Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Historical Top\Worst Republican Sex Scandals (Before 2014)

  • In early July 2007, Vitter's phone number was included in a published list of phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates, a company owned and run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, also known as the "D.C. Madam", convicted by the U.S. government for running a prostitution service. Hustler identified the phone number and contacted Vitter's office to ask about his connection to Palfrey. The following day, Vitter issued a written statement in which he took responsibility for his sin and asked for forgiveness. On July 16, 2007, after a week of self-imposed seclusion, Vitter emerged and called a news conference. Standing next to his wife, Vitter asked the public for forgiveness. Following Vitter's remarks, Wendy Vitter, his wife, spoke. Both refused to answer any questions.
  • The Larry Craig scandal was an incident that began on June 11, 2007, with the arrest of Larry Craig—who at the time was a Senator from Idaho—for lewd conduct in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Craig later entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. As a result of the controversy surrounding his arrest, subsequent guilty plea, and pressure from his fellow Republicans, Senator Craig announced his intention to resign from the Senate at a news conference. After failing to withdraw his guilty plea, on October 4, 2007, Craig released a statement refusing to resign as senator for Idaho.
  • The Mark Foley scandal, which broke in late September 2006, centers on soliciting e-mails and sexually suggestive instant messages sent by Mark Foley, a Republican Congressman from Florida, to teenaged boys who had formerly served as congressional pages. Investigation was closed by the FDLE on September 19, 2008 citing insufficient evidence to pursue criminal charges as both "Congress and Mr. Foley denied us access to critical data,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. The scandal has grown to encompass the response of Republican congressional leaders to previous complaints about Foley's contacts with the pages and inconsistencies in the leaders' public statements.
  • O'Reilly was accused of making "disgusting" phone calls and remarks to Andrea Mackris an associate producer on the "The O'Reilly Factor." O'Reilly's alleged remarks included telling Mackris she should use a vibrator and regaling her with tales of threesomes with Swedish stewardesses and stories of his "amazing" endowment. Mackris claims he made three lewd phone calls to her since August in which he described fantasies involving her and sex acts he would perform on her. She said he was clearly pleasuring himself as he spoke.
  • NPR's Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg received a leaked Judiciary Committee/FBI report that a former colleague of Thomas, University of Oklahoma law school professor Anita Hill, accused him of making unwelcome sexual comments to her when the two worked together at the Department of Education and EEOC. On October 11, 1991, Hill was called to testify during the hearing. She sought to emphasize the inappropriate nature of the alleged behavior, rather than focusing on whether it was illegal or not, but said that in her view it was indeed illegal, adding that it might not "rise to the level" of illegal sexual harassment.