The Almanac of Political Corruption, Scandals and Dirty Politics
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
142 PPC/LC, 1938. 143 PPC/LC, c. 1920. 144 PPC/LC. 144 PPC/LC. 145 AP Images, 1920. 146 NARA, 1869. 146 PPC/LC. 147 PPC/LC, 1924. 147 PPC/LC, 1924. 148 Photograph of “Big Bill Thompson” campaign button. 148 PPC/LC. 149 PPC/LC. 150 PPC/LC. 151 U.S. Senate Historical Office. 152 PPC/LC. 152 PPC/LC, 1908. 153 PPC/LC. 153 PPC/LC, c.1910. 154 PPC/LC, 1927. 155 PPC/LC. 155 PPC/LC, 4-25-1923. 157 With permission of: Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama. 158 PPC/LC, 9-13-1926.
the wires can be arranged.” In 1856, James King, the editor of another reform-minded newspaper, published an article about James Casey, an elected member of the Board of Supervisors, who had served time in Sing Sing Prison in New York and was renowned for his skill at ballot-stuffing. The supervisor took offense at the article and killed the editor, an act that helped fuel the momentum to create a second Committee of Vigilance. As soon as it was formed, this committee began a new round of
companies that went bankrupt, and relied on wooden pipes that leaked, producing a major scandal. His suicide was linked to pressure from personal debt.12 On March 22, 1869, Virginia provisional governor Henry H. Wells (1823–1890) was arrested along with an official of the state Republican party. The charge was stealing a letter from the post office. Wells had been appointed provisional governor while the state was under Reconstruction, and rival political factions were vying for control of an
production, eventually generating millions in profits. A low-ranking Department of Agriculture employee triggered an investigation, however, when he refused to accept a bribe for allowing illegal transfers of cotton allotments. When this employee turned up dead-followed shortly by an accountant working for Estes—the case attracted the scrutiny of a grand jury. In time, allegations of bribery associated with Estes reached as high as the secretary of agriculture, Orville Freeman, and two additional
held office for fourteen years before losing an election in 1972. On October 9, 1973, he pleaded guilty to income tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in federal prison, of which he served sixteen months.16 Daniel Baugh Brewster (1923–), former Democratic senator from Maryland and a former U.S. representative, was indicted in 1969, a year after he left office, on a charge that he had accepted a bribe while a senator. The bribe was from a mail order catalog company and related to an