BREAKING: Harassment Complaint Filed Against Sen. Baumgardner

Sen. Randy Baumgarder (right center).

KUNC’s Bente Birkeland breaks the latest news in the growing and sordid story of sexual harassment in the Colorado General Assembly: a formal complaint filed against GOP Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs.

It’s been a long time coming:

A former legislative aide has filed a sexual harassment complaint against Republican state Sen. Randy Baumgardner for inappropriately touching her.

The woman alleges that Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs slapped and grabbed her buttocks about four times over a three month period during the 2016 legislative session when she worked at the State Capitol. She alleges that each incident happened inside the Capitol building during her workday, often while she was walking through a corridor next to the Senate Chamber.

She wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution. The formal process allows the complaint to remain private.

Birkeland confirms something we had already heard, in fact well before the present controversy over widespread sexual harassment at Capitol has been in the headlines–Sen. Baumgardner’s alleged treatment of women was no secret, and he is one of the men who women of all occupations in the building warned one another to keep their distance from.

“I just thought this was something you had to push aside. I always knew he was someone to stay away from,” [the legislative aide] said. “He’s just unsavory. They’re like, that’s how he is. It’s very well known.”

But when we reported on Nov. 16 that a separate woman, intern Megan Creeden, allegedly had many uncomfortable encounters with Baumgardner during the 2016 legislative session, she said she was outraged and decided to file a formal complaint.

It’s gross. And it’s no secret.

Despite this, during the 2017 legislative session, Sen. Baumgardner served at the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and the vice-chair of the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee, and vice-chair of the joint Capital Development Committee. The common knowledge of Sen. Baumgardner’s alleged treatment of women subjects Senate leadership to every bit of the criticism that has been directed at House leadership for failing to punish Rep. Steve Lebsock–even more so, since in Lebsock’s case a process was followed to resolve the prior complaint against him.

That’s a nice way of saying that as of now, armchair morality czars are on notice–to call for resignations in Senate leadership like they’ve maligned the first Latina Speaker of the House, or to (our preference) knock off this hypocritical headhunting and senseless victim blaming.

Because the only ones responsible for these violations are the men who can’t keep their hands to themselves.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Pseudonymous says:

    Anyone who knew about this behavior and failed to protect people employed at the capitol, or whose employment required them to interact with legislators, should be gone from that place.  If these victims were put at risk because others, with power themselves, were unwilling to have the barest decency to intervene against these predators, fuck the legislators and their parties.  You don't put people you believe to be predators, whether that's Lebsock or Baumgardner, in positions of even greater power by giving them chairmanships.  If you're unable to expose them because you're protecting victims who might be subjected to retaliation, fine, but Jesus Christ, don't elevate them.

  2. Pseudonymous says:

    Based on the reporting, this may be a more appropriate hand placement.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Imagine a legislature with only females left to legislate….How much shit would we get done???!!!

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Don't get too giddy about that, MJ. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Marilyn Musgrave walked into a legislative chamber as the new leadership of the majority party. How much shit you gonna get done with them?

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        And where exactly are Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and Marilyn Musgrave now?

        Don't misunderstand – I'm not promoting the argument that women are inherently more honorable or effective than men. Certainly there are plenty of Joni Ernsts making 'em squeal, and Vicki Marbles lecturing Boy Scouts.

        But if you check the link I posted, or many other similar ones, you do see a pattern of women in power being able to work in, yes, a bipartisan way to accomplish common goals, i.e. get shit done.

        Plus, if all the menfolk were so busy thinking with the little head that they got no bills passed and were forced to resign because of the busy hands, well, somebody's got to mind the store.

        Don’t forget, it was three Republican women, plus McCain, that saved us from Trumpcare.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          "three Republican women"   Washington Post now wants money in order to access your link. So you know………

          • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

            Here's a non-paywalled link to the same story from the Portland Press Herald.

            There are many liberal lefty sites carrying the story about how Republican women killed Trumpcare, but you've written that you think those sites aren't credible.

            I just hope to Goddess that the women, or other Republicans of conscience like McCain, come through for us again in killing this tax bill monster.

            • ParkHill says:

              Susan Collins just announced that she will vote for the Plutocrat Tax Cut bill that kills Obamacare by removing the mandate; Three legged stool, and she is happy to cut off one of the legs.

              She got a promise from Trump that he would support her bill.

              She got another promise that the House-Senate conference committee will not just vote up the Senate tax bill. 

              Is she stupid, evil or a tool? I guess she's a Republican – no conscience.

  4. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    On the whole, I find women to be more effective than men because they are more concerned with accomplisment than credit.   There are, of course, many, many exceptions to that rule.  But it is the way to bet.

  5. ModeratusModeratus says:

    There's a process. Follow the process. Why does no liberal care about the rights of the accused anymore?

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