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POLITICS

When the personal is political: When politicians’ affairs are with lobbyists

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Politics Digest

I usually think politicians’ personal moral failings are of secondary importance to their professional ethics. But sometimes, there’s an overlap.

For instance, Bill Clinton and John Ensign both apparently used their offices to try to get jobs for people involved in their affair.

Worse, in my opinion, is when office holders have affairs with lobbyists. That’s what happened with former Rep. Vito Fossella, and it’s what allegedly happened with New Jersey Assemblyman Joe Cryan. The New York Post reports (warning, link is R rated) on the mixing of business and pleasure:

On a Sunday in January 2004, Cryan sent more than a dozen e-mails to Golding, saying he was working at his legislative office in suburban Elizabeth.

He sent her a draft of a bill, the Financing Fairness Act, from his government e-mail around noon, asking, “What do you think? Appreciate it if you respond on the aol account.”

A few minutes later, from the AOL account, Cryan wrote:

“I’m having this great fantasy about you….”

Considering that she was an agent of special interests trying to influence policy, and he was an agent of the public making policy, this would be compromising, to put it nicely.

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