Several members, Democrats and Republicans, have enraged party leaders and constituents, turned heads or caused reporters and staffers to scratch their heads, for a variety of odd reasons. (And they wonder why congressional approval hovers at roughly one in ten?)
Let’s take a look back.
In June 2009, Ensign publicly admitted that he had had an affair with Cynthia Hampton, who was his political treasurer and was married to Doug Hampton, Ensign’s administrative assistant. The Ensign and Hampton families lived in the same neighborhood outside Las Vegas and were considered the best of friends. In 2008, when the affair became known to the other spouses, Ensign dismissed both Hamptons, and his parents, wealthy casino magnates, paid them $96,000 in what was labeled gift income for tax purposes, the precise amount legally permissible without triggering taxes.
3.) Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.): Resigned in June 2011 after he posted a photo of his underwear-clad groin on his public Twitter feed. At first, he blamed the photo on a “hacker” during a series of combative TV interviews, but then confessed after more photos appeared, all showing Weiner posing suggestively for women he had met online. The resignation came just weeks after Weiner earned plaudits for a hysterical stemwinder at the Congressional Correspondents Dinner, during which he joked about his last name. It also robbed him of short-term plans to run for New York City mayor. He’s enjoyed a mild political resurgence in recent weeks, partly due to attacks on his wife, Huma Abedin.
In a lengthy statement that quoted from Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” McCotter cited a desire to shift his focus to his family: “The recent event’s totality of calumnies, indignities and deceits have weighed most heavily upon my family. Thus, acutely aware one cannot rebuild their hearth of home amongst the ruins of their U.S. House office, for the sake of my loved ones I must ‘strike another match, go start anew’ by embracing the promotion back from public servant to sovereign citizen.”
McCotter failed to qualify for the primary ballot after most of his petition signatures were found to be fraudulent. He initially opted to run a write-in campaign, but then announced he would not seek reelection. Various jurisdictions continue to investigate allegations of impropriety by McCotter and his staffers.
Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost
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