Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

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:

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

(CQ Roll Call archives)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

(CQ Roll Call archives)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

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.

(CQ Roll Call archive)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

(CQ Roll Call archive)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

(CQ Roll Call archive)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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”).

(CQ Roll Call archive)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

(CQ Roll Call archive)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

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  • kind67

    What about former Rep. Jim Traficant of Ohio?

  • John Rollinson

    You are kidding, aren’t you? This fool is a walking penis.

  • WilliamK

    What about Bill Clinton. Lied under oath in a Grand Jury proceeding while President. Was impeached as President for it (not sexual harassment of an intern (employee) as some say). Lost his law license.

    Ah, yes, working on getting a third surrogate term as first husband.

    • Bill Gryan

      You forgot the very credible rape allegations.

  • Aaron1960

    Oregon’s Jim Mc Dermont still around after being fined for unauthorized release of an audio tape of Beohner & Gingrich. Oregonians put him back in office even though he never paid the fine.

    • Tom_in_SFCA

      Washington’s Jim McDermott (D-WA).

      • Aaron1960

        Thanks for the correction.

  • BlackBettysBlog

    You have to admire his moxie? Is that what he’s calling his wee laddie now? I’ll leave it to you admire *that*, Warren Rojas.

  • ElmondoH

    I’m trying to figure out how ‘can’t let it go’ equals moxie, but whatever.

  • lgeubank

    Yeah, you gotta admire Tony Weenie’s moxie. Because if you don’t, he will stand up in the legislature and rant and rave at you like a frothing lunatic. The man is a loose cannon, totally beyond his own control.

  • ByondPolitics

    How is McCotter on this list? His former aide pled no-contest to the forgery charges!

  • bobrzik

    What you say about Thaddeus McCotter hardly qualifies as a “scandal.” This list seems to be overloaded with Republicans. Other commenters here have mentioned some Dems that have gotten into as bad or worse scrapes.

    • gtwreck

      The Repubs shiftless as they are at least have one thing going for them. They immediately get rid of the embarssments. The Dems protect them untill the blogosphere makes things too hot and then they make sure the guy gets a soft landing in some left wing org.

  • DocRambo

    Somehow, I think this Weiner is cooked. His wife, by standing by him, has to be a blind fool, and even with her family wealth, the dishonor on her family may soon shut off that source. Her relationship with Hillary even seems to have gone by-by. Maybe he can get a royalty from all the Weiner jokes on late night TV.

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