One day ahead of Alabama’s special election, and four days after a former Senate page published an op-ed in the Washington Post titled, “I was a teenage Senate page. The thought of ‘Senator Roy Moore’ makes me sick,” one Democratic lawmaker is calling for increased protections for these young congressional assistants should Alabama’s GOP Senate candidate be elected on Tuesday.
Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore just sent a letter to the Senate Sergeant at Arms about the possible “threat to safety” of Senate pages if Roy Moore is elected, Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli first reported.
The Senate Sergeant at Arms should “be proactive in protecting Senate pages” if Roy Moore is elected, the Democratic congresswoman from Wisconsin says in the Dec. 8 letter.
'The threat Roy Moore posed to minors was so notorious & troublesome that in 1979 he was banned from the Gadsen Mall & YMCA for soliciting sex from minor girls," she said, "In addition to initiating a sexual encounter with a 14 yr old when he was a 32 yr old DA."
Her letter continues: “Being away from home puts these young people in a very vulnerable position. The nature of life on Capitol Hill necessitates long hours in close proximity to lawmakers and staff that can create power dynamics of which young people are not fully aware. . . It would be unconscionable for Congress to not be vigilant and proactive in taking precautions to safeguard these children given the well sourced allegations against Roy Moore."
The Wisconsin congresswoman brought up former Republican Rep. Mark Foley, who was exposed for sending sexual instant messages to pages in 2006.
“I believe my fears are well-founded,” Moore explained. “We have seen members of Congress abuse the Congressional Page Program . . . We need to be vigilant stewards of these children going forward.”
Senate pages are often in high school, and can be as young as 16 years old.
Moore's potential Senate colleague Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., campaigned against the GOP candidate over the weekend and questioned whether Senate pages would be safe from Moore, in a tweet:
For her part, Rep. Moore asked the Sergeant at Arms to provide information about what steps, if any, are being taken to “safeguard Senate Pages from predatory conduct of U.S. Senators and Senate staff.”
A wave of allegations of sexual harassment has brought down powerful politicians this past week, including the resignations of Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.
Speaking to NPR last month, Rep. Moore said, “The problem of sexual harassment is very pervasive” in Congress. “I wouldn't be shocked or stunned if there were a hundred men in this body on both sides of the aisle in both chambers who are accused of this behavior.”
Meanwhile, in Alabama, embattled GOP candidate Roy Moore came out of his self-imposed media blackout to speak with a 12-year-old supporter. The pro-Trump super PAC, America First Project, founded by former Breitbart staffers, published the interview on Sunday: