Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Top\Worst Republican Abuse of Power Scandals

  • The Senate campaign of Florida Republican Marco Rubio has agreed to pay an $8,000 fine for accepting slightly more than $210,000 in improper contributions.
  • Cliff Stearns has been accused of using a middleman to bribe his primary opponent, James Jett, to to drop out of the primary race. Jett claims he was told he could head the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or become a U.S. Marshal once an opening came up. Stearns has denied the allegations and an FBI investigation has been opened.
  • On 1/28/2012, four current and former staff members of The Sun, a tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, under allegations of bribery of police and public officials. Two weeks later, five senior staff members of The Sun were also arrested. On 2/27/2012, it was revealed that the police were investigating a "network of corrupt officials" as part of their inquiries into phone hacking and police corruption. Evidence suggests a "culture of illegal payments" at The Sun authorized at a senior level.
  • On his last day as Mississippi governor, conservative Republican Haley Barbour surprised everyone by granting 208 pardons, clemency or early release for people convicted of crimes including murder, rape and armed robbery. 19 of the 208 were convicted of murder, 4 of which were inmates who worked at the governor's mansion doing odd jobs under a program that rewarded good behavior. The controversy is not in the pardon's themselves, but in the sheer number of pardons, comparative to just a handle by all other Governors preceding him.
  • Rick Perry may have illegally used Texas Government resources just before he kicked off his Presidential Campaign. Phone records show that Perry made numerous calls to donors, business men, and appointees from his Governors office which hints that he may have been campaigning from government phones, which is illegal in the state of Texas. No legal actions have been taken as of yet.
  • Citing internal financial documents, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a Wisconsin tax-exempt charity called Prosperity USA footed the bill for about $40,000 worth of iPads, chartered airplanes and other expenses as Cain’s campaign got off the ground early this year 2011.
  • In August 2011, the New York Times revealed that Issa had been purchasing office space, businesses, and real estate in the district that he represents. Issa has also been using his position in Congress to secure millions of dollars in earmarks that improve roads and public works that promise to improve traffic and provide other improvements in the area that his commercial property is located in. One such earmark secured as much as $800,000 in earmarks for such an area. Traffic in the area has greatly eased and property valued has soared. A conflict of interest arises as it would appear that Issa has been using his public office for personal financial gain.
  • Chris Christie used a State Police helicopter to get dropped off at his son's baseball game, where he then took a limo to ride another 100 yards to the entrance of the field. He then left during the 5th inning, getting back into the car which drove him the 100 yards to the helicopter. Play had to be stopped until the helicopter left the area. The helicopter is one of two $12.5 million crafts that were purchased for homeland security reasons.
  • As chairman of one of the most powerful committees in Congress, Darrell Issa has built a team that includes staff members with close connections to industries that could benefit from his investigations. Several have ties to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, A Republican staff counsel for the oversight committee is the son of a lobbyist pushing for regulatory changes on behalf of big corporations. At least four other staffers once lobbied Congress for companies and industry associations. Another counsel worked for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which Issa recently asked for input on government regulations. This could create the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  • The Scott Walker Administration has been criticized for alleged favoritism and cronyism. The girlfriend, Valerie Cass, of then State Senator Randy Hopper was hired for a short-term position at a salary higher than that of her predecessor. According to state records, she had never formally applied to the position, while multiple other qualified candidates with high-level recommendations were passed over for the job.
  • David Rivera, after dropping out of the Florida's state Senate race, is now be investigated for spending tens of thousands of dollars in 'thank you' money to his supporters. Those "thank you campaign" dollars to ACH are being scrutinized as part of a criminal investigation of the Republican representative's personal and campaign accounts by the Miami-Dade police and prosecutors.
  • Christine O'Donnell is being investigated for misusing political funds from a previous campaign. It seems that O'Donnell was using campaign donations for rent and other personal expenses, while leaving her campaign employees unpaid and accruing thousands of dollars of debt.
  • A "John Doe" investigation launched in May 2010 has embroiled former Walker staffers and appointees from his time as Milwaukee County executive, his job before winning the governorship in November 2010. The investigation, led by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, has led to home raids targeting former staffers with close ties to Walker and numerous felony charges for election law violations, embezzlement, and misconduct in office.
  • C Street has been the subject of controversy over its claimed tax status as a church, the ownership of the property and its connection to the Fellowship, and the reportedly subsidized benefits the facility provides to members of Congress. Until 2009, C-Street was exempt from real property taxes. When it was revealed that rooms were being rented out as residencies, the exemption was amended to 34% exempt. Soon it was revealed that the Fellowship had no control over C-Street. Mainstream Christian Pastors filed a petition to revoke C Street's remaining tax exemption due to its secretiveness on the grounds that it is not a religious institute. Further investigations show that C Street charges its Capitol Hill residents rent that is well below market price for more tax breaks.
  • Palin abused her power by pressuring official to fire an Alaskan state trooper
  • Jerry Lewis is under investigation for his ties to lobbyist and former congressman Bill Lowery. The investigation is reportedly an extension of the Duke Cunningham investigation.
  • Lott's brother-in-law, Richard Scruggs, was indicted on charges of offering a $40,000 bribe to a Mississippi state judge. Scruggs represented Lott and Representative Gene Taylor in settlements with State Farm after the insurer refused to pay claims for the loss of their Mississippi homes in Hurricane Katrina. Lott and Taylor had pushed through federal legislation to investigate claims with State Farm and other insurers, a conflict of interest. On July 30, 2008, during a deposition related to the Katrina claims, Zach Scruggs was asked by State Farm Fire & Casualty Cos. attorney Jim Robie, "Has it been your custom and habit in prosecuting litigation to have Senator Lott contact and encourage witnesses to give false information?" Zach Scruggs invoked the fifth.
  • Several high-ranking officials in the George W. Bush administration illegally used taxpayer-funded resources to campaign for Republican candidates during the 2006 midterm elections, an independent government watchdog concludes. Investigators also concluded that administration officials took over 100 politically motivated trips while claiming they were for official business. No disciplinary actions are being taken because none of the involved officials still hold public office.
  • Grover Norquist has been implemented Indian casino lobbying scandal where an estimated $85 million in fees were overcharged and used for illegal gifts. Abramoff and Scanlon grossly overbilled their clients, secretly splitting the multimillion-dollar profits. In one case, they were secretly orchestrating lobbying against their own clients in order to force them to pay for lobbying services. Norquist has denied any wrong doing and has yet to be charged with any crime.
  • On December 23, 2004, Rowland pleaded guilty to depriving the public of honest service. Rowland was sentenced on March 18, 2005, in New Haven, Connecticut, to one year and one day in prison, four months house arrest, three years probation and community service. On April 1, 2005, he entered Federal Correctional Institution, Loretto, in Pennsylvania. His federal inmate number was 15623-014.