America's Worst Politicians

King George III was “a Tyrant... unfit to be the ruler of a free people,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence exactly 238 years ago this week.

Tommy had it right.

Ever since then, Americans have been calling out their leaders. “Tyrant” was just the start. We’ve moved on to crook (Nixon), liar (Clinton), and moron (Dubya).

Whether or not you agree with the peanut gallery, there’s no denying that such written assaults on public honchos are as American as baseball, apple pie, and the iPhone.

So on this Independence Day, those closest to American politics — 50 writers and editors of the alternative press from across the land — have combined their collective genius. They’ve named 53 of the nation’s worst elected leaders from 23 of the largest states and the District of Columbia, then separated them into five categories: hatemongers, sleazeballs, blowhards, users and boozers, and horn dogs. And there’s more than just the usual stodgy Washington losers. Try Colorado sheriff Terry Maketa, who allegedly had sex with not one, not two, but three underlings and then lied about it. Or check out Idaho Senate GOP leader John McGee, who stole and crashed an SUV, admitted to drinking too much, and went to jail. Upon returning to the statehouse, he was accused of groping a female staffer.

Want a little old-school corruption? Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, who will be up for re-election soon, founded a health-care empire that was whacked with the largest Medicare fraud fine in U.S. history: $1.7 billion for stealing from the feds. There’s also Washington, D.C. council member Michael Brown, who once accepted $200,000 to stay out of an election and was later indicted after grabbing at a cash-stuffed duffel bag offered by an undercover FBI agent.

Of course, there are big names here too. South Carolina’s “Luv Guv” Mark Sanford made the list. So did Texas’ Green Eggs and Ham filibusterer Ted Cruz and Minnesota loon Michele Bachmann. Even pol wannabe Donald Trump snuck in a side door.

So before you head out for the fireworks or swig some American brew, consider this hall of shame. — CHUCK STROUSE

See also: The Voice's list of the seven worst elected officials in the tri-state, 2014 edition.

Illustrations by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio •Art Direction & Design by Miche Ratto

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It's a Good,good thing that youse guys @  Village  Voice finally OUTED our Bad Pols. The ever-keen Lover Of Equality, cableTV pick-up king Ugly George, is S-o-o-o comforted that you have found an EQUAL # of Repubs & Dems to unmask-especially about Sex,Mistresses & Illicit Lovers on our taxpayer-payroll. UG notes that 91% of Lib-Dems love their (dull) wives dearly & would never, ever put their Whores on their non-profit, minority-helping payrolls. But said UG must note that now-convicted Pedro Espada angrily threw him out of public hearings on bringing C~SPANlike TV coverage to the State House in Albany; instead choosing the most-expensive & breakdown-prone TV system gorging huge kickback$ to him.  Malcolm Smith refused 2 open his Staff Door to me; ditto MNN-cable. All Dem-Libs.-So keep glossing over that & be sure to never reprint UG nude in VV in Feb.77 ["Cable TV's Lonely Hearts Club Band]-it might shock your readers who can't abide naked men….


Many of the vilified are listed thanks to anti-heterosexual, left-leaning do-goodies. Personally, I liked Dick Nixon.


I am amazed you have neglected to include Philip Puckett of Virginia, the man who helped block Medicaid expansion in order to get jobs for himself and his daughter.