Cheating politicians and political sex scandals and are not recent phenomena.
In 1963, British politician, John Profumo, resigned after admitting to an affair with a prostitute; in 1974, US Rep. Wilbur D. Mills suffered his downfall after a scandal involving an exotic dancer; In 1999, US President Bill Clinton is impeached and later acquitted following false testimony about having sexual relations with an intern and; in 2009, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admits he cheated on his wife and disappeared from the United States for seven days to Argentina to visit his mistress.
The list of politicians who have cheated on their wife or committed some sexual act that resulted in a sex scandal is a long one. Below is a partial list of some of the more prominent scandals and cheating. For explanation, insight and the psychology and motivations behind the political cheating and scandals, listen to my radio interview with Russ Morley of 850 WFTL.
- September 2009: Southern California Assemblyman Mike Duvall resigns after he was recorded bragging about sex with female lobbyists and an affair prior to a committee meeting.
- 2009: after disappearing for seven days, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits that he had secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he’d been having an affair.
- 2009: Sen. John Ensign admits that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer who was then employed as one of his top aides.
- Aug. 2008: John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, and the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confesses that he had lied repeatedly about an affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter.
- March 2008: New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, resigns a week after a New York Times report links him to a prostitution ring.
- June 2007: Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, is arrested in a Minneapolis airport restroom. He pleads guilty to disorderly conduct for tapping his feet and swiping his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex. Craig later denies any wrongdoing and says he is not gay.
- July 2007: Sen. David Vitter, R-La., acknowledges that his Washington phone number was among those called several years before by an escort service.
- 2006: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, acknowledges he was involved in a romantic relationship with a TV reporter Mirthala Salinas.
- September 2006; Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., abruptly resigns after reports that he sent sexual messages to teenage male congressional pages.
- 2005; Spokane Mayor Jim West, one of the most powerful Republicans in the Legislature and a champion of an anti-gay agenda during his tenure, admits to having private online relationships during 2005 through the Gay.com website. In more than 20 years in the Legislature, West had initiated legislation to outlaw sexual contact between consenting teenagers; supported a bill that would have barred gays and lesbians from working for schools, day care centers and some state agencies, and; voted to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
- 2004: N.J. Gov. James McGreevey, a Democrat, resigns, admitting he is homosexual and had an extramarital affair with another man, Golan Cipel.
- 2004: Jack Ryan, a Republican, drops out of the 2004 Senate race in Illinois when his wife, TV actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, files divorce papers alleging he had taken her to “bizarre clubs” and asked her to have sex in front of other people. Ryan’s Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, wins the Illinois seat and in 2009 becomes US President.
- 2002; Nevada Republican Assembly candidate Richard Gardner is exposed for having molested two of his daughters, twenty years prior.
- 1998; Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., is on the verge of becoming House speaker but resigns from Congress after acknowledging cheating on his wife.
- 1999: President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, gives evasive and misleading testimony under oath and publicly denies having sexual relations with former intern Monica Lewinsky, only to be forced into a humiliating reversal. He was impeached by the House and then acquitted in a 1999 Senate trial.
- 1995: Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., resigns following allegations he made unwanted sexual advances to 17 female employees and colleagues, solicited jobs from lobbyists for his former wife, and altered his personal diaries to obstruct an ethics investigation.
- 1989: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is reprimanded by the House using his influence on behalf of a male prostitute Stephen Gobie who he paid for sex. Frank faced constituents at a meeting until they ran out of questions, acknowledging, “I did not handle the pressures of having a public life, of being a closeted gay man, nearly as well as I should have.” He has won re-election ever since.
- 1998; Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., a front-runner for the then Democratic presidential nomination is photographed with a young woman while his wife is away. His liaison with Donna Rice, sinks his campaign.
- 1983; Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., cries, apologizes for hurting his family and admits he had an affair with a 17-year-old female congressional page. He is defeated in 1984 and returns to his former profession, dentistry. Meanwhile, Rep. Gerry Studds, D- MA, is also reprimanded for having engaged in a sexual relationship with a male congressional page.
- 1974; Rep. Wilbur D. Mills, D-Ark., is stopped by police in Washington; he is drunk, and his companion, Fanne Foxe, an exotic dancer, jumps out of the car and into the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. The incident causes Mills’ downfall.
- Finally, although not a politician, Pastor Ted Haggard, president of National Association of Evangelicals (with 30 million members), was a powerful political influence. In 2005, author Jeff Sharlet, reported that Pastor Haggard “talks to… Bush or his advisers every Monday” and that same year, Pastor Haggard was listed by Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential evangelicals in America. Pastor Haggard publicly denounced gays and illegal drugs but in November 2006, he resigned or was removed from all of his leadership positions after he admitted soliciting prostitute Mike Jones for homosexual sex and methamphetamine.The married, Pastor stated, “The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar.”
Why do politicians cheat? For insights and the psychology and motivations behind the cheating and scandals, listen to my radio interview with Russ Morley 850 WFTL.
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.