King George III was "a Tyrant...unfit to be the ruler of a free people," Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence 238 years ago last week. He had it right -- and ever since then, Americans have been calling out their leaders. "Tyrant" was just the start; we've moved on to crook (Nixon), liar (Clinton) and moron (Dubya). Whether or not you agree with the peanut gallery, there's no denying that such written assaults on public honchos are as American as baseball, apple pie and the iPhone.
So for last week's Independence Day, fifty writers and editors of the alternative press from across the land joined together to name 53 of America's Worst Politicians, separating them into five categories: hatemongers, sleazeballs, blowhards, users and boozers, and horn dogs. Leading the pack in that last category? Embattled El Paso County sheriff Terry Maketa, who allegedly had sex with not one, not two, but at least three underlings. See also: A Guide to the Worst Politicians in America
But Colorado's contribution doesn't end there. In the sleazeball category, you'll find M ayor Ray Johnson of the tiny town of Camp. At least, we think he's still the mayor of Campo. The receptionist who answers the town's phone sent us to the town's attorney, who sent us to the district attorney who covers that corner of southeast Colorado; she has not returned our calls.
Being the mayor of Campo isn't a fulltime job, which could help explain Johnson's lengthy -- and very colorful -- resume. He somehow found the time to run his barbecue joint, Ray's Smokehouse; sell cars; work on his cattle ranch; deejay dances and get tattoos (he's been billed as the most tattooed mayor in the nation).
In fact, a few years ago Johnson missed so much work while traveling to see his favorite tattoo artist that he thought of resigning, he told Modblog. But the townspeople encouraged him to -- a move they may regret now. Because in February, Johnson and his twin sons, Kevin and Kasey, were arrested and charged with theft and embezzlement.
According to Campo's police chief, the trio had stolen more than 230 gallons of the town's gas, worth up to a thousand dollars, in six weeks -- all documented in a video that showed the Johnsons using a locked pump to fill their personal cars and gas cans.
Read more about Johnson and the rest of America's Worst Politicians here.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Have a tip? Send it to email@example.com.