Former Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned this year in disgrace after an Internet sex scandal, but the New York Democrat will still collect more than $1 million in retirement benefits.
It was another fascinating year in politics.
As 2011 winded down, Roll Call took a look at our most popular news stories online.
The results were a time capsule of this wild and woolly year, from Rep. Anthony Weiner's indiscreet tweet to the super committee that wasn't so super. And, as always, these stories offer a glimpse of some of the finest reporting on campaigns and Congress around.
Here are the Top 10 most-read articles from the site this year.
Columnist Stuart Rothenberg read the tea leaves for this April 14 piece about the GOP advantage in the 2012 Senate elections. He noted that Republicans won 24 of 37 Senate contests in 2010, putting them in a position to do well in 2012 and potentially even win a 60-seat supermajority in 2014. "The stunning imbalance means that Democrats will be on the defensive throughout the cycle," he wrote. In a recent column, Rothenberg said control of the Senate might ultimately hinge on which presidential candidate carries the day.
After Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned in the wake of a sex scandal, reporter John Stanton checked out what kind of retirement benefits he would enjoy. "According to an analysis of his available benefits by the National Taxpayers Union, the New York Democrat's pension and a savings plan lawmakers have access to similar to a 401(k) could be worth $1.12 million to $1.28 million," Stanton wrote.
In February, reporter David M. Drucker wrote about a poll of likely Republican primary voters by the Summit Consulting Group which showed tough-talking Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio beating Rep. Jeff Flake and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl. Arpaio has stayed involved in national and local politics but never entered the primary. It now looks like an easy win for Flake, who faces real-estate investor Wil Cardon. Democrats face their own primary between former Surgeon General Richard Carmona and former state party chairman Don Bivens.
Associate Editor Paul Singer reported on Rep. John Murtha for years, but he got one last scoop in October — more than a year and a half after the Pennsylvania Democrat's death. According to Murtha's FBI file, released posthumously, federal investigators suspected he was running a scheme "to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits" set up by his friends and former staffers. Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Murtha's former district director, now holds the seat.
President Barack Obama headed to Florida in March to jump-start his 2012 re-election campaign, raising fears among some in Congress that he would not be around to help them on Capitol Hill. At the time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was working to avoid a government shutdown over a budget fight — a battle that was seemingly fought all year.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is known for her fiery words. In an appearance on "Meet the Press" in early March, she refused to back down from them. Asked about her statement at a tea party rally that the Obama administration is a "gangster government," she stood by her words: "I think that there have been actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt," she said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.