We noted yesterday the announcement by accused serial harasser Rep. Steve Lebsock of Adams County that he would leave the Democratic House caucus, and praise he got from prominent Republicans that seemed to open the door to Lebsock seeking a haven in that party–either formally with a party change, or perhaps to caucus with the Republican Party in the House. Minority Leader Patrick Neville seemed to further crack the door open during his opening day remarks calling for “due process” for those accused of sexual harassment.
But as 9NEWS’ Brandon Rittiman reports today, Republicans might not be so eager for Lebsock to join their caucus after all:
As of Thursday morning, Lebsock is still a registered Democrat, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
The move to leave the Democratic caucus is less significant. It’s little more than a symbolic protest on Lebsock’s part because party caucuses have no direct power in Colorado’s legislative process…
Inside the Capitol, the GOP doesn’t seem welcoming of Lebsock.
Republican House Minority Leader Patrick Neville told 9NEWS in a statement that it’s “highly doubtful the caucus would be supportive” if the Democrat tried to join their ranks. [Pols emphasis]
Two things to point out here: in the past few days, Lebsock has engaged in a series of actions apparently in an attempt at self-defense that have in fact severely worsened his position–including a 28-page “manifesto” distributed to the press and fellow legislators in which Lebsock luridly impugns the credibility of several of his accusers. Whatever good Lebsock was hoping to accomplish for his defense from distributing this bizarre and offensive document, which we have chosen not to share with the public, safe to say has not materialized.
In fact, it’s so vile that there are no polite words to describe the reaction it has generally received.
The second point is that Republicans have a very serious problem with sexual harassment under the Gold Dome whether they like it or not–and unlike the two accused Democrats who have been bounced from their committee chairs in the House, Sen. Jake Tate and Sen. Randy Baumgardner have received no discipline whatsoever. They continue to chair committees, and Baumgardner is in fact the prime sponsor of the Senate’s showcase transportation bill.
So yes, as nice as that seat pickup would be, maybe Republicans don’t need another harassment problem. They can start with addressing the ones they have.
Where does that leave Steve Lebsock? Sulking in a corner out of grabbing range, we hope.