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Kevin Yoder’s Sea of Galilee scandal sinks political ally September 2, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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United States Representative Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) became the talk of the country in August 2012, after it was revealed that during a Congressional trip to Israel in 2011 he got drunk and went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee (the place where the Bible says Jesus walked across water). Yoder wasn’t alone, as several colleagues joined him, and the group swam in front of several family members. With the story making headlines, Yoder promptly apologized, stating: “A year ago, my wife, Brooke, and I joined colleagues for dinner at the Sea of Galilee in Israel. After dinner I followed some Members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea and regrettably I jumped into the water without a swimsuit. It is my greatest honor to represent the people of Kansas in Congress and [for] any embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents, I apologize.”

The scandal may finally be behind Yoder, who is up for re-election in 2012, but skinny dipping incident possibly sunk his friend, fellow U.S. Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Arizona), who lost a Republican primary to David Schweikert in August. Schweikert tried hard to portray Quayle as an irresponsible party boy, drawing attention to his anonymous contributions on a racy website website about Arizona nightlife. For Schweikert, the skinny dipping incident was an early Christmas gift.

For more on the wild night in Israel, and its political ramifications, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Is a skinny dipping incident in Israel really a major scandal? If not, why did it become a major news story?

2.  Why might the skinny dipping scandal have hurt Quayle, but not Yoder?

3.  Was Yoder’s apology sufficient in repairing his image? Why, or why not?

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