Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Republican Abuse of Power Scandals

  • Republican Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister were recently found guilty of campaign corruption charges and now look to join their sister, former State Senator Jane Orie--who was recently convicted of corruption herself--in state Prison. Many state lawmakers have called on Justice Melvin to resign her seat on the court or face articles of impeachment.
  • During the Hurricane Sandy clean up process, Governor Christie awarded a no bid, multi-million dollar contract to a company that contributed more than $50,000 to a PAC that invested heavily in electing Christie to the Governor's mansion. In total, at least four companies that donated heavily to New Jersey Republicans received state contracts to help in the clean up process.
  • In February 2013, a watchdog group filed a complaint with the state attorney general alleging that Speaker Bobby Harrell (R) had improperly paid himself $325,000 in campaign funds for flights he piloted. The group also accused him of pressuring regulators on behalf of his business. Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) convened a grand jury to look into the complaint in January, after a 10-month investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.
  • John Leopold, the chief executive of Maryland's fourth-largest county, resigned from office after he was found guilty of misconduct in office. Judge Dennis Sweeney called Mr. Leopold "predatory and cruel" for having a secretary empty his urine catheter bag for nearly ten months.
  • In January 2013, conservative commentator Joshua Treviño filed a report under the Foreign Agent Registration Act disclosing that, from May 2008 until April 2011, he was paid $389,000 by the "Government of Malaysia, its ruling party, or interests closely aligned with either". His work was to organize an opinion campaign against former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Treviño in turn made payments of up to $36,000 to several conservative American opinion writers who went on to write pro-government pieces on behalf of Malaysia, including Ben Domenech, Rachel Ehrenfeld, Seth Mandel, and Brad Jackson. Outlets in which their work appeared included the Huffington Post, the San Francisco Examiner, the Washington Times, National Review, and RedState.com.
  • The FCBOE met Nov. 5 and determined that True the Vote had likely falsified the forms submitted for general election observers. The new observer forms, filed over the past few days by True the Vote representative (and Hilliard Tea Party Member) Jan Loar, used candidate signatures copied from a previous set of forms filed in early October All but one of the six candidates whose names appeared on the original form had withdrawn permission to use their signatures prior to the submission of today’s forms.
  • There is an upcoming junk study from a Koch-funded think tank that has taken on the format and appearance of a truly scientific report from the US Government, but is loaded with lies and misrepresentation of actual climate change science.
  • State Republican officials have fired the vendor it had hired to register voters, and took the additional step of filing an election fraud complaint against the company, Strategic Allied Consulting, with state officials. That complaint was handed over Friday to state law-enforcement authorities. A call to temporarily halt registration has been issued while an investigation is under way. It is a 3rd-degree felony to knowingly submit false voter registration information.
  • When Mitt Romney campaigned at an Ohio coal mine earlier this month, he might not have realized that the miners were forced to be there — without pay — by the owner, Murray Energy. Miners said,"Just for the record, if we did not go, we knew what would happen,” if they didn't attend. Ohio has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission accusing the owner of Murray Energy Corporation of an illegal corporate contribution in the form of his employees.
  • FBI agents are interested in Grimm’s failure to file paperwork related to his trip to Cyprus following his Israeli junket, which had been paid for by the Cyprus Federation of America. The president of that company was arrested on federal corruption charges in June. Grimm had reported the Israel trip in his initial filing in May but did not list the trip to Cyprus until he amended it in June, one day after Cyprus Federation of America’s president was arrested.
  • U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was a leading sponsor of congressional legislation that has meant $5.3 million for two clients of his onetime girlfriend, and he is backing another bill that could bring millions of dollars to a third group she represented.
  • The National Labor Relations Board announced that one of its five members, Terence F. Flynn, had resigned after the board’s inspector general found that Mr. Flynn leaked documents to G.O.P. allies. In one instance, Mr. Berry found that Mr. Flynn had secretly helped Mr. Schaumber write an opinion column that denounced an N.L.R.B. decision that favored labor unions. Mr. Berry called that action by Mr. Flynn “an abuse of his discretion.”
  • Joe Arpaio opened an investigation to determine whether or not Obama was born a U.S. citizen. Since this is not in his jurisdiction as Sheriff, he assured everyone that the investigation was privately funded. Turns out that the Sheriff's Office, and in-turn the taxpayers, have been footing the bill for airfare and hotel room for the investigators. This is made worse by the fact that the investigation is frivolous since the 'birther' conspiracy has long been debunked.
  • 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.
  • South Carolina's Lieutenant Gov. Ken Ard, who announced his resignation 3/09/12, was charged by a state grand jury with seven violations of state ethics laws. He used thousands of dollars of campaign money for personal expenditures, including $800 at a boutique shop, $3000 at Best Buy, $2000 for travel and several other personal expenses. In addition to purchasing a number of personal items using campaign funds, Ard was charged with donating his own money to his campaign — which is allowed under South Carolina law — but making it look like it came from others to create the impression he had strong support in the state.
  • 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 February 4, 2012, a jury found White guilty of six of seven felony charges, including false registration, voting in another precinct, submitting a false ballot, theft, and two counts of perjury. He was acquitted on one fraud charge. The felony convictions automatically removed White from office. Hamilton County Superior Court Judge Steven Nation sentenced White to one year of house arrest, 30 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine. Nation refused to downgrade White's charges to misdemeanors, saying that his actions in the 2010 election were deliberate and therefore "violated the trust of the people." The conviction ends any chance of White regaining office even if his appeal of Rosenberg's ruling is successful.
  • 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.
  • In alleging the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office committed federal and constitutional violations, a 22-page Justice Department letter described "a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos at MCSO that reaches the highest levels of the agency." The investigation began in 2008 has uncovered evidence of racial slurs, racial profiling, and other discriminatory actions against Hispanics. As a result of the report, Arpaio lost its authority to identify and detain illegal immigrants.