SACRAMENTO — There are few areas of private life that California’s legislators won’t at least attempt to meddle, which makes it that much more infuriating when the Capitol crowd can’t get its own house in order. I’m thinking, of course, about the unfolding sexual-harassment scandal, and lawmakers’ amazing efforts to basically look the other way.
Nothing to see here, just keep moving on. Maybe, by the time lawmakers get back to work in January, the whole mess will be off the news pages. Then they can go back to doing what they do best — regulating and hectoring the rest of us. But, for now, the rest of us can at least learn some stellar lessons about political hypocrisy.
One key lesson is that a lawmakers’ publicly stated positions and posturing have little to do with how they might handle any particular scandal.
The latest evidence of this comes from KPIX-TV in the Bay Area, which reported that Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, “is a vocal supporter of women’s rights, so her silence on the matter of Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra’s sexual harassment case is surprising.” But “this isn’t the first time she’s been silent when it comes to sexual harassment” and that particular San Fernando Valley Assembly member, according to the news report.
Last month, a longtime legislative staffer, Elise Flynn Gyore, told the Sacramento Bee that in 2009 then-staffer Bocanegra followed her like “prey” at a nightclub and unexpectedly “put his hands up my blouse and down my blouse and was grabbing me.” The Assembly Rules investigation found it “more likely than not that Mr. Bocanegra engaged in behavior that night which does not meet the Assembly’s expectations for professionalism.”
Bocanegra was disciplined, but the matter was brushed under the rug. Per the TV station, Bocanegra ran for his seat with the backing of the Democratic Party. He recently apologized but remains the powerful majority whip. KPIX obtained a copy of a letter 11 women…