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Black News: “Family Values” Republicans from 1994 and their Sex Scandals

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford talks during an interview with The Associated AP – South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford talks during an interview with The Associated Press about his relationship …

  • The sex scandals that have tarnished Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) don’t appear to have much in common. Yet there is one thread that binds them together: Both Ensign and Sanford were members of the famed Republican House class of 1994, as well as its latest casualties.

As it turns out, the pressures and demands of political life have inflicted devastating damage not only on the Ensign and Sanford families, but on the families of many of the 71 other freshmen who formed the vanguard of the Republican Revolution.

In the 14 years since that star-crossed class arrived in Washington espousing an agenda that placed family values at its core, no less than a dozen of its members have been caught up in affairs, sex scandals or in messy separations and divorces from their spouses that, in more than a few instances, led to their political downfalls.

The problems started almost as soon as they took office, and by the end of their first year in Congress, the marriages of at least four Republican freshmen had collapsed.

One of the first to see his marriage unravel was Rep. Jim Bunn (R-Ore.) who, not long after taking office in 1995, divorced his wife, married one of his political aides, and later elevated her to chief of staff. Bunn lost his 1996 reelection bid.

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