Caught With Their Pants Down: A Political Sex Scandal Retrospective

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1||On Monday, June 6, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted to sending a lewd picture of himself to a woman in Seattle, and of engaging in similar virtual trysts over a three-year period with other women. Of course, this wasn’t the first time a politician has been caught with his pants down, so to speak. TPM takes a look back at some of the more memorable political sex scandals in recent years. ||Craig Ruttle/MCT/Newscom&&

2||Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who has preached the “sanctity of marriage,” admitted in June 2009 to an affair with Cynthia Hampton, a staffer and the wife of another Ensign staffer, whom Ensign helped to secure new employment after the affair was discovered. Ensign later resigned amid a congressional investigation.||Newscom/Lauren Victoria Burke/WDCPIX.COM&&

3||In March 2008, The New York Times revealed that Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) had had liaisons with seven or eight high-end call girls, at a cost of up to $80,000. He resigned later that month.||KRISTIN CALLAHAN – ACEPIXS.COM/KRISTIN CALLAHAN – ACEPIXS.COM/Newscom&&

4||Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), an abstinence-only sex ed advocate, was linked to the high-end DC Madam escort service in July 2007. He won re-election in 2010 by nearly 20 points.||WDCPIX.COM&&

5||In June 2007, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) was arrested for allegedly attempting to solicit a police officer in an airport men’s room for sexual activity. He wavered in his response to the charges — first maintaining his innocence, then pleading guilty, and announcing his intention to resign before deciding to serve out the rest of his term.||WDCPIX.COM&&

6||Florida State Rep. Bob Allen (R), co-chair of McCain’s 2008 Florida campaign, was arrested for offering an undercover cop $20 to perform oral sex on him. He later said he was afraid of becoming a “statistic,” as he thought the black cop was a mugger. ||.gov&&

7||Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D), who was embroiled in his fair share of other scandals, was revealed in January 2008 to have exchanged 14,000 text messages, many of them sexual and graphic, with his female chief of staff. For his more criminal indiscretions, he landed in prison, where he remains.||f31/f31/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

8||In 2007, The National Enquirer alleged that former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was having an extramarital affair with a campaign worker. Edwards admitted the affair the next year and revealed in 2010 that he’d had a child with the woman. On June 3, 2011, he was indicted on six felony charges.|| Dennis Van Tine/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

9||On February 9, 2011, Gawker revealed that Rep. Chris Lee (R-NY) had solicited a male-to-female transsexual on Craigslist with a shirtless photo. Lee resigned the same day.||KEVIN DIETSCH/UPI/Newscom&&

10||Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who called for the ousters of Bill Clinton and Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA) over their extramarital affairs, admitted to a year-long affair with a woman in Buenos Aires after disappearing for a week in June 2009. He served out the remainder of his term.||Newscom/KRT&&

11||In February 2010, a senior member of Rep. Eric Massa’s (D-NY) staff filed a complaint that Massa had made sexual advances toward and harassed a younger male staffer. He resigned in March 2010. It was later revealed that he was being investigated for allegedly groping multiple male staffers.||Douglas Graham/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

12||In late 2006, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) was accused of assaulting a woman in a parking garage by throwing her against a wall and threatening to rape her. She dropped criminal charges, citing intimidation by his campaign, but filed a civil suit. In June 2009, Gibbons asked a judge to seal his phone records against her lawyers, something that may also have to do with his ongoing divorce proceedings, in which he was accused of more affairs. He served out his term. ||Newscom&&

13||After Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) was arrested for drunk driving in May 2008, he revealed that he had had an extramarital affair and had a three-year old child by his mistress. He served out his term. ||Newscom/Ron Sachs/CNP&&

14||After Gov. Jim McGreevey (D-NJ) came under criticism for appointing an unqualified homeland security adviser, it was revealed that McGreevey was in a relationship with the man. Facing threats of a sexual harassment lawsuit, McGreevey announced in August 2004 that he was gay — and resigning. ||wikimedia&&

15||Randall Tobias, Bush’s Global AIDS Coordinator who spoke out against prostitution (and condom use, for that matter), resigned from the State Department in April 2007 after he was linked to an escort service. He maintained that there was no sex, just massages. ||Newscom/Evan F. Sisley/Sipa Press&&

16||In September 2006, it was revealed that Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) had sent sexually suggestive emails and text messages to teenage boys who were former congressional pages. He resigned later that month. ||p77/p77/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

17||After Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) won Mark Foley’s old seat in 2006 thanks to Foley’s sex scandal, it was revealed that Mahoney had a sex scandal of his own: He’d paid a former mistress (and current staffer) who was threatening him with a lawsuit. He admitted that he’d had “numerous” affairs and lost his 2008 reelection bid.|| p77/p77/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

18||In May 2010, Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) resigned from Congress after admitting he’d had an affair with a married female staff member — with whom he’d earlier recorded a video preaching abstinence. ||Tom Williams/Roll Call Photos/Newscom&&

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