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Bob Filner Isn't The Only One: 5 Other Politicians Notorious For Sexual Harassment

The latest woman to accuse Los Angeles Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment is Peggy Shannon, a 69-year-old great-grandmother who said that Filner made inappropriate comments and kissed her against her will during her tenure working at City Hall. This brings Filner’s total number of accusers to a staggering 16, and the revelations have resulted in a recall petition against the Mayor. While this seems to be a particularly extreme example of a politician acting sexually inappropriate toward their underlings, it’s by no means the first time it’s happened.

(Image: Getty)

Bob Filner—Not The First

The latest woman to accuse Los Angeles Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment is Peggy Shannon, a 69-year-old great-grandmother who said that Filner made inappropriate comments and kissed her against her will during her tenure working at City Hall. This brings Filner’s total number of accusers to a staggering 16, and the revelations have resulted in a recall petition against the Mayor. While this seems to be a particularly extreme example of a politician acting sexually inappropriate toward their underlings, it’s by no means the first time it’s happened.

(Image: Getty)

Mark Foley

Florida Representative Mark Foley made national headlines in 2006 when reports surfaced that he’d made made numerous sexual advances over email and instant message to an underraged congressional page in his office. The messages, in which the moderate Republican solicited the minors for oral sex and asked to see pictures of their penises, soon leaked to the press, and that itself might have been enough to sink the man’s political career—but then three more of Foley’s former pages made the same accusations.

Foley resigned, and Republicans lost the House of Representatives two months later. It was a depressing story for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that Foley was known for taking a hard-line against child pornography and sexual exploitation of children during his time in the House.

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Eric Massa

In one of the more surreal episodes in the pantheon of political sexual harassment, Democratic Representative Eric Massa was accused of inappropriately groping male staffers shortly after taking office in 2009. He soon resigned, but the strange thing wasn’t the accusations themselves. It was Massa’s bizarre, contradictory conduct after the accusations became public.

First, he claimed that Democratic Party leadership forced him to resign after the scandal because he opposed Obamacare; two days later, he went on Glenn Beck’s show and reversed himself. The same day, Massa boisterously told Beck that “not only did I grope [the staffer], I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe;” then, mere hours later, he went on Larry King Live and denied that he’d ever groped anybody.

Regardless of why Massa resigned, it’s probably a good thing that he did.

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Bob Packwood

In the early 1990s, when the mere concept of sexual harassment was just beginning to gain national attention, the Washington Post reported that Senator Bob Packwood of Oregon had a long, sordid history of making unwanted sexual advances toward women in his company.

These weren’t simply inappropriate comments: In one episode, Packwood allegedly walked a local chairwoman for his reelection campaign to her car after an event, then grabbed her and, in the words of the New York Times, “planted a full kiss on her lips, wriggling his tongue into her mouth” (eww).

The initial number of accusers was pegged at 10; it eventually grew to 24, and Packwood announced his resignation in 1995—several years after the initial accusations.

(Image: Jeff Mapes/The Oregonian)

Herman Cain

Cain is primarily a businessman, but he dipped his toe into politics in 2011, announcing that he’d be running for president in 2012 as a Republican. While many scoffed at the pizza magnate’s chances, he actually gained a good amount of traction during the primaries, and at one point led in the polls (but then again, so did Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, so take from that what you will).

The Cain Train came derailed, however, after numerous women alleged that he had harassed them during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association. While Cain denied the allegations, they were enough to put the kibosh on his campaign, and he soon pulled out of the race.

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Brock Adams

Sexual harassment is one thing; sexual assault is something else. Democratic Senator Brock Adams was accused both in the early 90s, with one woman claiming that Adams summoned her to a bar, spiked her drink, and raped her on a couch. Many other women accused Adams of spiking their drinks, grabbing their breasts, kissing them against their will, cornering them at parties and a host of other disgusting things.

Adams, who also served as a US Congressman and Secretary of Transportation under Jimmy Carter, denied all of the charges, but the allegations were enough to end his political career. He declined to run for reelection and, depressingly, was never charged with any crimes.

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