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Latest front in Weinstein scandal: Statehouses say ‘me too’

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Lawmakers, lobbyists and consultants from statehouses nationwide are coming forward to say sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in politics.

An open letter alleging widespread sexual harassment in Illinois politics had more than 130 signatures as of Tuesday. The incidents mentioned in the letter don’t accuse anyone by name.

The letter is the latest effort emerging from statehouses to address unwanted advances from men following the allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

In California this week, the Senate hired a law firm to investigate after women described a culture of sexual intimidation. Lawmakers in Oregon and Rhode Island have accused male colleagues of inappropriate touching or suggesting that sexual favors be a condition for advancing bills.

The Illinois letter says “every industry has its own version of the casting couch.”

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