Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2014 State Republican Scandals & Controversies

  • 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.
  • Oregon Senate candidate Monica Wehby has removed her health care plan from her campaign website after it was reported she plagiarized major portions of Crossroads USA's proposal and insinuated it was her own plan. Rove's plan was released in July of 2013 while Wehby's was released in November of the same year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Former Representative Joe Walsh was kicked off his radio show after using a host of slanderous statements and racial slurs while discussing the Washington Redskins name. Walsh claims he was trying to have an 'honest discussion about racist terms,' but his management team thought otherwise and cancelled his show until further notice.
  • 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.
  • On May 12, 2014, it was reported that Jarrett had taken time off from Fox for personal reasons. On May 21, 2014, Jarrett was arrested at a bar at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, where he appeared to be intoxicated. He was charged with interfering with a peace officer, which is a misdemeanor.
  • The state of Oklahoma has been ordered to pay $303,333 for the attorney fees of the plaintiffs after a court fight found the states anti-Sharia law unconstitutional. The law was passed overwhelmingly by state voters in 2010, but was immediately challenged in court on the grounds it violated the First Amendment. A federal judge prevented the measure from going into effect and the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling. The state has agreed to pay the legal fees over a period of three years.
  • Bobby Harrell is trying to shut down the Grand Jury investigating him for corruption by trying to get the case moved to the House Ethics Committee. Ethics advocates say "The House Ethics Committee is nothing but a fraud," said John Crangle, who leads Common Cause South Carolina, in an interview with The Huffington Post. "It's never done anything. To send it to the House Ethics Committee is basically to deep-six it, which is exactly what Harrell would like to do."
  • Just before 2 a.m. on April 21, Dane Eagle was arrested in Tallahassee on suspicion of DUI. Police first spotted him pulling out of a Taco Bell in his black SUV before he narrowly avoided hitting a median, then stopped in an intersection, veered into a curb and ran a traffic light, according to arrest documents. Eagle was booked and released.
  • Breitbart News announced their intent to focus more on California politics by releasing an offensive and sexually suggestive advertisement that had the House Democratic leader on all fours in a nude colored bikini with her tongue hanging out of her mouth.
  • An Oklahoma state lawmaker admitted that he accidentally shot someone while out hunting last month. State Representative Steve Vaughan was out shooting and tried to hit a pheasant, but accidentally hit another hunter in the side of the head with his shotgun. Vaughan profusely apologized and expresses how terrible he feels about the incident.
  • Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a vaguely worded 'religious liberty' bill which he says is meant to protect religious freedoms, but opponents claim is just another backdoor way to discriminate against gays and lesbians in the name of religious freedom. Right wing Christian organizations are cheering the move by saying the new law will 'prevent the Government from discriminating against religious exercise.'
  • Prosecutors charged former Wisconsin Assembly Majority Leader Bill Kramer on Friday with sexually assaulting a political aide three years ago following a Republican mixer. Kramer is charged with two counts of second-degree felony sexual assault. He faces up to $200,000 in fines and 80 years in prison if convicted on both charges. He is due to make an initial court appearance on April 14.
  • The Friends of Abe, Inc. (FOA) is a support and networking group for politically conservative members of the Hollywood elite. The organization was formed in 2004 by actor Gary Sinise. As of January 2012 the organization had more than 1800 members. Friends of Abe has spent three years trying to get tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status for their organization. After going an a campaign claiming the IRS was unfairly "targeting" them and playing various victim tactics, the IRS finally approved FOA to nonpartisan charity status.
  • Billionaire Mike Fernandez, co-chair of Rick Scott's campaign, resigned. Tensions had allegedly been building for weeks. The final straw came when high ranking campaign staffers were allegedly doing over-the-top, cartoonish Mexican accents while they were on their way to a Mexican restaurant according to campaign personnel.
  • Mark Driscoll used church funds to buy thousands of copies of his own book in an effort to push his book to the bestseller list. $200,000 changed hands and 6,000 books were ordered using 1,000 false addresses. This practice not illegal. Driscoll apologized for the behavior in a letter that was published on Reddit.
  • Republicans in Wisconsin unanimously voted to remove Bill Kramer as Assembly Majority Leader after he was accused of sexual harassment at a recent fundraiser and another woman accused him of harassment on a recent flight back to Wisconsin.
  • The Arizona State Senate voted along party lines on a bill that would sanction a private individuals and businesses the right to refuse service to any customer that violates their religious beliefs. The bill, which is widely viewed as giving legal permission for people to refuse service to gay and lesbian individuals, was quickly passed by the State House and now heads to Governor Jan Brewer. vetoed a similar piece of legislation last year.
  • Conservative columnist Brent Bozell's syndicated column was dropped by the Quad-City Times after it was reported Bozell had a ghostwriter write his column for years. Tim Graham, of the Bozell-founded Media Research Center, has been named as the ghostwriter of the column.