SPEAKS VOLUMES

Texas Senators Stand By Colleagues Accused of Sexual Misconduct

In the wake of a Daily Beast report on alleged sexual misconduct by Texas state Sens Carlos Uresti and Borris Miles, not a single colleague—Democratic or otherwise—has called on either legislator to step down. The men are accused of forced kisses and lurid cat-calls, among other things. Both men denied the numerous allegations, pointing to the anonymity of the accusers. Texas state political group Annie’s List has called on the men to resign. Since then, The Texas Observer reached out to all 31 state senators, and posted the full variety of their responses online. Five lawmakers condemned the specifically alleged behavior, but many added caveats, including Sen. Kirk Watson, who called the stories “deeply disturbing” but said he would not appoint himself “the final arbiter of each claim.” Sen. José Rodriguez, who has proposed that an independent investigative body address the allegations, said: “I am not in a position to be the judge, jury, and executioner of these or any other sexual harassment allegations.”