Sexting addict Weiner won’t quit Congress, opts for leave of absence

Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Rejecting calls by Democratic leaders for him to resign in a sexting scandal, Rep. Anthony Weiner is instead seeking professional treatment and asking for a leave of absence from Congress.

Weiner’s plan leaves top Democrats wrestling with how best to end the furor over the seven-term congressman’s misdeeds that could hurt the party’s prospects in the 2012 elections.

Weiner’s announcement that he would request a leave from Congress came shortly after several Democratic Party leaders demanded he quit on Saturday. The Weiner spectacle, with raunchy online photos and messages, has been a huge embarrassment for Democrats who back in 2006 made GOP ethics misdeeds a part of their successful campaign to win control of the House.

“This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Representative Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chairwoman, said in a written statement calling for the 46-year-old married lawmaker from New York City to step down.

The House Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, said Weiner “has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a member of Congress.”

Aides said later that Pelosi had been aware of Weiner’s plan to enter treatment when she issued her statement, and her call for a resignation had not changed because of it.

Weiner’s spokeswoman, Risa Heller, said in a statement that the congressman departed Saturday morning “to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person. In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.”

The statement did not say where he would receive treatment, or what type was involved.

The developments occurred one day after Weiner acknowledged he had exchanged online messages with a 17-year-old girl in Delaware. He said nothing improper had passed between the two of them.

Democrats said the concerted call for his resignation had been brewing for days, as senior party officials concluded the scandal was interfering with their effort to gain political momentum in advance of the 2012 elections.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

4 Responses to "Sexting addict Weiner won’t quit Congress, opts for leave of absence"

  1. Keith  June 12, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Clearly the man is ill and needs help.

    Perhaps we should all shut up and let him do so.

    • Jeffrey King  June 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Sure, it’s like magic. If you consider Congress a workplace, he’s a distraction. He’s free to get well on his own time. I wonder who picks up the tab for his ‘treatments’?

      I would send him to Lindsay Lohan’s house arrest party for a month. That might cure both of them.

    • Carl Nemo  June 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      I agree Keith except for one thing, he’s simply an elected official who’s screwing/horsing around on our tax debtor dime and time.

      If he were the only case of such; but seemingly in our times there’s an endless stream of revelations concerning these elected a*sclowns in high office.

      Carl Nemo **==

  2. Fivebyfives  June 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Washington is sexting while America burns.

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