David Wu: The Fall of a Furry Congressman

United States Congressman David Wu announced his resignation earlier this week, after the teenage daughter of a longtime friend accused him of sexual impropriety. The Oregonian reports:

A distraught young woman called U.S. Rep. David Wu’s Portland office this spring, accusing him of an unwanted sexual encounter, according to multiple sources.

When confronted, the Oregon Democrat acknowledged a sexual encounter to his senior aides but insisted it was consensual, the sources said.

The woman is the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. She apparently did not contact police at the time.

One person who heard the voice mail described the woman as upset, breathing heavily and “distraught.”

Of course, David Wu did not fall on his sword honourably in the wake of the scandal. Wu initially intended to serve out the remainder of his term until Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a fellow Democrat, requested an ethics investigation into Wu’s conduct.

Prior to the allegations, there were serious doubts about Wu’s state of mind. At the end of last year, his own campaign staff raised serious concerns about his mental health and resigned en masse following his reelection:

Three days before the Nov. 2 election, U.S. Rep. David Wu’s most loyal and senior staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Their concern had been spiking for weeks in tandem with the Oregon Democrat’s increasingly unpredictable performance on the campaign trail and in private. He was loud and sometimes angry, some of them told The Oregonian. He said kooky things to staff and — more worrisome with a tough election fast approaching — around potential voters and donors…

Earlier and gentler efforts had failed, so the tight-knit group of high-level staff took other steps, including quiet inquiries about the availability of beds in hospitals in Portland and Washington, D.C., multiple sources familiar with the effort told The Oregonian.

Several staff members confronted Wu for the final time on Oct. 30. Wu’s psychiatrist was brought into that meeting as well, joining the group at the Portland campaign headquarters by speaker phone. The meeting was held after four consecutive days of troubling behavior that led the staff to agree that Wu needed a higher level of medical care, according to people intimately familiar with the events of that period…

Last month, The Oregonian reported that at least a half-dozen members of Wu’s staff had resigned after he won re-election in November. That group included his longtime chief of staff and his spokeswoman. In addition, he lost his campaign pollster and his fundraiser.

It is around this time that photographs of Wu in a tiger costume surfaced, leading some to speculate that Congressman Wu was a furry.

Congressman Wu in a tiger costume

Congressman David Wu in what he describes as a "halloween costume"

A furry is generally considered to be a person that has an interest in anthropomorphic animals. Think walking, talking, cutesy animals you’d see in any Disney movie. Furry fandom can involve anything from simply enjoying the movies and art; right up to creating a pretend alternate “fursona,” dressing up in full costume and having sex with other costumed furries. Furries are generally considered to be socially awkward, borderline crazy sex fiends. I imagine the furry community would have been happy to count a Congressman as one of their own, until it turned out he was a socially awkward, borderline crazy sex fiend.

Wu isn’t the only political leader to be mired in scandal following the release of sensitive pictures. The unfortunately named Anthony Weiner resigned earlier this year after accidentally posting pictures of his erect penis onto twitter.

It turned out Weiner had been conducting online affairs via facebook and twitter for quite some time. After being exposed, Weiner did not step down gracefully. He first denied the photographs were his, then claimed he had been hacked. After being forced to admit the truth, he limped on in public office for a little while longer before the weight of public opinion forced him to resign. It took him three weeks to resign after the story first broke.

A photograph of Anthony Weiner's erection, hidden under his boxer shorts

Weiner's weiner. Believe it or not this is the SFW version

Apologists for Wu and Weiner would argue that their private lives have no bearing on their ability to serve in public office. This is patently untrue. Wu’s mental state was so precarious that his own staff considered having him committed. Weiner was not only being dishonest with his wife, but also attempted to string together a series of implausible lies to protect his own career. When that failed he simply hoped to hunker down and survive the bad press, not to better serve his constituents but because he was worried about losing is $174,000 a year salary. Politico reports:

Weiner has also complained to friends that he wasn’t sure how he would make a living if he were to leave Congress and its $174,000 annual salary. “He’s worried about money and how to pay his bills,” said a Democratic insider. “He’s very concerned about that.”

Sex scandals are nothing new, and with the rise of social networking sites these sorts of photo scandals are going to become more common. What is truly outrageous in both these cases is the apparent lack of shame displayed by both men and the total disregard for the offices they held.

Read More Here:

Rep. David Wu’s staff confronted him over concerns about his mental health– Oregon Live

U.S. Rep. David Wu loses staffers, political team amid complaints of public behavior– Oregon Live

Congressman resigns following sex allegations – MSNBC

Weiner shows no sign of quitting – Politico

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, People, Politics, Law, Science, Technology

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8 Comments on “David Wu: The Fall of a Furry Congressman”

  1. July 28, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    This sounds like heresy and public opinion based on obviously biased media reports. It stinks of a smear campaign. If I go into a costume shop and choose a random animal costume at random (which I have done, by the way), and just so happen to work in congress, does that make me mentally unstable? It’s a bit ridiculous. People blow things out of proportion for all sorts of twisted agendas and I get a terrible gut feeling this is what happened here. Someone was probably overly judgemental by the initial allegation of the sexual encounter and sought to destroy David Wu. If the man was truly unstable there’d be a whole slew of much more incriminating photos dug up showing him losing his shit in public or drinking in a stupor or something. The best they have are two photos of the type which dare I say every second person has on their iPhones or hard drives somewhere. This is typical of America, whether true or not, the media plants the seeds and fuckheads blow everything out of proportion to such a degree that it’s impossible to recover your reputation from it. Yes, I am a Wu sympathiser, his psychologist is probably just as swayed by political agenda. I’d like to see more info.

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      Least of all qualified to comment on any need of “higher level care” are political staff after a gossip meeting. Ridiculous that the public allow these people such a high level of trust on matters they’re completely unqualified to comment on.

      “Three days before the Nov. 2 election, U.S. Rep. David Wu’s most loyal and senior staffers were so alarmed by his erratic behavior that they demanded he enter a hospital for psychiatric treatment.”

      Now doesn’t that sound familiar. When Kevin Rudd was being stabbed in the back several MPs tried to allege the same sort of shit here, that he was crazy, aggressive, deluded, in need of psychiatric treatment. Come on people, wake the fuck up. It’s politics, not medicine.

  2. James Hill
    July 28, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Wu was accused of sexually assaulting a girlfriend in Stanford in 2004. Stanford made him attend counselling sessions in lieu of charges being dropped. One of my links also points to a 20 minute rant Wu had in Congress which is admittedly pretty insane.
    It is highly unorthodox for a congressman to lose half a dozen senior aides on the heels of a reelection victory, never mind stage an intervention with his psychiatrist. The furry photo is just the tip of the iceburg

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      At least on this report, http://blog.oregonlive.com/mapesonpolitics/2011/01/david_wus_political_career_gro.html some of the commenters recognise that it’s the Oregon media reps who want to bring down Wu. Here, he says “Some of my stress was derived from a very tough campaign, but I was also dealing with raising two children alone and the death of my father,” Wu said in the statement. “I fully acknowledge that I could have dealt with these difficult circumstances better.” Ok, so, sure, if he wasn’t dealing with stress and as a result became snappy or short tempered and didn’t deal very democratically with his staff, etc, then yes, that’s a need to be addressed merely on the grounds that he is incapable of dealing with the high levels of stress of the job. It doesn’t automatically mean he needs psychiatric help. It’s complete shit that someone can go from highly successful election winning politician to babbling psycho in less than a year, it’s more likely that’s been his temperament all along and the sex scandal was the out that his disapprovers needed to start this really rolling. I don’t know, I could be wrong but my gut says there are two valid sides to the story. Just like the fucked up sex smear campaign on Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, I believe this is blown out of proportion too.

      • James Hill
        July 28, 2011 at 10:47 am #

        The high school girl that leveled an accusation at him is the daughter of one of his closest, long time friends. Assange was accused by two scorned lovers, one of whom had possible links to the CIA. These are very different cases.

        • July 29, 2011 at 11:07 am #

          Ohhh. That is a bit of a difference yeah.

    • July 28, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      Good article though, you riled me up 😉

  3. August 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Another sexual conduct scandal: you are right to give this one a little more attention. The case of Wu raises questions about journalism itself and whether or not news organisations should actively chase up allegations of sexual misconduct (even if they are, at first sight, ‘old news’). It does seem a little sleazy but it is often so easy; in the case of Wu, a Taiwanese immigrant and lawyer, already reported to have sexually accosted his ex-girlfriend while studying at Stanford in the 70s. Many accusations followed. Of course, he would not comment on ‘unsubstantiated allegations’. What is a reporter’s stance to be? Is it fair to put a man’s youth under scrutiny because he is running for office?

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