2013 Highlights: Political scandals

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As the end of 2013 approaches, the Washington Examiner is taking a look back at the biggest stories and issues of the year. Today, it's political scandals.

Anthony Weiner and Mark Sanford, laughingstocks in previous years, both sought to fix their reputations by running for office. But while Sanford won a House seat, Weiner succumbed to further scandal and his New York City mayoral candidacy flopped. Elsewhere, a sexual harassment controversy ended the career of a staple of San Diego politics, and an investigation into improper gifts derailed a promising politician's national aspirations.

Here are some of the top Examiner stories of 2013 on political scandals:

Anthony Weiner admits sending extramarital texts after his resignation from Congress over sexting scandal

By Susan Ferrechio, July 23

The disgraced former Congressman hoped to leave his sexting embarrassment behind as he ran for New York City mayor this year. But after new revelations, Weiner became better known as Carlos Danger than as a legitimate candidate.

Weiner appeared Tuesday at a news conference in New York City with his wife, Huma Abedin, and told reporters he is “surprised that more things didn’t come out sooner,” but that he plans to stay in the mayoral contest in which he’s a front-runner. Abedin also addressed reporters, telling them she has forgiven Weiner and that the couple is “moving forward.”

The news conference followed revelations from a gossip website claiming to have new emails and an explicit photo sent last year from Weiner to a 22-year-old woman who said the former congressman used the alias “Carlos Danger,” to protect himself from getting caught.

Click here to read the entire story.

DNC's Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to resign

By Susan Crabtree, July 26

The San Diego mayor's scandal blew up quickly, as more and more women came forward with stories of Filner's inappropriate actions. As his own party abandoned him, Filner held out for another month before finally resigning his post in late August.

Wasserman Schultz on Friday joined the Democratic Party of San Diego County's call for him to step down after seven woman have come forward to publicly accuse the mayor of unwanted sexual advances and crude behavior.

"The misconduct Mayor Bob Filner has been accused of is reprehensible and indefensible," Wasserman Schultz said. "I am personally offended by his actions, and I firmly believe no employee should face a hostile environment or harassment at their place of employment."

Click here to read the entire story.

On the slide: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

By Steve Contorno, June 17

McDonnell was flying high and seemed destined for national political prominence, until the FBI and a federal grand jury began investigating his ties to an influential campaign donor.

Talk of McDonnell as a potential 2016 Republican White House candidate — VP at a minimum — has all but ceased. And while his approval ratings in Virginia remain an enviable 59 percent, it's unclear how long the cloud of a federal investigation will hang over him or whether it will do any irrevocable political damage.

Federal authorities are looking into McDonnell's relationship with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. Williams for years showered McDonnell with campaign contributions and gifts, including vacations and use of his Ferrari. Williams also paid the $15,000 catering bill for the wedding of McDonnell's daughter, something the governor failed to report for two years.

Click here to read the entire story.

After an apology tour, Mark Sanford settles in to Congress

By Rebecca Berg, July 19

Four years after a strange disappearance and extramarital affair made him a national punchline, Mark Sanford won a special election to represent South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives. Despite his electoral success, he found it hard to shake the scandal.

When Rep. Mark Sanford was sworn in to Congress in May, marking his improbable return to politics after a scandal that was supposed to derail his career, House leaders faced an immediate problem.

No one wanted to work with him.

"There were multiple committee chairmen who expressed concerns with having Mark on their committee," one House aide said. "Mark had gotten so much attention during his race that they didn't really want distractions."

Click here to read the entire story.

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Elliot Smilowitz

Senior Web Producer and Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner

Meghana Kurup

Web Producer
The Washington Examiner