Political Scandals

By Parcast Network

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 Jun 18, 2020

 Dec 31, 2019


Discover how fast controversy can move up in the polls in Parcast’s new limited series, Political Scandals. From greed and lust to deceit and cover-ups, we’ll unpack the most shocking events in American history—all leading up to the 2020 election. Every Tuesday, join us as we breakdown the rise and fall of our most infamous elected officials, measuring the impact it had on the country and history.

Episode Date
Scandal 14: The Keating Five
By 1985, Charles Keating had parlayed his go-getter’s hustle and dubious ethical compass into a multi-million dollar banking and real estate empire. When a federal investigation threatened everything, he called in a favor to five U.S. senators, including John McCain and John Glenn. 
Aug 04, 2020
Scandal 15: Alger Hiss
Dedicated public servant, or Soviet spy? In the late 1940s, the American public was transfixed by the accusations against Alger Hiss. But Hiss would not be deterred by his nemesis Whittaker Chambers, a nine hour Congressional hearing, or even the dogged Richard Nixon. 
Jul 28, 2020
Scandal 16: William Blount Conspiracy
In the late 1700s, William Blount was a land speculator-turned-senator. A failed conspiracy to get himself out of debt triggered the first impeachment trial in United States history. 
Jul 21, 2020
Scandal 17: Richard Helms
He made a career out of keeping secrets, starting in a wartime intelligence group and working his way up to Director of the CIA in 1966. But when Congress questioned him about U.S. involvement in the 1970 Chilean presidential election, Helms found himself caught between two oaths—one to secrecy, and one to truth-telling. 
Jul 14, 2020
Introducing Crime Countdown, A Parcast Original Series!
True crime fans: There’s a new Parcast original on the roster, and it’s packed with passionate opinions on the worst serial killers, creepiest cults, coldest cold cases, and all things criminal… Every Monday, co-hosts Ash and Alaina from the hit podcast Morbid rank ten true crime stories centered around a common theme—debating each case and their rankings with a hint of humor to lighten the mood. Enjoy this exclusive clip from our first episode of Crime Countdown! Then search Crime Countdown to find more episodes, free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!
Jul 13, 2020
Scandal 18: The Eaton Affair
President Andrew Jackson had just secured the presidency in 1828 when his good friend married a scandalous Washington widow. As the wives and daughters of D.C.'s elite retaliated, Jackson was forced to make a decision that would alter his cabinet—and set Martin Van Buren up for the future presidency.
Jul 07, 2020
Scandal 19: Gary Hart and Donna Rice
Colorado Senator Gary Hart was set to make a splash with his second attempt to campaign for the Democratic nomination for President in 1988… but he didn't even make it to the July convention before the Miami Herald ran an explosive story about his affair with a young socialite.
Jun 30, 2020
Scandal 20: Daniel Webster’s Secret Mistress
The unspoken code of turning a blind eye to the private lives of Congresspeople was broken open in the 19th century. That’s when journalist Jane Swisshelm revealed the secret mistress and child of Senator Daniel Webster, bringing his unexpected vote for popular sovereignty during the Compromise of 1850 under direct fire.
Jun 23, 2020
Scandal 21: Lincoln’s Secretary of War
Like some of the other figures we’ve covered, Simon Cameron reached the top of the political ladder, only to have to ultimately resign in shame. What makes Cameron’s situation unique is that he stumbled into the wrong position at the wrong time—as Secretary of War, during the outbreak of the Civil War.
Jun 16, 2020
Introducing SOLVED MURDERS: TRUE CRIME MYSTERIES, A Parcast Original Series!
To commemorate its fourth anniversary, Parcast and the team behind Unsolved Murders are taking a closer look at what it takes to catch a killer. In the new series Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries, you'll follow the clues and uncover the missing pieces to some of history's most gripping cases. Every Wednesday, join hosts Carter and Wenndy as they explore the days, months, and even years leading up to a killer being caught. Each episode plays out like a classic murder mystery—where the final reveal is nearly as shocking as the murder itself. Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries is only available on Spotify. Enjoy this exclusive clip from the first episode on the infamous “in cold blood” murders of the Clutter Family. If you want to listen to the full episode, follow Solved Murders: True Crime Mysteries, free and only on Spotify.
Jun 10, 2020
Scandal 22: Spiro Agnew
Though Spiro Agnew’s life and political career is generally considered a footnote to that of his much more famous boss, unlike Nixon, Agnew actually was a convicted felon. And to this day, he’s the only vice president in history to resign in disgrace.
Jun 09, 2020
Scandal 23: William “Boss” Tweed
At the height of his power in the 1860s, William “Boss” Tweed was the head of Tammany Hall, the Democratic political machine that controlled New York City. Tweed’s greed and ill-gotten assets made him obscenely rich—all while the taxpayers suffered.
Jun 02, 2020
Scandal 24: Budd Dwyer
During the late 1980s, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Budd Dwyer was in charge of awarding a bidding contract to repay state teachers for tax overpayments. But when an investigation into bribery ensued, Dwyer's mental health began to unravel, yielding dire consequences...
May 26, 2020
Scandal 25: The Election of 1960
As the exciting game of cat and mouse between former Vice President Richard Nixon and Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy came to a head in the general election, discrepancies in the electoral ballot count that slotted Kennedy as the winner came to light, opening a trove of questions about voting foul play.
May 19, 2020
Scandal 26: Abscam
In the late 1970s, the FBI’s Abscam case showed the American public exactly how low many elected officials were willing to go for money. Many Americans applauded the Bureau for exposing the conmen in Congress. But some say Abscam was the FBI’s retaliation against Congress for investigating federal agents’ abuse of power.
May 12, 2020
Scandal 27: Brooks-Sumner Affair
In 1856, a nearly deadly clash between two Congressmen occurred on the floor of the Senate. South Carolina Representative Preston Smith Brooks brought his gold-tipped cane to confront Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner over what he deemed to be an inflammatory speech.
May 05, 2020
Scandal 28: The XYZ Affair
In the late 1790s, President John Adams sent three American envoys to Paris to negotiate with France's foreign minister in hopes of avoiding the slippery slope to war. But the result of such diplomatic brinkmanship yielded grave consequences.
Apr 28, 2020
Sneak Peek: DAILY QUOTE, A Parcast Original Series!
Whether you’re jumpstarting the morning, searching for that midday pick-me-up, or trying to finish the evening off strong… Daily Quote offers some of history’s most inspirational quotes whenever you need them—365 days a year. In this 2-3 minute podcast, you’ll be given a quote that will motivate, uplift, and renew your outlook on life. You’ll also dive deeper into the context surrounding the quote—learning more about its origin and the meaning behind it. Enjoy this sneak peek of Daily Quote ahead of its launch on Monday. April 27th! In this exclusive episode, we highlight the poignant words of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. For more pathways to positivity, subscribe to Daily Quote free on Spotify! 
Apr 26, 2020
Scandal 29: Rod Blagojevich
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blajojevich made a name for himself in politics by insisting he was the anti-corruption candidate the state needed. However, when he was arrested in late 2008 and charged with corruption, Blajojevich would prove that he was no different than the men who'd come before him.
Apr 21, 2020
Scandal 30: Crédit Mobilier
In the 1860s, the Union Pacific Railroad Company was commissioned to build the first transcontinental railroad. Looking to cash in, their directors contracted the work out to Crédit Mobilier, their shell corporation. After massively overcharging the federal government, they then sold their shares back to Congressmen as bribes.
Apr 14, 2020
Scandal 31: Chandra Levy
In 2001, former Washington intern Chandra Levy went missing after a hiking day trip. This prompted a months-long search revealing she had been entangled with a much older California Congressman.
Apr 07, 2020
Scandal 32: George Ryan
In a state known for high-profile corruption, Illinois Secretary of State George Ryan was no exception. His corruption would help out his family, his buddies...and ultimately let innocent citizens die, thanks to dangerous forged licenses distributed around the state in the 1990s. 
Mar 31, 2020
Scandal 33: “Bathhouse” & “Hinky Dink”
In the early 1900s, “Bathhouse John” Coughlin and Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna set about rigging the city's political machine in their favor, contributing to the rise of organized crime in Chicago, and putting their careers on a collision course with the law.
Mar 24, 2020
Scandal 34: The Blackmail of Lester Hunt
In the 1950s, at the height of Communist paranoia, Republican Senators Styles Bridges and Joe Welker went after Democratic Senator Lester Hunt in an attempt to blackmail him into giving up his coveted seat in Congress.
Mar 17, 2020
Scandal 35: Grover Cleveland’s Secret Son
President Grover Cleveland is often remembered for his mustache, or perhaps his anti-corruption agenda. Fewer people know about the son he fathered through sexual assault—and the ensuing scandal that threatened his election to the White House.
Mar 10, 2020
Scandal 36: Carroll Hubbard
The 1991 House baking scandal may have rocked Capitol Hill, but it was proved to be the tip of the iceberg for Kentucky Democratic Representative Caroll Hubbard. He was found guilty of siphoning his Congressional funds for a variety of inappropriate uses, including his wife's own campaign for Congress.
Mar 03, 2020
Scandal 37: Billygate
As Jimmy Carter’s younger brother, Billy Carter was no stranger to national attention or public scrutiny. Being next of kin to the President let him establish himself as a celebrity in his own right. But in the months leading up to the 1980 presidential election, it would become clear that Billy had been up to far more serious business. He had been making international trips and deals that could ruin his brother’s reelection.
Feb 25, 2020
Introducing PARCAST DAILY, A Parcast Original Series!
Every Monday through Friday, Parcast Daily filters through all of your favorite Parcast shows to highlight one timely and relevant episode premiering each day. You might hear about a calculating killer on Female Criminals, delve into the minds of history and fiction’s greatest bad guys on Villains, or spiral down into intrigue and speculation on Conspiracy Theories. Whatever your tastes, you’ll always get something new on Parcast Daily. Enjoy this exclusive clip from our featured episode: “Bohemian Grove Pt. 1.” To finish this episode, subscribe to PARCAST DAILY free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Feb 19, 2020
Scandal 38: Whiskey Ring
Under President Ulysses S. Grant, John MacDonald created one of the most lucrative scams ever to grace the spirits business, leading to a trial that had the President himself doing the unheard of: testifying as a witness on behalf of the defendant.
Feb 18, 2020
Scandal 39: The Kansas Territorial Election
In the years before the American Civil War, the territory of Kansas was fraught with conflict between abolitionist Free Soilers and Pro-slavery Southerners. Statehood for Kansas hung in the balance of one election dictating which party would lead the local government in its quest for the Union.
Feb 11, 2020
Scandal 40: The Eagleton Affair
On the surface, Tom Eagleton seemed the ideal running mate for George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign. But upon closer examination, there were odd details about Eagleton—details that contributed to one of the worst presidential election defeats in history.
Feb 04, 2020
Scandal 41: James Traficant
He was one of the strangest, most colorful men to ever tread the House of Representatives. After successfully defending himself against a racketeering charge in the early 1980s, James Traficant knew the FBI would stay close—looking for any opportunity to take him down.
Jan 28, 2020
Listen First! DICTATORS, A Parcast Original Series!
They are natural-born-leaders with a never-ending thirst for power. Through force and deceit, they rise through the ranks towards radicalism—eliminating anyone who stands in their way. Every Tuesday, delve into the minds, and motives, behind some of the world’s most infamous leaders in Parcast’s original series, DICTATORS. Each dictator is analyzed in 2-part episodes... with the first giving insight into their rise to power, and the second chronicling the impact of their downfall. In this special clip from our first episode, learn about Benito Mussolini’s transformation from Italian “Superman” to despised despot. To finish this episode, subscribe to DICTATORS free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Jan 22, 2020
Scandal 42: Judge G. Harrold Carswell
He was President Richard Nixon’s ace-in-the-hole for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1970. The Senate had other thoughts—rejecting G. Harrold Carswell’s nomination after reporters uncovered a speech in which he endorsed racial segregation as a legislative candidate in Georgia.
Jan 21, 2020
Scandal 43: 1792 New York Governor’s Election
Most people would be hard-pressed to name even one of John Jay’s accomplishments. In fact, there was a time when Jay had a path to the presidency. But before he even got that shot, Jay ran for Governor of New York. And despite getting more votes than his opponent, Jay was declared the loser.
Jan 14, 2020
Scandal 44: Huey Long
After becoming Governor of Louisiana in 1928, Huey Long was on a warpath. He sought to force out anyone who opposed him and take control of the state through any means necessary.
Jan 07, 2020
Scandal 45: Randy “Duke” Cunningham
It was a scandal in which defense contractors paid bribes to members of Congress and officials in the U.S. Defense Department. Most notable amongst the recipients of the bribes was California Congressman Duke Cunningham, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to receiving over $2.3 million in bribes.
Dec 31, 2019
Scandal 46: The Robert Potter Duel
He was a politician, frontiersman, lawyer, and naval officer. But above all, Robert Potter was the ultimate sore loser. After failing in a House of Commons race, he challenged his opponent to a duel.
Dec 24, 2019
Scandal 47: The Election of 1876
After years of turmoil brought on by the Civil War, Reconstruction, and corruption in the Grant Administration, the new president was tasked with getting the country back on track. Instead, the country experienced one of the most corrupt elections ever.
Dec 17, 2019
Only on Spotify! FAMOUS FATES, A Parcast Limited Series!
Discover the stories of incredible people whose grandiose lives were matched only by their shocking demise in Parcast’s new limited series, FAMOUS FATES. With 5 episodes released every Wednesday, each group will center around a common theme, such as Hollywood Icons, Influential Women, Music Legends, and more.  Check out this exclusive clip chronicling the impact of larger-than-life Hollywood icon, John Candy. To finish this episode, subscribe to FAMOUS FATES, free and only on Spotify.
Dec 11, 2019
Scandal 48: The Election of 1836 and Richard Johnson
After serving terms in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, war hero Richard Johnson nearly derailed the presidential election of 1836 due to his marriage to Julia Chinn... his own slave.
Dec 10, 2019
Scandal 49: Chappaquiddick
In July of 1969, shortly after leaving a party that he was hosting, senator Ted Kennedy drove his Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tide-swept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his 28-year old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. 
Dec 03, 2019
Scandal 50: Jack Abramoff
In 2004, Jack Abramoff was on top of the lobbying game. He was also bilking his own clients out of millions of dollars. By January of 2006, he pled guilty to mail fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud, and tax evasion. But the most surprising part is where Abramoff is now.
Nov 26, 2019
Scandal 51: Black Friday
Bribery, greed, murder, and a mind-boggling $60,000,000 worth of solid gold: In 1869, two men and their get-rich scheme brought the U.S. economy to its knees in what we now remember as Black Friday.
Nov 19, 2019
Scandal 52: The Hamilton-Reynolds Affair
In 1797, Alexander Hamilton revealed that he had an extramarital affair with a married woman. Known as the “Hamilton-Reynolds Affair,” this story was America's first sex scandal...but it was hardly the last.
Nov 12, 2019
Scandal 53: “The D.C. Madam”
In 2007, Deborah Jeane Palfrey was indicted for racketeering and money laundering. Her escort service’s client list included men from the highest reaches of the U.S. government, stretching all the way into the dark halls of the White House. 
Nov 05, 2019
Scandal 54: The Election of 1800
The match-up between sitting president John Adams, and his own vice president, Thomas Jefferson—an election so rife with backstabbing, mudslinging, and constitutional controversy that it nearly led to a civil war.
Nov 03, 2019
Welcome to Political Scandals
Every Tuesday leading up to the 2020 election, Parcast’s new limited series Political Scandals counts down the 52 most controversial events in American history—uncovering the ugly truth behind some of our most infamous elected officials. From Watergate and Lewinsky to Iran Contra and the 2000 Recount, dig deeper into the stories you knew—thought you knew—or had no idea changed the face of politics. Political Scandals premieres Sunday, November 3rd, with new episodes available every Tuesday thereafter. Listen free on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe today!
Oct 21, 2019