Political Sex Scandals

sex-scandalsPrompted by the RNC expensing trips to bondage clubs, the  folks at the Daily Beast took a look at all “58 scandals over the past 20 years involving all politicians or major candidates for city mayor and above” using a “a methodology that accounted for whether a crime was committed, versus inappropriate behavior; whether the charges were proven, versus alleged; the level of office held; and whether the incident involved children, staff, a coverup or hypocrisy.”

Their top level findings:

  • The number sex scandals has increased dramatically over the past few decades, thanks to technology, new press standards and a post-Clinton belief that everything is fair game.
  • Republicans have more scandals (32 to 26), but Democrats have bigger ones, based on our methodology (13 out of the top 20).
  • Democrats tend to have more problems with harassment, staffers and underage girls; Republicans tend to have more problems with prostitutes, hypocrisy and underage boys.

Using the traditional “dead girl or live boy” test, though, the Republicans seem to come out ahead.

And I’m not sure I would have included small town mayors and state assemblymen in the study, since nobody outside the local area would have heard of these scandals.

via Taegan Goddard

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. kth says:

    Yeah, they’re doing it wrong, as the kids say. The right formula would be something like:

    Prominence of politician (1-10) * severity of allegation (1-10) * veracity of charge (1-10).

    Basically I don’t care if the sheriff of Nowhere County, USA cheated on his wife, whatever party he is affiliated with. And while the last is hard to quantify, surely it matters that Spitzer and Sanford don’t deny the behavior in question, while many of the other allegations are denied by the accused and are not unequivocally substantiated.

  2. floyd says:

    Those six are interesting,but heck, how about an honorable mention for the politicians from here in Illinois who have been screwing millions for years!