A political scandal par excellence has broken out in the USA. Two social conservatives in the Michigan House of Representatives have been expelled after it was revealed they were involved in an extra-marital affair. In addition to this, Republican Representative Todd Courser admitted to circulating false emails accusing himself of being a “bi-sexual porn addicted sex deviant” in order to cover up rumours about their affair.
After weeks of media wrangling and recrimination, there was much debate as to whether the two representatives should be compelled to leave the state house. Rep. Todd Courser eventually resigned, and Rep. Cindy Gamrat was expelled from the house, but not before the damage was done. In the end, their story is a frightening reminder of the perils of hypocrisy.
Mr. Courser admitted to having the affair and to circulating an email in order to throw his accusers off the scent. In the contentious email, Mr. Courser accused himself of being caught with a male prostitute and of being a “gun toting Bible thumping … freak”. An insider video recording reveals that Mr. Courser was very aware of what he was doing; it was clearly an attempt to make the claims about his affair seem more outlandish than they were.
In the end, the pair were undone by their paranoia. After firing a shared staffer who had ethical concerns with the ‘self-smear’ proposal, a secret audio tape of Mr. Courser was released to The Detroit News. On the tape, Mr. Courser can be heard telling the staffer to send the email and “inoculate the herd”. Insiders say this was the representative’s way of saying that he was attempting to throw his supporters off the scent.
After a vicious lampooning on John Oliver’s ‘Last Week Tonight’, the scandal seemed as though it was well and truly over. But with figures as canny and self-serving as this, the plot always thickens. Both representatives recently announced their intentions to run for office as conservative, ‘family-values’ Republicans at the next Michigan election.
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