More sex scandals hit S.C. GOP bigwigs



South Carolina politics just got sexier again. Sort of. On the heels of Gov. Mark Sanford and his Argentinian soulmate,  two more S.C. Republican big shots are in political trouble — and one has resigned — because of their sex lives.

Yesterday, Michael Rogers of blogActive, a site that has specialized in outing gay politicians who actively oppose gay rights — Rogers was the first to tag Sen. Larry Craig and Rep. Mark Foley as closeted gays, for instance — “confirmed” what politicos in South Carolina have “unofficially” known for some time: Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer is gay. Not just gay, but, as Rogers points out, an anti-gay politician who is himself gay and “contributes to gay oppression from within the closet.” Read about it here, to make up your own mind.

Bauer’s sexual preference has been one of the primary reasons — most insiders say it's the primary reason — Gov. Sanford hasn’t been kicked out of office. The GOP pols in Columbia, and the smug prigs of the religious right whose wrath they fear, are so aghast and bumfuzzled by the prospect of a gay Republican governor — which would happen if Sanford resigns or is removed from office — they don’t know which way to turn. Perhaps now that Bauer has been outed by someone with a proven track record in these odd matters, the mainstream press will quit tiptoeing around the issue and tell people what’s really been keeping Sanford in office.

If that wasn’t enough to keep fans of sanctimonious hypocrites getting their comeuppance happy, now comes Kristin Maguire, chairwoman of the S.C. Board of Education. Maguire, an evangelical Christian from Clemson who home-schools her four children, is one of Mark Sanford’s closest school policy advisers. She is also, it turns out, a highly productive writer of hardcore erotic fiction on the internet, posted under the name Bridget Keeney. Maguire’s alter ego was initially revealed by the FitsNews web site, which handed over documents to Sanford’s office last week. Soon after the documents were turned over, erotic works by “Bridget Keeney” started disappearing from the Internet. Effective yesterday, Maguire has resigned her position as head of the state school board, citing (of course) a need to spend more time with her family.

Just to be clear here, neither Bauer nor Maguire’s actions were illegal; they were engaging in sex-related activities that, in normal situations, should be their own private business. The central issue here, though, is that they were hypocrites who condemned others for doing the things they do themselves — condemnations that just happened to be politically advantageous in a conservative state. Anyone familiar with religious right politicians knows there’s a lot more where these three came from, so stay tuned.

GOP bigwig and erotica queen Kristin Maguire
  • GOP bigwig and erotica queen Kristin Maguire

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