‘Family values’ congressman says he’ll resign over affair
Update: Souder made abstinence video with his mistress
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire blog notes, “This is priceless: Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) — who just resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair with a staffer — recorded a video with the same woman praising abstinence education, according to TPM.”
At TPM, Justin Elliott reports that part-time staffer Tracy “Jackson played the role of interviewer for a Souder Web video show on the issues of the day — including one on the value of abstinence.”
Dubbed “Congressional Update with Congressman Mark Souder,” the show hit on issues like intelligent design and fencing the border.
In the November 2009 abstinence video, Jackson introduces Souder this way: “You’ve been a longtime advocate for abstinence education and in 2006 you had your staff conduct a report entitled ‘Abstinence and its Critics’ which discredits many claims purveyed by those who oppose abstinence education.”
Indiana Republican Rep. Mark Souder announced Tuesday he would resign from Congress, effective Friday, because he had an affair with a staffer.
Souder said in a statement provided by his office that he has “sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.”
He scheduled a news conference in Fort Wayne on Tuesday to discuss his decision.
Souder won a bruising Republican primary on May 4 to be nominated for his ninth term representing northeastern Indiana. He’s known as an ardent “family values” congressman, and says on his official website, “I believe that Congress must fight to uphold the traditional values that undergird the strength of our nation… Studies consistently demonstrate that it is best for a child to have a mother and father, and I am committed to preserving traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman.”
Souder, 59, said he also would not be a candidate in the fall election.
“I believe it is the best decision for my family, the people of northeast Indiana and our country,” he said in the statement.
“In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain,” he said. “I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.”
Fox News said in their original exclusive report breaking the story that there might be details of the affair that would land him in congressional hot water — indicating there may be more serious improprieties than simply sleeping with a woman who was not his wife.
“Multiple senior House sources indicated that the extent of the affair would have landed Souder before the House Ethics Committee,” Fox News said.
Souder won the Republican primary over car dealer Bob Thomas, who spent much of his own money on television commercials portraying Souder as a career politician who wasn’t a true fiscal conservative. Souder countered by emphasizing his A-plus marks from the National Rifle Association and 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
Souder had been expected to face a stiff challege from Democrat Tom Hayhurst, a former Fort Wayne city councilman who lost a close race to Souder in 2006.
Souder did not provide details about the affair.
“As I leave public office, my plans are focused upon repairing my marriage, earning back the trust of my family and my community, and renewing my walk with my Lord,” he said.
With The Associated Press.