Politicians live their lives under a microscope and constantly have to fight back against those who want to ruin their careers. That makes for the perfect recipe for scandals. These scandals can range from theft and drugs to sex, bribery, and much more. Throughout history, there have been a ton of famous scandals, but also some that didn’t receive as much notoriety. We take a look at different political scandals that fall into the latter category. There are a few that you will not believe. Many involve affairs, one involves a stripper, and one involves a brothel.
The Gary Hart Affair
Hart was a Democratic Senator in Colorado and in 1988 he was basically a lock for the Democratic nomination and likely the presidency. However, a highly publicized affair ruined his good standing and he withdrew from the race. He did come back to “let the people decide,” but then withdrew once again a few months later. Hart was the campaign manager in our next entry.
Eagleton Was Too Depressed To Run For President
The 1972 Presidential nominee George McGovern had a good shot to become president. However, his team waited a while to name a running mate, and when they did, they quickly chose Thomas Eagleton. However, Eagleton withdrew only a few weeks later after some revelations of his depression, which led McGovern to lose the race handily to Nixon.
Clinton’s Other Affair
While Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky received almost all the attention, it is not his only scandal. It was alleged that he also had an affair with an employee of Arkansas state. Flowers claimed that she had a 12-year fling with Clinton, which Bill and Hillary denied. However, Gennifer Flowers said under oath that she was telling the truth.
If you thought that Monica Lewinsky was the only time Clinton slipped up, you may be wrong. Even though it has been denied you have to wonder if something really did happen between Flowers and Clinton. She is very attractive that is for sure, but maybe the model was just trying to gain attention.
Jack Abramoff’s Web of Political Corruption
Abramoff was a lobbyist and is often called the “Man that Bought Washington.” Gifts for favors is probably the easiest way to describe what he did. He had a massive web of political corruption that spanned many years with millions of dollars changing hands. He later even went on to write a book about the scandal.
The “Keating Five” Supported Illegal Activities
The root of this scandal was an investigation into a savings and loan company in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was alleged that five Senators interfered with the investigation and supported the company, even though it was doing illegal things. The reason for their interference is that the company had donated to each campaign of the senators, and they wanted to keep the company alive for that reason.
Jim Traficant Was Thrown Out of Congress
Traficant was a fairly popular congressman who had served almost two decades in Ohio. However, after an investigation of bribery and corruption came about, he was thrown out of The House in 2002. It was only the fifth time in over two centuries that a member was stripped of their spot in office. Our next entry also got in trouble for bribery.
Nixon’s Vice President Resigned Because of Bribery
This man was Richard Nixon’s first vice president and became only the second person in history to resign from that position after allegations of bribery and tax evasion. He first claimed he would never resign, but after a deal to resign in order to avoid jail time came up, he made the choice to resign, which was probably a good move.
Wilbur Mills Got Drunk With a Stripper
Mills was a very powerful member of Congress, and no one was expecting what happened to him. Mills was found drunk in a car in 1974, but he wasn’t alone in the car. He was in the vehicle with a stripper who he convinced to come “hang out” with him. He was pressured to leave Congress and resigned in 1976.
Apparently, Wilbur Mills couldn’t stay away from Miss Foxe. He had already been found with her in the car but that was not enough. After he visited her at the strip club in Boston and got a kiss from her on stage, it was all downhill from there for his political career.
John Edwards’ Secret Child
This is one of the most recent scandals on this list and took place in 2004. Edwards was a rising star in the Democratic party and had a shot to be president. But after it was revealed he not only cheated on his wife with a filmmaker but also had a child with her, his political career was basically over as quick as it started. The next entry also centers around affairs.
When the allegations of the affair were first made public, they were denied by both parties involved. When the presidential bid was approaching, Edwards revealed to ABC News that he did have the affair with Hunter but denied he was the father. Years after he then admitted again that he was the father. A lot of lying for a politician.
The D.C Madam
The D.C Madam (also known as Deborah Palfrey) ran a popular escort agency in Washington. She had numerous political figures as clients and while she claimed that her services were legal, it was quickly revealed that she was basically running a prostitution service, with a lot of high profile clients. She was eventually charged and jailed for her business dealings.
The Robert Packwood Sexual Conquests
Packwood was a senator in Oregon that found himself in a heap of trouble in the mid-1990s. 29 different women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment and assault, which he denied. However, he kept a diary of all these sexual conquests, which was found and ultimately contradicted his denial.
General David Petraeus Divulged Classified Info
Petraeus was a four-star general and commander of the U.S Forces in Afghanistan and thus, was a very powerful man. But after it was revealed that he had an affair with someone (and also shared classified information with her throughout the relationship), he was in some big trouble. He eventually pled guilty to mishandling classified information.
Paula Broadwell gets most of her notoriety from the affair with David Petraeus. She is a writer currently but used to be a military officer. This scandal involved a ton of investigations and several people other than the two primarily involved. When the scandal got out to the public, Broadwell secluded herself from her family.
Hypocrite Newt Gingrich Had An Affair While Leading the Clinton Impeachment
After helping lead the Republican revolution in the mid-1990s, he found himself resigning a few years later. This was due to an affair he was having, which was ironic as he was leading the impeachment of Bill Clinton for his affair. Check out entry number 3 for another hypocrite.
A tale of the upset ex-wife. As Newt Gingrich was attempting to get into the White House, his ex-wife revealed that he wanted to have an open marriage so he could have a wife and mistress. All the while he was already cheating on her with Callista Bisek who he later ended up marrying.
Strom Thurmond the Segregationist
Thurmond, who was a Senator in South Carolina, was a known segregationist. He was also involved in a scandal after it was discovered that he fathered a child out of wedlock. Not only that, but he fathered a child with a 15-year-old African American girl who was employed by his family. Ewww.
Scooter Libby Was Convicted of Perjury
The chief of staff to VP Dick Cheney was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and was fined a quarter of a million dollars. While the felony remains on his record, the fine was removed and his jail time was commuted.
Dan Rostenkowski Committed Mail Fraud
This man was a Democrat in Chicago and was incredibly powerful in Washington. He was also the son of a politician. He was an 18-term political figure and was fairly popular. However, in 1995, he was convicted of mail fraud and just like that, his long and successful political career ended.
Rod Blagojevich Was Sentenced to 14 Years
This man was a former Democratic governor in Illinois but that all came to a very quick end in 2011. He was found guilty of 17 charges that ranged from wire fraud, extortion and more. After several months of trials and deliberations, he was eventually sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Another Hypocrite, Bob Livingston, Had An Affair
This is another example of a person being a big time hypocrite. Livingston had called for the resignation of Bill Clinton after his marital affairs were leaked. But of course, in an ironic fashion, the affairs of Livingston also leaked and he was urged to resign, even by his own wife.
Larry Craig Was Arrested In a Bathroom
Craig was a U.S Senator for 18 years until he was arrested in 2007. He was arrested after being charged with a lewd act in a men’s bathroom at an airport. He announced his resignation a few months later, after flip-flopping on whether he was guilty or not.
Mark Sanford Disappeared for Six Days
Sanford was the former governor of South Carolina, and in 2009, he mysteriously disappeared for 6 days and no one (not even his wife), knew where he had gone. It turned out he was having an affair with a woman from Argentina, which was obviously a big problem as he was married and had a very public and important job.
Wayne Hays Spent His Salary on Who?
Wayne Hays, who served as a Democratic congressman in the 1970s, abruptly threw a wrench into his own career when he got himself involved in a highly-publicized scandal with his secretary, Elizabeth Ray. Ray had been hired by Hays to be his secretary, but it later became clear that she was just trying to get closer to him in a more…intimate way. They ended up having an affair and Hays left his wife. But not for Ray. When asked whether or not he had been paying Ray for her…services, he denied the allegations saying, “Miss Ray’s federal salary was awarded solely for sexual services. She was not, insisted Hays, ‘hired to be my mistress.'”
Well, if there were ever a better time to reveal you were in an affair with a high up political figure then it would be after he begins his second marriage and did not invite you to the wedding. Elizabeth Ray said, “I was good enough to be his mistress for two years but not good enough to be invited to his wedding.” Wayne Hays’ career was over after Ray went public.
Todd and Sarah Palin Are Druggies?
Joe McGinniss wrote a book titled The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin. In this book, he wrote that Sarah and her husband had a substance abuse problem. Sarah supposedly smoked marijuana with her professor and Todd often used cocaine even one time with Sarah. Of course, both deny the claims.
Fawn Hill and Oliver North
Oliver North is a former United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel. He was involved in a scandal that involved Fawn Hall, his secretary at the time. A receipt was found that showed North had made a purchase at the lingerie store in Washington. Many had thought it was for Fawn. Under oath, North revealed that he did make a purchase at the lingerie store but couldn’t recall what for. His wife cleared it up and said it was a pair of leotards for their daughter.
$80k on Prostitutes
His name is Eliot Spitzer and he spent $80,000 on prostitutes. His promise was to bring integrity to the governor’s office but clearly anything but that happened. It was reported that the money came from campaign funds but there was not enough evidence to prosecute him so he just simply resigned during the investigation.
Anthony Weiner Wilds Out
Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Back in 2011, the former U.S. Representative accidentally posted photos and messages he intended to be private on the very public Twitter platform. Everyone thinks you are not going to get caught up until you do! Anthony Weiner sent the x rated messages to a young follower and once it was found out he denied the claims. Until later he admitted it and had to resign.
The Filegate Scandal
The director of the White House’s Office of Personnel Security, Craig Livingstone, was improperly looking through FBI files from previous Republican administrations. Livingston was hired by Hillary Clinton and she called it a “completely honest bureaucratic snafu.” Republicans accused her of violating the privacy of those she viewed as adversaries.
Jim McGreevey Mixes Business with Pleasure
You know what they say, don’t mix business with pleasure! In this case, people just thought Jim McGreevey was only close friends with Golan Cipel. He appointed Cipel as his homeland security adviser and as the former New Jersey Governor it looked like a bonehead move because Cipel had no credentials. Cipel was asked to resign and threatened to sue for sexual harassment. McGreevey resigned and revealed that he was gay.
David Vitter Making Calls
David Vitter, the former conservative senator went against his preachings of family values in 2007. The man was caught making calls to the D.C. Madam Deborah Palfrey, who ran a fantasy sex service in Washington D.C. Embarrassed (and busted) he apologized while his wife stood by him. The Republicans accepted his apology and he got to stay the senator in Louisiana.
Hillary Clinton is involved in so many scandals you may not have heard of but this one is just a low blow. How can you not afford your own furniture? She and Bill were shipping furniture from the White House to their home in New York claiming it was donated. Later to find out, only some were proven to be donations.
Gary Condit Disappearing Act
A young intern had just gone missing and no one admitted to knowing where she was. After being questioned twice about having an affair with the missing Chandra Levy and denying it, Levy’s aunt went public. She revealed conversations she had with her niece about the relationship. He eventually admitted to the affair after being questioned a third time. His reputation was ruined because many thought he had something to do with Levy vanishing.
The One With the Ponzi Guy
It just seems that Hillary Clinton is willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead in this politics game. That isn’t to say that others do not do the same, Hillary just seems to get caught more. Norman Yung Yuen Hsu was convicted of being a pyramid investor promoter. He also donated an unknown amount to Hillary’s campaign back in 2008.
Caught in the act
Katherine Bryson was the State Representative in Utah when her husband decided to play private investigator. Her husband, Kay decided to set up cameras at the house so that he could “catch a thief.” Instead, it caught his wife with another man. Katherine told the judge that is an abuse of power but the judge disagreed.
The Empress of Russia Gets Crazy
This may have happened so long ago and within another country but it is worth noting that an empress would do this. Catherine the Great would take her lovers and put them in positions of power. And when she grew tired of them kick them out but not without giving them a big amount of money.
Yet again we have Hillary at the center of a scandal. This one involves her firing seven people in the travel office and filling their spots with employees from Arkansas. Catherine Cornelius was promised the position of director of the travel office. She happened to be Bill’s cousin too. Then popped up an attempt to give a friend a contract. Something is fishy with this one.