Re “Californians say #MeToo, but enable sexual harassment. Here’s how we could say #Enough” (Editorials, Nov. 5): Sexual harassment, including sexual assaults, are clearly a problem in what is often a toxic atmosphere in the State Capitol as in other walks of life, but The Sacramento Bee editorial board overshoots the onus of responsibility in assessing the alleged reprehensible actions of Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra.
The Bee excoriates organizations that have at any time given even minor funding to Bocanegra, before citing an investigation ordered by the Assembly Rules Committee that faulted Bocanegra’s behavior. The Bee concludes that “everybody who matters knew and shrugged,” with the clear implication that everyone named in the article is equally complicit in protecting and defending Bocanegra. This is not just an overbroad brush, it is clearly guilt by association.
How much association does the California Nurses Association, the first organization named in the editorial, have with Bocanegra? The California Nurses Association has never once endorsed him for office, endorsed his opponent in 2012, made the maximum contribution to his opponent in the most recent, 2016, election, and has directly clashed with him on legislation. Recently, Bocanegra was overheard on an open microphone regretting a committee vote for a bill when informed it was sponsored by the California Nurses Association.
The California Nurses Association strongly supports efforts to end the systemic stain of sexual harassment in Sacramento, and elsewhere. The Legislature should adopt effective procedures to hold its members fully accountable for their illegal behavior. And, certainly, legislators found to have engaged in such actions should no longer serve in public office.
Don Nielsen, California Nurses Association government relations director, Sacramento