Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) Retires Under Sexual Harassment Claims, Endorses Son To Continue Political Dynasty

Representative John Conyers. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Representative John Conyers. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Michigan's John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, civil rights icon, and longest serving member of the US House of Representatives, announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring “today” amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment and a report that he paid more than $27,000 to keep an accuser quiet. 

The effective date is at once and not at the end of Conyers' term. It comes with yet another charge levied against Conyers today. Elisa Grubbs, who said that she worked for Conyers from 2001-13, claims that in addition to his inappropriate conduct with her, she saw him touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of Marion Brown, Grubbs' cousin, and other female employees working for the congressman on "multiple occasions."

“Rep. Conyers slid his hand up my skirt and rubbed my thighs while I was sitting next to him in the front row of a church,” Grubbs said. "When Rep. Conyers would inappropriately touched me like this, my eyes would pop out and I would be stunned in disbelief,” Grubbs wrote in an affidavit posted on Twitter by Brown’s attorney, Lisa Bloom.

Mr. Conyers has endorsed his son, John Conyers III to replace him. Seriously! Do the voters or other possible people wanting to run have anything to say about this House seat? 

Congresswomen Jackie Speier & Brenda Lawrence Set To Deal With Capitol Hill's 'Toothless' . . Sexual Harassment Policy, 'A Joke'

“There’s no accountability whatsoever,” Rep. Jackie Speier said Thursday. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“There’s no accountability whatsoever,” Rep. Jackie Speier said Thursday. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Politico writes that two female lawmakers -- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif) and Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) -- and several congressional staffers will are working on new legislation calling for an overhaul of the Congressional compliance office, in view of the landslide of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations mounting across media, Hollywood, state politics and just about every American workplace from the New York/DC corridor to California -- with touchdowns also in middle America. 

The compliance office is today "constructed to protect the institution -- and to impede the victim from getting justice," according to Congresswoman Speier. This is not her first attempt, having introduced the same bill every year since 2014.

“Many of us in Congress know what it’s like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long,” Speier continued. “It’s time to throw back the curtain on the repulsive behavior that has thrived in the dark without consequences.”

In an interview Thursday, Speier called the OCC “toothless” and “a joke.” She said “it encumbers the victim in ways that are indefensible.”

“There’s no accountability whatsoever,” she said. “It’s rigged in favor of the institution and the members, and we can’t tolerate that.” Politico writes that "each congressional office operates as its own small, tightly controlled fiefdom with its own rules and procedures, which makes it that much harder to come forward.

In policies that are difficult to comprehend, before filing a complaint against an alleged perpetrator, victims are required to submit to as long as three months of mandated “counseling" and “mediation,” and a "cooling off period," before filing a complaint against the alleged perpetrator. Welcome to the Dark Ages in the boys club. 

In announcing her new legislation Congresswoman Speier shared her experience years ago as a congressional staff, when the office's chief of staff "held my face, kissed me and stuck his tongue in my mouth."

“Many of us in Congress know what it’s like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long,” Speier continued. “It’s time to throw back the curtain on the repulsive behavior that has thrived in the dark without consequences.”

Stay tuned, because this entire conversation should be getting much more attention this time around. Earlier in the week Dem. Women Senators Warren, McCaskill, Heitkamp & Hirono Outline Their #MeToo Stories On 'Meet The Press'

MSNBC's Joy Reid Lights Her Own Bonobo Woman Torch At MSNBC

Josef Adalian zeroes in on one of AOC's most respected journalists -- MSNBC's Joy Reid. Her influence at MSNBC extends far beyond her two-hour 'AM Joy" show on weekend mornings, with the Harvard grad regularly filling in for weekday evening anchors like Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O'Donnell. As one of the most articulate voices in Trumplandia, Reid's 10-12 timeslot regularly pulls in around 1 million viewers, up between 50 and 60 percent over last year and doubling -- even tripling -- viewers at CNN and Fox News. Why? Because the whip-smart Harvard grad is a one woman debate machine who demands answers and dialogue from her guests -- not talking points. Reid is as informed as Rachel Maddow, giving her a monumental edge in debates, which often involve quick-witted, circuitous dot connecting with guests promoting #FAKENEWS. 

Reid's interview with Adalian is candid and informative. PS, Reid also has no problem throwing darts in the dreams of ideological progressives who haven't the faintest idea how to pass their legislation through Congress. Like Hillary Clinton, Reid is a policy wonk and doesn't appreciate progressive snow jobs any more than ones born in Trumplandia.  Enjoy this sample, then read on:

There has to be some irony here for you. You were obviously doing very well before the 2016 campaign, but that election season and the subsequent elevation of Trump to the presidency have actually been incredible for your career. AM Joy is setting ratings records for MSNBC. You’re reaching twice as many viewers as you did before, probably, and you’re connecting to them on a very deep level. And yet you’re clearly not very happy about where the country has been heading. Is there a mixed-emotion type thing going on for you?


I’ve said to people that this is probably the greatest time to be a journalist, and the worst time to be a human. I’m grateful for the platform that I have. I was grateful for it before, when it was much smaller. I think because this election was so unusual, and because I kind of am a stand-in for my viewers — I can be shocked on their behalf — that made people connect with me more. I’m an opinion journalist, so I don’t have to pretend not to be shocked and appalled. I can actually be shocked and appalled. So it’s kind of played to my strength in a way. My previous job was a bit different.