This morning, from Politico:
“The Office of House Employment Counsel operates under the auspices of the House clerk’s office and advises members on employment practices. It also facilitates investigations into employee complaints… But what happens afterward is murky: The office appears to serve House members and their offices – not necessarily the employees – and makes no public accounting of its determinations or its expenditures. A spokesperson for the office declined to say how many sexual harassment complaints or other investigations it’s handled in recent years, citing attorney-client privilege. It also declined to reveal the firms that it hired or the amount paid to them. In addition, both Democratic and Republican House leadership offices declined to answer questions about the internal investigations. The revelation that there is a separate office facilitating and paying for sexual harassment investigations, with little transparency and apparently little oversight, rankled critics of Congress’s handling of sexual harassment, who said that without established procedures and a commitment to transparency the office may be playing more of a role covering up offenses than revealing them.”
So in other words, you and I are paying people to work in an office whose services include structuring negotiated payments to resolve sexual abuse and harassment cases, and you and I are paying the victims in these cases, to keep quiet about what happened to them. But you and I are not allowed to know how much of our money is being flushed down the toilet to keep you and I from knowing how many and how bad the congressional deviants are. I think that if my congressman is not personally involved in his own sexual abuse cover-up, then through the very existence of the secret Office of House Employment Counsel, he is at least complicit by implication of covering up abusive practices of his colleagues.
Why do I have a feeling this is going to change under public scrutiny now that the press has dragged it out in the open? By the way, this is not fake news. This is the kind of revelation that occurs in a country with a free press. And that’s a good thing,