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Where are the other probes?

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

* It’s not that I totally disagree with everything in this Tribune editorial

The eruption of the #MeToo movement and companion allegations of sexual harassment in the Illinois Capitol provoked a novel idea: Maybe official Springfield should think about policing legislative misconduct.

In subsequent fits and starts, House Speaker Michael Madigan has acknowledged misbehavior in his statehouse and political realms, and has vowed to fix a sorry culture of harassment and bullying. Essentially: You can trust me. […]

Madigan responded to Hickey’s report with more platitudes: He takes responsibility for not doing enough, he’s already taken steps to improve the culture, he’s “ready to work with the other legislative caucuses to ensure that everyone has a safe workplace.”

Who knows, maybe more attempts at damage control will placate members of Madigan’s caucus, who’ll have to own Hickey’s findings throughout the 2020 campaign cycle.

Madigan’s a big boy. He should take his medicine.

But I wonder why no other legislative leader has publicly launched his own probe into any potential problems in their respective shops. Same goes for the Illinois Republican Party. Where are their admissions of shortcomings? Where are their promises to do better?

These were hardly isolated incidents.

* Related…

* March, 2018: Legislative Leaders Say They Won’t Join Madigan in Releasing List of Misconduct Allegations

…Adding… From Leader Durkin’s spokesperson Eleni Demertzis…

Hi Rich,

When the #MeToo movement unraveled under the dome, Leader Jim Durkin proactively brought in an outside firm to review, assess and evaluate our office procedures, protocols and work environment. Several employees were randomly selected to be interviewed from offices in Springfield and Chicago, and the entirety of the review lasted approximately two months.

The firm, Alvarez and Marsal, ultimately expanded the harassment section of the House Republican Staff Personnel Rules and Regulations Handbook to include a more comprehensive document for employees to turn to if they are subject to harassment. We have a zero tolerance policy of harassment of any kind.

Leader Durkin also introduced a bill to create the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline to give people across Illinois more resources to get help. The helpline went live in June 2018 and the number is 877-236-7703.

Thanks,
E

…Adding… Rep. McSweeney begs to differ…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - Steve - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Rich asks an entirely valid question. Democrats in the General Assembly aren’t the only people in the state legislature. Many corporations have adjusted HR policies after the #MeToo movement. Are other political leaders willing to look at the situation?


  2. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    By all means other legislators should, but I note that not many other legislators had their daughter sharing #MeToo stories with the press at the same time - you think that might have prompted a “hey, how do the women in my office think about this” moment.


  3. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Correction: told in a book (covered by the local press) https://chicago.suntimes.com/2018/1/31/18329729/kim-foxx-lisa-madigan-describe-enduring-sexual-harassment-in-new-book


  4. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    “But I wonder why no other legislative leader has publicly launched his own probe into any potential problems”

    MJM has the sordid track record of Mapes and Allan Hampton which land directly on his doorstep. Hopefully SB0075 which JB signed will ad teeth to the office of Legislative Inspector General


  5. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    @Donnie Elgin -

    You want Capfax readers to believe that former state Rep John Anthony left the legislature after a term, landed on the Dept of Corrections payroll, and was soon-after fired for sexual harassment was a coincidence, despite the parallels with the Catholic Church sex scandal?


  6. - One hand //ing - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    ===MJM has the sordid track record of Mapes and Allan Hampton which land directly on his doorstep.===

    No one is trying to give him credit for being proactive. In fact, he said himself that he was not. The question is why can’t the other legislative leaders admit this is happening in their shops as well? Because it is. A lot.


  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    ===not many other legislators had their daughter sharing #MeToo stories with the press===

    Hey, doofus. Lisa served in the Senate.

    “When as a state senator, a man would come to my office or serial call my phone and leave 30, 40, 50 messages a day, I snuck around the Capitol to try and avoid him,” Madigan says.


  8. - Charlie Brown - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    Same editorial board that refused to oppose Jerry Long after sexual harassment allegations.

    Same editorial board that refused to oppose Brett Kavanaugh after sexual assault allegations.

    Same editorial board that refused to oppose Donald Trump after sexual assault confession.

    They are undermining the #MeToo movement with their obvious partisanship.


  9. - JB13 - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    Yeah, everyone knows #MeToo is *really* a Republican problem. Now leave the poor Dems alone, everyone. They’re the good guys here.


  10. - SAP - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    Don’t be dense JB13. It is a bipartisan problem. Nobody is excusing the Madigan (or other dems) on this. Senate Dems and House and Senate Repubs should learn from Madigan’s mistake and get out in front of this.


  11. - A guy - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:05 am:

    These things nearly always emanate near the top of the power vacuum. Where there’s more power, there’s likely to be more abuse.
    That being said, this shot heard round the state seemed to have all these leaders taking an inventory. Seems a State Senator was pantsed over this in the last cycle. Dude with a toe fetish if I remember correctly. Long wound up with the short end too.
    Institution change does take some time. Hard to imagine anyone didn’t get the message. (Though Sandoval appears to be a very slow learner; no shock there)


  12. - Powdered Whig - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    === Yeah, everyone knows #MeToo is *really* a Republican problem. Now leave the poor Dems alone, everyone. They’re the good guys here. ===

    Please. Nobody has been harder on Madigan regarding this issue than those in his own caucus. The point that is trying to be made is that this problem is greater than the House Democratic Caucus.


  13. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    “Yeah, everyone knows #MeToo is *really* a Republican problem. Now leave the poor Dems alone, everyone.”

    Strangely, I find this response a pleasant reminder of how infrequently insipid, Facebook-quality comments are posted here.

    – MrJM


  14. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:40 am:

    The Speaker doesn’t take medicine, he only dishes it out. The only way we can get him to take it is to hide it in his apple like I hide medicine for my dog in a treat.


  15. - show your work - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    == Several employees were randomly selected to be interviewed from offices in Springfield and Chicago, and the entirety of the review lasted approximately two months. ==

    Wonder if they’d be willing to share their work. Having a management consulting company talk to a few people in the office about policies isn’t a full review.


  16. - StJoe - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    C’mon. This whole thing lands at Madigan’s doorstep. He knew about Tim, it’s just Tim handled all of the things he didn’t want to handle, so MJM gave him carte blanche. Carte blanche to victimize people, harass people and create his own feifdom. For 26 years!

    Shame on you.


  17. - St.Joe - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    Also of NOTE: How is it that a law firm that gave over 300k to the Speaker in 2018 is representing Mapes?

    https://madisonrecord.com/stories/511622397-trial-lawyers-give-big-october-boost-to-democrats-and-madigan


  18. - Anon-I-Guess - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    –who’ll have to own Hickey’s findings throughout the 2020 campaign cycle.–

    In a primary it may affect some races. In the General? No one is looking to stick it to the patriarchy is turning to the republican party.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===How is it that a law firm that gave over 300k to the Speaker in 2018===

    Most politically active firms gave big bucks to the Speaker last year. And that one is particularly active because ITLA.


  20. - DIstant watcher - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    >When the #MeToo movement unraveled under the dome,

    When was this unraveling? Was it before or after the Hickey report?


  21. - show your work - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    – How is it that a law firm that gave over 300k to the Speaker in 2018 is representing Mapes?–

    How is it that a law firm that gave money to John Cullerton is representing a person suing Madigan? Lawyers and law firms make contributions and they represent clients.Nearly every firm makes political contributions. Take off your tinfoil hat.


  22. - SuburbanRepublican - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    Will the HGOP release the findings of the work of their outside law firm? I’d be curious to see what their employees had to say.


  23. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    @Lake County Democrat, do you know if that book is still in litigation over the Kim Foxx story? because Alvarez is disputing the story.


  24. - Newcomer - Wednesday, Aug 21, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    The irony is that Madigan was largely an obstructionist in passing significant form. He only did so when mounting pressure meant he couldn’t stop it anymore.


  25. - Arock - Thursday, Aug 22, 19 @ 8:44 am:

    Yes his party was so hard on him that they voted him back in as their Speaker and Leader too continue to control them as his minions. Their Leader who is ethics challenged and damn proud of it.


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