FILE - IL Speaker Michael Madigan 4-23-18

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks at a press conference on Monday, April 23, 2018.

In its Nov. 22, 2019 editorial, the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board called on lawmakers to challenge House Speaker Michael Madigan for his response to the #MeToo scandal in his office.

It's true that most politicians won't call out the Speaker for publicly promising to end sexual harassment in politics while apparently arranging a payout of $30,000 for the harasser in his office. Madigan’s spokesman says the Speaker knew nothing about the payoffs. This denial strains credulity.

The Tribune shouldn’t scold legislators for failing to ask the Speaker what he knew and when he knew it. Questions are challenges, and politicians who challenge the Speaker face retribution. Political contributions might dry up, worthy legislation might not advance, and challengers might be put up to run for your seat.

The #MeToo movement has given a voice to women who may be justifiably afraid to speak up.

Our legislators and leaders need encouragement, support and, most importantly, protection from Mike Madigan.

The Tribune should call out the harasser, not the victims.

Illinois state Sen. Iris Y. Martinez