The Almanac of Political Corruption, Scandals and Dirty Politics
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Watergate. Billygate. Iran-Contra. Teapot Dome. Monica Lewinsky.American history is marked by era-defining misdeeds, indiscretions, and the kind of tabloid-ready scandals that politicians seem to do better than anyone else. Now, for the first time, one volume brings together 300 years of political wrongdoing in an illustrated history of politicians gone wild—proving that today’s scoundrels aren’t the first, worst, and surely won’t be the last….
From high crimes to misdemeanors to moments of licentiousness and larceny, this unique compendium captures in complete, colorful detail the foibles, failings, peccadilloes, dirty tricks, and astounding blunders committed by politicians behaving badly. Amid stories of brawlers, plagiarists, sexual predators, tax evaders, and the temporarily insane, this almanac tells all about:
•The only (so far!) president to be arrested while in office: Ulysses S. Grant, who was allegedly issued a ticket for racing his horse and buggy through the streets of Washington, D.C.
•The former New Jersey state senator David J. Friedland, who disappeared during a scuba diving accident in 1985. It turns out he staged the accident and served nine years in prison after being captured in the Maldives.
•Tape-recorded instructions from highbrow president Franklin Delano Roosevelt on how his staff should carry out some low-down political tricks
•The bizarre story of U.S. congressman Robert Potter, who castrated two men he suspected of having affairs with his wife. Potter won election to the state house while in jail—but was kicked out for cheating at cards.
•Texas congressman Henry Barbosa Gonzalez: he was charged with assault in 1986 after he shoved and hit a man who called him a communist. Gonzalez was seventy years old at the time.
At once shocking and hilariously funny, here’s a book that exposes the history of American politics, warts and all—and makes for hours of jaw-dropping, fascinating, illuminating reading.
variety of tricks can also be used to invalidate individual ballots in order to reduce the number of undesirable votes, such as marking, tearing, or defacing such a ballot so that it does not meet the requirements for a clean ballot. ballot rigging. The process of altering a ballot design or contents to favor one candidate or party, or to cause a disadvantage for a candidate or party. ballot stuffing. A box or container used to deposit finished ballots is filled, or “stuffed,” with additional
Missouri, p. 122. 13 U.S. Senate Election, Expulsion, and Censure Cases, p. 22. 14 U.S. Senate Election, Expulsion, and Censure Cases, p. 8; New Hampshire Patriot & State Gazette, 8-6-1827, p. 3; Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. 15 Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress; Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. V, p. 550. 16 U.S. Senate Election, Expulsion, and Censure Cases, pp. 39–40; Political Corruption in America, p. 69; Bribes, pp. 435–442. 17 U.S. Senate Election,
Washington, D.C. One episode that provoked a public outrage occurred during a concert by the famed classical violinist Ole Bull. In the middle of Bull’s performance, McConnell shouted from the audience, “None of your high-falutin, but give us ‘Hail Columbia,’ and bear hard on the treble!” It took the efforts of several policemen, and their clubs, to overpower the congressman and remove him from the concert hall. Although McConnell was credited with some useful work in Congress, he managed to stir
the floor of the Senate on February 22, 1902, a routine debate over a pending bill erupted into a fistfight between two senators, both Democrats from South Carolina. Benjamin Tillman (1847–1918) physically attacked John McLaurin (1860–1934) after the two exchanged heated remarks over McLaurin’s apparent willingness to side with Republican positions. The Senate voted to censure both for actions that were “derogatory to its high character”— Tillman for initiating violence and McLaurin for using
prisoners got “bread and water” meals, they were offered pies for a fee.3 In 1921, the former governor of Florida, Sidney Johnston Catts (1863–1936), was indicted on charges he had accepted bribes to grant pardons. Another charge, on peonage (using enforced or involuntary labor), ended up with his arrest in public at a railroad station in Albany, Georgia. In 1928, a further indictment charged he had “aided and abetted” a gang of counterfeiters. In the first two cases, the charges were dismissed,