Farenthold Isn’t the First Bad Boss in Congress, But in Current Climate, Bad Behavior Won't Stand

WASHINGTON — News that a top aide had sued Corpus Christi Rep. Blake Farenthold for sexual harassment in late 2014 was public almost as soon as the ink dried on the paperwork. So was the news a year later that she’d settled out of court.It didn’t cost him re-election in 2016. But this month, the Republican abruptly announced he’s withdrawing from the 2018 race, after news hit that taxpayers footed the bill for the $84,000 settlement, and more former staffers accused him of crude remarks and an unprofessional office culture.Farenthold is one of numerous politicians, media moguls and business executives whose fortunes have been upended in recent months amid a national gut-check over sexual misconduct.But the trigger is a bit of a mystery. The allegations weren’t new. The settlement wasn’t new. What changed? The size of the settlement? The fact that public funds were used? Or had something much bigger shifted, snaring him in a national reassessment of what behavior the public will tolerate?Recent complaints against high-powered men run the gamut from rape, sexual assault and groping to harassment and lewd, inappropriate remarks. Some of the perpetrators resigned immediately or were terminated. Others have dug in. Some, including Farenthold, found a middle ground, keeping their jobs for another year.  Continue reading...

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