If I sound like a broken record, it’s just as annoying for me as it is for you. If anyone on Capitol Hill had taxpayer money fund payments to people who had legitimate claims of sexual misconduct, that Representative or Senator should resign. John Conyers has. Blake Farenthold should. Alcee Hastings should as well.
A former congressional staff member named Winsome Packer claimed that the representative “touched her, made unwanted sexual advances, and threatened her job.”
She was stationed in Vienna and was required to travel with Hastings to other foreign countries. She said in her lawsuit that Hastings repeatedly asked to stay at her apartment or to visit her hotel room. Packer also said he frequently hugged her, and once asked her what kind of underwear she was wearing.
Hastings has the highest number we’ve seen so far, paying out $220,000 to a former staffer who made credible claims of sexual misconduct against him. Just because he claims he didn’t know about the payout doesn’t mean he’s innocent.
Here’s the way I see it. If the claims are so credible that Congress deems it necessary to pay them off for their silence, then that’s as good as an admission of guilt. I don’t care if they all sign a waiver saying the politician does not admit to wrongdoing. If they did nothing wrong, fight it. It’s almost as bad to pay people off for making false accusations as it is to pay them off to keep the quiet about legitimate accusations. Either way, if they pay, they need to go.
Representative Hastings is just the latest who needs to go. As Scott Boyd pointed out, the fact that he claims he didn’t even know about the payout should be a clear indicator he needs to leave Capitol Hill. Congress paid off a congressional staffer on a Congressman’s behalf, and said Congressman didn’t have his finger on the pulse of the nation enough to know it was being done for him. This guy’s either an idiot, a creep, or both. He needs to be gone.