sexual harassment

Illustrator Pat Byrnes​

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, state lawmakers have tried to address sexual harassment in a variety of ways. We explore what's been done and what some say may be ahead.

Accusations of harassment from a campaign worker against her supervisor and close aide to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Kevin Quinn, led to Quinn’s firing last month. Madigan is still struggling with the ripple effects from Alaina Hampton’s claims, with some observers predicting this could be the downfall for the powerful politician.

Hampton’s story has also brought attention to how political campaigns deal with sexual harassment.

This week, House Speaker and Chairman of Illinois' Democratic Party Michael Madigan faced more criticism over his handling of sexual harassment allegations against party workers and lawmakers.  Also, Governor Bruce Rauner is not saying if he supports gun control legislation in Illinois.

Bernie Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register and NPR Illinois' Maureen Foertsch McKinney join the panel.

Speaker Michael Madigan and attorney Heather Wier Vaught respond to questions following campaign woker Alaina Hamilton filling a sexual harassment charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Will the pressure be too much for the long-standing speaker and state party chair?

A series of gun control measures advanced in the Illinois Statehouse this week — requiring state licenses for gun dealers, banning "bump stocks," and raising the purchase age for so-called assault weapons, among other bills.

In Washington, an Illinois case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Janus v. AFSCME challenges "fair share" fees for workers who are in collective bargaining units but don't want to join a union, and could have dire financial implications for public employee labor unions across the country.

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan tried to set the record straight on how his office handles sexual harassment claims. The Speaker issued a one-page press release on Tuesday with brief summaries of complaints involving staffers working in his state office. 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A new panel will look at how to curb sexual harassment and abuse of campaign workers. It follows scrutiny of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Five of the six Democrats running for governor met in Springfield for a debate. House Speaker Michael Madigan was once again a hot topic, as the speaker had earlier in the week cut ties with a second aide over allegations of harassment.

Meanwhile, Republicans were distancing themselves from their own problem candidate — one who'd used racial and anti-gay language in a conversation with Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold.

This week, Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address before the General Assembly and House Speaker Michael Madigan fired a long-time campaign worker due to sexual harassment allegations.

Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should at least temporarily step down as head of the Democratic Party, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. 

After several weeks of investigation, Tom Ashbrook has been dismissed as host of On Point.

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Republican Governor Bruce Rauner presents his State of the State address in Springfield on Wednesday. Those who watch it might notice one color in particular being worn by many of those in attendance. We spoke with Chicago consultant and activist, Becky Carroll, about why:

State Rep. David McSweeney at podium
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

Two new proposals at the Illinois statehouse aim to hold lawmakers and other government officials accountable in cases of harassment or discrimination.

The stories of sexual assault and harassment that emerged last year seemed to touch every industry — Hollywood, hotels, restaurants, politics and news organizations, including this one. Many of those stories focused on what happened, but most didn't or couldn't get to the question of why: Why do some people, mainly men, sexually harass their colleagues?

Psychologist John Pryor has been thinking about this for more than three decades, and he has created a test in an effort to measure a person's tendency to harass someone. It's called the "Likelihood to Sexually Harass Scale."

Updated, Jan. 11, 4:00 p.m. ET: This article was updated to include new allegations of sexual assault made against Dutoit.

John Cullerton and Christine Radogno
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As we get ready to welcome 2018, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another wild year in Illinois government and politics.

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Illinois lawmakers acted quickly last month in response to sexual harassment allegations at the statehouse.  But several female legislators say this isn't a quick fix.  They say the process was rushed and not enough thought was given to explore alternative options.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, says the new policies were not inclusive of everyone affected by the issue—such as legislative staff and lobbyists. She says she hopes newly formed legislative task forces in the House and Senate will resolve this concern. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican challenger Rep. Jeanne Ives hit the road this week. On the Democratic side, J.B. Pritzker sets a deadline for releasing his tax returns, after Sen. Daniel Biss compared him to President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, Rauner signs ethics legislation that will allow the new legislative inspector general to investigate a backlog of complaints dating back nearly three years.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly took some steps last week to address concerns of sexual harassment in the statehouse. But some lawmakers themselves don't think legislators policing each other is the best approach.

The Illinois General Assembly's fall veto session is over, lawmakers have been though sexual harassment awareness training, and Comptroller Susana Mendoza is beginning to pay down the backlog of bills.

Daisy Contreras / NPR Illinois

With the final week of veto session underway, the Illinois General Assembly took action meant to address sexual harassment at the state Capitol. 

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

In the wake of Harvey Weinstein's downfall due to sexual assault and harassment claims from numerous women - it's glaringly apparent that the issue is not limited to a certain industry or segment of society. Statehouses across the nation have joined in the #MeToo movement. Some are saying state legislatures harbor environments where such activity is commonplace.

More allegations of sexual harassment in state government — and this time someone is naming names. But with a watchdog position vacant for years, who's holding lawmakers accountable?

Rauner loses a string of veto overrides in the Illinois House, but avoids disaster on a few key bills. Meanwhile, allegations of widespread sexual misconduct prompt a quick legislative response in the Statehouse.

Treasurer Dan Rutherford
Brian Mackey/WUIS

A former state employee on Thursday filed more allegations of political and sexual harassment against Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford. He's also expanding the list of defendants to include Mitt Romney's presidential campaign organization.

Edmund Michalowski quit the treasurer's office and sued Rutherford shortly before this year's Republican primary, driving his boss to last place in the race for governor.

His initial lawsuit was dismissed last week, but he was allowed to file another version.

danrutherford.org

Treasurer Dan Rutherford appears willing to support his party no matter what, even as he maintains that another candidate for governor is trying to take him down.

During a debate in Chicago last month, Rutherford, along with the other Republican candidates for governor in attendance, made a pledge to support whomever ends up being the nominee.

Though venture capitalist Bruce Rauner wasn't there, his spokesman says he'll do the same.

Host Amanda Vinicky and guests Charlie Wheeler (UIS), Bob Gough (Quincy Journal), and Andy Maloney (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) discuss accusation being addressed quietly by treasurer Dan Rutherford.

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