Stories of sexual harassment and assault have exploded in capitol buildings all over the country as women, emboldened by the exposure of Harvey Weinstein, come forward with stories of their own abuse by politicians in power. At least 14 states have so far been rocked by sex scandals with more expected to come. New York has been in the thick of things, causing the state to become known as the Big Sleazy.
In 2011, New York Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner resigned from the House after weeks of denial that he had exchanged lewd online photos with women and girls. He continued his sexting after stepping down, including with a 15-year old girl, under the alias of “Carlos Danger”. After being caught sending obscene material to a minor, he was sentenced to a 21-month prison sentence on November 6, 2011.
Once New York politicians swore by the “Bear Mount Compact”, that held anything that transpired north of Bear Mountain in Rockland County would remain hush-hush, but with the advent of the internet that has become impossible. Communications and technology have outpaced privacy and secrecy.
Many New York politicians who took the oath of office have become embroiled in embarrassing sex scandals and forced to step down as a result of humiliation and failing to keep their hormones in check.
Former Governor David Paterson admitted to illicit sexual affairs a day after taking office. Soon after, his predecessor, Eliot Spitzer, was exposed by his trysts with hookers at $4,300 a pop.
They had plenty of company when the ex-congressman Christopher Lee, a married man with a young son, was caught sending a bare-chested photograph of himself to a potential online conquest. Then, Rep. Vito Fossella admitted he had a mistress and daughter.
Eric Massa, aka “Rep. Tickle”, resigned when reports came out about being a serial groper of young men during his Navy days. Mark Foley, the Republican Rep. of Florida resigned when it came out that he had exchanged sexually-graphic messages with under-aged congressional pages. The Ethics Committee later found that GOP leaders had been willfully ignorant and negligent of his wrongdoings, but did not recommend any punishment.
The former Republican Sen. David Vitter admitted that he was guilty of using a prostitution service but the Senate Ethics Committee did not pursue the case.
From hooker-happy ex-governors to cheating congressmen, Empire State politicians have increasingly become involved in compromising positions unrelated to policy that has landed them in hot water.