Conservative Controversies & Scandals

2016 Republican Scandals

  • The Trump Foundation spent $20,000 on a portrait of Donald Trump that wound up being placed in one Trump's golf courses. The painting was done by Michael Israel at a foundation event.
  • A class action lawsuit was filed against Donald Trump's campaign accusing it of illegally sending unsolicited text messages without prior consent from consumers. This is an apparent violation of the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act which sets limits on the use of robocalls and the number of unsolicited phone calls and text messages a campaign or company can send without consent from the consumer.
  • Stephen Bannon, the CEO of Donald Trump's presidential campaign lost a civil defamation and wrongful termination lawsuit back in 1996. Bannon was accused of being abusive and derogatory to multiple scientists living in a secretive Biosphere complex that was originally a project funded by billionaire Edward Bass where eight scientists would live inside of a dome for two years and be completely self sufficient. The project ran into multiple problems and Bannon was brought in. Problems immediately began to happen and Bannon and the company managing the project were sued for defamation and wrongful termination.
  • Paul Mantafort, chairman for Donald Trump's presidential campaign, was found out to have connections with pro-Russian forces in the Ukrainian government. His name appeared in a secret ledger belonging to the party of Vikto Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president. After multiple reports pertaining to his involvement with pro-Russian forces over an extensive period, Mantafort stepped down as chairman for Trump's campaign.
  • Dozens of women who have worked with or for Donald Trump at some point in their lives have come forward to accuse the presumptive Republican nominee of making unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate workplace conduct, and seemingly never ending commentary on their appearance.
  • Federal prosecutors charged TX Attorney General Ken Paxton with securities fraud, accusing him of failing to disclose to investors he was recruiting that he had a financial agreement with a startup company called Severgy Inc. Paxton is accused of helping raise $840,000 for the company and then receiving 100,000 shares in return. If convicted, Paxton could wind up serving 99 years in federal prison.
  • Donald Trump has not used any of his personal money to donate to charities in the past five years, contrary to his oft repeated claims that he donated $102 million to charity in the past five years. The vast majority of his "donations" were in the form of free rounds of golf at one of his golf courses and conservation agreements where he promised to forgo development rights on property he owns.
  • Glenn Beck has been sued by a victim of the Boston Marathon bombings that he accused of being a terrorist. The victim, Abdulrahman Alharbi, was injured in the bombings, but Beck accused him of being the person who financed the bombings. Beck and Alharbi were unable to come to an agreement in arbitration, so the case will now be going to trial.
  • Alabama governor, Robert Bentley was asked to leave by the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa, where he was once a deacon, after admitting to inappropriate sexual conversations with a top staffer, Rebekah Mason, who also attended the church, and had to leave as well.
  • Two Donald Trump supporters at a rally in Janesville, Wisconsin are accused of sexually assaulting and pepper spraying a 15 year old who was attending a protest against the Presidential candidate. They are also accused of pepper spraying a 19 year old female who was standing next to her.
  • The National Inquirer published a story accusing Senator Ted Cruz of having multiple and ongoing extramarital affairs. Senator Cruz refuted the allegations, but multiple Cruz opponents on both sides of the political aisle have been pushing these accusations for months.
  • A charity run by Donald Trump donated money to a political Super PAC in Florida that supported State Attorney General Pam Bondi called "And Justice For All" in 2013. This donation is a violation of federal rules that prevent charities from giving to political action committees. A Trump spokesman said that it was a filing mistake on their part and that they hope to work it out with the IRS.
  • Poll workers in the North Carolina primary are accused of forcing a man to spell his name before being able to cast his ballot. The man has a South Asian name, which tend to be long. As he was spelling his name, the worker would repeat it back to him. On more than one occasion the worker said the wrong letter back and would get angry with the voter for correcting him. The man was eventually allowed to vote, but the exact same thing happened to his wife later in the day when she went to cast her ballot at a different polling station. The couple filed an official complaint with the State Board of Elections and received an apology from the director, who said the law only says that workers have to verify a person has a identification and not force them to spell their names.
  • Donald Trump is known for railing against the outsourcing of American jobs on the campaign trail, but he had a different opinion on the subject ten years ago. Trump wrote a piece to Trump University students where he said "[w]e hear terrible things about outsourcing jobs—how sending work outside of our companies is contributing to the demise of American businesses. But in this instance I have to take the unpopular stance that it is not always a terrible thing." He went on to suggest that outsourcing eventually creates more American jobs and increases wages for certain segments of the American population.
  • Ohio Governor John Kasich was pulled over for unlawfully passing an emergency vehicle in 2008. In a speech to the EPA , Kasich reflected on the event, calling the police officer "an idiot," also saying he had not broken the law. A police official released a dash cam video of Kasich, which contradicts Kasich's claims.
  • Corey Lewandoski, Trump's campaign manager, violated Fox's debate rules by reportedly going onstage to coach Trump during commercial breaks. Fox News staff repeatedly asked him to stop, which resulted in Fox allowing other candidates and their staffs to converse during breaks.
  • In the state of Indiana, Kosciusko County Sheriff C. Aaron Rovenstine has been indicted by a grand jury on 10 separate criminal counts. The outspoken and lifelong Republican sheriff has been indicted on five official misconduct charges, three bribery charges, one intimidation charge and one assisting a criminal charge, ranging from 2011 to 2015. If convicted, Rovenstine could face anywhere from 8.5 years to 37 years behind bars.
  • Rick Tyler, Senator Ted Cruz's top spokesman, spread a false and misleading story about Senator Marco Rubio that questioned his faith and belief in God. Cruz fired the spokesman after the media and Rubio's campaign accused Cruz of running a campaign that spreads multiple falsehoods.
  • Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign apologized to Ben Carson for telling Iowans ahead of the caucuses that he had suspended his campaign. Cruz won the Iowa caucuses with 28 percent support. Carson finished fourth at 9 percent but blamed his fourth-place finish on Cruz.
  • Gov. Scott Walker signed two bills that cut Planned Parenthood funding. One in particular restricts the amount PP gets back in Medicaid reimbursements for birth control.