A Weiner of one’s own

The Saturday “ScissorTales” editorial from the Oklahoman contained this little jewel:

Democratic primaries in blue states rarely warrant local comment, but New York City voters’ praiseworthy rejection of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is an exception. Both scandal-plagued officials insisted they were new men worthy of new positions of power: Weiner (sexting) wanted to be New York City mayor; Spitzer (prostitutes) wanted to be Gotham comptroller. Weiner received just 5 percent of the vote; Spitzer lost narrowly. Oklahoma politicians with similarly indecent scandals have had the decency to disappear. In 2004, a state lawmaker was accused of drunkenly groping a woman (he was eventually convicted). He didn’t run for re-election. His legislative colleagues responded by proposing a constitutional amendment that prohibited paying incarcerated legislators. Voters approved it. If you’re like most Oklahomans, you can’t recall that lawmaker’s name today. Hopefully, New York voters can soon say the same thing about Weiner and Spitzer.

Not being like most Oklahomans, I can recall the guy’s name. (And for the record, he was a Republican, in case you’re an avid Spot the Party player.)

Oh, and not only did he not run for re-election, but he was sued by his victim:

Former state Rep. Mike O’Neal was sued … by a woman he groped at an Oklahoma City hotel.

The civil lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma County District Court by Ida Mae Chaplin of Tulsa. The lawsuit alleges O’Neal sexually assaulted Chaplin by making an inappropriate comment and also caused her to injure her leg when she fell trying to evade him.

Chaplin is seeking more than $100,000 in actual damages and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages.

They eventually settled. Over on the criminal side of things, O’Neal had plea-bargained himself down to a misdemeanor charge of outraging public decency; he drew five years’ probation.

Oh, and that constitutional amendment? It passed by nearly 8 to 1.


  1. Tatyana »

    16 September 2013 · 5:12 pm

    But since O’Neal was not incarcerated – being on probation – the amendment does not apply to him, right?

  2. CGHill »

    16 September 2013 · 5:25 pm

    He was out of office at the time it went into effect, so it did not apply to him. He had eight years total service, so he was qualified for some sort of pension — eight is the minimum, but it was six during his terms — and I don’t think that’s affected.

  3. fillyjonk »

    17 September 2013 · 7:06 am

    It occurs to me that, as well as party affiliation and location, perhaps candidates and actual representatives who are guilty of something should perhaps have that appended to their name, as you did with Spitzer (prostitutes), etc.

  4. McGehee »

    17 September 2013 · 7:54 am

    I like that idea. “Senator Pompo Sass (Party-State-Scandal).”

  5. Charles Pergiel »

    18 September 2013 · 2:37 pm

    Criminals should not become famous, but how would we remember they are criminals if we don’t remember their names?

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