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Democrat, California (1983-1990)
The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call first broke the story that, according to unnamed sources, the Honorable Jim Bates had frequently mistreated female staffers by making suggestive comments to them and by hugging them. Bates was also charged with making congressional staffers perform political work while officially on the government payroll.
Bates' response: it's "hearsay and innuendo," and it's all politics. He was the target of a "Republican Party- orchestrated smear campaign," and he called the Roll Call article "inaccurate." (Click here for other examples of "Lyin' Through Their Teeth").
At a news conference, Bates apologized for kidding and flirting with women on his staff. "I think I've kidded around and flirted around," he said. Then added: "I don't know if you would call [them] advances. I think it was inappropriate. From now on, my behavior is going to be much more appropriate."
The House Ethics Committee, after investigating the allegations of two members of Bates' staff and after listening to Bates testify, sent him a letter of Reproval, warning him that "any further violation by you in the areas which were the subject of the committee's preliminary inquiry [sexual harassment] may result in a recommendation that disciplinary action be considered by the House. "Your improper conduct and concurrent violations of relevant standards deserve reproval."
Bates accepted the finding, then added: "I think I made a mistake. I didn't really know what sexual harassment was." (Click here for other examples of "Lyin' Through Their Teeth").
Bates is a member of the Congressional Sexual Harassment Caucus.
Sources: Tom Kenworthy, "Complaint Reported Filed Against Rep. Bates," Washington Post, Oct. 8, 1988, A15; Michael Oreskes, "Ethics Committee Scolds Lawmaker," New York Times, Oct. 19, 1989, A24.