Colorado Democrats have become embroiled in their very own sexual harassment scandal. At the center of it is House Speaker, Crisanta Duran.
Crisanta Duran had appeared at the DNC Convention where she had praised Hillary.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from or how you got here, you are special and your potential is as big as America itself,” Duran said to young people in her speech. “That’s what Hillary Clinton believes. That’s why she’s spent a lifetime fighting for every child.”
And Duran is the same kind of "fighter" as Hillary Clinton.
Duran didn't harass anyone. But she does stand accused of covering up harassment.
The quandary started last week when public radio station KUNC reporter Bente Birkland broke the story that state Rep. Faith Winter had gone public with accusations of extreme sexual harassment by fellow state lawmaker state Rep. Steve Lebsock, both Democrats.
Winter said — and witnesses corroborated — that a drunken Lebsock verbally and physically accosted her at an end-of-session party in May 2016. More women have recently come forward to level similar accusations of sexual harassment. That prompted Duran and others on Friday to call for his resignation, which was the logical move.
...but Duran had known about it all along. And promoted him.
But stories in The Denver Post and other media revealed that at the time of Lebsock’s stunt, Duran was Democratic House majority leader. She had been part of the discussion with Winter and former House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst regarding what to do about the harassment. Winter, as do many victims of these “legal” assaults, didn’t want to go public so she could protect herself. Her choice is neither unusual nor does it in any way reflect poorly on her.
Several weeks later, Duran was elevated to House speaker for the 2017 legislature. She tabbed Lebsock as chairman of the House Local Government Committee, which is an honor and position of some power. She did this knowing what Lebsock had done a few months earlier, and that other women had said they had similar bad experiences with him, according to Post reports.
Colorado Dems have responded by attacking Duran's critics.
Since then, we’ve taken huge grief from numerous Democrats and operatives, saying we were off-mark to do anything but point out Lebsock’s sick transgressions.
That’s so wrong, and on endless levels.
Lebsock's own count is up to 9.
Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat, has been accused by at least nine women so far of making unwanted, relentless and lewd sexual advances on women, including fellow lawmaker Rep. Faith Winter, according to stories by the Associated Press and The Denver Post.
Some of these acts occurred in front of witnesses. Yet Colorado Dems covered it up. Even while they knew something was wrong.
House committee appointments are at the speaker’s sole discretion, but a Duran spokesman said she would not comment on her decision to make him chairman. Still, House leaders acknowledged the situation when they worked to assign legislative spaces for women away from Lebsock’s office.
How nice of them.
Lebsock did not directly address the new allegations when contacted late Friday. “I have worked my entire adult life protecting women, children and the most vulnerable. I will continue fighting for working class families and people without a voice at the Capitol.”
Another progressive hero.