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Robert Edmund Bauman
Republican, Maryland (1973-1980)
The Honorable Bob Bauman, 43-year-old fast rising star of the Republican conservative coalition, chairman of the American Conservative Union, was busted in 1980 for engaging in oral sodomy with a 16-year-old boy near the U. S. Capitol.
The FBI was involved in an unrelated investigation of child pornography, when informants in the gay community in Washington tipped them off that Bauman had frequented gay clubs. The feds questioned the 16-year-old boy, who confirmed the allegations.
Bauman later admitted that he suffered from "homosexual tendencies" and alcoholism, but he would not back down from his reelection to Congress, which was coming up in less than a month. "I happen to believe that not all matters are gray," said Bauman. "There are things that are right and wrong. I have done wrong, but those standards have to be upheld. I never made any statements that I don't stand by now." Then he said, "I understand human weaknesses now better than ever." Bauman said he'd go in for counseling and rehab. [For other pearls of wisdom, check the Quote Board].
Republican conservative activists went crazy. They wanted him to quit the race, but it was after the deadline to withdraw.
Voters in the conservative eastern shore of Maryland, however, weren't so forgiving. Bauman was defeated.
Sources: Donald P. Baker and Jackson Diehl, "'Compulsions' Admitted by Rep. Bauman," Washington Post, Oct. 9, 1980; Donald P. Baker and Saundra Saperstein, "Conservatives are Leaving Bauman Camp," Washington Post, Oct. 7, 1980, 1.