Entries in Politicians (4)


Sheboygan Mayor Blames Alcoholism for Bender and Bar Brawl, Wis.) -- Mayor Bob Ryan says he shouldn't have to resign over a three-day bender and bar brawl, because he is an admitted alcoholic and is getting treatment.

The city council has requested that Ryan, who had had two previous public episodes of drunken and disorderly behavior, give up his post, but the mayor says many of his constituents still support him and he deserves "one more chance."

"It's not a pretty picture. It's shameful, it's embarrassing, it's indefensible, and unfortunately who I am and who I have been for a long time," Ryan told ABC News affiliate WBAY-TV in Green Bay. Ryan declined an interview with ABC News on Monday.

Ryan told WBAY-TV he will be entering intensive treatment for his alcoholism and is hoping that his public promise to the residents of Sheboygan will be enough to stave off a forced removal.

"I asked the people to give me this one more chance," he said. "If I fail at this, I will be the first to walk away before I hit the headlines."

Alderman Eric Rindfleisch, president of the Common Council, told the press on Thursday that he would support a move to have Ryan resign not because of his alcoholism, but because of how the behavior reflects on the city and its people:

"I would no more remove someone for the disease of alcoholism than I would for the disease of cancer. It's not the alcoholism, it's the embarrassment issue to the city," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Worse Than Weiner? Some Delinquent Lawmakers Kept Their Jobs

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Following his admission to engaging in inappropriate electronic relationships with several women, Anthony Weiner announced Thursday that he would be resigning from office.

While Weiner’s actions cost him his job, there were some politicians in the past who found themselves in hot water and managed to keep their jobs while not having to deal with calls to resign.

When Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was indicted on 16 federal counts in 2007, neither then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi nor Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ever explicitly called on him to step down.

Jefferson, who denied wrongdoing, served out his term despite the swirling allegations and intensive ethics investigations, and was only later tried, found guilty and sentenced to prison.

Pelosi and other party leaders also avoided public calls for the resignation of Rep. Jim Traficant of Ohio before he was expelled from Congress in 2002 after a felony conviction, or of Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who was found guilty of 11 violations of House ethics rules and formally censured late last year.

Few political historians could recall when a sitting U.S. president so directly suggested that a member of Congress step down, as President Obama did regarding Weiner.

"Usually, presidents stay out of this stuff because it's just tradition for Congress to decide its own matters," said Princeton University political historian Julian Zelizer.

"The irony of the Weiner situation is that there have been scandals when the leadership has been much more quiet in both parties," he added.

Prominent Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who had also called on Weiner to resign, have declined to make similar pronouncements following alleged transgressions of their conservative peers.

Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, who admitted ties to the so-called D.C. Madam prostitution ring and later apologized, may have actually committed a crime of soliciting a prostitute. But he remains in office.

During the months-long investigation into Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., and his alleged cover up of a sex scandal with the wife of his former top aide, there were similarly no prominent public calls for him to resign.

The Senate Ethics Committee eventually concluded that Ensign made false statements to the Federal Election Commission and violated campaign finance laws and referred the case to the Justice Department for possible criminal charges. Ensign abruptly resigned just before the findings were released

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Smart Phones Coming to the House Floor?

Photo Courtesy - GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- iPads on the floor of Congress? The incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives is set to approve a new series of rules that would allow electronic devices like iPhones and Blackberrys to be used on the House floor. That means that in the new Congress, a House member could read a speech or the text of a bill from one of these devices.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Hot on Google: South Carolina Governor-Elect Nikki Haley

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley won more than the top political job in her state this year -- she ascended to the heights of search engine stardom.

Haley was the fastest-rising political figure in Google’s search results, according to year-end statistics compiled by the company. That means that Haley, who will be the first woman governor of the Palmetto State, was among the politicians whose names spiked the most on the site from last year to this year. 

Rounding out the top five fastest-rising politicians on Google were failed GOP California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Senator-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Senator-elect Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The data come from Google’s “Zeitgeist 2010” report, which includes information on what terms Internet users in the United States and around the world were searching for the most over the last year.

Haley’s search traffic shot up during the spring and early summer -- around the same time a conservative blogger accused her of having an extramarital affair. Haley denied the allegations and went on to win the GOP primary in June and this November's general election. It was a feat that earned Haley a place among the rising start of the Republican Party.

Another emerging Republican mover and shaker, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, was the sixth fastest-rising political figure on Google, followed by Nelson Mandela, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., former presidential candidate John Edwards, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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