Take a hike, Mahoney

I'm going to add my meager voice to the growing chorus of voices calling for the Democratic leadership to cut Tim Mahoney loose. Mahoney is the Democratic representative for Florida's 16th district, the home of Mark Foley, the Republican who liked to sext-message Congressional pages until he resigned his seat in 2006.

It seems Mahoney is in a sex-scandal of his own, and while I don't give a crap about whether he's having an affair or not, I do care if he's engaging in corrupt practices to cover it up.

ABC News, which investigated the affair for weeks, reported early Monday that Mahoney paid Allen $61,000, plus $60,000 in legal fees, after she threatened to sue him for “sexual harassment” and “intimidation.”

The network also reported that Mahoney had secured for the 50-year-old single mother a two-year, $50,000-per-year job at his campaign’s communications firm, Fletcher Rowley Chao Riddle Inc., as part of the settlement.
There's audio of a phone call between the two that makes Mahoney sound like a, well, full-tilt douchebag.

The affair isn't the problem--the affair is never the problem for me. I live under the assumption that so many people in the world cheat that to remain faithful is nearly an aberration, at least among those ambitious enough to run for political office. It's the cover-up that always bugs me, especially when it involves hush money, or in this case, a settlement for sexual harassment.

Now the DCCC has already dropped over $430,000 on the race, and there's no getting that money back, but they don't have plans to spend anymore and that's as it should be. If the voters of FL-16 decide to send him back to Congress, then fine, but he's got to do it on his own, and if the ethics probe Speaker Pelosi has called for turns something else up, then punish him accordingly. But don't give him any public backing or any help for now.

And if he loses his seat, then we try again in 2 years with a new challenger. We can't let ethically-challenged Democrats go unchallenged, and we can't excuse this in the name of "a dirty Dem is better than any Republican." I don't buy that, and neither should any progressive. Cut him loose.

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