At 9 a.m. today, January 10, at the Colorado State Capitol, attendees of a rally are expected to call for the resignation of Representative Steve Lebsock, a Thornton Democrat accused of sexually harassing at least eleven women, including fellow rep Faith Winter and lobbyist Holly Tarry. The group will be led by Erin Hottenstein, a Fort Collins resident whose petition calling for Lebsock to step down has been signed by more than 32,000 people at this writing.
The timing of the protest isn't coincidental. This morning marks the start of the 2018 Colorado legislative session, and Lebsock plans to be there.
While many of those called out for unconscionable behavior in the months since damning allegations surfaced against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein have left their jobs or apologized for their actions, Lebsock has remained defiant. Indeed, 9News reports that Lebsock spent much of yesterday hand-delivering to colleagues a 28-page "manifesto" defending his actions.
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The station obtained a copy of the document but hasn't published it, in part because of its salacious content. Lebsock is said to graphically detail the sex life of one accuser, who he claims had an extramarital affair and didn't report a sexual assault by someone else at the Capitol. He also insisted that he couldn't have unbuttoned the blouse of another accuser at a local bar because he was too busy racking up a high score on the venue's Ms. Pac-Man game.
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Click to access the petition, headlined "Rep. Steve Lebsock Should Resign or Be Removed From Office." Here's its introductory text:
According to published reports in the media (specifically Bente Birkeland, a capitol reporter for KUNC and other public radio stations), Democratic Colorado Representative Steve Lebsock (HD-34) faces allegations that he harassed, intimidated and made unwanted sexual advances toward eleven different women. Two of them — lawmaker Faith Winter (HD-35) and a lobbyist — have filed formal workplace harassment complaints with the Legislature.
Rep. Lebsock has breached the public's trust. He has abused his position of power. We have lost confidence in his ability to conduct the people's business and we call on him to resign.
Should Rep. Lebsock fail to resign, we call on the Colorado House of Representatives to remove him from office as soon as possible when the session begins on January 10.