At Colorado statehouse, the #MeToo movement is exposing a culture of harassment and weak protections for women | VailDaily.com

At Colorado statehouse, the #MeToo movement is exposing a culture of harassment and weak protections for women

John Frank | The Denver Post

Kerry Donovan

Colorado’s legislature is No. 4 in the nation in terms of the percentage of women — 38 — that make up the General Assembly, according to the Denver-based bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. But that hasn’t prevented the state from being one of 16 in the country facing troubling reports of sexual harassment or assault in the political arena.

Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail, said the Colorado Capitol "seems to have a different culture than I have ever experienced in my professional career before."

"I get some level of comment (from men) nearly every day I'm in the Capitol," she added, recalling being called "eye candy" by a male lawmaker as she presented a bill in committee.

In numerous conversations with The Post, lobbyists, lawmakers and aides described the Capitol's "permissive" atmosphere. Others noted that some female lobbyists used their sexuality to get lawmakers' attention.

Not all wanted to put their names to the claims but collectively confirmed that men and women were warned about which lawmakers to avoid.

Read the full Denver Post article here