The response to sexual harassment allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein has spread to statehouses nationwide, with hundreds of lawmakers, lobbyists and consultants coming forward to say the problem is pervasive in the halls of political power.
While political sex scandals aren’t new, the Weinstein allegations and ensuing #MeToo social media movement have put an intense spotlight on the issue in politics. More women are coming forward with stories, some are naming names and states are making fresh promises of investigations and of legislation.
California has formal written policies for legislative employees on sexual harassment. However the rules are less clear for others who work at the capitol, including lobbyists and consultants.
In Sacramento, a #MeToo letter circulated last week with signers that included lawmakers, lobbyists, political consultants and legislative staff members. The list has turned into an organized campaign called “We Said Enough.”
In response, humiliated Senators hired an outside law firm on Monday to investigate the claims.