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Congress: Drug Warrior Rep. Mark Souder Resigns over Affair

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #633)
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

Family values crusader and drug war zealot Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) announced Tuesday he was resigning from Congress after admitting to an affair with a female staffer. The bombshell announcement came at a Capitol Hill press conference. (See Souder give his statement here).

Rep. Souder conceding an amendment that would have limited his financial aid drug penalty to sales convictions, 2009. The amendment was stripped earlier this year as collateral damage in the health care reform battle.
Adding to the irony of the moralizing conservative's downfall, the staffer with whom he had the affair, Tracy Jackson, worked together with him on one of Souder's pet passions: promoting abstinence education. They even created a video in which the pair of them discuss his efforts to promote abstinence. The various copies of that video on YouTube have had more than 100,000 views as of Tuesday night.

"I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff," Souder said in the statement. "In the poisonous environment of Washington, DC, 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."

Souder's enthusiasm for the war on drugs led him to the chairmanship of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources from 2001 to 2007, where he used his position to support harsh drug policies. He was, for instance, a staunch foe of medical marijuana and a loud voice against the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendments, which would, if passed, have stopped federal raids on medical marijuana patients and providers.

Even before attaining the chairmanship, Souder gained notoriety among drug reformers, educators, and civil libertarians for authoring a provision of the Higher Education Act that denied federal financial assistance to students convicted of a drug law violation, no matter how minor.

Souder's "smoke a joint, lose your federal aid" provision resulted in more than 200,000 students being denied college grants and loans. It also resulted in the formation of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which has played a key role in the ongoing Coalition for Higher Education Act Reform. A partial reform -- actually supported by Souder, whether sincerely or out of pressure -- in 2006 rolled back the provision to include only offenses while the student was enrolled in college. A reform this year that would have limited the provision only to drug sales offenses was derailed after the education package it was part of got added to the health care reform bill, getting deleted along with other provisions that Democrats feared could trigger a procedural challenge.

We will skip the schaudenfreude, although Souder richly deserves it, and merely take heart in knowing one of the most poisonous of the cultural conservative drug warriors has taken himself out of the game.

thanks for the memories:

former SSDP executive director Shawn Heller confronts Mark Souder after a financial aid forum in his district, aired on all the local news channels

somewhere in this documentary Mark Souder slams the door on MPP lobbyist Aaron Houston, refusing to discuss medical marijuana

Souder complains about student groups "harassing him across the country"

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Nedmorlef (not verified)

As a Christian myself, I am always amazed at these Bushites whom want to force their own moral code on everyone else. If being a Christian isn't tough enough w/o having to make excuses for these crusaders.

They like the money hawkers on TV have a special, extra hot pit in hell awaiting them. Not just for the souls they oppressed but, the ones whose blood is on their slimy hands.

Yes,many a lawmaker has ordered the death of their constituents for consensual crimes that,are between man and his God. They are murderers and traitors......and sadly re-elected by those that also lust for the blood of their neighbors.

He even slays those of his own household to feed his desires. What an evil and selfish man. "no one dies to himself".

They forget the results of not self applying God's moral code...."you reap what you sow".

Souder,you're no brethren of mine in Christ. Not for adultery alone but, for the murder of every value around you.

"I have given thee every green herb [but,Cannabis] for meat". []=King Souder Version 2010

Jesus rebukes you heathen!

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 6:59pm Permalink
Sister Mary Elephant (not verified)

I'm not a Christian myself. However, I believe the tenets of the Judeo-Christian ethic to be true and correct, for my culture is the culture of western civilization.

There is payback for ones evil deeds by a Higher Power here on this earthly plane too; Souder is just starting to get (feeling his too). He'll just become a lobbyist, go to work for a non profit foundation or write books and go on the lecture circuit and be paid to continue to perpertuate his evil agenda that is bad for a Free country and hurts humanity. Sadist.

It's true what the Evangelical have been saying for 25 years, "Evil people die nasty"; it's a Higher Power's payback here on the earthly plane for commiting an blasphemy or an affront to God.

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 7:26pm Permalink
Zach (not verified)

Maybe he will be punished, and maybe he won't. What I do know is that he is going to have to deal with his entire life's work destroyed. This is unimaginably cruel, even for scum like him. The "evil" cannabis will be openly consumed despite his beleaguered protests. When it is legal; I hope everyone is not too happy to forget him, and those like him for the abominable liars they are.
If nothing, society will punish him with a life of anonymity, and barely concealed disgust even if anyone recognizes him.

Fri, 05/21/2010 - 11:13pm Permalink
eponymous (not verified)

yes, Yes, YES, YESSSSSS!!!!

Souder is a freak, glad to see him go!!


Sat, 05/22/2010 - 1:48pm Permalink
Jred (not verified)

I am so relieved he has been exposed as the vile hypocrite he is. However, I would rather that he had gotten a chronic painful disease so he would know what it is like to live in uncurable and constant suffering. Unfor. he, as he has money and connections, would probably find a doctor to prescribe him narcotics while the rest of us are rebuked and abused by society. He has hurt a lot of innocent people railing against an extremely safe and effective pain medicine. People who usually lack power in our Big-Pharma loving culture who are left to suffer. One day people will look back and the prohibition of pot and shake their heads in disbelief. Thanks God, he is out of office, I can only hope a better human being takes his place.

Sat, 05/22/2010 - 8:07pm Permalink
Lester James (not verified)

This Souder guy is about as despicable as they come. All the students he's hurt with his onerous amendments stopping federal college funding to anyone who smoked a joint. And then he has an affair. Despicable. Too bad he can't be locked up.

Fri, 05/28/2010 - 2:09am Permalink
undrgrndgirl (not verified)

this guy is resigning because he thinks what he did will be politically used against him...uh...he's the one that couldn't keep his zipper up...

Fri, 08/06/2010 - 2:40am Permalink
661 (not verified)

Hahaha, really?

His abstinence partner in crime?

Man that is so perfect.

His sins were screwing his fellow Americans long before he was screwing her...

And his INFIDELITY is the reason he is resigning, not his abomination of a stance on freedom...

What a terrible human being.

Fri, 08/27/2010 - 9:05pm Permalink

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