FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As sexual harassment scandal unfolds, Marie Newman calls on Madigan to resign as party chair
CHICAGO (February 20, 2018)–Marie Newman, candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, issued the following statement on Tuesday in light of the still unfolding sexual harassment scandal surrounding staff of Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Michael Madigan:
“I was moved last week by the courage and integrity of Alaina Hampton in coming forward with her experience of being sexually harassed as a political campaign worker. But I was also deeply disturbed by the revelations around the apparent efforts to surpress her story, and to intimidate and harass her.
“What happened to Ms. Hampton is not an isolated incident–it was the product of a culture of sexism that pervades our political environment in Illinois. This culture originates at the top. It also has roots right here in the 3rd District, where the 13th Ward organization has flourished.
“While I appreciate Speaker Madigan’s pledges to ‘do more’ to address sexual harassment, his words ring hollow after decades of his leadership during which this culture was fortified and institutionalized.
“In this moment more than ever, the Democratic Party must firmly maintain its grip on moral clarity and a commitment to fighting sexism and all forms of discrimination in our society. Democratic Party leaders should be doing just that–leading–not looking the other way, or sweeping problems under the rug.
“It is time for Michael Madigan to resign as chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Anything less would put the Democrats’ political prospects at risk in November–and more importantly, would send a signal to all victims that their voices don’t matter, and that the status quo will never be disrupted.
“Time’s up for anyone who protects or benefits from this sexist machine.”