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Buzzfeed is reporting that Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, settled a complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances. He denies the charges.
Buzzfeed is reporting that Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, settled a complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances. He denies the charges. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

I just heard on the news that $17 million of our taxpayer dollars has been paid in the last 20 years to settle sexual harassment claims, wage disputes and other workplace violations brought by employees of Congress (“Ryan says sexual harassment report on Conyers 'troubling',” Nov. 21). To say that this is a travesty is too mild to describe the disgust I feel for those in Congress who “pay to play.”

They are truly predators: on the face of it they are our duly elected official representatives, looking out for us, the little people. It turns out that in fact they view themselves as above the law. It is as though they are the “nobility” in this country, and the rest of us are the ignorant, downtrodden “serfs.”

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In my opinion, anyone in Congress who is discovered to have paid off someone because of sexual misconduct, that congressman should immediately be removed from office. Not only are they abusing individual people, but they are abusing us, the taxpayers, too.Then we could get rid of a lot of the do-nothing hangers on whose main job there is to obstruct progress, prey on pretty women, and line their own cushy pockets. Then If there are still foolhardy men who continue to make unwanted advances to people under them, let them pay the shush money from their own pockets. Don’t let public money buy the victims off. And if we did rid ourselves of such parasites, they should automatically forfeit their pensions. Let them live like the rest of us for a change.

Diane Anderson

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