Sex, Scandal & Politics EngageIt! 2008 The 1800 Presidential Campaign It all started in 1792. George Washington was up for a second term, and there was no doubt that he would have a repeat of his first unanimous victory. But the contest for the number two slot set a mean table. John Adams (Federalist; MA) George Clinton (Dem-Rep; NY) Alexander Hamilton (Federalist; NY) James Madison (Dem-Rep; VA) Thomas Jefferson (Dem-Rep; VA) Kings and Guillotines 1796 was the first disputed election for a president of the new United States. The issues were, in some ways, the very same issues as those faced today: “states rights” … “nationalized banks.” So were some of the charges: “atheist” … “Frenchloving.” Gov. Charles Pinckney (South Carolina) Sen. Aaron Burr (New York) The election of 1800 was a rematch between Adams and Jefferson, and the negativity surpassed that of four years earlier. Thomas Paine wrote of Adams: It has been the political career of this man to begin with hypocrisy, proceed with arrogance, and finish with contempt. Jefferson surrogates even belittled Adams for his lack of hair and surplus of weight. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. THE GRAND QUESTION STATED ________________________ As the present solemn and momentous epoch, the only question to be asked by every American, laying his hand on his heart, is “Shall I continue in allegiance to GOD -- AND A RELIGIOUS PRESIDENT; or impiously declare for Jefferson -- and no god!!! (Fall 1800) America’s First Political Sexcapade Alexander Hamilton wrote the critically important work The Federalist Papers, handed Thomas Jefferson presidency, and starred in America’s first political sex scandal. In 1797, James Callender (at left) published a work revealing Hamilton’s two year affair with Maria Reynolds, wife of a Revolutionary War officer. James Callender, Scots immigrant, was one of those whose activities gave rise to the Sedition Act and the Alien Act passed by the Federalists. But he’s on the ten dollar bill … Hamilton’s choice of Jefferson over Burr in the House of Representatives in the 1800 election and Hamilton’s opposition to Burr’s 1804 run for New York governor led to their deadly duel. Hamilton’s death ended the power of the Federalist Party. No Big Duel Thomas Hart Benton (above) would serve as senator from Missouri. But before that, he took offense at the words of opposing attorney Charles Lucas. They dueled on August 12, 1817, and though neither died, Lucas got the worst of it. In a rematch 46 days later, Lucas got the worst of it again. He died. In 1838, Rep. William J. Graves (KY) challenged Rep. Jonathan Cilley (ME; above) to a duel at the infamous Bladensburg Dueling Grounds at the edge of the District of Columbia. Cilley’s death led to the outlawing of dueling within the District, though it did NOT end the practice. Sen. William McKendree Gwin (above) and Rep. Joseph McCorkle (both of California) faced off in a duel in 1853 over McCorkle’s charge that Gwin had accepted patronage. When the gunsmoke cleared, the only a nearby donkey was dead. Gwin’s fellow California senator, David Broderick (above) did not fare so well. In 1859, he challenged former CA chief justice David Terry, but Broderick’s pistol accidentally went off, wasting his first shot. By the rules he had to stand still while Terry took aim and fired. Still, it took Broderick three days to die. Presidents Who Loved Too Much Warren G. Harding Dwight Eisenhower Woodrow Wilson Franklin Roosevelt John Kennedy Nine of our 43 presidents had affairs that came to public light. Four (Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland and Bill Clinton) are not shown here. Can you match the others to their paramours? Kay Summersby Carrie Fulton Phillips Edith Boling Galt Marilyn Monroe Lucy Mercer Surprising Not-a-Scandal James Buchanan was president from 1857-1861, and historians do not generally grade him well. But in one thing, he was a groundbreaker. Buchanan was, apparently, the first gay president. Sen. Rufus King of North Carolina, Buchanan’s close companion until King’s death in 1853 Checks and Balances QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Rep. Helen Chenoweth (Idaho), a strong critic of Bill Clinton’s liaison with Monica Lewinsky, had carried on a six-year affair a few years earlier. She is the only female congressional member to be implicated in a sex scandal. Sen. Bob Packwood sexually harassed and/or abused at least 10 female staff members. He is the only senator to be recommended for expulsion by the Senate for sexual misconduct. He resigned before formal expulsion. Strom Thurmond was the Senate’s leading voice for segregation, and once ran for president as segregationist States’ Rights candidate. But in his younger days he fathered a child with a black woman (Carrie Butler). Turns out he is also related to Al Sharpton. Sen. Gary Hart was seeking the presidential nomination in 1987. On May 3, he met rumors that he was having an affair with a dare to the press. Four days later they published photos of Hart with Donna Rice on his lap. He withdrew the next day. You don’t want to miss a single sordid tale, do you? This handout from Politicker.com is available on the Engagement Project website: www.mc.maricopa.edu/cgte/ Can you say “Haliburton”? Teapot Dome in Wyoming The Teapot Dome Scandal is one of the biggest money scandals to hit the White House. Albert Fall, Warren Harding’s Secretary of Interior, leased government reserves in Wyoming to two oil companies for drilling. The problem detail was the $400,000 bribe he received from them. Albert Fall Now for Some Plain Old Corruption Clockwise, starting top center: Rep. Jim Wright (TX); Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (IL); Rep. Newt Gingrich (GA); Rep. Tom Delay (TX); Rep. Adam Clayton Powell (NY); at center: Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas. In 1876, Gov. La Fayette Grover of Oregon attempted to substitute a Democrat for one of his states Republican electors . It would have made a difference: Samuel Tilden had won the popular vote, but without Grover’s manipulation, Rutherford B. Hayes would get the electoral majority. Grover lost, Hayes won. Before Richard Nixon became the first president to resign, his Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, became the first VP to resign for corruption, in 1973. He pleaded “no contest” to extortion, tax fraud and bribery, and resigned that same day. Those shown here are among those who were forced to resign. Many, many others were not. Newt Gingrich actually forced Jim Wright’s resignation when Wright was Speaker of the House – then was forced to resign himself for the same charges. Adam Clayton Powell ran (and won) as his replacement. Sex, Murder, and Presidential Cover-up In 1859, U.S. Rep. Daniel Sickles (left) killed Philip Barton Key (below left) for his involvement with Sickles’s wife, Teresa (below right).
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