Tag Archives: Dennis Hastert

Rep. Jordan seeks to follow Speaker Hastert; oh, the irony

This cannot possibly be happening. But it is.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan wants to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives. The current speaker, Paul Ryan, isn’t running for re-election. Ryan has endorsed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as his successor, according to The Hill.

That hasn’t dissuaded the young Freedom Caucus co-founder, Jordan, from joining the speaker fray in the fight to become the person who is second in line to presidential succession.

But … this is a richly ironic candidacy. It has nothing to do with Jordan’s legislative record. It has everything to do with, um, sex!

Jordan has been accused by several former Ohio State University wrestlers of looking the other way while these athletes were being sexually abused by a team doctor. Jordan denies the accusations categorically. Still, they are mounting up, much like the women who accused a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice of abusing them when they were much younger.

The irony? It goes like this: A former U.S. House speaker, Dennis Hastert, pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to the abuse of young boys he coached many years ago in an Illinois high school. Hastert wasn’t charged specifically with sexual abuse, as the statute of limitations had expired. He did admit to doing so, however, during his sentencing.

I just find it strange, weird and oh, so ironic that Jordan would seek the same office once held by someone who also got himself into deep doo-doo over a sexual abuse matter.

You also can bet the farm that Democrats are going to use Rep. Jordan’s own set of (alleged) troubles against him as they seek to re-capture control of the House of Representatives in this fall’s midterm election.

‘Glass house’ suffers a lot of damage

Former US President Bill Clinton speaks during the 2011 Fiscal Summit by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC, May 25, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

An item showed up on my Facebook feed that I must share here.

It points out that three men who were involved with the impeachment of President Clinton have been themselves caught up in sex scandals.

All three were — or presumed to be — speakers of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Republicans Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston and Dennis Hastert? Stand up and take a bow.

Clinton got impeached because he lied to a federal grand jury about a dalliance he was having with a White House intern. Members of the House were so incensed that they just had to impeach the president for “breaking the law.” The impeachment in reality, though, also was about sex.

The Senate saw through it during the trial and acquitted the president of any “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Then the nation learned:

Speaker Newt Gingrich was fooling around with a congressional aide while he was married to another woman. He was doing this while excoriating the president for his own bad behavior.

Bob Livingston, who was supposed to become speaker after Gingrich quit, himself had to bow out because he, too, was having an extramarital affair.

Dennis Hastert, who became speaker after Livingston admitted to his own failings, paid hush money to keep quiet his own misdeeds involving teenage boys many years ago.

What’s that saying about those who reside in glass houses?


How does Hastert earn this kind of ‘support’?


Something must have gotten past me.

A judge received more than 60 letters of support for a former U.S. speaker of the House of Representatives just before sentencing him to 15 months in federal prison.

It’s not the banking fraud that has everyone’s attention. It’s the reason for the charges to which former Speaker Dennis Hastert has pleaded guilty.


The letters reportedly were written mostly before the allegations of sexual abuse had been made public. They spoke to Hastert’s supposedly stellar character and devotion to his family.


But what about the charges that he hid hush money he was paying to boys he purportedly abused sexually while he was a high school wrestling coach?

The terms of Hastert’s guilty plea apparently limits his sentence to no longer than six months in jail.

Speaker Hastert allegedly led a hideous double life. He was a respected coach and equipment manager at the Yorkville, Ill., high school. Meanwhile, he allegedly lured at least four boys into compromising situations while traveling with them.

It’s almost too disgusting to ponder that a man who once was second in line to the presidency of the United States likely had did terrible things to young boys at an earlier time in his life.

I get that Hastert is in failing health. I feel terrible about the toll this case has taken on his family. However, the responsibility for that toll falls squarely on the former speaker.

Did he deserve any sympathy from the judge?

Maybe just a little.


The judge, though, didn’t see it that way when he sent a “serial child molester” to the slammer.


Sex takes center stage in Hastert drama

Margaret Carlson of Bloomberg News — no fan of conservatives, to be sure — has identified, I think, the reason that sex has become the No. 1 media issue in the Dennis Hastert controversy/scandal.

Hastert, the former speaker of the U.S. House, has been indicted on a felony charge of making illegal hush money payments to someone.

It’s the reason for the hush money that’s become the focus here, not the charges spelled out in the indictment, according to Carlson.


Hastert allegedly sexually abused at least one young man when he was a teacher and coach in Yorkville, Ill. There could be more, the late victim’s sister alleges.

Why the keen interest?

It’s the context of how Hastert became speaker of the House.

He succeeded a serial adulterer, Newt Gingrich, who had to quit his position after admitting to an affair with a staffer — all while he was ranting, raving and railing against President Clinton’s indiscretions with a White House intern.

Then came Bob Livingston, another Republican from Louisiana. Livingston was supposed to succeed Gingrich as speaker. Oops! He, too, fooled around with women other than his wife. Multiple times. One of his paramours was a lobbyist. He was out.

The House then looked for a Boy Scout, a man whose reputation was beyond reproach. Poof! There was Hastert. Hey, he’s as clean as they get.

Except that he wasn’t.

Hastert didn’t make a big show of his reputedly upstanding past. He didn’t prance around proclaiming himself to be without sin. He allowed others to say it.

Carlson, though, does say that Hastert proved to be as duplicitous about morality as Gingrich and others in Congress: (H)e followed in the hypocritical footsteps of his predecessors, devoting much energy to shaming others about their sexual behavior. He advanced the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act through the House and proposed a constitutional amendment to annul same-sex unions in states that allowed them.”

Therein, throughout all of this, likely lies the reason for the fixation on the sex and not the money.


Sex and money aplenty in Hastert drama

Dennis Hastert was a high school teacher and coach. Then he went into politics.

After that he rose to become speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, earning a couple hundred grand a year while serving as Man of the House.

Now it comes out that he’s been indicted on various charges alleging illegal payments of money to keep someone known as Individual A quiet.

The money totaled, according to the indictment, about $3.5 million.

Here’s my question: How does a former teacher/coach-turned politician come up with that kind of alleged hush money?


Oh, and there’s this issue of sexual abuse of at least one young man.

The man’s sister has come forward to allege that Hastert abused her older brother when the boy was in high school. The boy grew up, but then died of AIDS complications a few years ago. He’s not around to corroborate any of the allegations, but sis is making plenty of noise about it now.

Hastert has been hiding since news of the indictment broke. He’ll supposedly come out of hiding on Tuesday when he’s arraigned on the charges brought. The indictment doesn’t accuse the former speaker of sexual abuse; it centers only on the money part.

What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a seriously weird case that could turn into one of the bizarre scandals of modern times.


Hastert scandal drips with irony

If you think for a moment about the scandal involving former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, you come away scratching your head at the incredible irony.

A grand jury has indicted Hastert on charges that he spent money illegally to keep someone quiet about an alleged sexual encounter between Hastert and the then-student at the high school where Hastert was a teacher and a coach.

That part of it is weird enough.

But consider the context of the time he was selected to become speaker of the House of Representatives.

* The House had impeached President Clinton for lying to a federal grand jury about an extramarital dalliance he was having with a White House intern.

* The then-speaker, Newt Gingrich, who railed incessantly against the president for his moral failings, resigned from public office after it was revealed that he, too, was fooling around with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

* Up stepped Rep. Bob Livingston, who was set to become speaker. But oops! He dropped the effort because he also was involved in an extramarital affair.

Man, sex was in the air.

Then came the Boy Scout, Denny Hastert. He was chosen to become speaker — and the first person, after the vice president, in line of succession to the presidency of the United States of America.

I guess they didn’t vet him at all, let alone thoroughly.

Thus, the irony.

A more relevant question regarding Hastert

A blog that I follow, Bell Book Candle, has offered an interesting question regarding the growing scandal involving former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert has been indicted on felony accusations involving sexual abuse of a student back when Hastert was a wrestling coach at an Illinois high school.

The media need to focus not on the sex, but on the money. According to the blog:

“The media will focus on Dennis Hastert’s past indiscretions if they are of a sexual nature. However, the real question that they should be asking is how a relatively obscure public servant can afford to pay $3,500,000 to buy the silence of one person. Our politics and our politicians are being corrupted by the huge amounts of cash available to them. We must rid our democracy of the ability of some to buy favoritism for themselves, be they corporations or be they the 1%.”

The media won’t trouble themselves quite so much with the money part of this matter.

As the saying goes: Sex sells.

However, money does have a corrupting influence at many levels involving those who make public policy.

This is one of the stranger stories I’ve heard in many years.

A big part of me hopes that it doesn’t pan out. A bigger part, though, fears that it will.


Hastert indictment turns stunning

Did the planet just reverse its rotation, causing the sun to rise in the west?

Has the world spun off its axis?

Did the Easter Bunny really just appear?

I am still trying to get a grip on an indictment that alleges that former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert — a Boy Scout, or so I thought — paid a student back in Yorkville, Ill., to be quiet about a sexual episode involving the then-wrestling coach who went on to become second in succession to the presidency of the United State of America.


Hastert became speaker after Newt Gingrich resigned and after Bob Livingston, who was next in line to become the Man of the House, admitted to an extramarital affair, forcing him to drop out of contention.

So the House picked Hastert, a virtual unknown outside of Illinois.

He’s a lot more well known now.

The federal indictment alleges hush money and tax fraud involving the former speaker.

Good grief in heaven, this is going to get weird.

“It goes back a long way, back to then,” a source told the New York Times. “It has nothing to do with public corruption or a corruption scandal. Or to his time in office.”

Well, these things have ways of developing lives of their own.

I’m willing to bet real American money this one will linger for a long while.


Bring Senate debt plan to vote, Mr. Speaker

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has been hiding something called the Hastert Rule, named after former Speaker Dennis Hastert, one of Boehner’s predecessors.

The Hastert Rule means that nothing goes to a vote if it doesn’t first have the support of most members of the party that runs the House of Representatives.

The time is at hand for Boehner to throw the Hastert Rule in the trash bin. The U.S. Senate very well could present the House with a plan to extend the nation’s debt ceiling and reopen the part of the government that’s been shut down for two weeks.

Both of these things likely would be short-term repairs. They would, however, stave off the first default on our obligations in American history. If that occurs at midnight, world financial markets could collapse, the U.S. credit rating would plummet and a new recession could occur, causing significant pain and misery for millions of Americans.

Boehner has been shackled to the will of about 30 or so members of his Republican caucus who want to attach certain conditions on the debt ceiling increase and reopening the government. It’s time he showed some guts.

It’s a fairly open secret that most members of the entire House want this debacle to end. The speaker, I hasten to add, is the man in charge of the entire legislative chamber. His “constituents,” such as they are, do not comprise merely the Republican majority. Depending on who’s doing the counting, Democrats are virtually united in their support of Senate efforts to end this madness. Add their numbers to the substantial number of Republicans who also want it to end, and I’m pretty sure you come up with far more than 218 House members, which is the minimum number of votes needed to approve a deal.

So, what’s it going to be, Mr. Speaker? Are you going to allow this catastrophe to occur or are you going to exercise the enormous power you have by virtue of your high office to get something done?