Crony Culture in Capitol Ignores Abusive Behavior

Media and House leadership [Joe Straus] knew about sexual predators… and chose to protect them.

Some of the most powerful men in Texas need to explain why they knew sexual predators have been roaming the halls of the state capitol but have been doing nothing about it. Those responsible for horrible acts – and those who covered it up – must be exposed and punished.

It’s easy to dismiss the Texas Capitol as a festering sore and everyone in it as corrupt, but that would be to normalize the vile and disgusting behavior that has been perpetrated by a few and tolerated by the Austin lobby, the House leadership, and the media elite.

Revelations that House Speaker Joe Straus knew that a female lobbyist was being sexually propositioned by a Democrat lawmaker yet did nothing about it adds to the disgrace that is his speakership.

A lobbyist recently tweeted – then deleted – that she had been sexually propositioned by Borris Miles (D–Houston) in 2015. Miles, a senator who previously served in the House, allegedly made the aggressive advance in front of House Speaker Joe Straus – who did nothing about it.

Why did Straus not intercede for a woman who was about to be victimized in his presence?

That seems to be the recurring theme.

Liberal Democrats were allowed to behave not just “badly” but – possibly – criminally while establishment Republicans looked on and did nothing.

As Tony McDonald previously reported, State Rep. Charlie Geren (R–Fort Worth) told reporters a month ago there had been no reports of sexual harassment or assault by members of the legislature. Three weeks later he admitted there actually had been reports, but they were handled privately.

He lied because he had been complicit in covering up sexual assaults and harassment in the Texas Capitol.

As reported by the Daily Beast, this has been an open secret in the Texas Capitol with those in charge looking the other way. In the article, reporters are quoted (anonymously) detailing their encounters with Democrat legislators, ranging from inappropriate to downright dangerous.

It beggars belief to imagine their employers didn’t know this was happening.

  • Why has the chairman of the state’s Democrat Party, Gilberto Hinojosa, not called for Miles to resign? Texas GOP leaders were among the first to call for US Rep. Joe Barton (R–Ennis) to leave office – and the charges were far less severe.
  • Why did Evan Smith, the hob-knobbing socialite who helms the Soros-funded Texas Tribune, not report on the allegations until after the Daily Beast? Given his man-about-town reputation, it’s simply unimaginable he was unaware. Same goes for his top employee, Ross Ramsey, who writes as the insider-in-chief for the New York Times’ Texas edition.
  • Why did the Texas Monthly’s publisher – Texas Ethics Commission’s disgraced former Chairman Paul Hobby – never have stories written on the issue? Perhaps it’s because he was more focused on abridging First Amendment rights of citizens than calling out his political pals?
  • Why did the editors of the Houston Chronicle repeatedly endorse Borris Miles despite well-known and highly publicized instances of his violent and misogynistic behaviorcovered by their own reporters!

In each case, was it their support for liberal causes and Democrat politicians that overwhelmed the good judgment to protect their staff and other vulnerable women from predators?

Very little is known right now about who the predators are, besides Miles and State Sen. Carlos Uresti, who was also identified in the article. But reporting by the Daily Beast makes it clear a great many Democrat lawmakers, staffers, lobbyists and media honchos were long aware of the dangerous situation many women have been placed in at the Capitol.

The fact that Straus and Geren were not only aware, but that Geren apparently engaged in cover-ups of such abuses, should inspire Texans to demand answers.

But beyond the two of them, there are 179 other members of the Texas House and Senate, and countless lobbyists and reporters. All have interacted with Miles, Uresti, and the others not yet named. Not all of them may have known everything, but many knew something. Some knew a lot. And yet they never said a word. They should do some serious soul-searching about why the chumminess of the Capitol club came before doing what was morally right.

Until those answers are provided, and individuals responsible for abuses and cover-ups are exposed and driven out of office, every woman is justified in feeling unsafe in the Texas Capitol.

Michael Q. Sullivan
EmpowerTexans.com
12.11.17

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