C Street Sex Scandal

C Street Sex Scandal

While Charles W. “Chip” Pickering Jr. was the Congressman from Mississippi’s 3rd District, the Republican, a former Baptist missionary, lived at the Fellowship Foundation residence at 133 C Street SE in Washington. He also used that convenient Christian pad to bed a woman not his wife, according to divorce papers filed by Leisha Pickering, mother of the ex-congressman’s five sons.

C Street” was also home to philandering Republicans Mark Sanford and John Ensign. The building is the site of frequent Bible study meetings where “Love thy neighbor” seems to have acquired an interesting interpretation that trumps the Ten Commandments.

The other woman in the Pickering affair is Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd, whose family owns the Cellular South corporation. Mr. Pickering is Cellular South’s Washington lobbyist.

Outside fundamentalist and telecom circles, Mr. Pickering is know as the son of a controversial judge and for his cameo in the Borat movie.

Selected coverage of the Pickering scandal:

“Leisha Pickering v. Elizabeth Creekmore-Byrd,”  Ipse Blogit

“Chip Pickering’s ‘Family’ affair,”  Facing South

“Yet Another C Street Republican Cheated On His Wife,” Gawker

“C Street Christians: When Good Congressmen Go Bad,” Politics Daily

“Pickering Affair Raises New Questions About ‘Revolving Door’ Of Secretive Fellowship Group,” Think Progress


The bunny logo is a registered trademark of the GOP Playboy Enterprises and is used here under the satire provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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27 Responses to “C Street Sex Scandal”

  1. doro Says:

    This creepy organization reminds me of a 70s tv movie called The Brotherhood of the Bell

  2. tengrain Says:

    I bet they are playin’ cards and dancin’ in there.

    Oh wait, that was Footloose.



  3. carly Says:

    Family values but not behind closed doors. There is a related post here.

  4. Snave Says:

    This is some creepy stuff. I guess if they think they are the Chosen Ones there are no rules that apply to them. Hey wait, I thought they were calling Obama “The Chosen One” …. Hmmm.

  5. Matt Janovic Says:

    It’s Old Testament-style patriarchy, they did the same things as far as anyone can tell, the same hypocrisy. Did Senator Vitter use the place?

  6. Mike Licht Says:

    Matt Janovic wrote: Did Senator Vitter use the place?

    Others are asking that question, but it doesn’t appear so.

  7. Dee Says:

    Love your fair use doctrine for the bunny. I assume the Bible is no longer under copyright. I worked there in a microcosm of D.C. in a little state called New York.

    A guy who’s still there asked me years ago if I was wearing socks or tights under my kilt because he hoped there were fewer impediments. Tights, you bet. That was by the elevator and no, nothing ever happened, as I wouldn’t have allowed it. In NY the legislators had the Bear Mountain Pact. At least when I was a cute single gal years ago. It means “whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

    All but one or two are liars or cheaters or both. D.C. brings more money and sin. Thus more liars and cheaters. If there’s one thing the 7/24 news cycle has brought that’s good, it’s getting the scoop on who’s taking money and who it’s going to. And don’t forget who’s sleeping with whom and how that fits into the first equation. And then there’s the person who’s watching it all unfold and reporting on it.

    All told, I miss Walter Cronkite. As a Washington insider he had to know what was going on, just didn’t put it on the evening news. Just as I’d like to leave my home and car unlocked at night, I’d prefer to hear the news without having to know who’s sleeping with whom, or have to go to several sources.

    Yes, when we came home from school and made rice crispie treats. Dee

  8. Chico Brisbane Says:

    I’ve read just about all that I can find on Mrs. Pickerings law suit against her husbands mistress, blaming her for tempting her husband. I’m wondering if she forgot to place an equal portion of the blame on Mr. Pickering, or if she just hasn’t gotten around to it yet? – I’ll be waiting…

  9. Mike Licht Says:

    Chico Brisbane wrote: I’ve read just about all that I can find on Mrs. Pickerings law suit against her husbands mistress, blaming her for tempting her husband.I’m wondering if she forgot to place an equal portion of the blame on Mr. Pickering ….

    Two words: deep pockets. The mistress, Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, is on the board of her family’s company, Tepelex, which includes Cellular South, largest privately held wireless provider in the United States.

  10. dummidumbwit Says:

    The sex is human …. The sinister element is in the teaching of the founder of this group and the grasp for power at any cost. Jesus was taken out into the desert and was offered dominion over all the Kingdoms of Earth and he declined the temptation; how can they justify this approach in the hands of lesser men …? …. I feel bad for Mark, but the teachings of this group are alarming.

    [Edited for clarity – ml]

  11. Steve Says:

    The fundamental take-away from this situation is that politics and religion should not and do not make good bedfellows. But the far right is intent on making this a ‘Christian’ nation. And whatever that means would be up to the latest ‘Divine Supreme Apostle’ who would decree the holy mandates to his subjects.

    Maybe Jimmy Swaggart will make a comeback and run for President; and he and Sarah could take a ride in his limo.

    As long as a large segment of voters continues to use religion and abortion as a litmus test for their vote, then we will contiue to send functionally schizophrenic politicians to Washington and to state legislatures, county courthouses, city halls local school boards. If you are not a ‘true believer’ it is really hard to live a lie. And money and sex will make a liar out of you every time – unless you have truly deluded yourself into believing what you thought you had to say to Aunt Ruth and the “Christians for High Office” political rally at the county fair.

    Reasonable educated people have sat on the sidelines for too long. Hopefully the exposure of the radical far right as a truly fringe group that could really be a danger to liberty in this country will rally the votes in upcoming elections. We can hope.

  12. dummidumbwit Says:

    In the FDR period, tent show evangelism was rampant, Bob Jones was even a Hoover supporter, but mainstream denominations steered most people away from these sects, but it was the basis for the Scopes Monkey trials and the division exists still. Reagan saw fertile ground for solidifying a working Majority, but he was not one of them. In some ways, he was the only one who could control their excesses and he left the scene and they drove the GOP farther and farther to the right to their current minority status so it ought to be seen by moderate conservatives a a problem and only they can fix it?

  13. Santiago Says:

    It is apparent to me that this is not so much about religion as it is using religion to make money. If these C Street men are so religious and yet so many of them keep going against it, including Colburn, who advised Ensign to pay off his mistress’ family, then there is no religion in it at all. So then, what might the purpose be? The owner of the place belongs to a wacko right-wing group some call “The Family,” others call “The Fellowship” that have “7 Mountains” to conquer: media, arts & culture, family, government and the biggest one: BUSINESS. So it’s about control and MONEY. As it usually is with the Right.

  14. Jason Says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but it sounds to me like the Fellowship Foundation is on old fashioned bordello. But it only seems to cater to the “saints” and not the “sinners” of the world.

  15. C Street Vacation Bible School « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] Chip Pickering: “God’s Cell Phone Has a Family Plan.” […]

  16. CJ Says:

    I couldn’t care less who is sleeping with whom in Washington. I don’t like infidelity, but it happens. What I do care about is the holier-than-thou hypocrisy. The Republicans became the Morality Police and were all over Clinton, and then they go and do the same thing. For anyone who doesn’t practice what he preaches, there ought to be a special punishment, one that involves genital mutilation perhaps.

  17. sara Says:

    I’ve been studying the book of Revelations,and a commentary of it. It comforts me
    that “The Family” and their ilk will be headed for the Lake of Fire ..they are the
    anti-Christ, false prophet and beast! And I’m not a fundamentalist.

  18. carlos Says:

    Religion, politics and money are the combination that Jesus got so peeved about at the temple, he was killed because he outed the keepers of morality for their immorality. When the religious “nut jobs” at the C street
    whorehouse preach to our leaders to look to Adolph Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and Osama Bin Laden as models of “good” leadership the F.B.I needs to take the “whip” hand, and really investigate this treasonous corruption for what it is. The religious right is all about power and money shrouded in a protective veil of pseudo religious psycho-babble. Religion is a deeply personal thing and should not be twisted into something ugly and unclean as it has been by these morality “thugs”. Jesus’s words and actions were in congruity and thus carried great power, the C street crowd has re-written his words, “Do as I say and not as I do”; these guys are dangerous to themselves, their families, their communities and to the nation at large. I am wondering why they still retain their tax exempt status as a church, when clearly they are only concerned with money and power.

  19. Mike Licht Says:

    carlos wrote: I am wondering why they still retain their tax exempt status as a church, when clearly they are only concerned with money and power.

    I would submit that C Street is a church OF money and power. The Fellowship also clandestinely runs the National Prayer Breakfast, and no politico wants to be omitted from the guest list.

  20. John Ensign, Man of Integrity « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] Ensign is expected back in Washington in September, when his other ministry, the C Street Cabal, […]

  21. Ensign Evicted From C Street? « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] he left on his own, to spare other house residents further negative publicity — as if he, Chip Pickering, and  Mark Sanford had never lived, loved, and prayed at C Street. It is true, though, that […]

  22. The Walls American Christianity Built | America For Purchase Says:

    […] Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Senator John Ensign of Nevada, and former Arkansas Congressman Chip Pickering, all members of the secretive C Street where men put themselves above God. There is Newt Gingrich, […]

  23. Sean Says:

    Ah the GOP, 1st to vote for war, last to see combat, 1st to promote family values, last to adbide by them…I hate hypocrites.

  24. Casey Ussery Says:

    For approximately 12 years, I have known personally both John & Darlene Ensign and Chip & Leisha Pickering and their children (from both families). The Ensigns rented our next-door neighbor’s home for a month from July-August 2003 or 2004? Both the Pickerings spent an evening in our home as our children attended grade school together here in Arlington VA.

    I also know Doug & Cynthia Hampton. Doug Hampton and his oldest son lived with us for five weeks in 2008. My wife and I met Cynthia on the one occasion when she was in Washington during the time Doug and their son lived with us.

    I must say that all three couples are normal people who have the same temptations that I face everyday to find variety, taste forbidden fruit etc.

    What happened in all their lives is very tragic. Unfortunately, over half of all American marriages end in divorce due to some of the same sorry & despicable actions of these people. I thank God that I have not fallen to the same illusions. All of the children have been hurt. I know them. What about them? It is so easy to jump to wild conclusions about sex scandals. Perhaps, if we “wore their moccasins, we would also fall the same way they did? God forbid. What John Ensign and Cynthia Hampton pursued for a purported 18 months right under the nose of their spouses is inexcusable; but they have to live with the shame in the presence of their children, their neighbors and their friends and extended families until they breathe their last breaths. Their grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc. will know of their philandering. What greater punishment? Let’s leave these people alone.

  25. Mike Licht Says:

    Casey Ussery writes: Unfortunately, over half of all American marriages end in divorce due to some of the same sorry & despicable actions of [sic] these people.

    Most unhappily-married Americans don’t make sanctimonious speeches in Congress and on the campaign trail telling other people how to live and whom to love. John Ensign does. For a living. And he gets to vote on these issues.

    Perhaps, if we “wore their moccasins [“] we would also fall the same way they did?

    While we slept with our neighbors’ wives, would we pay our lovers with public funds and campaign cash, too? John Ensign did.

    Mr. Pickering’s situation is somewhat different, since his rich lover, for whom he had worked as a lobbyist, paid him. He also voted in her interest as a legislator. Of course, many people consider all DC lobbyists whores. Here again, Chip Pickering made sanctimonious speeches telling other people how to live and whom to love.

    It is the hypocrisy of these professional Christian politicians that makes us bristle, not their love lives.

  26. John Ensign Breaks His Promise « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] in Washington, Senator Ensign resided with his other ministry, the C Street Cabal.  No word if Senator Ensign will return to his former professions, casino keeper and veterinarian. […]

  27. 5 Juicy Political Sex Scandals » Sexual Toppings Says:

    […] once high school sweethearts who apparently rekindled their flame and did the shasty nasty at a Christian Fellowship Foundation residence where Bible study meetings are also held. Chip had a chance at making it the Senate seat, but […]

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