Skinny Dipping Scandal
August 20, 2012
Elmira (WENY) - A skinny dipping incident involving a republican member of Congress last summer has wider implications than just the lawmaker involved. Republican Congressman Tom Reed was on the same trip, which comes to light as he campaigns for re-election. According to political journalism organization Politico.com, the FBI is looking into allegations that Kansas congressman Kevin Yoder swam naked in the Sea of Galilee in Israel last summer, during a Congressional fact-finding mission. Congressman Tom Reed admits that he was on the same trip, and also swam in the holy sea, but remained clothed. With an election right around the corner this is not something Congressman Reed wanted to deal with.
“The bottom line is we have nothing to hide, I've always told each and everyone of you and I tell everyone we understand where we're at and we're not going to hide from anything,” says Reed.
Like any other vacation, some dinner, some drinking and a late night swim couldn't hurt anyone right? Well that
“My wife and I went swimming in the Sea of Galilee, appropriately clothed. And obviously we're going to learn from that and take that into consideration when we're moving forward,” says Reed.
Fellow congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas admitted to swimming naked and has since apologized for the incident. WENY Political analysis Jim Twombly says if Reed has come out with the truth then his image to voters should be unscathed come the November election, despite the story getting national attention.
“If that's the case then there shouldn't be any damage to him at all. There are some that are calling for all of the congressman involved it the incident to resign but I find that little far fetched,” says Twombly.
Reed says he didn't feel the swimming situation was inappropriate when it happened, but does admit it's taught more about being in the public spotlight.
Twombly says right now, these trips are acceptable, but lawmakers' conduct can cause ethical dilemmas, as in the case of Congressman Yoder.
“Right now it is apparently in the legitimate bounds of the ethics committee but congress has needed ethics reforms for years.”
Reed says he has not been contacted by the F-B-I, and is unsure of whether the agency is really investigating the matter.
The American Israel Education Foundation sponsored the trip, which ran from August 13 to 21 last year.