We all know that the media rules for Republican sex scandals are different from those of liberal sex scandals. In the same week that Herman Cain is fighting more vague allegations from a sketchy middle aged woman, we learn that Bill Richardson is being investigated for campaign finance violations arising from a $250,000 payment to his mistress:
A federal grand jury is investigating former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson over possible campaign-finance violations stemming from his 2008 presidential run, including allegations that he arranged for supporters to pay off a woman who planned to say they had engaged in an extramarital affair, according to people familiar with the inquiry.
Several of Mr. Richardson's close associates have been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony before the panel in Albuquerque, the people said. The panel is one of several grand juries in recent years to examine aspects of Mr. Richardson's administration and campaigns.
The most explosive matter under investigation involves allegations by a former member of Mr. Richardson's inner circle. That individual said Mr. Richardson's political allies gave $250,000 to placate a woman who was considering suing the governor in 2007, exposing their alleged extramarital affair, according to people familiar with the federal probe. They said the woman was a state employee at the time that she allegedly became romantically involved with Mr. Richardson around 2004. The woman's identity has not been disclosed, and the type of suit considered has not been confirmedRichardson has had a long and distinguished (for a Democrat) career: foreign policy Mr. Fix-it and Energy Secretary during the Clinton years, two-term governor of New Mexico, and a credible candidate for president in 2008. And during that time, he was undoubtedly carrying on with not just one, but several mistresses. No doubt everyone around Richardson, including members of the media, were fully aware of this. But, magically, no word leaked out until after Richardson's career was effectively over.
Of course, there were always rumors about Richardson, and he sure looks like the sort of guy who likes to put his hand in the till, if you know what I mean. But, no one was curious enough to do the minimal work needed to look into it.
Contrast that with Herman Cain, who has been a national political figure for a little over three months. Suddenly every vague allegation you could think of has been reported as if it were a dispatch from the Somme. (hey, did you know that Sharon Bialek just got served with eviction papers? Does Gloria Allred know?)
We got three decades of Bill Richardson, with Richardson enjoying the perks of power, aphrodisiacally speaking. We have gotten just three months of Herman Cain. Let me know how that it fair.