And in England we have a Tory trying to influence the outcome of an election, embarrass the Prime Minister and generally cause a bit of a ruckus. Which he seems to have accomplished with the witting and secret help of Greenpeace.
Here's the nutshell (like the American scandal, it's a bit dense, so I hope I've got it about right!) Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris was filmed helping a climate-change denier and Daily Telegraph writer James Delingpole get onto the ballot. The goal was to influence the Tories so that anti-wind turbine policies would be defacto Tory policies. (Why didn't he just meet Rupert Murdoch and pledge his undying love? It would have been easier.) This, and being a bit slow took me some time to figure out, helps undermine the pact the Conservatives have with the Liberal-Democrats. You know: the party they share power with. Get them mad, and Tory voters will come out to vote a clear majority for the Tories, and then they can tell the Lib-Dems to take a hike. Complicated, huh?
Anyway, there was a lot of "don't tell anyone!"'s and "predictions" that Mr Delingpole wouldn't actually stand (he didn't) that turned out to be very prescient. A little too prescient, actually. And like all complicated plans, it relied on everyone playing their part and not actually playing at their part. Which Greenpeace was. Their chap pretended to be an anti-environmentalist; the article didn't say how he got the footage. At the end of it, the MP, the Not At All Honorable Heaton-Harris, had to produce a statement that basically says "I di'n't do nowt wrong, 'onest I di'n'!" And another one where he said "All the stuff I said, I said but I didn't mean all the stuff I said I said I meant." (The man should run for Congress; he'd be a shoo-in for a safe, gerrymandered Republican seat.)
Greenpeace was involved because they thought the Tories might backslide on their environmental promises. I can't imagine what made them wonder about that! (Perhaps it was the appointment of the anti-environmentalist John Hayes to the Dept of Energy?)
All in all it's a right sorry mess. They'd have all been better off sticking to the smoke filled rooms of old.