Conservative Controversies & Scandals

Historical Major Republican Scandals & Controversies (Before 2014)

  • Grover Norquist has been implemented Indian casino lobbying scandal where an estimated $85 million in fees were overcharged and used for illegal gifts. Abramoff and Scanlon grossly overbilled their clients, secretly splitting the multimillion-dollar profits. In one case, they were secretly orchestrating lobbying against their own clients in order to force them to pay for lobbying services. Norquist has denied any wrong doing and has yet to be charged with any crime.
  • In 2006, a male prostitute alleged that Haggard been hiring for him for sex for the past 3 years. He also accused Haggard of purchasing and using crystal meth. Haggard, who openly and often spoke against gay rights and the LGBT community, would first deny all the allegations against him but eventually admitted that almost all of it was true. He resigned from all leadership positions.
  • Jim Gibbons earmarked several millions of dollars to a company owned by Warren Trepp. Trepp had reportedly purchased cruises and other gifts including $100,000, gambling chips and cash, for Gibbons and his wife that Gibbons failed to report in his ethics filings. An investigation has been launched into the bribery allegations.
  • 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.
  • On August 11, 2006, at a campaign stop in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen twice used the word macaca to refer to S.R. Sidarth, an Indian-American, who was filming the event as a "tracker" for the opposing Webb campaign. Allen apologized, first saying he intended to say "mohawk," an incorrect reference to Sidarth's hair cut. He then revised his story, saying he meant to call Sidarth "caca" and then claiming that he did not know the meaning of the word. 'Macaca' is a pejorative epithet used by francophone colonialists in Central Africa's Belgian Congo for the native population. It is derived from the name of the genus comprising macaque monkeys whose name has also itself been used as a racial slur.
  • The Dick Cheney hunting incident occurred on February 11, 2006, when then U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney shot Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old Texas attorney, while participating in a quail hunt on a ranch in Kenedy County, Texas. Both Cheney and Whittington call the incident an accident.
  • On December 23, 2004, Rowland pleaded guilty to depriving the public of honest service. Rowland was sentenced on March 18, 2005, in New Haven, Connecticut, to one year and one day in prison, four months house arrest, three years probation and community service. On April 1, 2005, he entered Federal Correctional Institution, Loretto, in Pennsylvania. His federal inmate number was 15623-014.
  • The News of the World phone hacking affair is a controversy involving the News of the World, a weekly British tabloid newspaper published by News Group Newspapers of News International, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The controversy began in 2006, when the Metropolitan Police laid charges against Clive Goodman, the News of the World's royal editor, and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, alleging that they intercepted voicemail messages left for members of the royal household. Both men were jailed in 2007.
  • The Jerry Lewis – Lowery lobbying firm controversy stems from the relationship between Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and a lobbying firm, known as Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, where good friend and former U.S. Congressman Bill Lowery was a partner from 1993 to 2006. The basic allegations are that Lewis, by virtue of his chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee (since January 2005), and his prior chairmanship of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, was able, through earmarks and other methods, to steer hundreds of millions of dollars to clients of Lowery's firm. Lowery and his firm have earned millions of dollars in fees from these clients.
  • Abramoff and his partner, conspired to overcharge Indian Casinos $85 million in fees. Lobbyists also worked to lobby against their own clients in order to inflate hours. On January 3, 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to three felony counts: conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion. He now owes $1.7 million in back taxes as part of the guilty plea. He must also pay $25 million is restitution to the people and entities that he defrauded.
  • In 2006, Ney and his aides were implemented in the Abramoff Indian scandal. Neil Volz, one of Ney's top aides plead guilty to conspiring to corrupt officials by violating lobbying laws. Volz claimed that Ney had been accepting gifts from Abramoff including tickets to sporting events and numerous meals at Abramoff's restaurant. In return Ney would try and write language into bills to promote Abramoff's agenda. Ney resigned from the House of Representatives on November 3, 2006. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison. He was released on August 15, 2008 after serving 17 months
  • Tom DeLay, a Republican U.S. Representative from Texas from 1979 to 1983 and from 1985 to 2006 and the House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, was convicted in 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy charges related to illegal campaign finance activities aimed at helping Republican candidates for Texas state office in the 2002 elections.
  • The Cunningham scandal is a U.S. political scandal in which defense contractors paid bribes to members of Congress and officials in the U.S. Defense Department, in return for political favors in the form of federal contracts. Most notable amongst the recipients of the bribes was California Congressman Duke Cunningham who pled guilty to receiving over $2.3 million in bribes. The primary defense contractors were Mitchell Wade (owner of MZM) and Brent R. Wilkes (owner of ADCS Inc.).
  • In February 2005, Giuliani pocketed $80,000 for speaking at a charity benefit for tsunami aid which raised only $60,000 for the victims themselves.
  • Bush Administration suspected of raising terror alerts for political gain
  • In November 2004, a controversy developed over education costs for Santorum's children. Santorum's legal address is in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. But as a Senator, he lives at his home in Leesburg, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. (Leesburg is located about one hour's drive west of Washington, D.C., and about 90 minutes' drive south of the Pennsylvania border). Santorum's five older children received education through the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School with 80 percent of tuition costs paid by the Penn Hills School District. At a meeting in November 2004, the Penn Hills School District announced that it did not believe Santorum met the qualifications for residency status since he and his family spend most of the year in Virginia.
  • 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.
  • John Pappageorge said in the summer of 2004, "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election." Pappageorge later claimed he was taken out of context saying, "In the context that we were talking about, I said we’ve got to get the vote up in Oakland (County) and the vote down in Detroit. You get it down with a good message."
  • In 2004, Florida announced another planned purge, again based on a list of felons. The state government initially attempted to keep the list secret. When a court ordered its release, it was found to contain mostly Democrats and a disproportionate number of racial minorities. Faced with media documentation that the list included thousands of errors, the state abandoned the attempt to use it. Some of the voters improperly purged in 2000 had not been restored as of May 2004.
  • While serving in Taji, Iraq, West received information from an intelligence specialist about a reported plot to ambush him and his men. Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi, a civilian Iraqi police officer, was implemented in the plot. Hamoodi was detain and beaten when he allegedly reached for his weapon. West then fired his pistol near Hamoodi's head, after which Hamoodi provided West with names and information, which Hamoodi later described as "meaningless information induced by fear and pain." One of these suspects was arrested as a result, but no plans for attacks or weapons were found. West was charged with violating articles 128 (assault) and 134 (general article) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.