Sexual Harassment Allegations Roil Colorado State Legislature

Listen Now
Photo: AC Capitol Sexual Harassment
Reporter Bente Birkeland has revealed allegations of unwanted contact and advances to women from a number of state legislators.

Colorado has a higher percentage of women in its legislature than most other states. Bente Birkeland thought that might make the state Capitol something of a beacon as she reported on the #MeToo sexual harassment campaign. But over the last 10 days, she's broken stories that paint a very different picture — of unwanted overtures and a culture that doesn't encourage speaking up.

Birkeland, who covers the Capitol for a consortium of public radio stations, spoke with Colorado Matters about the interactions that occur during the four-month legislative session and how that brief, intense time frame has perhaps helped spawn a subculture that has contributed to the allegations by legislators, lobbyists, aides and interns.