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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, June 16, 2018 1:00 am

Lawmakers remain in demand in their post-#MeToo moments

Are careers ruined for those accused of improper behavior in the #MeToo movement?

An Associated Press survey of the six members of Congress who have left office in the wake of allegations finds that even with their congressional terms ended, most of the former lawmakers haven't disappeared from public view.

There's Al Franken, the former Minnesota senator, who recently spoke at a privacy forum in Lisbon, Portugal, discussing Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Blake Farenthold, a Texas representative, left office in April after it was disclosed he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim. He soon accepted a legislative liaison job with the Port of Port Lavaca-Point Comfort. Port authority jobs are exempt from revolving-door restrictions placed on legislators seeking lobbying posts.

John Conyers Jr., the Michigan representative, resigned in the wake of multiple harassment charges. He has endorsed his son to succeed him, but John Conyers III's eligibility has been challenged.

Former Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona left Congress in December after it was revealed he had asked female staff members to serve as surrogates for his family. He does not yet have a new job.

Patrick Meehan, a representative from Pennsylvania, resigned last month after a female staffer said he expressed romantic interest in her and became angry when she did not reciprocate. He has since donated money to a number of Republican groups in his home state.

An abortion scandal took out Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, but he remains in political life as a consultant and he also donated to GOP groups working on behalf of candidates seeking to fill his seat.