I want to thank The Austin Chronicle
for your recent attention to the culture of chronic sexual abuse in the Texas Legislature ["A Work in Progress
," News, Dec. 22]; like many Texans, I've been horrified (though not surprised) by recent reports in the Daily Beast, the Texas Tribune, and here in the Chronicle
Specifically, I commend the Chronicle
for pointing out that the Texas House's new “sexual harassment” policy is a pathetic joke; the notion that unenforceable “training requirements” will change anything is laughable.
Nevertheless, I think the Chronicle
missed a major aspect of the story: Charlie Geren, the committee chairman tasked with enforcing the new policy, married a lobbyist six months ago. Furthermore, while their marriage is a recent development, they've been publicly gallivanting around town for most of the past decade. One would think that the committee chairman tasked with overseeing the new sexual harassment policy being engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship with a lobbyist might be a detail Chronicle
readers would find newsworthy.
And that's before we get to the fact that the Texas Tribune caught Charlie Geren lying about the number of sexual misconduct complaints he's received in a December 1st report.
Otherwise, I want to thank the Chronicle
for its attention to this issue. I encourage the Chronicle
to continue to give it priority billing. The only way behavior in the Texas Legislature will change is if all Texans of good conscience, regardless of where they stand politically, demand it.