A Brief History
On October 10, 2017, we look back on our previous October 10th articles about political scandals, “9 Sensational, Sorry and Stupid Political Scandals” and “More Political Scandals!”, and “10 Famous Politicians and Their Salacious, Scandalous, Sex Scandals” (July 18) by taking this opportunity to regale you with even more tales of politics and politicians gone wild. There seems to be a never-ending fountain of such events, for which we are sure the late night comedians are grateful. Of course, we also have individual articles about certain political scandals as well. What other scandals would you like included on such a list?
1. US Representative Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania, hypocrite, 2017.
The GOP took another hit in early October 2017, when this hypocritical Republican Congressman who has been a staunch “Right to Life” supporter anti-abortion candidate was found to have urged his mistress to have an abortion when she told him she was pregnant. The ensuing flap is causing Murphy to decline to run again for his seat. This sort of hypocrisy is exactly why Americans do not respect Congress.
2. Donald Trump Cabinet, air fare boondoggle, 2017.
Some of the people that actually complained of previous government officials that allegedly misused taxpayer dollars for airplane rides on private or military planes when flying commercial air would be cheaper have been caught doing just that, and in a big way. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has already resigned, having run up an airfare tab of nearly a half million dollars chartering unnecessary civilian flights for personal use. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was also caught misusing chartered flights, and he arrogantly and with vulgarity (hey, if its good enough for the President…) defended himself, claiming he did nothing wrong, except he cost taxpayers $20,000 when commercial air would have been a fraction of that. EPA Director Scott Pruitt spent $58,000 of taxpayers’ money on flights that had nothing to do with his job or that could have been flown on much cheaper commercial airlines. On one of those flights, Pruitt was offered a free ride on the Governor of S. Dakota’s plane, but refused, and stuck us with the bill. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin must think all that money in the Treasury is really his, because he stuck taxpayers with the bill for a honeymoon flight and a flight with his wife to Fort Knox to watch the Solar Eclipse. His new wife insulted the rest of us, flaunting her great wealth and saying she pays more taxes than we do. Wow! These creeps are NOT draining the swamp, they ARE the Swamp!
3. White House Private Emails, 2017.
In another hilarious case of hypocrisy, the Trump White House has several people using private email for Government business! Hillary Clinton would be rolling over in her grave, if she were dead. Offenders include Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. In the cases of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, it turns out they used 3 different email servers, something they seem to have forgotten to mention right away. Democrats are calling for security clearances to be revoked, but that seems kind of disingenuous.
4. Judge Roy Moore, refusing to follow the law, 2003, 2016.
This scofflaw was elected as the Chief Justice of the Alabama State Supreme Court, twice, and was kicked off the court both times for refusing to follow the Constitution and the Laws of the United States. The first time was his refusal to remove a 2400 kilogram stone monument to the 10 Commandments he had installed at the court even though a Federal Court had ordered it removed. Instead, Moore got removed. He had previously kept a 10 Commandments plaque in his courtroom and had jurors pray before cases, clear violations of the separation of church and state. (He is a religious zealot.) Then in 2016 Moore, who had been reelected to the high court, was again removed, this time for ordering all Alabama judges to refuse to conduct or recognize same sex marriage, even though the US Supreme Court had ordered same sex marriage to be recognized. Moore claims “God’s Law” supersedes the Constitution and the laws of men. Although booted twice (certainly a record), Moore won the Republican nomination for US Senate from Alabama in the 2017 primary election, although his opponent was supported by President Trump. Unfortunately, for refusing to obey the law Moore could not be prosecuted criminally, just evicted from the Alabama Supreme Court, and he is not forbidden from running for or being elected to high office again. Something is wrong here!
5. Park Geun-hye, impeachment as President of South Korea, 2017.
The first female President of South Korea, Park was elected in 2013, the first female democratically elected President in all of East Asia. Unfortunately, she was impeached in 2016 for graft and corruption, taking money from big business, and was removed from office in March of 2017. Since being impeached, she loses her Presidential immunity from prosecution and can be criminally prosecuted, and in fact has been charged with several major crimes, her trial expected to last for months.
6. Dilma Rouseff, impeachment as President of Brazil, 2016.
Not only the first female President of Brazil (a country of over 200 million people, #6 in the world by population), but the first democratically elected female President of any country in the world that had to be removed from office for corruption. The daughter of Bulgarian immigrants, Dilma had been accused of graft, bribery and corruption concerning the Petrobras energy company, and the official reason for her dismissal from office was “violation of budgetary laws.”
7. John Major, UK Prime Minister Sex Scandal, 2002.
As the leader of the Conservative Party, Major was supposed to be the traditionalist purveyor of moralistic lifestyles, not the man who was revealed in 2002 to have had a 4 year sexual affair with a government minister, Edwina Currie. Although Major had already been voted out of office in the 1997 collapse of Conservative Party dominance (in favor of the liberal Labour Party), he was roundly chastised for his hypocrisy in moralizing when he did not practice what he preached. During his time as Prime Minister and head of the Conservative Party, the Party was rocked by numerous scandals, resulting it its fall from power.
8. Senator Ted Cruz, Internet Porn Twitter “Like,” 2017.
The US was rocked when it was announced that Ted Cruz had apparently “liked” an X-rated video on his Twitter account in September of 2017. The pornography in question and its “like” is public information as such “likes” on Twitter are not private. Of course, Cruz quickly denied having personally clicked the “like” button, and blamed some unnamed staffer. Cruz is a highly conservative religious oriented politician, making the curious incident all the more shocking. Did Ted Cruz accidentally “like” a porn video, not realizing the consequences, or is some other, as yet not adequately explained, reason responsible. Your guess!
9. Senator Strom Thurmond (racist), Black love child, 2003.
In another terrific display of hypocrisy, the long time Senator from South Carolina had a history of opposing civil rights legislation, including any laws doing away with segregation or allowing African Americans access to voting. He was still serving in the Senate when he died at the age of 100 in 2003, after which the public became aware of the fact that Thurmond had fathered an African American daughter back in 1925, supporting her through the years, but keeping her existence secret. Thurmond was 22 when he impregnated his family’s 16 year old African American maid.
10. US Representative Mel Reynolds, underage sex, 1994.
This congressman from Illinois had only been serving in Congress since 2003 when a scandal broke concerning his sexual affair with a 16 year old campaign volunteer. Charged with sexual assault and sexual abuse for the 1992 incidents, Reynolds denied the claims and was re-elected to office in 1994. Criminally charged in August of 1994, he was convicted in 1995 of 12 counts of sexual assault, sexual abuse, obstructing justice, and solicitation of child pornography. Finally, this creep was kicked out of Congress and was sentenced to 5 years in prison, with the understanding he would probably only serve 3 years in lockup. In 1997 he was convicted of another 16 criminal counts, this time regarding bank fraud, lying to investigators, and misuse of campaign funds. Reynolds ended up serving his entire 5 year sentence on the sex crimes, and another 42 months on the fraud charges. Reynolds had actually been sentenced to 78 months on the fraud related charges, but President Bill Clinton commuted his sentence after 42 months (but not justice!) had been served.
Question for students (and subscribers): Can you think of any example of any truly honest politicians? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Farquhar, Michael. A Treasury of Great American Scandals: Tantalizing True Tales of Historic Misbehavior by the Founding Fathers and Others Who Let Freedom Swing. Penguin Books, 2003.
The featured image in this list, a photograph by Mobilus In Mobili of a Women’s March in Washington on January 21, 2017, a day after the inauguration, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.