Just after floating through an unopposed primary, news is out that Kevin Yoder (R – Kan.) stripped bare and jumped into the Sea of Galilee on a trip to Israel with other GOP freshmen and leaders last summer.
The skinny dipping incident occurred after what is described as a “long, hot day” that concluded with dinner at Decks, a popular upscale restaurant. After libations, 20 people in the GOP group decided to jump into the sea. Most were clothed, some were partially clothed, but Yoder let it all hang out.
Politico, which broke the story, reports the trip – which was attended by more than 60 people – was privately funded by The American Israel Educational Foundation, a group related to AIPAC, the prominent pro-Israel advocacy group, and cost upwards of $10,000 per person.
The nature of the trip was “fact finding” and was part of a tradition of sending congressman to tour the Holy Land while hosts from the Israeli government give speeches on the importance of U.S. support of Israel.
Politico reports that, given the nature of the event, trip-participant and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was “livid” at the sea-jumpers’ behavior. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was also on the trip, but neither he nor Cantor participated in the swimming.
While Politico Reports Cantor gave the GOP swimmers a good talking to when it occurred more than a year ago, news of the event just hit the web today.
Yoder’s tenure began in January of last year after a wave of new Republican representatives were elected. He was easily reelected to represent Kansas’ third Congressional district a little over two weeks ago as he ran unopposed in the Republican primary and has no Democratic opposition in November. So while this might be embarrassing for Yoder, it looks like he probably won’t have to answer for it politically.