When Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst tried to use his position of power to get a relative out of prison for allegedly shoplifting, he joined a host of politicos who have gotten into hot water for unsavory activities in their official capacities.
From using positions to get out of tickets to attempting a risky near-crash landing on a closed runway, here are five politicians who weren't on their best behavior.
|Larry Craig, "What do you think about that?" 2007|
Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, was caught with his pants down when he was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by a plainclothes police officer who was investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men's public restroom.
The interview took an unexpected turn when Craig, who is married, handed the officer his business card, which identified him as a U.S. senator.
He then asked, "What do you think about that?"
Craig was later released, and police filed a formal complaint for interference with privacy and disorderly conduct.
|Patrick Kennedy, Late Night Voting Session, 2006|
Risking the delay of an early Congressional vote didn't stop officers from arresting Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., when he crashed his car into a security barricade on Capitol Hill at 2:45 in the morning.
As reported by the Free Republic, at the time of his arrest the incoherent Congressman told officers that he was late to a vote, and later attributed his disorientation to having taken prescription medication earlier that day.
"Following the last series of votes on Wednesday evening, I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount of Phenergan and Ambien. . . . Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol complex believing I needed to vote," Kennedy said. "Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication."
Kennedy admitted to having an alcohol addiction, and checked into a rehab facility soon after the incident.
|Rick Perry, Very Late For an Important Date, 2000|
Texas Gov. Rick Perry committed the ultimate traffic violation no-no when he got out of his car to approach an officer after being pulled over for speeding on a busy highway.
After being asked to move back, the officer questioned Perry's motives for speeding and whether there was an emergency.
"We're late to a meeting in Austin," he said repeatedly.
Later, Perry said he regretted getting out of the car, and admitted that he is "not unlike most citizens of the state" when it comes to traffic violations.
|Andre Bauer, SC-2, 2006|
Former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was very good at getting out of tickets. So good, in fact, he did it twice. And that doesn't even count the four other tickets, two accidents and a suspended license for not paying a ticket that he received between 1997 and 2006.
Bauer's great skill was perhaps in using his position to get out of the incidents.
According to state media reports, in one incident Bauer was stopped for driving more than 77 mph in a 65 mph zone on a South Carolina highway.
When he was stopped by police, Bauer warned that he had a gun in his glove compartment, and he drove away without a warning.
In another incident, Bauer was stopped driving 100 mph. He used a two-way radio in his car to warn troopers speeding after him that SC-2 (code for the lieutenant governor) was the driver.
When the trooper finally caught up, Bauer was waived on.
|Jim Inhofe, Sky Hopping, 2010|
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., a commercial pilot license holder, made a risky landing on a closed runway at a Texas airport in 2010, causing construction workers to scramble to safety.
According to the FAA report, Inhofe's Cessna "sky hopped" over six vehicles and working personnel as it tried to land.
According to the Smoking Gun, which first reported the incident, the man who reported the incident to the FAA, Sidney Boyd, said Inhofe didn't seem very contrite.
"He come over here and started being like, 'What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace,'" Boyd was quoted as saying in his FAA call.