The Beginning Of Accountability

The Washington Examiner is reporting the following today:

A House Republican introduced legislation Wednesday that would make public all legislative branch settlement payments made in the past two decades and would force lawmakers and staff to repay harassment claims settled on their behalf.

The bill, authored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., would also prohibit future use of federal funds to pay harassment claims, which is now the practice.

This is long overdue. The practice should not have begun in the first place. There also needs to a private audit of government expenses to see what else Congress has been spending money on that the public is unaware of.

The article further reports:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pledged a “comprehensive” examination of harassment problems, beginning with a Dec. 7 hearing in the House Administration Committee. The panel will scrutinize the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, which instituted a prohibition of discrimination and harassment in the legislative branch.

One thing to keep in mind here is that sometimes a person will simply pay a person bringing charges because it is easier than fighting the charges. That needs to be considered in looking at these cases–how much time would a Congressman lose fighting a charge that wasn’t true? Also, not all of these cases were sexual harassment cases–some were discrimination. Again, how many were settled because it was simply easier than going to court? What we need is a way to distinguish false charges from valid charges so that appropriate actions can be taken. I am not sure Congress is capable of that. However, the bill that Representative De Santis has introduced is a good first step toward ending a pattern of horribly adolescent behavior in Congress. Let’s see if Congress is willing to pass the bill.

Just Wondering …

The Daily Caller reported today that Herman Cain told reporters today that he would not answer questions about the alleged charges against him while he was speaking to the group Docs4PatientCare at the group’s annual meeting in Alexandria, Virginia. I have no problem with that–the whole story is ridiculous. The Women’s Liberation movement has made sexual harassment charges a joke–anything you decide makes you uncomfortable can be classified as sexual harassment. The standard is so low that opening a door for a woman can be considered harassment.

Anyway. I am wondering where these charges came from. I have no doubt that someone who claimed harassment was paid a severance and let go. I just want to know who she approached with her information. My actual guess is that the attack came from the Republican establishment. If they are really good, they will blame Rick Perry for the attack–that would eliminate two non-Republican-establishment candidates at once. I realize that I am in the tall weeds here, but I do wonder who gave the story to Politico. I don’t think Herman Cain has handled the charges well, but he is so inexperienced and understaffed that he can easily be caught off guard.

I do wonder who dug up the dirt and I am prepared not to believe anything I hear about the source until well after the 2012 election. The truth may or may not ever come out!

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