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The Alcoholics Caucus
There are a bunch of them, but there used to be a lot more, back in the old days when legislators would knock off at 5:30, go down to the Speakers Office and down a few bourbons and branch waters.
The Honorable Bob Packwood, Republican Senator from Oregon, claimed his sexual harassment of women stemmed from his abuse of alcohol. "Alcohol is not an excuse; its an explanation," says Packwood.
The Honorable John Tower, Republican Senator from Texas. Fellow Senators rejected his nomination to be Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush amid allegations of drinking and womanizing. Tower vociferously denied that drinking was a problem.
Heavy Drinkers. Washington Monthly magazine listed the most notorious drinkers in Congress, from 1965-1980. Not alcoholics, mind you, just heavy drinkers. Seems to be a particular problem for Democrats.
Speaker of the House the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Democrat from Texas (1913-1962)
Ways and Means Committee Chairman the Honorable Wilbur Mills, Democrat from Arkansas (1939-1976)
House Administration Committee Chairman, the Honorable Frank Thompson, Jr., Democrat from New Jersey (1955-1980).
Armed Services Committee Chairman, the Honorable Mendell Rivers, Democrat from South Carolina (1941-1970).
House Rules Committee Chairman, the Honorable Richard Bolling, Democrat from Missouri (1949-1982).
Senate Finance Committee Chairman, the Honorable Russell Long, Democrat from Louisiana (1947-1986). His code name was "Jack Daniels"
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, the Honorable Herman Talmadge, Democrat from Georgia (1957-1980)
Convicted for Drunk Driving:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, the Honorable Dan Rostenkowski, Democrat from Illinois (1959-1994)
House Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman, the Honorable Louis Stokes, Democrat from Ohio (1969-1998)
The Honorable Bob Kasten, Republican Senator from Wisconsin (1975-1992)
Allegedly Drinking Heavily While Crossing over to Chappaquiddick Island
The Honorable Ted Kennedy, Democratic Senator from Massachusetts (1962-present)
The Honorable Harold E. Hughes, Democratic Senator from Iowa (1969-1974)
The Honorable Rod Chandler, Republican Member from Washington (1983-1992).
The Honorable Bill Emerson, Democratic Member from Missouri (1981-1996)
The Honorable Gerald Klezcka, Democratic Member from Wisconsin (1983-2004). Convicted of DUI in 1987; arrested for DUI in 1990 and 1995.
The Honorable Frank Horton, once convicted of drunk driving.
For background, check out Susan Crabtree, "Alcohol and Congress--Up on the Hill, Life is High, Not Dry. Insight Magazine. March 3, 1997.