From a senator with an affinity for prostitutes, to the first congressman to face censure by the House of Representatives in 27 years, some rather embarrassing lawmakers skated to re-election, despite deplorable behaviour. Their exploits are highlighted in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s (CREW) new report, CREW’s 2010 Most Embarrassing Re-elects (and a Governor to Watch) (.pdf).
“Most Americans would be fired if they were caught patronizing a prostitute or abusing their positions for personal gain, but members of Congress aren’t most Americans,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Instead, these lawmakers are headed back to Washington where they are expected to police themselves, which is about as likely as the Grinch actually stealing Christmas.”
Although the report is focused on Congress, there is a special shout-out for newly elected Georgia governor Nathan Deal, whose corrupt activities while a member of Congress were extensively highlighted by the media but proved no obstacle to victory. Gov.-elect Deal is under federal investigation, making him the most likely 2010 election winner to find himself indicted.
“Mr. Deal is the personification of what’s wrong with politics: lawmakers abusing their office for personal financial gain,” said Sloan. “It is both astonishing and depressing that someone as blatantly corrupt as Mr. Deal can still run for – and win – higher office. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the law catches up with him.”
The most embarrassing re-elections of 2010 are (listed alphabetically)
- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
- Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
- Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
- Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
- Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
- Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
- Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
- Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN)
- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
- Rep. Don Young (R-AK)
Dishonourable Mention: Governor-elect Nathan Deal (R-GA)
Click here to read the report, CREW’s 2010 Most Embarrassing Re-elects (and a Governor to Watch).