House Minority Leader John Boehner and House GOP leaders on Capitol Hill, 05/25/10. (photo: Getty Images)
23 September 10
RSN Editor's Comment | Accusations that Republican Rep. John Boehner is in bed with lobbyists are nothing new, but this looks a bit more personal. For the record, there is no confirmation of the alleged affair, both Boehner and Lyons refused comment when asked about an affair by blogger Mike Stark. There are additional rumors that The New York Times may be working on a related story. The story appears now to have enough traction to warrant interest.
Lobbyist on rumored affair w/Boehner: "I have no comment."
t was Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) who told abstinence education advocate Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) that he had to resign from Congress after having an affair with a staffer. It was also Boehner that told members of his caucus that they had to stop using the "party house" to entertain young Republican female lobbyists.
While everyone knows that John Boehner enjoys the good life of luxury travel and golf junkets, many are convinced that enjoys a mistress, too.
I began hearing this from several sources last month with increasing amounts of detail, including the name of the lobbyists Boehner is supposedly having a relationship with - Lisbeth Lyons, Vice President for Government Affairs for the American Printers Association.
I decided I'd look into the story, but I hadn't decided how to pose the question directly to Boehner. Last night, I learned the location of the House Republican Leadership's "Pledge to America," event.
I was able to catch up with Boehner just as he was leaving the event. His silence (which does not equal an admission, of course) in the face of the repeated question does not, it seem to me, to be one you'd expect from a happily married man confronted with an accusation of being unfaithful. Note the complete lack of outrage at being asked about allegations that are unfounded or untrue. There wasn't even a simple "no," to put the issue to rest.
Here's the video. You be the judge of his response:
So far as I'm concerned, if someone asked me if I was cheating on my wife, it would be very easy for me to simply say, "Absolutely not. No truth to that whatsoever." John Boehner couldn't bring himself to mouth those words.
Of course, he didn't admit to the affair either, so I decided to take the next step. I called Lisbeth Lyons for comment. Hers to is not the reaction I'd expect of someone who had was hearing an unfounded personal allegation like this. Here's the audio:
Again, there isn't any reaction I'd expect, such as calling me crazy, threatening to sue, or saying "absolutely not."
Simply put, that wouldn't be the natural response given by any woman that I know that wasn't sleeping with the most powerful Republican in Washington.
The bottom line is this: At an event John Boehner offered numerous pledges to America, he wouldn't comment on whether or not he was keeping a fundamental pledge he made to his wife. John Boehner forced Mark Souder to resign for adultery. Shouldn't he at least have to say what the truth is?
Update [2010-9-23 14:58:58 by Mike Stark]: If y'all want to defend Boehner, feel free. But these odd reactions are worth scrutiny. All it takes is for Boehner to say, "I, as the person who asked Mark Souder to resign, have always been faithful to my wife."