Where Are They Now? Scandalized Ex-Members Resigned Mostly to Obscurity
You gotta admire ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s moxie.
The New York Democrat is refusing to bow out of his improbable bid to claim the keys to Gracie Mansion — a vanity project that appears to have all but been destroyed after another round of embarrassing sexting stories. Weiner’s latest episode was perpetrated under the dynamite pseudonym “Carlos Danger” and surfaced last week.
Having already resigned one post, Weiner appears disinclined to throw in the towel again. Moreover, unlike most of the other scandalized pols who have fled the Capitol over the past decade, Weiner is refusing to let go of the spotlight. (There’s always talk radio.)
Here’s a quick recap of where some of the most damaged former lawmakers who ditched their seats stand today:
Weiner: resigned from Congress in June 2011 after getting caught tweeting pics of his junk to online paramours. He laid low before delving into his current race and is struggling to stay on message now that post-resignation sexting has once again called his character into question.
Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill.: resigned from office in November 2012 under a cloud of mystery illnesses. He eventually pleaded guilty to misappropriating $750,000 in campaign contributions over the past decade and is set to be sentenced (facing up to five years) on Aug. 14.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich.: resigned from office in July 2012 after his lackluster GOP presidential bid/aspiring TV career made him a laughingstock. Today, he calls out former colleagues on Twitter and is pursuing legal action against former staffers he’s convinced sabotaged his disastrous re-election bid.
Rep. David Wu, D-Ore.: resigned from office in August 2011 amid news of sexual escapades with the daughter of a campaign donor, as well as dressing up like a tiger. To this day, the guy is all over Washington — landmark Supreme Court rulings, White House Christmas tree lightings, on the floor of the House.
Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.: resigned from office in May 2011 after getting embroiled in a scandal including extramarital sex with a senior aide/best friend’s wife, hush money payments from his parents and attempting to orchestrate a soft landing for the cuckold within the lobbying game. He is rumored to again be practicing veterinary medicine somewhere in or around Sin City.
Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y.: resigned from office in February 2011 after it was revealed he’d sent shirtless selfies while soliciting sex on Craigslist. He has disappeared from sight.
Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio: resigned from office in November 2006 amid mounting allegations of corruption and bribery. He served time for conspiracy involving the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Ney also published a tell-all — “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill” — and moved into talk radio (“The Bob Ney Radio Show”).
Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.: resigned from office in September 2006 amid allegations of improper behavior with male House pages. He eventually came out as gay, made public his long-term relationship with the late Layne Nisenbaum, slid behind the mic of a self-styled talk radio show (“Foley on Politics”) and, in 2010, briefly flirted with the idea of running for mayor of West Palm Beach, Fla.
Rep. Duke Cunningham, R-Calif.: the former Navy Top Gun instructor resigned from office in November 2005. He served nearly eight years for bribery/fraud/tax evasion and was released to a halfway house in New Orleans earlier this year. He has since completed his time and is presumably trying to rejoin polite society as quietly as possible.