“BathroomGate” Cheap Shot Goes Over Very, Very Badly

Senate President Kevin Grantham.

Colorado Public Radio’s Sam Brasch updates the bizarre turn that the controversy over widespread sexual harassment at the Colorado General Assembly took earlier this week–in an apparent attempt to distract from investigated and credible allegations of sexual harassment by at least three Republican state senators, a complaint alleging that a Democratic senator used an unmarked women’s bathroom at the state capitol:

[Sen. Daniel] Kagan said the story is a massive exaggeration. Like other Democrats, he believes the claim is nothing more than an effort to distract from harassment complaints filed against Republicans. Even so, the story has resulted in a formal complaint against Kagan, and a new round of partisan rancor in the Capitol.

This situation started Friday when Kagan joined a chorus of Democratic senators who took to the chamber’s microphone to call for the expulsion of Republican Sen. Randy Baumgardner. An investigation has found Baumgardner likely groped an aide in 2016. Senate leadership has so-far declined to act on the findings beyond a letter that acknowledged he had voluntarily agreed to take sensitivity training and resign as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee…

Democrats have been increasingly confrontational in their demands for leadership to do more. During his turn at the mic, Kagan took a graphic approach, reciting the legal details of what constitutes sexual assault, and noted, “many butt-slappers and thigh-strokers fancy that they are merely flirting and flattering.”

On Monday, Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham called Kagan’s remarks “despicable.” He said many members were visibly shaken. Then, Grantham dropped a new allegation from his Republican members, noting the speech came from a man “that is known — known — to frequent the women’s restroom.”

Today’s story explains the details that most readers already know: the two second-floor bathrooms used by senators and senate staff are not marked as gender-specific bathrooms, or even as bathrooms at all. The bathroom that includes urinals suitable for men is unlocked and publicly accessible, while the “women’s bathroom” has a keypad to limit access. Sen. Kagan claims he made the mistake of using the wrong unmarked bathroom only once, but the simple fact that the bathroom is unmarked–and that there is no allegation of any improper behavior beyond using the wrong unmarked bathroom–severely limits the amount of scandal that can be reasonably derived from his mistake.

Once you understand that, the GOP’s over-the-top freakout on Sen. Kagan compounds the disgrace of the Senate Republican majority’s failure to address multiple credible allegations of sexual harassment by Republican lawmakers. Yes, Sen. Kagan may have used the wrong bathroom. With no allegation of any accompanying misconduct, that is not even in the same ballpark as repeatedly touching the posterior of a teenage legislative aide, or suggesting a date to further an aide’s career.

In fact, we shouldn’t even have to say so. It should be obvious.

The real issue appears to be that Sen. Kagan called out Republicans for protecting sexual harassers in their midst in explicit terms on the floor of the Senate last Friday. Unfortunately for the GOP, their retaliation against Kagan invites such an easy charge of hypocrisy–not to mention hyperbole–that in the end it is counterproductive for Republicans hoping to muddy the waters around their own misdeeds. Instead of taking the pressure off Senate Republicans, this nonsensical clamor actually makes things worse.

And for term-limited Senate President Kevin Grantham, a pathetic legacy is taking shape.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Everything you say about Kevin Grantham applies to Crisanta Duran, Pols. And it's worse. After Lebsock harassed Rep. Winter, Duran promoted Lebsock to a committee chairmanship. Democrats then attempted to keep the matter quiet, and succeeded enough that Lebsock won re-election.

    If Gratham is covering up, so was Crisanta and Crisanta did it for longer. THAT exposes your partisan motives, Colorado Pols. We all know you have a double standard, that's why Hancock isn't getting the same amount of attention.

    Cheap shots all around!

    • unnamed says:

      And yet, you called the Lebsock investigation a witch hunt and whined about how Lebsock did not get his due process and implied that the women accusing Lebsock wete lying.  

      Btw did you read the Fox News article about the California teacher who fired his gun in the classroom and injured 3 students?

    • Voyageur says:

      Are you off your meds again, Fluffy, or just need to be repotted?

    • JohnInDenver says:

      " After Lebsock harassed Rep. Winter, was heard in a disciplinary discussion (which is pretty close to "due process"), came to an agreement about future training and behavior with Rep. Winter and Rep. Duran, and apologized to Rep. Winter, Duran promoted Lebsock to a committee chairmanship. "

      There … fixed it for you.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Everything you say about Kevin Grantham applies to Crisanta Duran, Pols. And it's worse.

      Duran allowed a floor vote on what to do with Lebsock. When is Grantham going to do the same?

      And by the way Moddy, what did you think of the election results in PA-18?

    • spaceman65 says:

      The difference, pea brain, is that Lebsock has been expelled, with due process.  Grantham is doing exactly nothing.  So the only double standard in play is the war between your words and your other words.  Stay the course, kakistocrat-sniffer

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      The only foot-draggers in the Lebsock case were:

      1.  Lebsock

      2. Patrick Neville, and a handful of nutter minions

      . . . oh, yeah, and . . . 

      3.  You, you disingenuous dim-witted fucking pinhead ignoramus.


    • MADCO says:

      This is a liberal site.

      The mayor should resign. Crisanta Duran should resign her leadership position and let the voters decide whether or not to reelect her

      But- you are still a douche weasel.


  2. Ejs says:

    Hey Coloradopols, why no article on fact that KC Becker and Crisanta Duran have swept the sexual harrassment complaint against Democratic Rep  J G under rug. I guess you only care about writing about Republicans, no bias here. 

    • unnamed says:

      Calling one of Lebsock's accusers an "ugly cow" totally undercuts your argument.  Also, what about the other accusers against Lebsock that filed complaints? 

    • mamajama55 says:

      Ejs, first of all, welcome to Pols. I see that our ad recruiting  quality trolls has brought in some new talent. Keeps things lively around here. Nice of you to volunteer.

      So I looked at the list of current Colorado legislators, and there is only one Democratic Rep with the initials "J G". That would be HD52's Dr.  Joann Ginal.

      I was very impressed with Dr. Ginal. She is apparently a powerful voice for reproductive choice, and for the rights of communities impacted by oil and gas overreach. As a medical doctor (reproductive endocrinologist), she is a valuable expert resource on health and reproductive rights issues.

      But, alas for your cause, absolutely nothing sexual or even faintly scandalous. What is this horrible "complaint" that was made, and against which Rep was it made?

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