Saturday, April 17, 2010

Capitol Hill Kept Massa's Secret (Bartenders)

"It took just three weeks for upstate New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa to resign his seat in Congress after accusations surfaced that he had sexually harassed members of his staff. The long trail of unwanted and often abusive advances that preceded his resignation—and why his alleged behavior went unreported for so long—highlights how much Capitol Hill is a feudal society, with each member the lord of his or her own territory," writes Eleanor Clift in Newsweek yesterday (which you can read HERE).

"It's reasonable to assume that some people outside Massa's inner circle knew that he'd gone off the rails, but each member's office is a fiefdom, revolving around and reflecting the wishes of the elected official. There are thousands of résumés for every slot, and the young people fortunate enough to land a job or an internship are worked mercilessly hard and are willing to do almost anything to get ahead. It's an environment ripe for exploitation."

If that's not interesting enough for you to click on her column, I should note that it also contains some details about how, in the weeks before his exposure, Massa allegedly propositioned a bartender at a funeral service for a young marine killed in Afghanistan. And it was apparently that incident, first reported on a Capitol Hill blog, that led to all of this coming out about him.

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