Career-Ending U.S. Political Scandals
Falling Out of the Closet
Rep. Eric Massa's (D-N.Y.) 2010 sexual harassment of staffers qualifies as sleeping with the help, but the fact that the staffers in question were male -- and that Massa was married -- added an interesting twist. And Massa wasn't the only D.C. politico to get done in by a homosexual affair. Three years earlier, Sen. Larry Craig's (R-Idaho) indiscretions in a Minneapolis airport bathroom devastated his political career, while Rep. Mark Foley's (R-Fla.) sexual harassment of underaged male congressional pages led to his resignation. Other politicians, including Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), Sen. Ed Schrock (R-Va.), Rep. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.), Rep. Jon Hinson (R-Miss.) and Rep. Robert Bauman (R-Md.) all saw their careers cut short because of homosexual scandals.
However, not every homosexual affair ends in disgrace. When the relationship between Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and a male prostitute came to light in 1989, the still-closeted Frank called upon the House of Representatives to investigate him to ensure that the public record is clear. Although he was censured for fixing tickets for the prostitute, Frank held onto his seat. In the following election, he returned to Washington with 66% of the vote, and was re-elected in every subsequent election, until he chose to retire in 2011.