The Weird Origins of L'Affaire Kildee

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 21 2011 10:38 AM

The Weird Origins of L'Affaire Kildee

Washington doesn't quite know what to make of the Dale Kildee story. Last week, to very little fanfare, four video interviews went up on YouTube, recording family members who claimed that the future congressman molested a 12-year-old relative in the 1960s. (Kildee is 82, and retiring next year.) Over 45 minutes, they ramble and reminiscese about the incident. Their names never appear. "We can't substantiate the story," says one woman in the audio. "We can't get records." This went up on November 15, and a local TV station's report is scheduled to air tonight. Sounds damaging, right?

Maybe not. Kildee's defense, as reported by John Bresnahan, is that the people in the tape are estranged extortionists, and that he has reported them to the FBI. Bresnahan adds this context.

The allegations against Kildee were reported by a self-described “investigative journalist” and blogger named Susan Bradford. Bradford is the author of a book claiming that Abramoff was set up by “a group of lobbyists, tribal dissidents, and the Washington Post” in order to make sure that “Abramoff and his conservative allies were removed from power.”
Advertisement

Go ahead, click over to Bradford's website. You will learn that "at the height of the North Korean conflict, Bradford was appointed speech writer to Korean Ambassador Sung Chul Yang," that she was "the first student member of the Hollywood Women's Press Club," and that "as a postgraduate, she copy edited Prof. Emil Kirchner's Recasting the European Order." You sound doubtful. Well, "her professional biography is maintained in Marquis' Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who Among American Women." Does this sound like a self-published author whose claim to fame was a book full of unsubstantiated claims, with a chapter all about "the Rockefeller influence" in the plot against Jack Abramoff?

Well, I guess it does.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
War Stories
Sept. 23 2014 4:04 PM The Right Target Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.