Dear members of the 113th Congress:
While there are those, including some of your own colleagues, who loathe the government and all things congressional, we here at Heard on the Hill can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you.
We’re genuinely curious about your thoughts about, well, everything. We’re dying to know where you like to unwind after work. And we’re always interested in who you hang with when you think no one’s looking.
If near-anonymity is your goal this session, consider NOT engaging in the following:Sleep Around:
But when your carnal appetites wind up biting you somewhere sensitive, just know that we will come a-calling.
Just ask career-wrecking philanderers and former lawmakers Gary Condit of California (whose downfall made Chandra Levy the second-most-famous intern in D.C.), would-be Speaker Bob Livingston (shamed into early retirement by Hustler publisher Larry Flynt) and Sen. John Ensign of Nevada (who managed the trifecta of cheating with his best friend’s wife, attempting to assuage his cuckold pal with a cush consulting gig and weaving in an illicit but not illegal payoff).
Act a Fool: Flying under the radar can be tough. True particularly if one chooses to engage in eyebrow-raising shenanigans.
For instance, former Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, would probably have just received a slap on the wrist had he been any other person plucked for “lewd conduct” in that Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport men’s room stall. But because he was a public official — one with a suspiciously wide stance, no less — Craig attracted a lot of attention.
Former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., would have landed in hot water no matter which minor(s) he had chosen to send sexually explicit messages to. But he really upped the ante by pursuing the then-omnipresent House pages. Staff often overstep bounds as well — though few have done it as spectacularly as party planner extraordinaire Whitney Donald, formerly in the employ of Rep. Steven M. Palazzo, R-Miss., who tried to bribe a property manager with pecans.
Get Wasted: The express lane to scandal is littered with wastoids.
From the ill-fated “December to Remember” staffers who believed they could get away with broadcasting their workday boozing in the office of Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., to the recent driving under the influence arrest of purported teetotaler Sen. Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, overindulging gets our attention.
The only thing better is when the drunken behavior exposes additional scandal (yes, we are thinking of you, closet cheater/drunk driver/baby-daddy ex-Rep. Vito J. Fossella, D-N.Y.).
Strike a Pose: Picture this: you in a compromising position.
Convinced it’ll never happen to you? Why not ring up ex-Reps. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., Christopher Lee, R-N.Y., or David Wu, D-Ore., and ask them what it’s like when they Google their names.