Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2014 Republican Scandals

  • Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife were charged in Federal Court for illegally accepting thousands of dollars in gifts, vacations, and loans from businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in exchange for special treatment from the Governor. McDonnell is the first Governor to face federal charges in Virginia's long history. Update: Governor McDonnell was convicted on 11 counts. He will be sentenced on January 6th, 2015.
  • A former aide to Representative Frank Farenthold has sued the congressman and his office staff for creating a hostile work environment and gender discrimination. The former aide accused the congressman of making sexual comments about her and claimed he is regularly drunk on the job, which caused him to say a plethora of inappropriate things. She is seeking an unspecified amount of money for lost pay and emotional distress.
  • The National Republican Congressional Committee and outside Republican groups set up fake Twitter accounts to share internal polling data throughout the 2014 midterm elections. The fake Twitter accounts would share what would look like gibberish to most people, but was in fact internal polling data meant to help the Super PAC's determine where to spend their dollars. This collusion may violate election laws preventing coordination between Super PAC's and the campaigns they are supporting.
  • Jamaican fashion model, Alexia Palmer, filed a lawsuit against Trump's modeling agency for "fraudulent misrepresentation" and violation of immigration and labor laws, when they agreed as part of her visa application to pay her $75,000, but she claimed to have only received $3,880. The agency filed a motion to dismiss, and the judge granted it.
  • Henry Rayhons, a longtime member of the Iowa House of Representatives, has been charged with sexually abusing his mentally incapacitated wife at her nursing home. Rayhons was informed that his wife could no longer consent to sexual activity back in June, but disregarded the nursing home staffs directives and had relations with his wife in her room. He was caught on tape throwing his underwear into a laundry bin and later confessed to 'having sexual contact' with his wife and was also in possession of the document stating his wife was no longer able to give proper consent to sexual relations.
  • Gia Arnold, a Republican running for a seat in the New York State Senate, has put her campaign on hold after admitting to having an extramarital affair and then leaving her husband. While she has decided to stop campaigning, she insists she will still be on the ballot this November.
  • In Terri Lynn Land's finacial disclosure forms, she claimed that she was worth $1.5 million dollars. She has since donated $3 million of her own money to her campaign. Her staff has claimed that she inadvertently omitted a joint banking account in her disclosures. The amount of money in this account has yet to be disclosed but the sudden appearance of $3 million to a campaign raises many questions.
  • Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis is currently under investigation for sexual misconduct after being accused of improperly touching a young boy during his confirmation mass.
  • A state judge in Florida ruled the states newly drawn Congressional map unconstitutional after the state conducted a “secret, organized campaign” to draw the new Congressional boundaries in the decennial redistricting process. The judge ruled that two districts, District 5 and 10, were invalid and had to be redrawn, along with any other districts that would be affected by their redrawing. The judge agreed that the Republican legislature collaborated with conservative and other right-leaning groups to draw the districts in a way that would be beneficial to the Republican party and detrimental to the Democratic party.
  • A former aide to John Padgett, the head of the Georgia Republican Party, filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the Georgia Republican Party of racism and improper termination. Qiana Keith claims she was fired after bringing up her complaint to a superior and is asking for damages and lost wages. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • "Abstinence-only" lawmaker, Senator Bill Cassidy announced that his unmarried 17 year old daughter was pregnant. In 2013, Cassidy co-sponsored the Abstinence-Only reallocation Act, which would award grants to public and private schools that stuck to teaching only abstinence.
  • Thomas Libous has been indicted on a charge of lying to the FBI during an investigation into a business deal involving his son. Libous, the deputy majority leader in the New York Senate, was under investigation for allegedly telling an unnamed law firm that it would have to “build a new wing” to handle all the extra business he would bring the firm in exchange for hiring his son Matthew Libous, said the indictment secured by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Libous was indicted on a charge of giving a false statement to the FBI.
  • A lawsuit filed last week alleges that Sally Atwater, who is running for the Republican nomination for state superintendent of education in South Carolina, shoved a student in one of her classes. The plaintiffs in the personal injury suit -- the parents of the student, who is described only as having "special needs" -- say that in December, Atwater set up a piñata in her classroom but instructed her students not to pick up the candy when the piñata eventually broke open. The suit alleges that when the student ran at the candy, Atwater shoved him away "with a crazed, angry look on her face."
  • Representative Don Young has been ordered to repay $60,000 in illegally spent campaign donations he received over a period of twelve years. Young was found to have violated House ethics rules by illegally using campaign funds to go on fifteen trips to hunting lodges during that time. The Ethics Committee found that Young used more than $30,000 of his own campaigns funds and $28,000 in gifts he failed to disclose in his annual financial disclosures.
  • The Texas Republican Party officially called for gays to receive "reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle." Gay reparative therapy is widely debunked and can cause serious psychological damage to adolescents who receive it, but it is still championed by a wide range of conservatives. The motion was approved with no debate.
  • Scott Fistler, an Arizona Republican who has repeatedly run for public office, decided to change his name to Cesar Chavez and run for Congress as a Democrat in his heavily Hispanic district. Fistler was unabashedly promoting his name change and insisted that "people want a name that they can feel comfortable with."
  • Federal investigators are looking into whether Governor Chris Christie's administration committed securities law violations by spending nearly $2 billion of Port Authority funds on a state owned bridge. It is illegal to spend Port Authority funds on state owned infrastructure, but the Christie administration lobbied heavily to classify the bridge as an access road to the Lincoln Tunnel even though they are not connected. Investigators are attempting to determine if Governor Christie violated the Martin Act, which enables the state of New York to file suit if they feel Christie intentionally misled bond holders.
  • Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, has been served with a lawsuit alleging he violated a constituents First and Fourth Amendment rights for ordering the police to raid the constituents house because he created a fake Twitter account in the mayors name. Political satire is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution, but Ardis has remained defiant and unapologetic for ordering the raid.
  • An investigation has been launched to find out why a top aid to Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel's campaign and two others were locked inside of a courthouse where primary ballots were being counted hours after the building was closed on the night of Mississippi's primary election. The three individuals gave conflicting accounts to officials once they were found to be inside of the courthouse at 2:00 in the morning, which raised a 'red flag' for the Sheriff's department. State Senator McDaniel's campaign released a statement saying that the individuals were let in by uniformed personnel, but the Sheriff's department has refuted that claim.
  • A major political donor under indictment in Utah has admitted to laundering thousands of dollars in donations to now Senator Mike Lee's 2010 campaign for the United States Senate. Businessman Jeremy Johnson informed investigators that John Swallow, Lee's friend and now disgraced former Attorney General of Utah, requested he give thousands of dollars to various individuals who then donated that money to Mike Lee. Senator Lee's office released a statement claiming "at no time during or since the 2010 campaign was Sen. Lee or anyone associated with the Lee campaign aware of any unlawful contributions to the Lee campaign."