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Foreign Policy Analysis
Episode 1124 | The Line: Reporting Sexual Harassment In The Legislature

Episode 1124 | The Line: Reporting Sexual Harassment In The Legislature


>>WELCOME BACK TO THE LINE. LAST WEEK, VANESSA ALARID, A
LONGTIME LOBBYIST IN SANTA FE, TOLD THE SANTA FE NEW
MEXICAN THAT FORMER STATE LAWMAKER THOMAS GARCIA
TOUCHED HER INAPPROPRIATELY AND ASKED HER FOR SEX IN
EXCHANGE FOR HIS VOTE. MR. GARCIA DENIED THE
ALLEGATIONS. WE SPOKE RECENTLY ON THE
LINE ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE ROUNDHOUSE, AND
GIOVANNA, THERE’S SORT OF AN INTERESTING OPEN QUESTION
HERE, BUT DOES ONE BELIEVE THE ALLEGATIONS RIGHT OFF
THE TOP, AND THEN WHERE DO WE GO FROM THERE? SO RIGHT OFF THE TOP, DO YOU
BELIEVE WHAT’S BEEN PROPOSED HERE? I MEAN, SHE WENT ON NATIONAL
TELEVISION, YOU’D HAVE TO THINK —
>>SO, I DON’T EVER QUESTION THAT. I MEAN, THERE ARE SO MANY OF
THESE CASES, AND IT’S MY VIEW THAT WE HAVE TO BELIEVE
WOMEN AND THE STORIES THAT THEY’RE TELLING. IT’S NOT EXACTLY EASY TO
COME OUT AND DO THAT AT ANY LEVEL, WHETHER IT’S TO THE
NEW YORK TIMES OR TO THE LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE OR
THE SENATE OR WHEREVER YOU’RE GOING TO REPORT THIS. SO WHEN WOMEN DO COME
FORWARD, I THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE THEM FOR THEIR WORD AND
BELIEVE WHAT THEY’RE SAYING.>>LET ME SHOOT ACROSS THE
TABLE, SAME QUESTION. YOU KNOW, YOU’VE DONE SOME
WORK UP THERE, TOO, AND DAN WILL TALK ABOUT THIS. I’VE WORKED UP THERE, AS
WELL. IT WOULD SEEM LOGICAL AND
APPROPRIATE TO JUST BELIEVE WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT? WHEN SOMEONE MAKES AN
ACCUSATION LIKE THAT, IT CAN’T BE — IT’S NOT A
TRIVIAL THING.>>I THINK IN THIS CASE,
IT’S ABSOLUTELY BELIEVABLE. I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANY
CREDIBILITY ISSUES THERE. AND IT’S REALLY SAD. I THINK SHE’S VERY BRAVE TO
COME FORWARD. SHE ACTUALLY SPOKE TO THE
NEW YORK TIMES BEFORE SHE SPOKE TO THE LOCAL PAPERS,
AND THAT WAS A PART OF A LARGER SERIES THAT THEY’VE
BEEN WORKING ON IN ALL OF THOSE MULTIPLE LEVELS OF
INDUSTRY. BUT I THINK IT WAS AN
IMPORTANT ONE BECAUSE IT WAS SO EXPLICIT. IT WAS SO EXPLICIT AS TO A
PARTICULAR VOTE. AND I THINK THAT THERE’S
JUST A REALLY DISGUSTING ASPECT TO THAT, THAT
SOMEBODY WOULD BE THAT BLATANT ABOUT TRADING A VOTE
FOR SEX IN THAT WAY. SO THAT’S SORT OF THE PART
THAT WAS SHOCKING TO ME, THAT SOMEBODY WOULD BE THAT
BLATANT ABOUT IT. AND THERE’S A LOT, YOU KNOW,
AS I’VE SAID BEFORE ON THE SHOW, THERE’S A LOT THAT
GOES ON UP THERE. IT DOESN’T HAPPEN — I DON’T
WANT TO PAINT WITH A BROAD BRUSH AND SAY EVERY MAN UP
THERE, OR WOMAN UP THERE, IS ENGAGED IN THAT ACTIVITY. BUT THERE’S SO MUCH OF THAT
THAT GOES ON, AND SOME OF IT IS MORE SUBTLE THAN OTHER
SITUATIONS. BUT THIS ONE WAS JUST SO
EXPLICIT THAT IT WAS SHOCKING.>>EXACTLY RIGHT. STEVE, YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS
WHEN YOU SAW MS. ALARID’S
STORY.>>I GUESS I WOULD ECHO THE
THOUGHTS OF MY PANELISTS. SHE WAS VERY BRAVE TO COME
FORWARD, AND SHE NAMED NAMES. SOME WOMEN COME FORWARD AND
THEY DON’T WANT TO NAME NAMES, BECAUSE THEY’RE GOING
TO BE ATTACKED, THEIR HISTORY IS GOING TO BE GONE
INTO. SO SHE WAS BRAVE TO DO THAT. I HAD A CHANCE TO TALK TO
MOE MAESTAS, REPRESENTATIVE MAESTAS, WHO IS THE HUSBAND,
AND –>>OF MS. ALARID.>>YES, OF MS. ALARID. AND HE TOLD ME THAT SHE
DIDN’T COME FORWARD BEFORE BECAUSE THERE WAS NO AVENUE
WITH WHICH TO COME FORWARD. SO I WENT BACK AND I
ACTUALLY LOOKED INTO IT A LITTLE BIT, AND THE ONLY
PLACE SHE COULD HAVE FILED A SEXUAL HARASSMENT CHARGE WAS
WITH THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL SERVICE. BUT THEY HAVE NO ABILITY TO
HAVE A HEARING, TO HAVE AN ADJUDICATION, TO ISSUE
SANCTIONS, TO DO ANYTHING. SO TEN YEARS AGO, AROUND
WHEN THIS HAPPENED, THERE WAS NO REASON TO COME
FORWARD. HE TOLD ME THAT SHE DID COME
FORWARD BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT EVENTS, BECAUSE OF
THE MeToo THING THAT LAURA KIND OF REFERRED TO, AND HE
ALSO TOLD ME THAT HE IS GOING TO WORK ON LEGISLATION
TO PROVIDE AN AVENUE SO THAT WOMEN CAN — MEN, TOO —
PEOPLE CAN COME FORWARD IF THEY’VE BEEN SEXUALLY
HARASSED.>>I’M GLAD YOU DID THAT,
THAT’S AN INTERESTING POINT. DAN, YOU SPENT YOUR TIME UP
THERE, OF COURSE, AND THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE
LEGISLATIVE SESSION UP THERE. IT’S NOT JUST THE STUFF THAT
HAPPENS ON THE CLOCK, SO TO SPEAK, INSIDE THE
ROUNDHOUSE, BUT THE CULTURE SORT OF CONTINUES AFTER
HOURS. A LOT OF DRINKING, A LOT OF
INFAMOUS PLACES AROUND THE ROUNDHOUSE WHERE PEOPLE GO
TO UNWIND, ALL THAT KIND OF THING. IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT THE
CULTURE THAT SUPPORTS THIS KIND OF THING? FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW,
WHAT’S GOING ON UP THERE? BECAUSE YOU HEAR A LOT OF
STORIES ABOUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS OVER THE
YEARS, AND PROBABLY LIKE STEVE MENTIONED, NO ONE
REPORTS IT BECAUSE THERE’S NO AVENUE TO DO THESE
THINGS.>>I THINK THE OTHER PROBLEM
IS — I THINK IT’S CHANGING, BUT THE OTHER PROBLEM WHEN I
WAS THERE, IT WAS JUST A BIG FRATERNITY.>>THAT’S A GOOD WORD FOR
IT.>>LIKE A GATHERING OF A
FRATERNITY HOUSE. YOU KNOW, I’M SICKENED BY
WHAT HAPPENED TO VANESSA. I’VE KNOWN VANESSA FOR 25
YEARS. SHE’S A FANTASTIC LOBBYIST. SHE’S A GREAT LADY, GREAT
MOTHER, VERY CLOSE FRIEND. I FEEL BAD THAT I WASN’T
THERE THAT SHE FELT COMFORTABLE ENOUGH TO SAY
SOMETHING TO ME, AND I APOLOGIZE FOR THAT. BECAUSE NO ONE SHOULD FEEL
THIS WAY. I HAVE A DAUGHTER AND A
WIFE, AND YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL THREATENED TO DO YOUR
JOB, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, YOU SHOULDN’T FEEL
THREATENED TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION WHEN
SOMETHING IS DONE WRONG TO YOU. I THINK THIS LEGISLATIVE
STANCE OF SAYING, WE’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY
TRANSPARENCY ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON, IS A REAL PROBLEM. AND I HOPE THE CITIZENS OF
NEW MEXICO WILL SPEAK OUT AGAINST THIS, BECAUSE I
THINK THAT JUST LIKE WE’VE SEEN IN CONGRESS, WHEN
YOU’RE USING TAXPAYER MONEY, I DON’T AGREE THAT THERE’S
NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE. YOU ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO
GET TO GO TO THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL AND TELL THEM YOUR
PROBLEM THAN GO BEFORE A BUNCH OF LEGISLATORS AND LET
THEM HEAR YOUR PROBLEM ABOUT THEIR FELLOW LEGISLATOR. I’M NOT SURE IF THAT’S THE
BEST AVENUE FOR DOING THIS. BUT WHEN I WAS THERE, THERE
WAS A LOT OF PROBLEMS. THERE WAS A LOT OF
COMPLAINTS. THERE WAS A LOT OF
CONVERSATIONS. I WAS IN LEADERSHIP AND A
PART OF THE TEAM THAT ACTUALLY HAS TO HEAR THIS
STUFF, AND I WAS AMAZED AT THE CAVALIER ATTITUDE OF
SOME LEGISLATORS ABOUT, YEAH, I SAID THAT, OR YEAH,
I DID THAT. AND SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK
IT’S SAD THAT THE STATE CAPITOL, WHICH BY THE WAY,
WE’RE THE ONLY STATE WITH A CITIZEN LEGISLATURE, IS NOT
SAFE FOR ALL CITIZENS. I DO APPLAUD NATE GENTRY AND
PETER WIRTH IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, AND BRIAN EGOLF,
I DO BELIEVE THAT WHEN THIS STUFF HAS COME TO THE
FOREFRONT RECENTLY, I DON’T BELIEVE THEY’VE WASTED ANY
TIME. I BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE
WORKING TOGETHER TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO FIX THIS. AND I TRUST THOSE GUYS. I THINK THE PETER WIRTHS AND
THE BRIAN EGOLFS AND THE NATE GENTRYS, I THINK THAT
THEY’RE GOING TO WORK COLLECTIVELY WITH THE WOMEN
IN THE LEGISLATURE AND THE MEN IN THE LEGISLATURE TO
COME UP WITH A PROCESS.>>THIS LAP, THIS COMING
SESSION?>>OH, I THINK SOMETHING
WILL HAPPEN, BOTH INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY.>>LAURA, WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>I HOPE SOMETHING DOES
HAPPEN. I THINK IT WILL BE
CHALLENGING, BECAUSE IT IS A 30-DAY SESSION, AND IT’S NOT
DOING SOMETHING OFFICIAL. IT WILL HAVE TO BE A PART OF
THE CALL. THERE’S SOME ADMINISTRATIVE
PROCESS ISSUES THERE. BUT CERTAINLY AS A TOPIC FOR
DISCUSSION, AND I’M GLAD THAT IT IS. BUT ONE OF THE THINGS TO
KEEP IN MIND IS, WHEN IT COMES TO VANESSA’S
PARTICULAR SITUATION, OR ANY OF THESE ALLEGATIONS THAT
HAVE COME OUT RECENTLY, IT’S ABOUT POWER. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT A
SITUATION WHERE SOMEBODY IN A POSITION OF POWER IS
ESSENTIALLY TRADING ON THAT POWER, EXTORTING SEX FOR IT,
AND THAT’S THE REAL PROBLEM HERE. I MEAN, EVEN IF WE DO HAVE A
PROCESS, WHICH I GUESS THERE HAS BEEN A PROCESS OR AN
AVENUE TO REPORT SOMETHING TO THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
SERVICES OR WHATEVER, PEOPLE OFTEN DON’T TAKE —
>>AND THOSE ARE CONFIDENTIAL, SO THEY WON’T
EVEN DISCLOSE WHAT HAPPENED OR WHAT THE COMPLAINT WAS.>>BUT EVEN IF THEY DO, I
THINK THERE’S A RELUCTANCE ON THE PART OF THE WOMAN TO
SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH A HIGH
COST IN TERMS OF JUST TRUST ISSUES AND ALL OF A SUDDEN
THEIR BEHAVIOR IS CALLED INTO QUESTION. I THINK IT’S A VERY
COMPLICATED ISSUE. AND AT THE LEGISLATURE,
ESPECIALLY IN VANESSA’S CASE, OR ANYBODY WHO’S A
LOBBYIST THAT WORKS THERE, YOU DON’T WANT TO SORT OF BE
THAT PERSON THAT SUDDENLY, YOU KNOW, YOU DON’T KNOW IF
YOU’RE GOING TO BE BLAMED FOR ALL ACTIVITY AND PEOPLE
ARE SUDDENLY GOING TO SHUN YOU FOR HAVING SAID
SOMETHING. SO I THINK THAT KIND OF
CULTURE NEEDS TO CHANGE.>>I ALWAYS FELT LIKE PART
OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT SHORT TIME OF THE SESSION. I’M SORRY, SINCE WE DON’T
HAVE A FULL-TIME LEGISLATURE, YOU KNOW WHAT I
MEAN, YOU CAN KIND OF DALLY AROUND —
>>NO, NO.>>NO? OKAY.>>EITHER YOU’RE A GOOD
HUMAN BEING 24 HOURS A DAY OR YOU’RE NOT.
AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, I APPRECIATE WHAT LAURA IS
SAYING, BUT THEY DON’T NEED LAWS. WE HAVE PLENTY OF LAWS ON
THE BOOKS. THEY CAN BRING IN RULES AND
REGULATIONS TO GOVERN THEMSELVES, WHICH THEY HAVE
THE RIGHT TO DO, THAT COULD BRING SWIFT RETRIBUTION TO
PEOPLE THAT ARE INVOLVED IN THIS, AND THEY CAN DO THINGS
LIKE — YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, YOU
FILE A COMPLAINT, AND A BUNCH OF PEOPLE GO BEHIND A
CLOSED DOOR AND THEY DECIDE IF THEIR COLLEAGUE IS
GUILTY. HOW ABOUT MAKING THOSE
COMPLAINTS PUBLIC BECAUSE, YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK IF
YOU MADE A COMPLAINT AGAINST ME, I WOULD LIKE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO PROVE MYSELF INNOCENT, AND THEN YOU CAN
COME BACK OUT AND SAY, LOOK, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. I THINK AT THE END OF THE
DAY, THERE’S A LOT THAT CAN BE DONE, IT DOESN’T REQUIRE
THE SIGNING OF BILLS, IF THEY HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL
AND THE DESIRE TO REGULATE THEMSELVES, AND THAT’S GOING
TO BE THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION. BUT I DO THINK, HAVING
SERVED WITH MOST OF THESE FOLKS AND PEOPLE LIKE PETER
WIRTH AND NATE GENTRY AND BRIAN EGOLF, I DON’T THINK
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT’S JUST GOING TO GO AWAY.>>THEY’RE GOING TO GET IN
FRONT OF IT, EXACTLY. LET ME SWING TO SOMETHING
THAT’S A PART OF THIS THAT WE CAN’T IGNORE, GIOVANNA,
IS THE MIKE PADILLA SITUATION AND THE FACT THAT
AS WE SIT HERE TAPING THIS, THERE COULD A DECISION FROM
THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP ABOUT WHETHER HE KEEPS HIS
MAJORITY WHIP SEAT OR NOT, AND WE’RE SORT OF WATCHING,
NOT REALLY FEELING ANYTHING QUITE YET. BUT YOUR SENSE OF THAT
SITUATION. MR. PADILLA, SHOULD HE TAKE
THE RIGHT ROAD AND JUST SORT OF WALK FROM THAT POSITION,
SAVE EVERYONE SOME TIME HERE, OR IS IT INEVITABLE?>>YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT
WE’LL FIND OUT VERY SOON THAT HE PROBABLY ISN’T IN A
LEADERSHIP POSITION, AND I THINK THAT’S OKAY
CONSIDERING EVERYTHING THAT’S GOING ON. I DO WANT TO SAY, THOUGH,
THAT THERE IS A CULTURE OF SEXISM AT THE LEGISLATURE. I MEAN, IT’S JUST THERE. AND THE STORY THAT CAME OUT
WITH VANESSA AND ALL OF THAT, THAT WAS VERY SPECIFIC
AND THAT WAS, AS OTHER FOLKS ON THE PANEL HAVE SAID, IT
WAS VERY SPECIFIC VOTE TRADING FOR SEX. A LOT OF THE OTHER STUFF
THAT GOES ON UP THERE IS WAY MORE SUBTLE, A LOT MORE
SUBTLE. I’VE BEEN A PART OF 20, I
THINK, LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS AT THIS POINT EITHER AS A
LOBBYIST OR A STAFFER, ACTUALLY. TO BEGIN WITH, I WAS LIKE IN
THE SENATE STAFF. SO I HAVE SEEN A LOST OF
THIS STUFF, AND IT IS VERY SUBTLE, AND IT’S HARD TO
JUST SAY, OH, WE JUST NEED WOMEN TO COME AND SPEAK UP
AND WE’LL MAKE IT ALL BETTER, THERE’S SOME BAD
APPLES IN THE LEGISLATURE. NOT REALLY, NO. I THINK IT’S MORE PERSUASIVE
THAN THAT, AND I THINK IT’S GOING TO TAKE REALLY LOOKING
AT THE SYSTEM AND THE SYSTEMS THAT SUPPORT SEXISM. JUST THE WHOLE THING NEEDS
TO BE LOOKED AT IN A COMPREHENSIVE WAY INSTEAD OF
JUST POINTING FINGERS AND SAYING, WELL, WE DEALT WITH
IT BECAUSE WE PUT SOME RULES IN PLACE, YOU KNOW. I THINK WE NEED A LONGER
VIEW OF THIS.>>THAT’S A GOOD POINT
THERE. WE’LL LEAVE IT THERE. NOW, WHEN WE COME BACK TO
THE LINE, WE’LL DISCUSS THE CURRENT CANDIDATES IN THE
LT. GOVERNOR’S RACE IN 2018.

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