"No one, regardless of what party they serve, no one, regardless
of what branch of government they serve, should be allowed to get away
with these alleged sexual improprieties, and yet it is obvious to me...that
a double standard does exist." Dan Burton in reference to Bob Packwood.
Bob Packwood, a few years ago, had been forced to resign over sexual improprieties
and Burton was angry because Clinton was not being forced to resign also.
He missed the point that Packwood was sexually harassing women, where as
Clinton was just having sex with them. A few years later, Burton failed
to resign when it was revealed that he had sired a child out of wedlock
with a woman who was certainly not his wife.
|Despite Dan Burton's moralistic attitudes and votes, he certainly is not a posterboy for moralists. He used to claim that he was a very moral person. He used to go after Clinton for having affairs and continues to do so for Clintonís alleged fundraising from Chinese sources. However, in September of 1998 it was revealed that not only had Burton had an affair, but that he had a child from the relationship. This, however, is only one of Dan's "sins". He's also directed a witch hunt against the connections between Democrats and a few Chinese donors. While the charges against Democrats merit investigation, Burton has neglected to pursue any similar donations from the Republicans...including the donations he has received from abroad. He's been accused of shaking down a Pakistani lobbyist for more campaign donations. Burton has also shown a history of catering to the wishes of those who line his campaign coffers.|
Burton and Womanizing
While Dan Burton has become a leader of the Religious Right, he does not match their espoused views. As is the case with many who belong to the Religious Right, Dan Burton is a hypocrite. He repeatedly criticized Clinton for his affairs. And yet, by many different accounts, Dan Burton was one of the most sexually prolific men in the Indiana State House and Senate. His "prowess" led to a scandal around the time that the Starr report was released. Burton, fearing an investigative report being released by either the Indianapolis Star or Vanity Fair, outed himself. Initially, he confessed vaguely to having done something wrong "If something comes out hat you read about, that you think Danny shouldn't have done, I will own up to it. I won't lie about it. I will tell the truth". In his initial acknowledgement of guilt, he never specified exactly what "it" was. However, by the end of the week Burton revealed that he had a rather odd version of "family values"...he had sired a child out of wedlock. It was later revealed that while he had provided financial support for the child he had refused to be a father to the child. He had had little to no personal contact with his illegitimate son and simply appeared to pay the equivalent of hush money for him. The mother worked for a Cabinet-level state agency. When the conception happened, Dan Burton was advertising himself as "a man who cares"...the theme for his 1982 run for the U.S. House. He certainly didnít care about his son, who he has had practically no contact with in the past 17 years. Obviously, being a good father is not part of Burtonís family values.
While Dan Burton's revelation shocked many, it didn't shock those who knew him in the days that he was a state legislator. Burton's sexual prowess and habit of sexually harassing women has been reported by many. He served in the Indiana State Senate 1969-70 and 1981-82, and in the Indiana House of Representatives 1967-68 and 1977-80. In this time period, he amassed a record that would compete with President Clinton. According to a former coworker, "Back when he had a seat in the General Assembly (in the Indiana State House and Senate) and back during his early terms in Congress, Dan Burton had a reputation for sex with convenient women that was at least as awful and awesome as the Clinton reputation. When Hoosier politicians and pundits gathered, they would tell each other stories about Burton scoring with interns and pages, scoring with staffers in his offices and staffers in his campaign , scoring with Carmel housewives and some fine and famous Christian women elsewhere in his district,".
Burton's reputation as a serial adulterer in his days in the Indiana legislature were so great that the Indianapolis Press Club mocked him on occasion. A report from 1980 of the Indianapolis Press Club included the following jokes about Burton. "He wants to become the District of Columbia's first senator. Why, you ask? Because someone told him that three-quarters of a million people in Washington go to bed each night without a senator." Another joke in the same report was "He likes to get out there and see sin up close."
Dan Burtonís sexuality was not confined exclusively to the willing. A state senator related a problem to Salon Magazine that one of her interns had with Burton. "One of my interns...was flattered when he invited her to dinner...and then was most embarrassed when he propositioned her. It's so bizarre he's so outspoken on moral issues". The former intern confirmed that Burton had commented on her appearance and that she had rebuffed an advance. Another woman, an assistant to the administrative assistant, complained to her former boyfriend that Burton pressured her into having an affair in 1983. Rebecca Hyatt complained that "Dan wants me to have sex with him. He keeps bugging me every day" (as related by her former boyfriend). Burton and Hyatt then had an affair, according to both her exboyfriend and her ex-husband (two different people). When contacted by Salon, Rebecca Hyatt said "I don't talk to reporters,".
In another unwilling advance, a delegation from Planned Parenthood received several surprises upon its arrival in Washington. For those of you who wouldn't know this, Planned Parenthood, which provides information on contraceptives, abortions, and other such matters, is not generally considered an ally of politicians such as Burton. However, when the paid a visit to Burton's office (expecting to meet with a staff member...which is what usually happens when a politician doesnít want to deal with someone) they instead met with Burton. The two men of the contingent were surprised by the unusual amount of young and attractive women who worked for Burton..who seemed to be unprepared an uninformed about the issues they were responsible for. The female member of the group received a far more disturbing surprise...a hand up her skirt. As they were leaving, according to the woman (a registered Republican), "he grabbed my arm and pulled me back. I thought that he was just angry (about our discussion). I was there maybe 30 seconds, and he had his hands up my skirt so fast I didnít even know what was coming." The woman managed to stop Burton's hand from its intended target. The men from Planned Parenthood did not see the incident.
In yet another instance, it appears that Dan Burton keeps two women permanently on his campaign staff despite the fact that he hasn't had serious opposition in many years. He even continues to pay them during noncampaign years, which is decidedly odd. It appears that both of these women may have had affairs with Burton. Burton used to pay for both her board and a salary of $40,000 to a former model, Claudia Keller. Until recently, she bore the title of campaign manager. Burton claims that her house is a Dan Burton for Congress campaign office although it never advertises itself as such (ie. no signs in the window saying ďBurton office hereĒ). He also pays $10,000 to her sister for no apparent reason and had made payments to her daughter, aunt and ex-husband, all out of the federal taxpayer pocket. In addition to the campaign salary, Keller has a part-time job at Burton's congressional district office. No one seems to know what she does for Burton there...including a Burton spokesman who said that he would need to look into what Keller's job entails when asked by a reporter. In the past, Dan Burton used to make frequent visits to her home. According to a neighbor, he often looked dressed for golf and she often answered the door wearing a teddy. Another neighbor stated that Keller would frequently send her daughter to her home when Burton was over...as often as three or four times a week. The second woman that has remained on his payroll is Sharon Delph. She appears to do even less than Keller. She refused to answer when asked what she does for Burton when questioned by a reporter. It appears that she is being paid hush money. Burton knew her in high school and college. Delph's ex-husband maintains regular contact with her and expressed confusion that she was being paid by Burton since she has a full-time job at the bank. Her son was hired on as a key aide upon his graduation from graduate school. He stated that he was unaware that his mother received a regular paycheck from Burton's campaign. In these above instances, it appears that Burton is ensuring that women that he has carried on affairs with keep quiet. How does he do it? By paying them off with federal funds. Oddly enough, Dan Burton complains heavily about federal social programs like welfare and yet seems to feel that paying off women that heís slept with is a better use for the money.
Burton and Foreign Funny Money
There are numerous instances of Dan Burton bizarrely supporting some
sort of strange foreign cause. As opposed to being concerned about, say,
East Timor in Indonesia, where up to a third of the population has been
slaughtered since it was taken over by Indonesia in the 1970s, Burton chooses
to be concerned about places like Cuba. While Castro may not be a swell
guy, he certainly doesn't run around slaughtering his countryís citizens.
In one rather bizarre instance, Dan Burton appears to have shaken down a foreign lobbyist for campaign contributions. Mark Siegel used to serve as a lobbyist for the government of Pakistan. In 1996, Siegel claims that he was coerced by Burton to raise money for his congressional campaign. Burton asked Siegel to raise $5,000 from him. Siegel protested but then agreed. Burton first became abusive when Siegel was unable to cement plans for a fundraiser. "When I informed Congressman Burton of this he became extremely agitated and in fact abusive," Siegel's memo states. "He said if 'I knew what was good for me' I'd deliver the money." When he was unable to raise the necessary funds, Siegel claimed that Burton complained to the ambassador of Pakistan about him and threatened to make sure that "none of his friends or colleagues" would meet with Siegel. The story was revealed by the Washington Post in a memo that Siegel had written to his home government of Pakistan. The memo was written in response to a strange fax from an aide to the prime minister of Pakistan. The aide wrote ď...we were distressed to know from the embassy that Congressman Dan Burton says that you were unable to keep certain promises regarding fundraising for his reelection campaign and that you were also very unhelpful in other matters. So much so that you are no longer 'persona grata' in his office. This is most upsetting as he is good friend of Pakistan." Burton has never really managed to explain this one. He claims that Siegel and him never met and that they discussed fundraising over the phone. The two memos would seem to disprove that theory, as the aide to the prime minister indicates that he had been contacted by Burton. The incident has caused a grand jury to be convened...one that still seems to be going on.
The harsh words given to Siegel by the Pakistani government were probably due to the fact that Dan Burton is one of the Hill's strongest supporters of the Pakistani government. Why? Because some of his biggest donors are of the Sikh religious sect, who are trying form their own country out of a part of India called Khalistan. Since Pakistan and India are bitter enemies who frequently threaten war against each other, a province breaking away from India would obviously benefit Pakistan.
Burton, as a member of the International Relations Committee, is a prime target of foreign interests who want their countries concerns aired in Washington. He has used his position to expand his campaign warchest and, in addition to individuals from Pakistan, takes foreign money from all sorts of countries. In 1996, 84% of Burton's individual campaign contributions came from outside Indiana and almost 25% of that total came from Florida where Miami Cubans regard him as one of their chief patrons. He also takes large amounts of money from American Sikhs. Burton has become the Hill's leading supporter of Sikh rights and a critic of India. Dan Burton has also encountered fund-raising problems with his donations the Sikh. While Al Gore accepted some rather odd donations from a foreign Buddhist temple, Burton seems to have just as willingly accepted some rather odd donations from a Sikh temple. Burton was forced to return two old campaign donations after the Hill, a political newspaper, reported that Burton violated federal elections law by take $646 in campaign gifts from two Sikh temples. They also made a second illegal donation of $1,950. The temples violated a law that prohibits charitable nonprofit groups from making political contributions. When confronted with this, Burton offered the rather odd excuse that he took the temple name to be a man's name...despite the fact that nearly every Sikh male uses Singh as a surname.
Siegel, in his testimony to the grand jury, also revealed other things about Burton. He claimed that a fair amount of the calls made to him regarding fundraising were made from Burton's congressional office...a charge that many Republicans (including Burton) have leveled at Al Gore as being horribly illegal. While it is, no doubt, illegal, its rather hypocritical of Burton to go about doing the same actions that he has accused one of his political enemies of doing. According to Siegel, "He always made the calls; he always left the office number as his return phone number, which is amusing because he was attacking the vice president for using his office for making campaign fundraising calls. The vice president was making soft money calls, which was potentially illegal, but Burton was making hard money calls, which is explicitly illegal." Several other individuals who have had associations with Burton confirm Siegel's allegation. A former computer technician for Burton's committee said that an aide of Burton's made calls soliciting campaign contributions for Burton from subcommittee offices during the workday. Another aide backs up this particular story, as he said that he would run into the aide who made the phone calls (named Dan Moll) and Moll would tell him he was raising money for Burton. In response to these allegations, Burton stated "I can't say never, categorically, but I don't remember ever making them."
Burton has also, when the money is right, been a supporter of many a human rights violator. Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the former leader of Zaire (now the Congo) Mobutu Sese Soko. Mobutu was one of Africa's worst rulers, as he amassed enormous riches for himself while the rest of the country became dirt poor. In 1995, Burton backed Mobuto's request for a U.S. visa, contrary to almost every other American official. Why was this? Probably because he accepted large contributions from Mobutu's Washington lobbyist. Since 1989, Burton had taken about $4,500 from Mobutu's lobbyist, which slowly led to him changing his mind on Zaire. He's also received $8,000 from a Mobutu advocate in that same time period.
Burton's change to act in favor of Mobutu was a bit of a switch. In 1989 he stated that he was appalled by the conditions in Zaire, as nearly everyone in the country was poor and starving except for Mobutu and cronies. In 1992, he and members of the Black Congressional Caucus pushed Bush to promote free elections in the nation, an anti-Mobutu effort. Somewhere between then and 1995, Burton switched. Perhaps Mobutu's government had donated enough to "persuade" Burton of the righteousness of Mobutu's desire to be a dictator. In addition to attempting to convince the State Department to give Mobutu a visa, a Burton aide also helped to write a speech for Mobutu in 1995. A lobbyist for Zaire faxed a rough draft of the speech to an aide of Burton. An attached note said "In accordance with our discussion, Mobutu is prepared to give this speech immediately...in the hope that, as discussed, it will bring about movement on the democracy front and also activate Congressman Burton to assist in getting the process going,". After Mobutu gave the speech, Burton became enthused about what he called Mobutu's change of heart. "A week ago, I would have frowned upon any suggestion that Mobutu be given a visa to enter the United States. However recent statements by Mobutu and other information that has come to my attention have caused me to reconsider my views,". Obviously, these statements were largely written by his staff members...the statements that caused Burton to reconsider his views.
Burton has also been influenced in a similar manner in regards to the former apartheid run South Africa. Two Burton contributors ran the International Freedom Foundation in the mid to late 80s. While it portrayed itself as a group fighting for democracy, in reality it was a front for the country's white controlled military. Burton actively participated in various programs of the group. He also was a strong opponent of U.S. sanctions against the white run government and also a strong critic of the ANC, Nelson Mandela's party.
Burton & Gifts
As did numerous Republicans, Dan Burton complained rather loudly about the 1995 passage of a bill that prohibited that prevented legislators from accepting free trips from lobbyists. Burton claimed that "It's going to cut off access to my constituents,". Burton obviously has a rather confused idea of who his constituents are, as 84% of his contributions came from out of state. Despite Burton's protestations of it cutting off access to his constituents, there are ways around the law and Burton has done a good job of exploring them.
The easiest way to skirt the law is to have a company donate X amount of dollars to said legislators campaign and then have said legislator pay for the trip out of his campaign...thus making the trip free. Dan Burton and AT&T have used this trick in order to send Burton to a charity golf tournament courtesy of AT&T. AT&T wanted Burton to come to a golf tournament where he would be given the opportunity to talk shop with AT&T chairman Robert Allen. So in order to get around the gift ban, AT&T donated $2,000 to his campaign fund...then Burton took the money for the trip out of his campaign fund. Nice eh? AT&T even waived the entrance fee to its golf tournament. Oddly enough, at about the same time Burton was whacking golf balls with Allen, legislation was about to come up that would awarded a $10 billion government contract to AT&T. Burton, of course, wanted the contract to go to AT&T. Burton, however, claimed that he was not influenced in anyway, nor was he lobbied on the golf junket.
Burton and Clinton
Over the years, Burton seems to have switched his hatred of communism to an equally rabid hatred of Clinton. He also seems to have developed some paranoid beliefs about Clinton, as he believes that Clinton has tapped his phone. Over the course of his dislike, he's done a wide variety of things, ranging from the strangely bizarre to the hideously unfair.
In 1998, Dan Burton, as chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, released what were supposed to be the private prison tapes of Clinton crony Webster Hubbel. The tapes were a strange thing to make public in the first place, as they were private phone conversations between Hubbel and his wife recorded while he was in prison. Stranger by far was that Burton intentionally and, evidently, maliciously edited the tapes in order to make Hubbel sound like he was admitting his guilt to his wife instead of denying it. Dan Burton cut several pieces of information out of the tape, including statements like "We know that's not true" so that it sounded like Burton was giving a confession instead of denying that something was true. In the unedited conversation, Hubbel also states that he did not know of anything the First Lady had done wrong. Democrats who served on the Committee with Burton stated that some of the verbatim quotes in Burton's original transcripts "do not appear anywhere in the tapes" and that passages "were deleted that appear to be exculpatory of Mr. Hubbell." Essentially, Burton doctored the tapes so that it appeared that Hubbell was admitting his own and Mrs. Clinton's guilt, not defending the both of them.
Dan Burton has also been a rabid critic of the handling of the Vince Foster case. Contrary to nearly every respectable Republican, Burton feels that Vince Foster was murdered by Clinton or his agent. Ken Starr, partisan extradordinare, investigated the case and found that Foster committed suicide. This eliminated all doubt in most sane people's minds. For Burton, however, it was not enough. Dan Burton and a homicide detective took a watermelon wrapped in duct tape out to Burton's backyard and shot it with 38 caliber. Because of the way in which the watermelon exploded, Burton concluded that Foster could not have shot himself. Most forensics experts would hardly consider a watermelon to be an accurate representation of a human head, but Burton seemed to think it worked well. Then again, Dan Burton seems to have a lot of strange ideas
Strange and Highly Unusual Things Burton Has Done
Dan Burton has done a slew of truly bizarre things in his career. This represents a small portion of them.
AIDS: Dan Burton seems to have a pathological fear of acquiring AIDS. He's drawn attention to himself by proposing that the entire U.S. population should submit to testing for the AIDS virus. However, his fear of it appears to be more than just quirky (or bigoted, depending on your view point). Dan Burton brings his own scissors, comb and electric razor to have his hair cut, evidently out of fear of catching AIDS from some nameless person. He's also stopped ordering soup in restaurants out of fear that he might get AIDS from some nameless person. In addition, he's stopped going to the House gym out of fear of catching AIDS from gym regular Barney Frank, who doesn't have AIDS but is gay.
Nukes: During the Persian Gulf war, a war that the US won with a minimal losses, Burton felt that we should save American lives by nuking Iraq. On "Good Morning America", Burton said that "If it (conventional bombing) does not get the job done, I think it is extremely important that we use everything possible to protect our troops before we send them into ground combat. If we use tactical nuclear weapons, I think it can be effective in getting this war over in a hurry,". While its true that bombing Iraq with nuclear weapons might get the war over with quickly, it would also certainly kill many innocent Iraqians. Burton, however, doesn't seem to care about this. He probably also has the confused notion that many bigoted Americans do that Arabs don't shower.
Drugs: Burton is also a big fan of big trouble for drug dealers. So big, in fact, that he proposes the death penalty for some of them. He originally introduced a bill in May of 1988 that would mandate the death penalty or life imprisonment for Class A drug offenders, people who posses more than four kilograms of cocaine, two or more kilograms or heroin, 200,000 or more doses of LSD or 200,000 or more doses of PCP. "Drug dealers know that crack cocaine and other drugs they sell are going to kill people and ruin their lives. They are subjecting entire communities to a reign of terror. In my view, they should be subject to the death penalty. What makes Burton's desire even more bizarre is the fact that his teenage son (the legitimate one) has been caught with drugs on at least two occasions. On both occasions, he was carrying enough to be classified as a dealer. A Louisiana state trooper pulled Burton and a companion over for speeding. The trooper noticed a strong marijuana odor coming from the car and searched the car. He found 7.5 pounds of marijuana in their car. When police searched his home, he was arrested in Indiana for possession of marijuana plants. Since his father is an important man, his punishment was merely a fine, probation and community service. Of course, he didn't receive preferential treatment, claims Dan Burton...his punishment was fair. Tell that to the thousands of poor, largely minorities, who are sitting and rotting in jail for minor drug offenses...all because their families canít ring up elite lawyers to defend them in trials.
Socks: Dan Burton, who regularly votes for such wastes of taxpayer money as the B-2 bomber, demanded to know how many tax dollars are wasted on answering mail to Socks the cat. Burton stated that the answering of Socks' fan mail is "the type of waste the American public wants to get rid of". Unfortunately for Burton, the taxpayers pay nothing. The answering of the letters is done by volunteers at a Washington retirement home for former members of the US armed forces. The head of the answering is former Chief Petty Officer Allan Gordon. "I spent most of my life in submarines, but now I work for a cat", he said. Dan Burton refuses to attack the B-2 bomber as the kind of waste the American public wants to get rid of.
Lawsuits: Dan Burton has always been a denouncer of the frivolous lawsuits that many Americans file. However, its not exactly clear that he follows his own philosophy (not that he ever does, anyway). In the mid 80s, Dan Burton and his wife sought a quarter of a million dollars from a grocery store. The reason? Mrs. Burton cut her finger on a hanger. His wife sought $200,000 for "serious and permanent injury" to her finger. Dan Burton sought $50,000 in compensation "because he, too, has been injured as a spouse". The attorney for the supermarket said that her injuries were extremely minor and amounted to "a couple of stitches".
Dan Burton Links
Dan Burton's Homepage: Dan Burton's House homepage. Usual crap found on one of these. Makes a lot of statements about Dan's family values, etc.
Comedyzine did a humorous "To Do" list for Burton.
Salon magazine has done a few articles on Burton. This one
is an article about Burton's sexual habits, and this one
is an overview of his career.