The Washington Fringe

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Text on Button The Washington Fringe Benefit A DELL BOOK
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Black and white photograph of a woman with long blonde hair with a white outer edge followed by a red outer edge with white text and two white stars at the bottom next to blue with white text

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In 1976, Elizabeth Ray effectively ended the career of Ohio Congressman Wayne Hays when she revealed she had been his mistress while employed as a "secretary" for a salary of $14,000 dollars a year. Ray claimed that since arriving at the Hill, she had not been asked to conduct any Congressional work, famously being quoted as admitting, "I can't type, I can't file, I can't even answer the phone." After Hays resigned, Ray published a book about her experience titled, The Washington Fringe Benefit though she failed to achieve further success outside of a photo shoot for Playboy. The Hays incident was one of the most prolific Congressional scandals of the 1970s, and marked the time when sex scandals began to appear more commonly in the media, culminating in the Monica Lewinsky case in 1998.


Clark, Marion & Maxa, Rudy. (1967, May 23). "Closed Session Romance on the Hill". The Washington Post. Retrieved from….

Catalog ID EN0313