Have you ever heard the phrase “money talks”? It is no secret that wealth means power, manipulation, and influence, especially in political campaigns. Money makes people do incredibly shocking things. Campaigns are all about money and power to keep the politicians’ campaigns afloat but did you know about all of these shocking scandals?
Hunter Biden Swoops In
After Beau Biden, the eldest son of former Vice President Joe Biden, passed away in 2015 with brain cancer, his wife Hallie became a grief-stricken widow. In March 2017, Biden’s younger son Hunter began a relationship with his brother’s widow.
Amid the drama, Joe Biden confirmed to Page Six that it was true: “We are all lucky that Hunter and Hallie found each other as they were putting their lives together again after such sadness. They have mine and Jill’s full and complete support and we are happy for them.” Perhaps love does concur all, and they will find happiness despite the pain and loss.
Robert Bauman’s Boyish Tendencies
In 1980, Representative Robert Bauman was once again running for re-election when he was arrested and charged with attempting to hook up with a 16-year-old male prostitute. The judge ordered him to complete an rehabilitation program for alcoholism, in exchange for dropping the charges. Bauman apologized to voters but the damage was done. Democrat Roy Dyson had not been considered a serious threat to his seat until Bauman’s arrest, but Dyson still easily beat him. Since he lost his political career, he wrote an autobiography, The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative.
Ken Calvert & The Prostitute
During his time in office, the police discovered Republican Representative Ken Calvertin a parked car with a prostitute. He tried to drive off, and he told the officer, “We’re just talking.” It was obvious that much more than talking was going in. Calvert, then, attempted to lie and cover up the incident for nearly a year. He denied it had ever happened. His critics claim that he’s been able to hold onto his Congressional seat by participating in a smear campaign against his Democratic rival.
Al Gore’s Holy Moly Mistake
In order to come up with some quick money, fundraising managers asked monks and nuns to make out $5,000 checks to the DNC and then were reimbursed by the temple. In 1997, during a vice presidential fundraiser for Al Gore at the Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles, Buddhist nuns illegally laundered tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to the Democratic Party. Vice President Al Gore claimed he had no knowledge that the event was a fundraiser, but email correspondence proved otherwise.
No One Would Suspect Newt Gingrich, Right?
Republicans love Newt Gingrich for several reasons. He was instrumental in securing a Republican majority in the House in 1994. Then, he successfully garnered the unified opposition against President Clinton’s policies. He showed his worth, and that just means that you’ve got to love him, right?
Well, not quite. While he was an early favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, there were many skeletons in his closet, including blatant and consistent adultery, draft dodging, and dead-beat dad behavior. He reportedly told an aid about his first wife, “She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife. And besides, she has cancer.” Of course, there was more to his questionable ethics than the casual glimpses into his true character might suggest.
Newt Gingrich Reprimanded For Ethical Questions
In 1997, Newt Gingrich was sanctioned by the House over ethical questions and was unanimously reprimanded. Yes, there have always been lots of rumors about his affairs, and indiscretions, but he also was under investigation for using tax-payer subsidized donations for his personal and political purposes. The Ethic Committee dropped their final charges against him, shortly before he resigned as Speaker of the House. While the IRS had also investigated at least one group, they also dropped their case.
The Gingrich Wives Don’t Share
While he was investigating the Clinton scandal, it was discovered that he was having an affair with Callista Bisek, a House of Representatives staffer. He’d already divorced his first wife, Jackie Battley, while she was undergoing treatment for cancer and while he was having an affair with Marianne Ginther. Then he married Marianne. Of course, Gingrich did the same thing to his second wife with Callista, though he reportedly asked Marianne for an open relationship, which she refused. Gingrich has said, “There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them.”
Bill Clinton’s Chinagate Exchange
President Bill Clinton found himself at the center of several scandals, but one of the most serious was called “Chinagate.” It’s been called the worst fundraising scandals since Richard Nixon’s debacle in 1974. Chinagate involved the supposed transfer of nuclear missile and satellite technology to China in exchange for millions of dollars in contributions to the Democratic National Committee and the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election efforts. In February 1997, Clinton said, “[O]bviously it would be a very serious matter for the United States if any country were to attempt to funnel funds to one of our parties for any reason whatever.” When the investigation by the Justice Department was complete, no evidence was ever proven. But, the scandals involving Bill Clinton didn’t end there.
Is Hillary Money Hungry?
Hillary Clinton is a politician (and the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee) who has been tied to big contributors for over 30 years. Whether it was her role in “Chinagate” (she subsequently agreed to pay back Chinese investors $850,000) or the “Hillary Victory Fund” (a fundraising project for the Clinton campaign) or her potential financial bias stemming from contributions made to the Clinton Foundation, she’s constantly bombarded. It’s no wonder she took some time off after her failed Presidential campaign attempt.
Presidential Playboy John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy is possibly the biggest playboy in presidential history. He wasn’t the first Kennedy to have an affair and he certainly won’t be the last. He was probably the most famous, though. Of course, President Kennedy’s affairs were interesting and much more memorable than most. It’s alleged that he had liaisons with numerous women, most famously Marilyn Monroe. He reportedly told people, “If I don’t have sex everyday, I get a headache.”
Jack’s Affair With Marilyn Monroe
Confidants of the couple say that John F. Kennedy had rendezvous with and Marilyn Monroe at Bing Crosby’s house in Palm Springs in 1962. The affair become almost electrifying in nature, as Monroe’s lust for President Kennedy evolved into something bordering on obsession. It may have even affected her already reportedly fragile mental state. Worse still, Kennedy didn’t appear to share that overwhelming passion for Monroe. She was found dead of a habituates overdose, an apparent victim of suicide, though rumor mongers have long speculated that there may have been more involved in the case. And, of course, Kennedy also supposedly had affairs with Gunilla von Post, Judith Exner, and Mary Pinchot Meyer.
John Edwards Caught With His Pants Down
John Edwards had a promising campaign in 2008, until he was caught with his pants down. After his affair with Rielle Hunter, a former campaign worker, she gave birth to a child. Andrew Young, a campaign aide, claimed that Edwards was the father. Young even told ABC News that Edwards was very upset when he first found out that Hunter was pregnant. You’ve gotta admit, though, that it’s a little late to call her crazy when his whole political career was suddenly in shambles. According to Young, Edwards felt “set-up,” and believed that Hunter was physically unable to get pregnant. Haven’t we all heard stories like that before?
The Truth About The Affair?
Perhaps the most tragic part of the story is the true saga behind the John Edwards affair. He’d been married to his wife, Elizabeth, since 1977, and they had four kids. Just as the campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination, the Edwards announced that her cancer had returned and that it was “no longer curable.” She’d stood by him when the first rumors started and through his scandalous “fall from grace.” She wrote about her struggles to forgive him for his affair and for his continual lying, in her book, Resilience.
Fall-Out Of The John Edwards Affair
John Edwards finally admitted that he was Frances Quinn Hunter’s father in January 2010, and Andrew Young released a book about the affair in February 2010. Elizabeth formally separated from her husband right after his announcement, and intended to divorce him after the mandatory one-year waiting period. She died in December 2010, and Edwards moved Hunter into their home in 2011. Hunter also released a tell-all book in 2012.
You might imagine that all of that would be enough. But, his legal troubles were far from over. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on six felony charges, involving making false statements, collecting illegal contributions, and conspiracy. Specifically, investigators believed that Edwards had used funds to cover-up his affair. He was ultimately found not guilty on one count, and the other charges were declared mistrials. He returned to private law practice.
Clinton’s Infamous Affair With Monica Lewinsky
Beyond Chinagate, there was the White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Of course, she wasn’t the first affair Bill Clinton had ever had, and it likely wasn’t his last. The monumental fall-out wasn’t even really about the act itself, but rather the fact that he had lied about it. Clinton denied having an the affair with Lewinsky, so he gave false testimony under oath, and that’s what really was at the root of his 1998 impeachment. Even with all of this scandal looming over him, he received the highest approval rating of his presidency on the day he was impeached: 73 percent.
When You’re A Star, They Let You Do It?
Donald Trump is known for one controversy after another, but one of the most troubling scandals was formally unearthed during the 2016 Presidential campaign. The evidence was irrefutable, really, since it was Trump himself, preparing for his cameo appearance on Days of Our Lives. He spoke in a candid, lewd and licentious way with Billy Bush (Access Hollywood) about women, and it’s pretty obvious that neither of them knew that their conversation was being recorded. In part, he claimed “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
Trump’s True Self?
The recording set off a firestorm of debate and consternation, inspiring other women to come forward with reports of harassment, groping, and other inappropriate acts. Finally, Trump admitted: “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.” But, he turned it all on its head by claiming that the recording was a “distraction.” He said: “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”
Trump’s Russian Controversy
By now, Donald Trump is infamous for his misogynistic behavior and racist comments, but he also captured the public’s attention with the constant rumor-mill of questions surrounding his international business interests, particularly the more mysterious ones related to Russia. With multiple bankruptcies, some critics have surmised that Trump’s only open source for funding may have been from Russia, some of which were allegedly affiliated with the Russian mob. The conspiracy theories and rumors become even more elaborate as those key figures in Trumps cabinet and advisory roles are investigated for connections to Russia that were previously unreported when they were screened for security clearances.
Rudy Giuliani Holier Than Thou
While Rudy Giuliani likes to preach about conservative values and the wrongs of his democratic opponents, he has been married three times. One of his wives was also second cousin. Also, he was still married to Donna Hanover, his second wife, when he committed adultery with Judith Nathan, his third wife.
In 2016, he claimed that Presidential-candidate Hillary Clinton was unfaithful to her husband, Bill. When the interviewer brought up Giuliani’s own indiscretions, he said, “I think your bringing up my personal life really is kind of irrelevant to what Hillary Clinton did.”
The Truth Behind Rudy Giuliani’s Indiscretions
Rudy Giuliani’s approach to relationships and marriage have not only been a public-relations nightmare, but also an embarrassment to himself and his family. In 2000, he publicly announced his separation from Hanover in a press conference, without consulting with her or warning her beforehand. Hanover responded by saying their relationship was under strain due to his extramarital relationship with a staffer.
Beyond the effect that Giuliani’s questionable approach has had on his personal relationships with women, his actions have also jeopardized his fatherly ties with his children.
The Governator’s Admission Of Guilt
While Arnold Schwarzenegger was campaigning to be governor of California in 2003, several women came forward alleging that he’d made unwanted advances toward them. This campaign scandal was coined “So, he admitted that he’d acted badly prior to his run for office. His campaign flourished, and Schwarzenegger won the election by a comfortable margin. But, his adulterous and scandalous tendencies didn’t end there.
The Divorce That Never Really Happened?
This revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger had an affair with the housekeeper, and that he’d fathered a child by her, was not acceptable behavior for the politically-proclaimed “family man” with conservative Republican values. You probably didn’t blame her at all, nor were you surprised when they legally separated, and then Maria Shriver filed divorce. They’ve worked out a property settlement. The kids are all grown. They both have significant others. There’s only one catch. They are still legally married. The divorce papers were never finalized.
For Joseph Baena’s 19th birthday in 2016, Schwarzenegger publicly said: “Happy Birthday, Jospeh. Great student, great athlete. I’m proud of you and I love you!”
Gary Hart’s Monkey Business
If you know about Senator Gary Hart, then know about Donna Rice, his 29-year-old model-mistress. Initially a front-runner in the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, Hart’s campaign quickly deteriorated. After rumors surfaced, the press tailed him until they found evidence of his affair with Rice. Ironically, Hart took a yacht, named Monkey Business, on a trip to Bimini with Rice.
With the affair confirmed, Hart’s poll numbers dropped in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and he was forced to drop out of the race. The Hart-Rice affair proves that sex scandals can destroy political futures.
Eric Greitens’s Dirty Money
Eric Greitens is an American politician and former Navy SEAL, with a squeaky-clean Republican image. So you’d think he would be the perfect candidate for Missouri governor, particularly with his stated goal of cleaning up Jefferson City politics. In the final days before the election, though, the Missouri Ethics Commission investigated Greitens regarding the possibly illegal use of a donor list. He’d already been scrutinized over $6 million in dark money from two federal political action committees.
The Principle Of Abuse
Perhaps the biggest scandal of all was the revelation that Eric Greitens’s largest donor ($1 million) had also been slapped with a $30 million abuse lawsuit, with evidence that he’d assaulted a young woman, Amber Laurel Baptiste, for 13 years , reportedly making her “a victim of human trafficking.”
Although many have demanded that he return the money, Eric Greitens declined, saying that he was holding onto the donor’s money on “principle.” Meanwhile, Donor Michael Goguen filed a defamation lawsuit against John Brunner. Greitensn won the election, and became the 56th Governor of Missouri.
Did Robert Bentley Really Pay The Price?
It’s been called out as one of those rare examples where a politician paid the price, but did Robert Bentley really? Was it enough? He was the governor of Alabama until he recently resigned. According to Special Prosecutor Ellen Brooks, he agreed to resign as part of a plea agreement on misdemeanor charges of failing to file a contribution report and converting campaign funding for personal use. The real story about an administration that fostered lies, cover-ups, and intimidation is quietly slipping away. He’d been under investigation for some time by the Alabama Ethics Commission, with reviews by the FBI and the Attorney General. It was only a matter of time before he was either arrested or he made a deal to walk away. He’s been portrayed as a deceitful and desperate man.
Anthony’s Weinergate Scandal
You’ve got no choice but to associated Anthony Weiner with his infamous “sexting” scandals. The first incident was called “Weinergate,” when he was forced to admitted that he’d “exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women.” His behavior was so salacious that he was forced to resign from his seat in Congress, in 2011. Then, Weiner launched his campaign formayor of New York City in July 2013. And, reports surfaced that he’d mossed more explicit images under the alias “Carlos Danger.”
Weiner Splits With His Wife
Perhaps you could say that Anthony Weiner should have learned his lesson the first or second time he got caught in these texting scandals. Yes, he tried to disguise himself the second time, but he doesn’t appear to have been very good at it. His antics were still easily discovered, and somehow he just couldn’t stop himself from doing it again. Unfortunately, the third reported sexting incident also included a photo of Weiner lying on a bed with his son, prompting his wife to legally separate from him.
Sexting Scandal Crosses Presidential Bid
The fourth, and most recent, sexting scandal involved Weiner sending obscene material to a minor, so the FBI immediately opened an investigation and seized Weiner’s laptop. With the explicit evidence of Weiner’s crime, they also discovered emails from Hillary Clinton. Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, was one of her aides.
When they discovered the Clinton emails, FBI Director James Comey announced that he’d be evaluating them to find evidence in the Clinton private-email-server scandal. There’s been a good deal of debate about whether Comey’s re-opened investigation killed any chance that Clinton could win the election. Whatever the case, the case against Weiner moved forward, and he plead guilty to sexting a minor. His wife, Huma, also filed for divorce, but she hasn’t served the papers and she allowed Weiner to move back home.
Lobbying For A New Reputation
Anthony Weiner has also been criticized by some on both the political Left and Right for his consulting work as they debate whether it is legally defined as “lobbying.” Since resigning from office, Weiner started his own consulting practice and uses his professional relationships to contact members of Congress on behalf of his clients. Weiner argues that his work does not qualify as lobbying.
Robert Leggett was a California Democrat who was elected to Congress as a representative from January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1979. During his terms in office, he fathered two illegitimate children by a Congressional secretary, and he financially supported them. He also had an affair with an aide.
Mel Reynolds Assaulted Volunteers
In August 1994, Representative Mel Reynolds wasindictedforsexual assaultand criminalsexual abuse. He was also accused of engaging in a relationship with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer during his 1992 campaign.Even after facing such criminal charges, he continued his campaign and was re-elected that November with opposition. Besides the 12 counts of assault, Reynolds was convicted on charges of obstruction of justice and solicitation ofchild pornography. He resigned from office, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Reynolds Commits Fraud & Gets Commuted Sentence
While he was still serving his five-year stint, Mel Reynolds was also convicted on charges of bank fraud, using campaign funds for personal use, and lying to FEC investigators, which carried a sentence of 78 additional months. President Bill Clinton commuted part of that second sentence, but Reynolds hadn’t learned to stay out of trouble.
Reynolds was arrested in Zimbabwe for overstaying his visa an possessing pornographic magazines, but they dropped the porn charges, and he pleaded guilty to violating immigration laws. They deported him to South Africa. He was then indicted for failing to file federal income taxes 2009-2012. He may still be hiding out in South Africa, fearing for his life.
The Disappearing Act
Gary Condit was always a huge critic of President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, urging Clinton to just “come clean,” but his own hush-hush affair with 23-year-old intern, Chandra Levy, became highly publicized when she disappearance. The situation worsened when it became clear that he had not been open-and-honest with investigators. He lost the 2002 Democratic primary, at least partly because of the negative publicity and the brutal speculation.
Her body was found a year. Since they were known to be involved with one another, suspicion naturally continued to fall on Conduit. The prosecutor convicted Mara Salvatrucha, an immigrant, of Levy’s murder, but the conviction was overturned. due to an unreliable source.
Chris Lee Stalks Craigslist
Chris Lee is another case of online, sexually mischievous behavior. Lee resigned hours after it was reported he was corresponding with a woman via Craigslist, sending shirtless pictures of himself flexing his muscles, along with flirtatious e-mails.He definitely owned his decision to flaunt himself in these photos – he didn’t even use apseudonymor a false e-mail address. He used his official Congressional e-mail for all communication with this woman.
Vance McAllister Will Work On His Marriage
Representative Vance McAllister is a married father of five, who was caught on surveillance camera deeply kissing a woman who was not his wife – she was a married staffer. Several prominent Republicans asked McAllister to resign because of his indiscretions. In response, he stated he would not seek re-election in 2016 and would work on his marriage instead.
Mike Pence Takes Handouts
Back in the early ’90s, when Mike Pence was beginning his political career and campaigning for election, he diverted funds from his campaign donors for his own personal use. Records showed that he diverted about $13,000 (about $23,000 in current money) in donations to his own personal expenses like his mortgage, his wife’s car payments, credit card bills, golf tournaments, and even groceries. You know how that turned out, right? Why, he’s Vice President of the United States now.
Mitt Romney Cashes In
Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012 and was put under a microscope due to his relationship with “dark financial patrons,” resulting in the perception that he works with “tainted” campaign cash. Romney has also been widely criticized for his “can-do” attitude about money, taking it wherever he can find it – even from people deeply involved in the Olympic bribery scandal in 2002 – and using it for whatever is most advantageous.
Don’t Trust Rand With The Reports
Jesse Benton, a member of the Paul family by marriage, was charged by a federal grand jury with conspiracy, causing false records to obstruct a contemplated investigation and causing the submission of false campaign expenditure reports. The report alleges that the campaign paid more than $70,000 to then-Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson in exchange for his support.
Nixon’s “Not A Crook”
Remember the little story that broke in 1974 coined the Watergate scandal? Watergate may be the most well-known fundraising scandal in United States history that included an illegal fundraising operation and Nixon’s re-election committee sending “plumbers” to break into Democratic National headquarters. President Nixon claimed “I am not a crook!” and quickly resigned from his presidency before facing an impeachment hearing.
Gary Herbert’s Unethical Desperation
At a fundraising event, Governor Gary Herbert was trying to get donors to contribute to his campaign and a tape was made without his knowledge. Herbert was heard on the tape saying that he would go anywhere and do whatever it takes if donors financially contribute. He also said that there would be noquid pro quo. While some believe that he sold access to himself, which isn’t considered to be illegal, it is still unethical.
Frank Guinta Still Asks His Parents For Money
Representative Frank Guinta is considered to be the most vulnerable incumbent in the country. In 2010, he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign from his parents from a family-funded account that Guinta also contributed to. The money counted as a campaign donation far exceeding the contribution limit for individuals and Guinta was ordered to pay the money back.
The Unbearable Truth
In 2010 and 2012, Representative Ami Berawas running for reelection and his campaign was accused of election and financial fraud. As a matter of fact, the government identified more than 130 improper campaign contributions involving approximately 90 contributors. While Rep. Ami Bera claims no knowledge of the fraudulent activities, his father plead guilty to federal charges.
Bill de Blasio’s Business Transactions
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio found himself to be the subject of an investigation into whether his personal nonprofit fundraising arm was breaking campaign-finance and conflicts-of-interest laws. The nonprofit closed before the investigation was over, but he had already taken in $4.3 million. Funds came from unions, real estate firms and other companies that do business with the city.
Beware The Koch Brothers
Wherever there is a campaign finance controversy, you will probably find the Koch Brothers. The financial and political influence ofCharles G. KochandDavid H. Koch began once they inherited their father’s company, Koch Industries, which isthe second-largest privately held company in the United States. Their goal is to support conservative Republican campaigns and think tanks. Any politician who garners support from the Koch Brothers receives criticism based on their financial strong-arm that inevitably causes bias.
Grant and The Crédit Mobilier Scandal
Apparently, political scandals, controversies, and corruption are not limited to the recent campaigns we all know from the twenty-first century. In 1867, several high-ranking Republican congressmen (who were all close supporters of soon to be President Ulysses S. Grant), were given and/or purchased at below market priced stock in the Crédit Mobilier of America company.
Garfield Follows Grant’s Footsteps
The Crédit Mobilier of America company was incredibly involved in the funding and construction of the Union Pacific Railroad and the Congressmen all had special interests in its production. They proceeded to grant a number of public subsidies and other gifts to the company to help line their own pockets. And this scandal didn’t just benefit President Grant – another notable player in this scandal was future President James A. Garfield.