opposite. Woman aren’t required to support other women 100% of the time especially if they feel otherwise. Men certainly have been required lately to denounce other men or risk being called sexist toward women.
    How about we all go beck to just being ablw to show our support to those we feel deserve it regardless of demographics?

  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:52 pm:

    === calling women reprehensible===

    Who did that?

  37. - Juice - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 8:58 pm:

    Rich, crazybleedingheart said having women do this is reprehensible. I think they meant that in the sense of Lang appearing to hide behind other women in confronting the allegations is reprehensible, but I can’t speak for them.

  38. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 9:28 pm:

    Yes, juice answered for me. I probably should just said that expecting women to support women regardless of their personal belief about the situation was sexist. Didnt have to bring another commenters exactly words into it to get my point across.

  39. - PUH-leeze - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:18 pm:

    Wait a sanctimonious second… who is the sexist here? A guy who had several colleagues appear with him in response to some suspect allegations or the people who think that these women - leaders in their community - would stand up with him because they were instructed to? That is offensive.

    And I didn’t see Lang hide behind anybody. He took this issue head on, made a statement and took questions. The fact that colleagues - some of whom happen to be women - shared there experience and knowledge of the man was their choice and their right.

    And Miss Hampton. You were clearly wronged in your personal situation and I feel for you. You are free to pursue the damages that you believe just and I wish you the best. But being wronged does not make you right on everything that’s tangentially similar to what you experienced. I think the facts of this “case” will bear that out.

  40. - justacitizen - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:18 pm:

    All this is just another cry for term limits.

  41. - M - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:41 pm:

    Who the heck is Alaina Hampton, and why does anyone care what she thinks?

  42. - Mama - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:43 pm:

    It appears that Lang didn’t harass that woman. Therefore, why did he step down from his leadership position?

  43. - Anon2018 - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 2:59 am:

    I imagine that Proft is laughing at all of this, and enjoyed the top level headlines this evening.

  44. - Honeybear - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 7:01 am:

    Disappointed that AH said this. I withdraw the Alaina Hampton is the model for how you do this comment. I know, I know, Rich, nobody cares what I think but I’m going to write it anyway.

  45. - Sandy - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 7:02 am:

    Everyone has a right to defend themselves, especially when accused with something like this. AH is lashing out because it happened to her, we get it, some of us have been in her shoes. But that doesn’t mean everyone accused is a perp.

  46. - Kyle Hillman - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 7:46 am:

    This was crisis management 101, it was also cringeworthy. Rep. Lang is fighting for his career and reputation and there are very few of us who, if in his situation, wouldn’t do the same thing. At the same time, let’s not pretend (intentionally or not) that press conference didn’t send a message to women who have been abused/harassed in the building.

  47. - Mad Brown - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 7:49 am:

    No one made me a king, just a woman who’s had similar experiences and wasn’t believed. I want her to succeed and not be drawn into other issues.

  48. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 7:55 am:

    ==All this is just another cry for term limits.==

    Because it’s impossible for a newly elected person to abuse or harass another person? Ah the magical powers of term limits.

  49. - Cgo75 - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 8:14 am:

    Is it just me or do people take it a little easier on alleged bad behavior if you’re a Democrat?

  50. - A parent - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 8:27 am:

    Cgo75 it’s just you. Ask Silverstien how “easy” it was.

  51. - A Jack - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    I find it disheartening that this doesn’t seem to be about empowering powerless women, but going after powerful men. I am all for empowering women, but not at the cost of men who could have been legislative allies.

  52. - Who else - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 9:05 am:

    ==I find it disheartening that this doesn’t seem to be about empowering powerless women, but going after powerful men. I am all for empowering women, but not at the cost of men who could have been legislative allies.==

    Yes, will someone please think of the powerful men?

  53. - Practical Politics - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 9:13 am:

    “Who the heck is Alaina Hampton, and why does anyone care what she thinks?”


    Please do your required reading for class.

    Alaina Hampton formerly worked on campaigns for the Madigan organization, including the election of Juliana Stratton to the Illinois General Assembly — Stratton is now the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Hampton raised allegations about a culture of sexual harassment occurring in the Madigan campaign organization and the 13th Ward, specifically concerning the conduct of Kevin Quinn, the brother of Alderman Marty Quinn. Kevin Quinn has been fired and legal matters and complaints are pending.

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