So, this cannot compare to The Greatest Political Scandal Ever, but in California, the leader of the Republican caucus of the State Assembly is having an affair with the former leader of the Republican Caucus of the State Assembly. Of course Chad Mayes, the current leader of the State Assembly Republican Caucus (hereinafter SARC), and Kristin Olsen, the former leader, are more-moral-than-thou types, and protect-marriage-from-the-sinning-sinners types to boot. Mayes’ father is a preacher, and Mayes himself graduated from Liberty University.
Now, in Ed Brayton’s TGPSE, the affair was revealed when one of the participants, Todd Courser, suspected that others were suspecting him of having an affair with Cindy Gamrat, which he was actually having, and to throw reporters and Democrats off the scent of the real scandals spread false rumors about himself and the gay sex that he wasn’t having. The thought process, one must suppose, is that if they thought he was gay, they wouldn’t suspect that moralizing, heterosexist, protecting-marriage, Christian bigot of having a heterosexual affair … but then if they did continue to suspect that Courser’s relationship with Gamrat was a little too close to be merely a working relationship, then the existence of the false gay rumors could conceivably be used to show that false rumors were floating around and thus might just possibly a little bit throw doubt of Courser/Gamrat affair rumors.
Neither of the participants in the Mayes/Olsen affair reveal the dizzying intellect of a Todd Courser, but their affair was revealed in a manner that still ranks up there in the great political fails of our time: apparently Mayes and Olsen worked closely enough with white nationalists so that they might notice the affair, but not so closely as to satisfy the racist organization named American Children First. So when it looked like republican votes wouldn’t go ACF’s way this week, the leader of that organization, one Joseph Turner, published evidence of the affair on the ACF’s blog.
It turns out that evidence of the affair wasn’t exactly hard to find: Olsen’s husband had filed a request for the California Assembly to investigate Olsen and Mayes for potential ethics violations related to using state funds to conceal the affair. Though subsequently withdrawn, the paperwork related to the request still existed, and Turner published it.
While part of the motive for publication appears to be Turner’s suspicion that the Speaker of the Assembly (a Democrat) blackmailed Mayes in order to get Mayes’ support on carbon cap-and-trade legislation, Turner does have a reputation as someone who distrusts politics and politicians generally and has endorsed causing politicians pain unless and until politicians start representing “the people.” The people, in this case, should be understood as defined by someone leading an organization of “proud, unapologetic nationalists”.
My own suspicion is that as bad as it might be for someone who literally preaches the sanctity of marriage to have an illicit affair, there’s more to come out about the relationship between the ACF and California Republicans that would be quite a bit more appalling.