Entries in Chris Lee (3)


Democrat Wins Special Election in GOP-Leaning NY District

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In what can be taken as the first referendum on the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, Democrat Kathy Hochul picked up a Republican seat in Western New York thanks in part to her ability to attach GOP candidate Jane Corwin to the budget's restructuring of Medicare.

The surprise upset in New York's 26th congressional district is likely to be seen by many as a bellwether for 2012.

Tuesday's special election was held to replace Republican Rep. Chris Lee, who resigned after a shirtless photo of him was leaked to the press by a woman the married Lee met, and flirted with, on Craigslist.

Corwin's last-minute appeal to voters, and hundreds of thousands in dollars from outside conservative groups, did little to improve the assemblywoman's chances in the Republican-leaning district.

The race was initially considered a shoo-in for Corwin.

The last Democrat to be elected from the district left office eight years ago, and only three Democrats have won in this area in the past century.  New York's 26th was one of just four districts in the state that voted for John McCain over Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.

But Hochul made Ryan's Medicare plan, which would overhaul the program from the way it exists now, the key issue of her campaign.  Hochul portrayed Corwin, a multimillionaire, as a Republican insider who would help end Medicare.

In a district where the elderly make up 15 percent to 20 percent of the population, the message carried weight.

Although observers warn against looking too much at the special election as a forecast for 2012, Democrats were quick to tout the win as a referendum on Rep. Paul Ryan's controversial Medicare plan.

Within the GOP, the election is likely to ignite debate on how to handle the issue that could come back to bite them in 2012.  The Medicare issue has already divided the party, with many -- like Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. -- saying they won't vote for Ryan's budget.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Woman Who Received Flirty E-Mails From Congressman Speaks Out

Photo Courtesy - Chris Lee [dot] House [dot] gov(NEW YORK) -- The "other" woman in the supposedly online affair that brought down the political career of New York Republican Congressman Chris Lee says he had it coming.

Continuing to keep her identity a secret, the 34-year-old woman told the blog TheLoop21 Thursday that Lee was likely a serial cheater who "probably met more women online."

She said she felt no pity for Lee, who resigned abruptly Wednesday after the Gawker website revealed the former lawmaker sent flirty e-mails as well as a bare-chested photograph of himself to the woman he met on Craigslist.

The woman wrote Thursday, "Cheaters eventually get caught.  He didn't have to resign.  He made that choice himself...The lesson is, if you're going to do dirt, do it anonymously.  People cheat everyday, but only dumb people get caught."

As it happened, Lee used his actual name and an e-mail address that was traced back to his Facebook account.

Ironically, the woman claims the ad she posted on Craigslist looking for men wasn't done in seriousness, adding, "I wanted them to prove to me that they were not trolls...I thought it would be fun to see what type of men would send me their photos."

Among the 30 responses she said she received was one from Lee, purporting to be a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist.  Lee is actually 46, married and has a child.

Meanwhile, the woman's advice to Lee spouse is simply "get tested."

In Washington, House Speaker John Boehner has denied that he told Lee to resign his post although there are reports the Ohio lawmaker advised the congressman to scale back on his partying-ways last year.

Lee's replacement will be found through a special election that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will call for later this year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Congressman Chris Lee Resigns After Shirtless Photo Posted on Internet

Photo Courtesy - Chris Lee dot House gov(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Chris Lee, R-N.Y., resigned from Congress after a report emerged that he had sent flirtatious emails, including one with a bare-chested photo of himself, to a woman he met on Craigslist. Lee is married and has a child.

"It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness," Lee said in a statement Wednesday night.

"The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately."

On Wednesday, gossip website Gawker posted a story that included the emails allegedly exchanged between Lee and the unnamed woman. According to the story, a single 34-year old woman from Maryland posted an ad on Craigslist's "Women for Men" section on Jan. 14. Soon afterwards a man named Christopher Lee replied, identifying himself as a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist.

In the ensuing exchange, Lee purportedly sent the woman an email including a photo of him with his shirt off, flexing his arms and chest. The woman later broke off her correspondence with Lee when she did an online search for him and determined that he had lied about his age and his job, the Gawker story reported.

Lee is a Republican congressman representing the 26th district of New York. He and his wife Michele have a young son named Johnathan, according to a biography on his website.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio