Two More GOP Lawmakers Just Got Accused Of Sexual Harassment
Two Colorado GOP lawmakers have been accused of sexual harassment while in office, KUNC News reported Saturday.
According to the station, the allegations against Colorado state senators Randy Baumgardner and Jack Tate were corroborated by witnesses who described their behavior as “creepy.”
When asked by reporters to address the allegations, Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham refused to answer questions. Instead, he called for the matter to be handled “away from the public and the press.”.
“We ask those who feel they have been victims of harassment or inappropriate behavior at the General Assembly to file an official complaint, in confidence that their anonymity and rights will be protected,” Senate President Kevin Grantham requested. “Going forward, Senate Republican leaders cannot and will not be responding to unsubstantiated or anonymous allegations against members appearing in the press, which the existing complaint process is designed to handle.”
Sen. Grantham’s demand that sexual misconduct allegations against politicians are best handled behind closed doors is a direct insult to the victims who want to bring the conversation in the open.
One female intern who was 25 at the time said Sen. Baumgardner would often pressure her to drink with him in his office. She also recounted a story of Baumgardner complaining that she had not gone home with him a few days earlier and that he “had to leave all by myself, and walk home all by myself and lay in bed.”
“I just shook my head,” said a legislative aide who witnessed the encounter. “It was creepy.”
That same word — creepy — was also used to describe actions by Sen. Jack Tate against a former intern who was 18-years-old at the time. The inappropriate behavior allegedly lasted for two-and-a-half months.
“I really like that skirt you’re wearing,” Senator Tate alledgedly told the intern in an elevator on her first day. She claims he later said that, “if she wanted to move up in the world, give him a call.”
A fellow intern, who witnessed an encounter, said that Senator Tate “was creepy toward her.”
Six other female capitol workers also told KUNC they avoided Baumgardner. Previously, it was revealed that Baumgardner had an unregistered sex offender living in his home.
Sen. Baumgardner’s wife posted bond for the sex offender.
Baumgardner chairs the Senate Transportation and the Senate Capital Development Committees; Tate chairs the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.
Following the report, a voter joked that being a sexual harasser is a pre-requisite to be a Republican.