Two Minnesota state lawmakers hit by sexual misconduct allegations announced Tuesday they would resign, less than two weeks after they were accused of misdeeds that ranged from groping colleagues to persistent unwanted sexual advances and sexting.
Democratic Sen. Dan Schoen, who allegedly grabbed a woman’s buttocks at a campaign event and made unwanted advances toward other women — including sending Snapchat photos of male genitalia to a female Senate employee — was the first to go, with his attorney saying Schoen had decided he could no longer be effective.
Hours later, Republican Rep. Tony Cornish said he would step down by Dec. 1. Cornish was the subject of an external investigation in the House into widespread sexual misconduct over his eight terms in office, including an anonymous lobbyist who told Minnesota Public Radio News that he propositioned her for sex dozens of times over the past several years and once forced her into a wall in his office while trying to kiss her.
Cornish said in his statement that he had reached an agreement with the lobbyist to apologize and resign by Dec. 1 in exchange for being protected against future claims. He also said: “I am forced to face the reality that I have made some at the Capitol feel uncomfortable and disrespected … I sincerely apologize for my behavior.”
It was unclear whether Schoen would make any similar admission at a planned Wednesday news conference. His attorney, Paul Rogosheske, indicated Schoen would dispute parts of the allegations made against him.
“He doesn’t feel he can be effective anymore,” Rogosheske told the Star Tribune. “And he doesn’t want to work in an environment like this.”
Their departures will close an acrimonious chapter that began when allegations about their conduct surfaced earlier this month, collectively involving at least six women who work in Minnesota politics. But some of the women who say they were victims of their harassment or unwanted advances said more allegations against other offenders may come to light.
“One senator’s resignation doesn’t change the culture. I want to change the culture,” Rep. Erin Maye Quade said after Schoen’s resignation. The freshman Democrat accused both men of making unwanted advances.
Both men faced immediate pressure to resign when the first allegations surfaced earlier in November. Both were initially defiant. Democratic leadership, from Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk — Schoen’s caucus leader — Gov. Mark Dayton and Democratic Party chairman Ken Martin all called for Schoen’s resignation.
This is the reason that the swamp fears President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, the president told reporters that he believes the names of congressmen that have settled sexual harassment lawsuits should be outed.
“I do. I really do. I think they should,” he said on the South Lawn of the White House before he departed for the Thanksgiving holiday in Mar-a-Lago.
It was revealed last week by Democrat Calif. Rep. Jackie Speier, that over the last 10 – 15 years around $15 million has been paid to victims of sexual harassment from members of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Speier did not name names of the accused, nor did she mention the names of two representatives she said were currently serving in the House, other than to say one was a Democrat and the other is a Republican.
But it was reported this week that one representative that has been accused of harassment, by several women, is Democrat Michigan Rep. John Conyers.
The House Ethics Committee promptly announced that it had opened an investigation into allegations against Conyers.
In response to a Washington Post report detailing multiple accusations of inappropriate conduct, PBS and Bloomberg announced on Monday afternoon that both companies will stop distributing Charlie Rose’s eponymous show, Charlie Rose. The nightly show is produced by Rose’s company, Charlie Rose Inc.
Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.
They are not even fake news anymore but rape-news
Sexual harassment claims against yet another powerful man in media inspired New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush to post an impassioned note on his Facebook page in October, calling on his fellow journalists to stand by women entering the field.
In the post, which linked to an article about the latest accusations against political journalist Mark Halperin, Thrush wrote, “Young people who come into a newsroom deserve to be taught our trade, given our support and enlisted in our calling — not betrayed by little men who believe they are bigger than the mission.”
It was a noble statement — but some Washington journalists I spoke to say it rings hollow, given Thrush’s own behavior with young women in the industry.
“He kept saying he’s an advocate for women and women journalists,” a 23-year-old woman told me, recounting an incident with Thrush from this past June. “That’s how he presented himself to me. He tried to make himself seem like an ally and a mentor.”
She paused. “Kind of ironic now.”
Thrush, 50, is one of the New York Times’s star White House reporters whose chronicles of the Trump administration recently earned him and his frequent writing partner Maggie Haberman a major book deal.
Gun violence has been in the news lately, which has some Americans advocating British-style gun laws. The UK bans handguns, and in 2016 its per capita homicide rate was only 0.99 per 100,000 people. But while it’s true that Brits commit relatively few murders, there’s another group that commits even fewer. Who are they? Legally-armed Texans.
Over a million people in Texas are licensed to carry a firearm, and the state publishes a report on the crimes they commit. In 2016, two were convicted of murder and another two were convicted of manslaughter. If they formed their own country, its per capita homicide rate would be about 0.4 per 100,000 residents. In other words, Britain’s homicide rate would drop by more than half if it were populated by nothing but Texans with concealed handgun permits. Texas isn’t unique: across the country, it’s rare for people who carry guns legally to commit crimes. They do stop them, however.
The U.S. military has begun bombing opium production plants in Afghanistan as part of a new strategy targeting Taliban revenue, a top general said Monday.