Frosh House Republicans Fail To Walk On Water In 2011 Israel Junket

Somehow, I doubt that the Teavangelista “family values” supporters of Rep. Kevin “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Yoder (R-Kan.) are considering “liquored-up skinnydipping in Lake Galilee, where Jesus walked on water” for their next Holy Land pilgrimage. After the Politico exclusive story broke , Yoder apologized to his constituents, but it is unclear whether voters will be in a forgiving mood in November.

Having lived and worked inside the Beltway for the great Federal beast for more than a dozen years before my self-imposed mountain exile, Washington has too many “secrets” to really keep quiet. The old adage about D.C not being able to keep a secret applies.

A year later, several freshman Republican congressmen are learning that adage just in time for the November elections. As Claude Rains famously said in Casablanca: “Round up the usual suspects.”

Politico’s John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman investigated and broke the story that among the 20 late-night Galilee swim partiers, were Congressmen Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Jeff Dunham (R-Calif), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), former Vice President Dan “Potatoe” Quayle’s sonny Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), and the already embattled Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.). While it was reported they wanted to swim in Lake Galilee for “religious” reasons, I’m sure the cocktails were for sacramental purposes. The August 13-21, 2011 junket was paid for by the AIPAC-related American Israel Education Foundation, (AIEF), at a reported $10,000 per attendee.

Quayle the younger is running against fellow freshman Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-Ariz.) following a contentious redistricting. I doubt Quayle was running on his record, as his passed bill score was zero. Arizona Republicans choose between the two in the August 28th G.O.P. primary.

Rep. Grimm is already under investigation for improprieties by the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, and his Israeli ex-fundraiser, businessman Ofer Biton, was arrested and arraigned in Federal court last Friday for immigration fraud. Observers bet the late-night dip will go over real well at those Orthodox synagogues Grimm was counting on to get re-elected.

House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was reported to have subsequently rebuked the partying members, having left the dinner before the aquatic festivities. Several Cantor aides were reported as joining the nocturnal bathing party. The FBI also later investigated the affair, but declined to comment.

Politico reported that AIEF spokesman Patrick Dorton defended the trip,”saying it was substantive and rigorous”.

With Congressional public approval hovering around only 10%, this latest scandal by the same conservative politicians who promised to “change” the culture of Washington, certainly haven’t changed it for the better.