by Alicia Powe
Women who allege former President Bill Clinton sexually assaulted them are calling for Congress to release the names of members of the House of Representatives who have paid off the victims of sexual harassment with a mysterious tax-payer funded “slush fund.”
After the sexual harassment allegations brought down Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, dozens of women and men have blown the whistle on the predatory practices of media figures ranging from actor Kevin Spacey and Russel Simmons to news anchors Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose.
Now the spotlight is on the question of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.
Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Leslie Milwee, all of whom claim Clinton dramatically changed their lives, jeopardized their careers and tarnished their reputations, are demanding Congress reveal the identity of the lawmakers who have played off victims of sexual indiscretions with taxpayer dollars.
“I have just one thing to say to all of you congressmen and all of you senators: We pay you,” Willey told WND. “You owe us. You owe us answers, you owe us an explanation. How did that fund start? Who started it? Who got it going?”
“Why is everybody covering for these people? Why are they being allowed to get away with this horrible, horrendous treatment of women with no accountability whatsoever to anyone?”
Willey, a former volunteer White House aide, accused Bill Clinton of making aggressive, unwanted sexual advances during a private meeting in 1993.
The men who have engaged in sexual misconduct have only one regret, Willey argued.
“The only reason they apologized is because they were caught. They had no intention of changing. It’s in their DNA and it’s not like they are going to change,” she said. “I would like to see Bill and Hillary Clinton’s perks stripped from them because of their behavior. They’ve got plenty of money that they’ve stolen from the Clinton Foundation. They won’t go without.”
More than $17 million in public money has been paid since 1997 to settle workplace disputes on Capitol Hill.
Members of Congress are able to use a taxpayer-funded account set up within the Treasury Department to quietly cover their legal expenses and settle cases of harassment lodged against them by congressional employees.
The Office of Compliance, which pays out the settlements says “a large portion of cases” it resolves stem from Capitol Hill employers including the Capitol Police and Architect of the Capitol.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., negotiated a settlement on behalf of a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct using his congressional office budget, which wasn’t even included in the $17 million total.
“We demand to hear those names next week. Not next year and not the year after that,” Willey said. “You owe us an explanation for where that $17 million went and we want that fund ended.
Melanie Morgan, a Los Angeles radio news anchor, alleges she was harassed with phone calls by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in 2000.
The way Democratic leadership and the mainstream media treated Clinton’s alleged victims has set the precedent for high-powered politicians’ abuse of power, Morgan told WND.
“We want to visit a little bit of history – it started in the 1990s when Bill Clinton was actually impeached. Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones fought the lawsuit that ended up in impeachment. We want to revisit this history because it’s happening again, in the United States Senate and in the United States Congress,” Morgan said. “We are demanding the resignation of Al Franken and John Conyers and we want it right now.”
“The Democrats have circled the wagons. They are clearly engaged in crisis fallout mode. Al Franken says that he’s kind of sorry, he doesn’t express what he’s sorry for and he’s returned to work. He needs to go home. Go home to his wife, his children and his grandchildren and think about what he did wrong there – not on my taxpayer dime.”
Morgan blasted top Democrats for defending Conyers and Frankin, while calling on Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore to step down amid a slew of sexual harassment allegations.
“John Conyers ‘Captain Underwear’ went around displaying his ‘tidy whities’ for all of these female staffers. That is completely inappropriate behavior and it needs to stop right now,” she said. “There is a distinction between Roy Moore and Congressman Conyers and Sen. Franken. [Moore] is about to receive the judgment of the voters of Alabama. His people will decide whether or not he should represent them and whether or not they believe the allegations that have been made against him. But the allegations that have come forward about Conyers and Frankin have been admitted publicly – there is photographic evidence there.”
Morgan acknowledged that many of the allegations being made against men in positions of power were likely politically motivated. She explained that she co-founded MediaEqualizer.com to fairly expose stories about sexual harassment across America in wake of “biased reporting.”
“Obviously we need to be responsible news consumers. We need to look at what was written, judge the accuracy of the reports, based on some of things that we know like the leanings of publications like the Washington Post which is clearly owned by a left-wing liberal who has an agenda,” Morgan said. “You have to determine are you going to believe what they say, or are you going to read some more.”
Media Equalizer launched the “StopTheScalpings” campaign after conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity faced unsubstantiated claims of harassment.
“We have an activism component – we go out and we target advertisers, we get engaged in boycotts. We illuminate to people what’s happening with the power of our purse and that ultimately is what’s going to cause change in America.
Broaddrick, who first came forward with allegations against Bill Clinton in 1999, urged Americans not to politicize the recent avalanche of harassment claims and encouraged women who have experienced sexual harassment courageously speak out.
“I don’t think this should be a Democrat thing or a Republican thing. This should definitely be an individual victim thing,” she said. “I get messages probably every week from victims, this is probably one huge part of my day. I answer every message. The main thing they need to do is speak to someone close to them. But they also need to remember all of the details about what happened – did they have any witnesses, is there any physical evidence? Who had they told? Sit down, right down what happened to you. If it is necessary, come forward.”
Morgan, Willey, Broaddrick, Milwee and members of the media held a news conference at the National Press Conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday demanding Frankens and Conyers resign.
The women then stormed Franken’s office demanding justice.