During my days — and nights — as a Congressional operative in Washington, I often drank at Bullfeathers, a Capitol Hill watering hole where members of Congress and their staff often gathered to unwind and drink away what they had to do during the day in purported service to the country.
Rep. John Kasich (R-OH) showed up at Bullfeathers from time to time and joined us. As a young, single member of the House of Representative, he liked to cruise the bar for attractive and willing young ladies — many of them workers on the Hill for various members.
“Time to go,” he said, finishing his beer. “Time for me to make a lap around ‘Feathers’ to see which young lady wants to spend the night with a Member of Congress.”
He did that a lot and usually left the bar with a smiling woman. On this night, an attractive redhead attached herself to him and they headed out the door.
“Looks like John will be all smiles tomorrow,” said then-Rep. John McCain, R-AZ. “Wouldn’t mind to share some sack time with her.”
Unlike Kasich, McCain was married, to stunning blonde Cindy McCain, who drove a red Mercedes 450 SL with a license plate that read: “MizBud,” a fitting label since she owned the Budweiser distributorships for Arizona.
Most of us never knew if McCain was actually playing around or just talking trash about the lady of the evening for Kasich. Nobody paid it much mind. If he was, he wasn’t alone. Many members of Congress cheat on their wives. Some cheat on both their wives and mistresses if a willing one-night-stand came their way.
“Washington is a very horny town,” former lobbyist Paula Parkinson told Playboy Magazine when she posed naked on an animal rug in front of fireplace in the “Girls of Washington” feature in the November 1980 issue. She later became a central figure who brought scandal to several members of Congress by spending a weekend with them in a house in Florida, primarily to be the sexual companion to Rep. Tom Evans of Delaware. Some reports said she serviced two other members, including Dan Quayle, who later became vice president for George H.W. Bush.
As a Congressional staff member for seven years in the 80s, I worked a Press Secretary to one Congressman, chief of staff for another and special assistant to the ranking member of the House Science & Technology Committee before leaving in 1987 to run the then-largest political action committee as vice president for political programs of the National Association of Realtors.
Too often, I helped cover up extra-marital activities of our elected representatives. I smuggled a young lady out of an Indianapolis Hotel after she spent the night with Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY) and drove her home in a rented car. Kemp was married. So was she. Didn’t seem to matter to either of them. What did matter was making sure a dalliance by a member of Congress after a fundraising dinner for a colleague did not make the news.
At least most of these cases involved sex between consenting adults. But Congressman Dan Crain (R-IL) decided an underage intern was something worth sampling. Crane cried on the floor of the House while apologizing but lost his next election.
Garry Studds (D-Mass) also bedded an intern — a 17-year-old boy and faced censure but refused to apologize. It was, he said, an acceptable act between two consenting adults because 17 was an age of consent in the District of Columbia. His constituents agree. He easily won re-election in 1984 and remained in Congress until he decided, on his own, to leave in 1997 and became the first openly gay member on Capitol Hill.
Sometimes, women tried to get jobs. In 1983, while setting up the office for a new member of Congress, an attractive woman interviewed for an open legislative assistant’s job.
“I really want to work here,” she said. “I’m willing to do anything to get this job.”
“Anything?” I’m sure my eyebrows raised.
“Anything,” she answered while leaning over my desk, offering a glimpse of ample-cleavage. “And I do mean anything.”
After she left, I called the chief of staff at her former Congressional office and asked about her job performance.
His response? “Did she say she will do anything to work there?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“She will, but don’t waste your time because she wasn’t that good.”
In Washington, being rejected as bum lay, is a kiss of death.
I woman I did hire in 1983 worked several good jobs on the Hill, the Pentagon and other places while also sleeping with powerful men.
“In Washington,” she told me, “it’s not who you know. It’s who you blow.”
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