Friday, March 14, 2008

11 Governors Have Resigned In The Face Of Scandal

Louisiana Gov. Earl Long (D) was elected in 1948 and again in 1956 and carried on a well-known relationship with stripper Blaze Starr during his final term. In 1960, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives but died before taking office.

But even criminal investigations didn’t force the resignation of governors in two recent cases. Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R) pleaded guilty in August 2005 to misdemeanor charges of accepting free golf outings and dinners from lobbyists without reporting them. Taft was term-limited and finished his second term in 2006. Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) was indicted in 2006 on misdemeanor charges – later dropped – that he subverted the state's merit employment system by firing partisan foes and filling jobs with political allies. Fletcher ran for re-election but was handily defeated by Steve Beshear (D) in 2007.

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The exception was New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey (D), who stunningly announced in August 2004 that he is gay, described an affair with another man – the state’s former director of homeland security – and resigned effective that November.
West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise (D) finished his term but did not seek re-election in 2004
Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton (D) finished his second and final term in December 2003 after admitting to an affair with a woman
Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening (D) finished his second and final term after The Washington Post in 2002 revealed his affair with a woman on his staff
  • Washington Gov. Mike Lowry (D) decided not to seek a second term in 1996 after several women accused him of sexual harassment.
  • Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel (D) had an extramarital affair while in office in the 1970s and married his lover in 1974, the year he was re-elected to a second term. He was forced to resign in 1977 after being convicted of racketeering and mail fraud.
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