HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Turning the Page on Scandals?

Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:48am

The House of Representatives’ page program ended Monday — and with it went some of the juiciest scandals in American political history.

In 1983, the House Ethics Committee censured Reps. Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) and Daniel Crane (R-Ill.). The charges? Having sex with House pages.

According to a 1983 Time article outlining the scandal, Studds, who had an affair with a 17-year-old male page a decade earlier, gave a speech on the House floor where he came out as a gay man and apologized — not for being gay but for having sex with a “subordinate.”

(Fun fact: The Congressman also took the page on a two-week trip to Portugal. The page had no hard feelings.)

Studds refused to resign and served until his retirement in 1997.

Crane, on the other hand, had an affair with a 17-year-old female page. Crane issued a brief (written) apology and lost his bid for re-election.

(Drawn your own conclusions from the differing outcomes of these two scandals.)

A Congressional probe (sorry, sorry) also found that James Howarth, then the page program’s supervisor, had sex with a female page and bought cocaine (probably from a staffer) in the House Cloakroom.

The investigation also found that then-Majority Assistant Cloakroom Manager Robert Yesh sold cocaine and marijuana to and with House pages (and used it with them). James Beattie, from the Doorkeeper’s Office at that time, was also accused of selling and using cocaine. Both resigned and pleaded guilty to two federal misdemeanors.

One thing’s for sure: This wasn’t Kenneth Parcell’s page program.