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2000 Candidates
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2008 Candidates
(NOT updated after November 2008)
Sarah Palin
Barack Obama
John McCain
Joe Biden
Bob Barr
John Edwards
Ralph Nader
Ron Paul
Mike Huckabee
Mitt Romney
Rudy Giuliani
Hillary Clinton
Fred Thompson
Bill Richardson
Dennis Kucinich
Alan Keyes

2004 Candidates
(NOT updated after November 2004)
A Confession (read 1st)

George W. Bush, Jr.
John McCain
John Kerry
Howard Dean
Ralph Nader
Wesley Clark
John Edwards
Bob Graham
Carole Moseley-Braun
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Dennis Kucinich
Dick Gephardt

2000 Candidates
(NOT updated after November 2000)
George W. Bush, Jr.
Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
Ralph Nader
Harry Browne
Bill Bradley
Steve Forbes
Gary Bauer
Alan Keyes
J. Danforth Quayle
Elizabeth Dole
Dick Gephardt
John Ashcroft
Orrin Hatch

1996 Candidates
(NOT updated after November 1996)
Bill Clinton
Bob Dole
H. Ross Perot
Ralph Nader
Pat Buchanan
Steve Forbes
Richard Lugar
Lamar Alexander
Phil Gramm
Robert Dornan
Morry Taylor
Alan Keyes
Arlen Specter
Libertarians

Other Politicians
Gen. Colin Powell
Pete Wilson
John Ashcroft
B-1 Bob Dornan
H. Ross Perot
Newt Gingrich
Jesse Jackson

The Skeleton Closet Archive

All the Dirt on All the Candidates for President
--Since 1995--
Because character DOES matter.

You've come to the right place for dirt, attitude and
opinionated character reviews of all the presidential candidates.



Back to 2012 Candidates

Candidates In 2008
Sarah Palin -- Barack Obama -- John McCain -- Joe Biden -- Bob Barr -- John Edwards -- Ralph Nader -- Ron Paul -- Mike Huckabee -- Mitt Romney -- Rudy Giuliani -- Hillary Clinton -- Fred Thompson -- Bill Richardson -- Dennis Kucinich -- Alan Keyes

Candidates In 2004
OK, We'll be the first to admit that our 2004 coverage was, well, lame. Why? Because your hardworking editor and main writer was going through a divorce and no one else stepped up. Don't worry, I'm back -- tanned, rested and ready for the 2008 election. If you want to see what we came up with last time anyway, well here it is.

George W. Bush, Jr. -- Howard Dean -- Wesley Clark -- Dennis Kucinich -- Carole Moseley-Braun -- Dick Gephardt -- Al Sharpton -- Ralph Nader (Check him out, you'll be surprised) -- John Edwards -- Joseph Lieberman -- Bob Graham -- John Kerry

Candidates In 2000

Al Gore: his hyperactive fundraising has brought him together with a grim cast of cronies, many of whom have received perks or favors from the Clinton-Gore administration; illegal fundraising at a Buddhist temple, illegal fundraising phone calls, hypocrisy on tobacco (using his sister's death for political gain while continuing to profit from tobacco stock); environmental trendiness (and hypocrisy). CLICK HERE for details.

Pat Buchanan: Washington and media insider, Watergate abuses (dirty tricks and obstruction of justice), pushed IRS audits on his enemies. Did VD keep him out of Vietnam? 6 aides with ties to racist or white supremacy groups, all talk & no action (the Republican Jesse Jackson), anti-Semitic statements, flirts with fascism, top defender of Nazis, assaulted police officers, Holocaust revisionist. CLICK HERE for details.

Alan Keyes : Paid himself $100,000/year out of campaign funds when he ran for senate, won't take responsibility for old campaign debts, all talk and no action. Quotes.CLICK HERE for details.

Elizabeth "Liddy" Dole : Ruthless politician cloaked in Southern charm. Took $875,000 for speeches to Bob Dole's campaign contributors, and got sweetheart deal on a luxury vacation condo from one of them, and a million dollars for the Red Cross right after she took it over. Criticized for work at the FAA. CLICK HERE for details.

John McCain : This Vietnam vet and former prisoner of war has a reputation as one of Congress' few independent thinkers, in part because of the bipartisan bills he crafted on tobacco and campaign reform. At the same time, he was one of the "Keating Five", congressmen who vigorously helped Charles Keating delay prosecution for his financial crimes. Meanwhile, McCain received $112,000 in Keating donations, flew 9 times on Keating jets and visited his posh retreat in the Bahamas at least 3 times. McCain is also known for nasty, rude comments on Chelsea Clinton, for sending warm birthday wishes to a mafia boss, and a mean quick temper. CLICK HERE for details.

Bill Bradley : This self-styled reformer was the second worst in Congress (out of 535) for taking "fact finding trips" (junkets) paid for by special interests. And a nonpartisan watchdog group called him "The King of Bundling", which is a way to evade campaign finance limits by having your friends, business colleagues and/or family also make maximum donations. Covered up a potentially serious heart defect.CLICK HERE for details.

Gary Bauer : This righteous little guy took tens of thousands of dollars from the Moonies, dodged the draft and is alleged to be having an affair with a twenty-something woman, despite his marriage of 27 years.CLICK HERE for details.

J. Danforth Quayle : DUMB! You've no doubt seen some of his hilarious quotes ("what a terrible thing it is to lose one's mind"), but you have no idea how many there are. Hear Quayle talk about the water-filled canals on Mars! He also dodged the draft in Vietnam by pulling strings, and Quayle's alleged drug dealer was thrown into solitary confinement when he tried to talk to the press during Quayle's vice-presidential campaign. Also: attempted (and failed) adultery. CLICK HERE for details.

Steve Forbes : - Rich kid with little real world experience, sleazy land deals, bad manager, draft dodger, vanity candidate, hiding his tax returns, stalking horse for supply-siders. Wilder accusations: Involved in Vincent Foster death coverup? Quotes. CLICK HERE for details.

Lamar Alexander: Lamar has gotten rich of dozens of sweetheart deals with business cronies and financial supporters that make Hillary's $100,000 commodities trade look puny. In fact, he tried to hide most of them by transferring stock and other assets to his wife Honey. Lamar Alexander: Longtime Washington lawyer-lobbyist shamelessly claiming to be an outsider. He's a "weathervane" candidate who now claims to be conservative. Claims to be an "entrepreneur" based on one of his sweetheart deals, where he did no actual work.CLICK HERE for details.

John Ashcroft: this self-styled moral crusader of the far right, and former Missouri governor, has been involved in several allegedly corrupt deals. He declared an "economic emergency" and pushed through $140 million in state funds to build an 18-mile freeway that opened up a major contributor's land for development; Ashcroft and his wife got a good deal on a boat from a political contributor and didn't pay personal property tax on it until a newspaper questioned him on it; the contributor received $1 million in state contracts during Ashcroft's administration. Ashcroft's Attorney General was sent to jail for converting state property for his own use. CLICK HERE for details.


1996 Candidates

WARNING: We don't update candidates' pages after an election is over. So these pages are frozen at November 1996 and that's not going to change, unless they run again. OK, we threw in some Lewinsky stuff when that erupted, so that part is frozen at 1998.

Bill Clinton: Where do we begin? With Monica Lewinsky, of course. But there's other stuff besides adultery: admitted pot smoking, draft dodging, shady failed Whitewater development. His wife Hillary has the more significant scandal: the miracle $100,000 commodities profit. Bill's character: The ultimate baby boomer, just wanna go along with the crowd guy. Wilder accusations - involvement in murder of Vincent Foster, cocaine use, supporting CIA drug/money laundering operation at Mena, Arkansas?CLICK HERE for details.

Bob Dole: Money Laundering & Illegal Campaign Contributions, Campaign Sleaze: Fraudulent Attack "Polls", numerous political favors for big money campaign contributors, sweetheart deal on his exclusive luxury condo, huge payments to his wife by lobbyists ($875,000 for "speeches"), close ally of sleazemeister Senator Alfonse D'Amato. His character. Quotes.CLICK HERE for details.

Phil Gramm: Savings & Loan scandal payoffs, laundered illegal campaign contributions to Bob Packwood, "family values" hypocrite divorced his first wife and funded an "R" rated movie, pro-military draft dodger, helped drug dealer get out of jail, petty abuses of power (illegal hunting of baited ponds, getting a staffer out of the army) numerous political favors for his wealthy contributors. His character. Quotes. CLICK HERE for details.

Arlen Specter: Specter suspended his race, not so much because of his skeletons, but because there isn't room in Republican primaries for a pro-choice candidate. Ask the right wing activists who attacked Colin Powell before he withdrew.

Morry Taylor: Blowhard vanity candidate, left a superfund toxic waste site in his old home town, which taxpayers are cleaning up. Ridiculed a school girl for stuttering in front of a large crowd. A history of failures that he blames on others. Quotes.CLICK HERE for details.

Richard Lugar: Actually, he seems to be a pretty upstanding guy: more conservative than he lets on, but open minded and not dogmatic. He actually served in the military (Navy) AND is happily married to his first wife. Some question his involvement in the consolidation of Indianapolis with the surrounding county. Quotes.CLICK HERE for details.

Libertarians
Harry Browne -- Rick Tompkins -- Irwin Schiff


Other Politicians

Newt Gingrich: Newt quit Congress, but he remains stubbornly convinced that he should run for president. If he does, he'll face plenty of allegations:

Adultery and public sex, blatant hypocrisy on Clinton's affairs, admitted pot smoker, divisive demagogue who loves to vilify his opponents, bounced 22 checks on the House bank, pro-military draft dodger, pressured his first wife to sign divorce papers while she was in hospital with cancer, under investigation for numerous ethics violations, got lucrative book contract from rich businessman Rupert Murdoch -- and another one years earlier, used taxpayer subsidies to fund his partisan campaign course, refuses to reveal who funded his GOPAC committee. His character. Quotes. Wilder accusations: Sexual misconduct with a convicted murderer? CLICK HERE for details.

Bob Dornan:"B-1" Bob Dornan is not the crazy far-righter that every one says he is. Well, we can't say that. He's not JUST a crazy far-right winger; he's an Emmy award-winning, surfing spy who's flown dozens of jet fighters and bounced House bank checks for the Virgin Mary. His wife also claimed he beat her the last two times she left him.CLICK HERE for details.

Ross Perot [Reform Party]: Paranoid hypocrite, got rich off of government funding, manipulates his genuinely grass roots supporters, conspiracy theory fan, and "crazy": obsessive, delusional, and never wrong (in his own mind.)

Pete Wilson: Perhaps the most two-faced politician in America, and that's saying something.

Colin Powell: Involved in coverup of the My Lai Massacre. More bureaucrat than soldier. Let Saddam survive at end of Desert Storm. Rejected ordering more helicopters in Somalia, with disastrous results.


Severe Scandals
Tired of squabbles over whether perjury is impeachable, or if soft money contributions are unethical? Here are some local politicians with SERIOUS scandals such as murder, or the politician who bit another woman for refusing to join a threesome with her husband. These candidates may not be presidential material, but their stories are at least as interesting.
CLICK HERE to see them.
Positive Ideas for Reform
Some snivelling little crybabies have complained that this web site is too negative, so we're putting together some positive ideas for nonpartisan political and campaign reform.
CLICK HERE to see them.
Historical Scandals
Contrary to popular opinion, scandals go back long before Monica and even Watergate, and so do problems with media reporting. Juicy scandals involving such esteemed presidents as
Thomas Jefferson, Grover Cleveland, and George Bush, Sr.

The affair between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, one of his slaves, has recently been supported by DNA evidence. While the DNA data leaves open the possibility that close relatives of Jefferson fathered Hemmings' children instead of Thomas, a study of other evidence by the foundation that manages Monticello confirmed it was Thomas. The key evidence is that the other potential fathers weren't at Monticello at the time of her conception, while the ex-president was.

According to an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal (9/23/97, pA1), this scandal was reported in the Richmond, VA Recorder in 1802 by James Callendar, a British-born reporter, who didn't have any particular evidence to back up his charges. Callender also reported that Alexander Hamilton had been in an extramarital affair.

Later on, during the 1884 presidential campaign, Grover Cleveland faced allegations that he had fathered an illegitimate son, and did an amazing thing, which helped him win the election. Basically, he admitted it, told the truth and took full responsibility, something we wish more politicians would do. Here is the full story, as told by reader and contributor Steve Ross:

- During the 1884 presidential campaign, a woman named Maria Helpin went public with a story that Cleveland had fathered a child with her. The boy did exist, and he was named Oscar Folsom Cleveland.

- Cleveland did something unprecedented in political history. He sent a telegram to his campaign managers telling them to "tell the truth" and published the entire story, which was:

- Back in 1874 both Cleveland and Folsom, his law partner, had sexual relations with Helpin, a very unstable woman who probably had a case of nymphomania. Cleveland knew of several other men she had been involved with.

- Helpin became pregnant, but there was no way to know who the real father was. There was a chance that Cleveland or Folsom might have been the father. She had no way of supporting herself and a child, and was slipping into mental illness. All all the men in Helpin's life tried to wash their hands of her, and the son she bore, except Cleveland.

- Cleveland took over financial reponsibility for the boy until an adoption could be arranged and named him after his law partner and himself. Oscar was adopted by a couple in western New York and Helpin was eventually institutionalized.

In coming clean Cleveland turned the tables on the Republicans. Corruption and honesty were major issues in the 1884 election, and voters were so impressed by Cleveland's courage in telling the truth, and angry about corrupt favors accepted from the railway industry by Blaine, that he swept New York, the state in which the Republicans had tried to whip up a scandal frenzy. In those days New York held enough Electoral College votes to dominate presidential elections. His take of the popular vote was only 48.5% vs 48.2% for Blaine." [Reader/contributor Steve Ross wrote this section, and cites the following sources:
"Grover Cleveland" , by Richard Neustadt (Professor of Government at Harvard), in the web site of "The American President", a PBS documentary TV series
"A Tale of Two Presidents" by Lawrence Reed, Investor's Business Daily, January 29, 1998
"Grover Cleveland and Bill Clinton" by Dan Roberts, Nando Times News special report, 1998

Two years later, when Cleveland married the much younger Frances Folsom in 1886, newspapers gave them the full celebrity treatment, even following them on their honeymoon and reporting some details.

More recently, Presidents Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson have been shown with reasonable certainty to have had extramarital affairs. George Bush Sr. is alleged to have had a long-running affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald, a State Department employee who assisted Bush at most of his posts over the years ("She worked under him in a number of positions," the joke goes.)

Of course, there were many real and more substantial scandals in years past as well. Thanks to reader Tim Weber, here are links to several mudpits from olden times; the mysterious "Whisky Ring" and "XYZ Correspondence" fiascos, and the better known Watergate and Teapot Dome affairs.


Links
The Center For Public Integrity at http://www.essential.org/cpi/. This outfit has done a great job of researching the funding of major presidential candidates and their advisers, making the information public for free and not showing favoritism to either party. They also have a page of databases on candidate assets, honoraria, travel junkets, Clinton's various contributions, and which businesspeople got to go with Ron Brown on his various trips to drum up business, at

Tony Raymond's Page of FEC Info at http://www.tray.com/fecinfo/. Lots of nonpartisan reports and detail on who gives and gets what donations. Lots of good info on soft money donations. Very well organized, a great site.

FEC Raw Data Files at http://www.fec.gov/finance/ftp.htm. Want to see the hard numbers yourself, without someone "explaining" them all to you? Go to the source, the government reports that candidates file under penalty of perjury.


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