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« Bloomberg on the Gas Tax Holiday | Main | Indiana Ad Wars »

May 02, 2008

Another Affair

posted by Alan Greenblatt

Marc_dannMarc Dann, Ohio's Democratic attorney general, admitted today to an affair with a staffer, just hours after firing or letting top aides resign in the wake of sexual harassment complaints. AP:

Dann had lived with two of the aides at an apartment during much of his first year in office and some of the alleged harassment by one of the aides occurred there.

"I did not create an atmosphere in my public and personal life that is consistent with the important mission of the Office of Attorney General ...," Dann said. "I am heartbroken by my failure to recognize the problems being created and by my failure to stop them."

Ohio GOP deputy chairman Kevin DeWine called for Dann's resignation, saying he turned the attorney general's office into a "raunchy frat pad."

I can remember a time when, after some scandals broke, they seemed to take a given issue off the table. Douglas Ginsburg was denied a seat on the Supreme Court, for instance, for having smoked marijuana, but after that admitting past marijuana use became practically a rite of passage for politicians.

I have a sneaking feeling, though, that Eliot Spitzer's resignation has raised the bar for politicians carrying on affairs. Admitting affairs didn't hurt his successor David Paterson any. But in a situation like this, where it's a law enforcement official and the affair involved someone in his office, and there's already an investigation into goings-on where he lived, I imagine Dann will be feeling some serious heat this weekend.

Update (AP):

Gov. David Paterson said Friday that he revealed his past marital affairs once he took office in part because he had heard that a rogue group of state police was investigating politicians.

Paterson said that he had no proof, but that "over 10" lawmakers from both parties statewide told him about traffic stops and leaks by police to news organizations about brushes with the law

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