Monday, August 20, 2012

Congressman Swam Nude In Sea Where Jesus Walked On Water; Ben Quayle Embroiled In Scandal

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)
In 2011, freshman U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, who represents a suburban Kansas City district, was voted one of the hottest members of Congress. Today, he's just a member in hot water (no pun intended). During a fact-finding trip to the Middle East last August, Rep. Yoder and a group of freshmen Republican lawmakers decided to go for a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee where Jesus once walked on water according to the Bible's New Testament after a night of carousing. While the other lawmakers only partially disrobed, Yoder chose to strip completely and swim nude. The Kansas City Star reports on the story broken by Politico, which says the FBI investigated the incident:

Yoder, 36, admitted he dove into the sea "without a swimsuit."
Christians consider the Sea of Galilee a holy site; it is where the Bible says Jesus walked on water.
"Part of the reason I made that decision at that moment was there was really nobody in the vicinity who could see me," he said. "I dove in, hopped right back out, put my clothes on and, regardless, that was still not the behavior people expected out of their congressman."
He said it was dark out with visibility limited to only a few feet, and said he was in the water for about 10 seconds before climbing out.
Politico said Yoder was the only person to remove all his clothes. His wife, Brooke, accompanied him on the trip, but she did not swim.
The trip, said to have been open only to those 18 and over, was sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, according to a database of travel records maintained by The trip lasted from Aug. 13 to Aug. 21 last year, the record show, and cost the foundation $20,087 for Yoder and his wife's travel, lodging, meals and other expenses.
The foundation, a charity, says its mission is to provide grants for educational programs and conferences and to "help educate political leaders and influentials about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship through first-hand experiences in Israel."
The foundation is connected with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is connected with many conservatives in Congress.
The trip that included 20 Republican lawmakers and staff was led by House Majority Leader U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, who was livid over the incident. Cantor was not among the five lawmakers who went for the late night swim, which included U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle, son of former Vice-President Dan Quayle. Quayle is facing a difficult primary race this month against another incumbent Arizona congressman, David Schweikert. It is unclear why the story is just now surfacing less than three months before an election, but it could cost Yoder his re-election, and it could seal Quayle's defeat. Quayle was quick to deny any improper conduct through a statement released by his wife:
"Ben and I and our daughter Evie were there together that evening in the Holy Land, although I was eight and a half months pregnant with her," Tiffany Quayle said in a written statement provided by Quayle's congressional office. "We were neither party nor witness to any of the inappropriate behavior described in the article, nor were we a part of, or aware of any inquiry. We did return to Arizona with some water from the Sea of Galilee to baptize Evie after she was born."
Quayle's opponent quickly took advantage of the news. "I am disappointed but not surprised by Ben Quayle's behavior in Israel," Schweikert said. "Two years ago he embarrassed Arizona with his involvement in an adult website and now, as a congressman, he embarrasses both the institution of Congress and Arizona with his completely inappropriate behavior that calls into question yet again his fitness to be in Congress." Schweikert is referring to the former "Dirty Scottsdale" website where Quayle posted a number of racy columns using the handle "Brock Landers." Rep. Schweikert and his wife were on the very same trip, but he says he and his wife retired to bed early before the drinking and swimming occurred.


CircleCityScribe said...

OK, I have to ask: Why did the FBI investigate a man swimming?

Ellen said...

Ben Quayle's wife's name is Tiffany? How appropriate!

Gary R. Welsh said...

The only conceivable basis for concern on the part of the FBI is blackmail of our members of Congress. The Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, monitors every movement of any foreign government official during visits to the area. Hell, members of the congressional delegation took pictures of their late-night swim according to the news report. You can bet that the Mossad captured images of what transpired as well. The act of swimming nude at that location was also a violation of local law, which should of been of no concern to the FBI. It could have become an embarrassing international incident if they had been caught in the act, not that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have been the best to handle such matters.

Pete Boggs said...

Non-event, none of our business...