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Craigslist Congressman Resigns, Republicans Waste No Time

Craigslist Congressman Resigns, Republicans Waste No Time

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Published by Leah Sophia

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Published by: Leah Sophia on Jul 14, 2011
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07/16/2014

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Craigslist Congressman Resigns, Republicans Waste No TimeBy LEAH CRUSANStaff WriterPublished: Tuesday, February 15, 2011Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 21:02 Erie County Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy told local media sources that interviews will be conducted on Sunday in Batavia to pick a replacement for ChrisLee, who resigned from his seat in the 26th Congressional District after a shirtless photograph of him surfaced in the media.Lee, 46 and married with one child, allegedly sent flirtatious e-mails and a shirtless photograph of himself to a woman whom he met on the popular website Craigslist. Lee allegedly replied to a post by Yesha Callahan, 34, in the "Women Seeking Men" section."I assumed that other people have probably come across him as well, and he had lied to them," Callahan said in an interview with The Washington Post. "I felt annoyance at just the audacity of people thinking that they're not going to get found out when they are lying."The statement was released after Lee allegedly lied to Callahan about his age, occupation, and marital status during their online correspondence. He allegedly told Callahan that he was a 36-year-old divorced lobbyist.Within hours of the e-mail conversation and the photograph being released on Gawker's website, Lee resigned from the House of Representatives after two terms. His resignation was abrupt, and reports reveal that Western New Yorkers heard about the resignation before the scandal.Not once during his resignation did Lee admit either guilt or innocence. Lee made a statement in the House Chamber last Wednesday and posted it on his website."It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York," Lee said in a statement. "I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, mystaff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I havemade profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness."During Lee's two-year term, his constituency stretched from his district officein Williamsville, N.Y. to Rochester, N.Y. While in office, Lee served on the House Committee on Financial Services."The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately," Lee said in his released statement.UB students reacted to his resignation and Craigslist ad with disappointment anda bit of suspicion."The people representing our country are held at a higher standard because theyare supposed to be representative of us and focused on their job," said Kelly Barrett, a senior communication major. "There is a moral standard that should comewith being a representative of a body of people. You should conduct yourself professionally, and people worry that politicians that act this way are too distracted to do their jobs properly."Others speculated about how the scandal will affect Lee's future political career."I think that this type of sex scandal is not career-ending, as Bill Clinton demonstrated, but neither is a failing economy or two wars gone awry under [GeorgeW.] Bush," said Jordan Ghasemi, a senior political science major. "If you are perceived as having good economic impact, and your base is not of the devout religious persuasion, I don't see why this should be the end. However, I do feel thatpolitical leaders should set moral examples for the rest of us. If they lie totheir spouses, how can we trust them?"Dr. James Campbell, chair of the department of political science, explained thatLee's decision is partly political and partly personal, but agrees with House S

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