Less than a month after he was sworn into office as House Speaker, the long-rumored extramarital affairs of John Boehner have landed him on the cover of the National Enquirer.
Boehner is featured on the bottom-right corner of the cover of the issue that's on sale nationwide Thursday. A photo of Boehner's face is featured next to the headline, “Speaker of the House John Boehner Accused in Sex Probe! (Details inside).”
The article itself is a two-page spread that features several photographs including one of Lisbeth Lyons, a lobbyist for the Printing Industries of America. Lyons is one of two women the article names as Boehner's sexual partners, the other being congressional press secretary Leigh LaMora in 1997.
(Apparently, just like Superman, Boehner will only date women with the double-L initials. Lucy Liu and Loni Love, you'd better watch out.)
Inside the newspaper, the article appears under the headline, “Enquirer exclusive: House speaker sex scandal.” For good measure, the sub-headline states, “Married John Boehner accused of cheating with at least 2 women.”
The article quotes Mike Stark of StarkReports.com, an online blog, about Boehner's alleged tryst with Lyons. An Enquirer reporter confronted Lyons, who replied, “I do not want to have a discussion about John Boehner. I have no comment."
This type of attention didn't bode well for another politician named John -- Democrat John Edwards of North Carolina. In 2007, while Edwards was seeking his party's presidential nomination, the Enquirer published a series of articles about his extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter. Edwards later admitted the reports were true and dropped out of the race.
The blogosphere first reported on the affair rumors in September, allegedly because The New York Times was preparing an expose as an “October surprise” before the election that could damage his reputation. Such an article never appeared but the backlash helped energize conservative pundits.
Stark confronted Boehner about the allegations last year, as Boehner was leaving a press conference about the GOP's “Pledge to America.” Boehner declined to comment at the time.
Boehner, 61, was born in Reading and lives in West Chester Township, with his wife, Deborah. He has two daughters.
A Roman Catholic, Boehner graduated from Moeller High School in 1968, and from Xavier University in 1977, both of which are Catholic institutions.
Boehner was given a 91 percent rating by the Christian Coalition in late 2003 for his voting record on so-called “family values” issues.
It should be noted that Boehner opposes same-sex marriage and has supported efforts at defining marriage as between one man and one woman in the Constitution.
According to supporters of that effort, it's important because “Every child deserves both a father and a mother. Studies demonstrate the utmost importance of the presence of a child's biological parents in a child's happiness, health and future achievements. If we chip away at the institution which binds these parents and the family together, the institution of marriage, you begin to chip away at the future success of that child.”