Patrick Kennedy

honoring our rubber-stamp congress, whose members have found plenty of time to do squat

Image: AP/Wide World Photos


At the same roast, the admitted former cokehead joked about Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), another admitted former cokehead: “Now when I hear someone talking about a Rhode Island politician whose father was a senator and who got to Washington on his family name, used cocaine, and wasn’t very smart, I know there is only a 50-50 chance it’s me.”

Related Coverage:
Hello SailorThe Providence Phoenix

The Sex in Congress Award

At the height of the Gary Condit imbroglio, Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) proposed a change in the House ethics manual — forbidding all sex between Congresspersons and interns. “Right now you’re allowed to engage in it,” he said.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) was seen partying just days after 9/11 with Diana Davis, a 22-year-old House staffer. The 36-year-old bachelor came on to Davis saying he was an “auto parts salesman.” Later, realizing she’d been misled, Davis emailed Weiner: “I’m assuming that selling auto parts…is only a part-time gig. My apologies if I offended you.” Weiner quickly hit his reply button, writing, “Apologies like yours are best offered in person.”

Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) was outed for having an affair with Deborah Steelman, a health care lobbyist who routinely had business with Thomas’ health care committee and steered huge campaign gifts to Thomas’ war chest. Steelman, now a vice president for Eli Lilly, did not deny the affair; rather, she was enraged that anyone would think having sex with Thomas gave her undue advantage: “To suggest I would stoop to an ‘inappropriate relationship’ to achieve legislative results is repugnant and sexist.”

Back | And the winner is…

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.