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Keystone viewpoint: End 'old boys' network

| Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, 7:24 p.m.

The House Democratic caucus' use of public funds as hush money to protect legislators from the public fallout of sexual abuse allegations is all the more shocking because it illustrates the survival of a poisonous culture that already had been exposed in several ways.

Due to former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane's own transgressions while in office, few people listened when she claimed to be the victim of an “old boys” network. She released a truckload of emails that had been distributed across much of that network, driving the scandal that came to be known as “Porngate.”

The payment of hush money to resolve sexual-harassment claims demonstrates that the old boys' network decried by Kane is very much alive in the Capitol. Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered the state Department of General Services to stop using a self-insurance program, funded by taxpayers, to cover settlements for claims of sexual misconduct.

That's a good start.

Putting lawmakers and other state officials on the hook for their own conduct is a deterrent. The ultimate answer lies at the ballot box.

— The Citizens' Voice,

Wilkes-Barre

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