Saturday, December 12, 2009

In Terms Of Republican Sex Scandals, Mark Sanford Is Just A Sad And Pathetic Pipsqueak


Yesterday South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford filed for divorce against tango-crazed Governor Mark. The grounds: adultery. Fortunately, no one ever took Sanford's fake quest for a Biblical state-- with a sort of a South Carolina version of Sharia law-- seriously. Otherwise he might get stoned-- and not the way his former Treasurer Tom "Teabagger" Ravenel gets stoned.
The news comes the same week as Gov. Sanford was censured but spared impeachment by a House subcommittee investigating allegations that Sanford misused campaign money, and state planes and other assets. Those allegations came to light after the governor secretly left the state for five days in June to visit his Argentine lover.

...In her court filing, Jenny Sanford said “the defendant has engaged in a sexual relationship with a woman other than the plaintiff (Jenny Sanford). The plaintiff has not condoned that relationship and is informed and believes that she is entitled to a divorce ... on ground of adultery.”

The first lady’s filing said she “is informed and believes that all ... matters between the parties”-- custody of the couple’s four sons and division of their assets-- ”will be resolved by agreement, which agreement will be presented to the court for approval and adoption. ...”

While both Sanfords-- who married in Florida in 1989-- regularly are described as multi-millionaires, Jenny Sanford is, in fact, the wealthier. She is an heir to Skil saw fortune, while his wealth is largely based on illiquid land holdings.

A little hanky panky charged to the taxpayers down in Buenos Aires is small potatoes compared to some of the stuff I've been reading in David Rosen's new book, Sex Scandal America. Although "powerful congressmen," writes Rosen, "are protected by certain privileges," sometimes things go startlingly wrong, even for them.
In February 1989 [Donald "Buz"] Lukens was outed by an Ohio TV station reporter on a Columbus woman's charge that he had been paying her daughter for sex over the past three years. The girl, Rosie Coffman, was only thirteen years old when the affair with the congressman began. Lukens was eventually indicted and found guilty, not for rape but for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and given a slap-on-the-wrist sentence of thirty days in jail. Refusing to resign in the face of the scandal, he was defeated in his re-election bid. While completing his lame-duck term in Washington, Lukens was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct, this time fondling a Capitol elevator operator. He resigned in disgrace.

Lukens was caught on camera trying to make a deal with Rosie's African-American mom at a McDonald's. Lukens, who had paid Rosie $40 for sex, appealed his conviction on the grounds that she was already a delinquent when he seduced her! Appropriately enough John Boehner, one of the most blatantly corrupt men to ever serve in the House of Representatives, beat Lukens in the Republican primary and followed in his political footsteps. (He was later convicted on bribery and conspiracy charges for actions he took while in Congress; not Boehner, Lukens.) But Lukens' story is nothing compared to one going on at the heart of the Republican Party simultaneously. Ever hear the name Craig Spence, Craig J. Spence? Although just a big shot Republican operative and lobbyist and not a member of Congress, he was kind of the Patrick McHenry of his day, in terms of providing powerful gay Republicans with boy-toys. Like McHenry's business/love partner, Spence was found dead in a hotel... suicided. Back to Rosen's book:
One of the biggest-- and least reported-- scandals of the late-eighties was broken by the Washington Times, the conservative, Moon or Unification Church-backed newspaper. The first inkling of a scandal was a report about a male prostitution ring operating in the DC area. Additional reports kept expanding on the story. The paper claimed that Craig Spence, a Republican lobbyist, took youthful prostitutes (one fifteen years old) and clients on late-night tours of the [Reagan] White House. It claimed that Reginald de Gueldre, a Secret Service agent, arranged the tours [at the order of Vice President Bush aide Donald Gregg]; it also reported that the Secret Service "furloughed" three White House guards tied to the episode. It reported that Spence hosted lavish parties for the Washington rich and powerful at which cocaine and other illicit pleasures were provided. Also named in the scandal were Paul Balach, White House political personnel liaison for Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole, and Charles Dutcher, the Reagan administrations' associate director of presidential personnel; both charged prostitute services to their credit cards. [And you thought that Salahi thing was a big deal!]

However, the story took a bizarre twist when the paper linked the Washington goings-on to a ring that was trafficking children from Nebraska orphanages for sex orgies with Republican officials and other social worthies. It identified Lawrence King, Jr., an African-American Republican who operated the Omaha-based Franklin Community Credit Union, and Harold Anderson, then publisher of the Omaha World-Herald, as the ringleaders. The scandal reached its "climax" when Spence, who had been indicted on [crack] cocaine and gun possession charges, was found dead in a Boston hotel room.

Many of these people are dead or retired. Not so with a sick and corrupt current Republican congressman, Ken Calvert, who represents an Inland Empire district, CA-45. Calvert is widely considered one of the most hypocritical members of the California Republican congressional delegation. Rosen looked into his case as well:
Hypocrisy was one of the social virtues that underscored the Clinton era and no one better expressed it than Calvert. A tireless supporter of the Christian Coalition and "family values," he took a principled stand against Clinton: "We can't forgive what has occurred between the President and Lewinsky." However, in 1993, this upstanding citizen was caught naked in his car getting a blowjob from a hooker, only to be apprehended by the police when he attempted to flee. He later pleaded for mercy, complaining that his father had recently committed suicide, his wife had left him and he did not know that the woman was a sex worker. Adding insult to injury, his ex-wife denounced him for refusing to meet his child-support payments.

Last year voters nearly retired Calvert-- even after Boehner came to his rescue by assigning him to the Appropriations Committee, where he was able to amass a huge war chest. Last year Calvert spent $1,150,432 in his re-election campaign, while grassroots Democrat Bill Hedrick only managed to spend $191,461, though nearly getting as many votes. This year the two will face off again.

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At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

So, Howie, what does it take in America for highly placed, elected officials to get impeached? Other than being Democratic presidents who have affairs and piss off David Broder, I mean.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger edgery said...

don't know what Howie will say, but apparently sex crimes are right up there with war crimes on the unimpeachable, "look forward not back" list.


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