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Florida 16’s sex problem
Back-to-back sex scandals in a Palm Beach congressional district

"What's in the water" in West Palm Beach? asked Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic online. U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney (D, Fla.) agreed to pay $121,000 in hush money to a former female staffer with whom he had an affair, according to ABC News. Mahoney was elected in 2006 after his predecessor in the Palm Beach district 16, Republican Mark Foley, was forced out in his own sex scandal.

It gets better, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air, as there’s a an apparent cover-up, aided by Democratic leaders. Foley’s scandal, which involved underage male pages, came to symbolize the GOP’s alleged “culture of corruption.” Will “Faith and Family” Mahoney bring similar “karma” to the Democrats?

Democrats should learn from watching the Republicans “crash and burn” in 2006, said blogger Hilzoy in Washington Monthly online. Regarding Mahoney, that means “cut him loose.” If he had an affair with a staffer, “that’s abuse of power, and it’s wrong.”

To be fair, Mahoney denies the allegations, said The Palm Beach Post in an editorial, but he owes voters answers—before the election. So far he's only offering “evasions” and a request that his case be heard before the House Ethics Committee, certainly after Nov. 4. Mahoney’s “done good work,” but that won’t be enough if he can't keep his promise for ethical conduct.

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