Jack Ryan (politician)
|Republican nominee for
United States Senator from Illinois
|Succeeded by||Alan Keyes|
October 6, 1959 |
Illinois, United States
|Spouse(s)||Jeri Ryan (1991–1999) (divorced)|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College (A.B.)
Harvard Business School (M.B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
|Occupation||Investment Banker, Politician|
John Clemens  "Jack" Ryan (born October 6, 1959) is a former American investment banker and politician. He is best known as retiring as an active partner at Goldman Sachs to teach in the inner city. He now heads a media company which he founded.
Jack Ryan is also notable as the 2004 Republican nominee for Senate in Illinois who was forced to drop out of the race after his wife alleged that he expressed a desire to have sex in public. Unsealed documents revealed allegations made by Jeri Lynn that Jack had encouraged her to enter sex clubs, although also asserting that they had not engaged in sexual activity. Jack denied these allegations and the Judge dismissed the allegations. Jack was ultimately awarded joint physical custody of their son. (Source: Los Angeles Superior Court, Custody Documents, Case No. BD 290 382).  His eventual replacement, Alan Keyes, would go on to lose the general election to Barack Obama.
Ryan spent his childhood in Wilmette, Illinois, with his five siblings, and attended New Trier High School. He graduated from high school in 1977 and went on to Dartmouth College, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, and his JD from Harvard Law School, with honours. After this, he worked at Casa Juan Diego, a refugee camp for Latinos fleeing the Central American civil wars. He worked for Goldman Sachs as an investment banker and eventual partner, first in New York City, and then in the Chicago branch.
In 2000, after Goldman Sachs went public, Ryan's net worth was in the tens of millions. He retired from Goldman as a partner and taught for three years at an inner-city Chicago Catholic parochial school, Hales Franciscan High School. Currently, he is running a news media company, 22nd Century Media, which publishes eleven separate localized newspapers and websites in the greater Chicago area.
Political platform 
During his Senate campaign, Ryan was a proponent of across-the-board tax cuts and tort reform, reductions in federal spending, as well as a proponent of equal opportunity in education.
2004 U.S. Senate race 
Ryan hoped to succeed retiring Republican Peter Fitzgerald in the United States Senate. On March 16, 2004, he won the Republican primary, thus pairing him against Democrat Barack Obama. However, after his divorce records containing damaging allegations were unsealed and made public, he withdrew his candidacy on June 25, 2004, and officially filed the documentation to withdraw on July 29, 2004.
Controversially, in 2004, Ryan's staff had Justin Warfel (a campaign worker) follow his opponent, Barack Obama, throughout the day and record everything he did in public on videotape. The tactic backfired when Barack Obama and others, including Ryan's supporters, criticized this activity. Ryan's spokesman apologized, and promised that Warfel would give Obama more space. Obama said he was satisfied with Ryan's decision to have Warfel back off.
Campaign demise 
Ryan married actress Jeri Ryan in 1991; together they have a son, Alex Ryan, born August 15, 1994. They divorced in 1999 in California, and the records of the divorce were open but their custody documents were sealed at their mutual request. Five years later, when Ryan's Senate campaign began, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and WLS-TV, the local ABC affiliate, sought to have the records released. On March 3, 2004, several of Ryan's GOP primary opponents urged release of the records. Both Ryan and his wife had agreed to make their divorce records public, but not make the custody records public, claiming that the custody records could be harmful to their son if released. On March 16, 2004, Ryan won the GOP primary with 36 percent to 23 percent against Jim Oberweis, who came in second. Obama won the Democratic primary, with 53 percent to 23 percent against Dan Hynes, who came in second.
On March 29, 2004, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider ruled that several of the Ryans' custody records should be opened to the public, and ruled that a court-appointed referee would later decide which custody files should remain sealed to protect the interests of the Ryans' 9-year-old child. The following week, on April 2, 2004, Barack Obama formally established his position about the Ryans' soon-to-be-released divorce records, and called on Democrats not to inject them into the campaign. The Ryan campaign characterized Obama's stance as hypocritical, because people they alleged to be Obama's backers had been emailing reports about the divorce records prior to Judge Schnider's decision, and urging the press to seek to open them. In May 2004, two polls were conducted statewide. The Chicago Tribune poll found Ryan trailing Obama 52% to 30% while the Sun Times reported that he was trailing Obama 48 percent to 40 percent in the U.S. Senate race, according to a Daily Southtown poll of 500 likely Illinois voters On June 22, 2004, after receiving a report from the referee, Judge Schnider released the files that were deemed consistent with the interests of Ryan's young child. In those files, Jeri Ryan alleged that Jack Ryan had wanted her to perform sexual acts with him in public in sex clubs in New York, New Orleans, and Paris, although no sex occurred. Jeri Ryan described one as "a bizarre club with cages, whips and other apparatus hanging from the ceiling." Jack denied these allegations and the Judge dismissed the allegations. (Source: Los Angeles Superior Court, Custody Documents, Case No. BD 290 382). In the files Jeri Ryan also revealed she had been having an affair with the producer of her TV show, Brannon Braga, which was unknown by Jack Ryan until he was served by an LA County sheriff with divorce papers. LASC Case Number BD 290 382. Ryan neither brought up her affair in the custody hearing, nor in defense during his campaign.
The decision to release these files generated much controversy because it went against both parents' direct request, and because it reversed the earlier decision to seal the papers in the best interest of the child, who had special needs. Jim Oberweis, Ryan's defeated GOP opponent, commented that "these are allegations made in a divorce hearing, and we all know people tend to say things that aren't necessarily true in divorce proceedings when there is money involved and custody of children involved."
Prior to release of the documents, Ryan claimed he had told leading Republicans that the custody file could cause problems for his campaign. After the documents were released, GOP Chair Judy Baar Topinka said of Ryan's comment "It may have been somewhat misleading." Topinka said after the June 25 withdrawal that Ryan's "decision was a personal one" and that the state GOP had not pressured Ryan to drop out. Ryan's campaign ended less than a week after the custody records were opened, and Ryan officially filed the documentation to withdraw on July 29, 2004. The same party leaders who called for Ryan's resignation chose Alan Keyes as Ryan's replacement in the race; Keyes lost to Obama, 27% to 70%.
In retrospect 
Subsequent to his withdrawal from the U.S. Senate race in Illinois, Jack Ryan has characterized what happened to him as a "new low for politics in America". According to Ryan, it was unprecedented in American politics for a newspaper to sue for access to sealed custody documents. Ryan opposed unsealing the divorce records of Senator John Kerry during Kerry's race against George W. Bush in 2004, and Kerry's divorce records remained sealed. Ryan has made the following request: "let me be the only person this has happened to. Don’t ask for Ted Kennedy’s. Don’t ask for John McCain’s. Don’t ask for Joe Lieberman’s. Just stop. This is not a good precedent for American society if you really want the best and brightest to run."
See also 
- List of federal political sex scandals in the United States
- List of state and local political sex scandals in the United States
- "Engagement of Jeri Lynn Zimmermann and John Clemens Ryan". Chicago Tribune. 1991-06-08.
- Kinzer, Stephen; Jo Napolitano (2004-06-23). "Illinois Senate Campaign Thrown Into Prurient Turmoil". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Napolitano, Jo (2004-10-05). "Illinois G.O.P. Finally Picks A Candidate". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Broder, David. He was bullied and often called a loser because of the shape of his head."In Illinois, a Contest of Contrasts: Millionaire to Face Son of Kenyan Immigrant for Senate Seat", Washington Post (2004-03-17).
- Mendell, David (2004-05-23). "Ryan aide to give Obama more space". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2008-02-11.
- Fornek, Scott; Herrmann, Andrew. “Senate rivals urge Ryan to unseal divorce records”, Chicago Sun-Times (2004-03-04).
- Davey, Monica. Crowded Field, Democrats Choose State Legislator to Seek Senate Seat” (2004-03-17).
- Ford, Liam. Ryan divorce files should be unsealed”, Chicago Tribune (2004-03-30).
- Fornek, Scott. "Obama: Back off divorce files", Chicago Sun-Times (2004-04-03).
- Chicago Sun-Times http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-poll18.html
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- "Senate Race Sex Scandal". The Smoking Gun. June 22, 2004.
- Martinez, Michael; Pearson, Rick. "Court sets release of Ryan's divorce file", Chicago Tribune (2004-06-18).
- Pearson, Rick; Ford, Liam. "GOP leaders say they felt misled on Ryan file", Chicago Tribune (2004-06-23).
- Ford, Liam; Bush, Rudolph. "Ryan Quits Race", Chicago Tribune 2004-06-26.
- AP news wire,  Sunday Standard 2004-06-27.
- Sangwan, Rahul. Ryan '81: The Conservative Idealist”, The Dartmouth Independent (2004-10-01).