Primary-night special: Ex-"Gentleman from Maryland" (now Floridian) Bob Bauman reveals that he voted for Ron Paul
Here's our Bob with, uh, some other guy, back in the day.
“I think both parties are miserable. I don’t know what they stand for anymore.”
-- former MD Rep. Bob Bauman, in an interview
with the Washington Blade's Lou Chibarro Jr.
with the Washington Blade's Lou Chibarro Jr.
Howie has written a number of times, most prominently in an August 2007 post titled "Larry Craig And Other Republican Closet Cases Should Learn a Lesson From Former GOP Congressman Bob Bauman," about the case of the arch-conservative Maryland congressman who saw his political career go up in smoke in 1980 when, in the midst of his reelection campaign, he was unceremoniously outed following his arrest and negotiated "no contest" misdemeanor plea for soliciting a teenage male prostitute. (He notes in the Washington Blade interview with Lou Chibarro Jr. that he was represented in court by Tom O'Malley, the father of current Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.)
It was a swift and sudden end to a career that until then had seemed headed meteorically upward. Bauman had parlayed an attack-dog political style and especially a hard-won mastery of legislative procedure, with which he succeeded in driving the Democratic leadership batty, into a position of prominence in a mere three and a half terms in the House. What makes his case of such enduring interest is that after slinking out of office in 1981, and then being humiliated when he tried to slide back in the following year, in 1986 he published his fascinating book The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative.
Bauman, now living in the gay-friendly little city of Wilton Manors, near Fort Lauderdale, accepted an offer from Lou Chibarro Jr. of the Washington Blade to share some of his current political thoughts.
In an interview with the Washington Blade on the eve of Florida’s Republican presidential primary, Bauman said he remains committed to conservative and libertarian principles but has shunned politics since 1982.
“I think both parties are miserable,” he said. “I don’t know what they stand for anymore.”
Bauman added, “I think they mirror each other. I think they are both completely enthralled to Wall Street and the banks. I think they are controlled by the people that contribute money to them. And that goes for Obama and it goes for Gingrich.”
“The only thing you can say for Romney is that he’s rich enough that maybe he won’t be influenced by that,” said Bauman. “I hate to say it, but I think he’s probably the least influenced by them because of his religion.”
Bauman said he considers Rick Santorum "no better or worse" than Romney or Gingrich, and he didn't vote for any of the three.
[He] said he voted earlier this month for GOP presidential contender Ron Paul, the congressman from Texas, as a “protest vote.” He said Paul’s outspoken call for reforming the nation’s politics and economic policies represents a refreshing alternative to the other candidates, even though Bauman acknowledges some of Paul’s proposals are unrealistic.
Bob apparently understands why so many Americans are turned off by present-day politics, but refuses to surrender to despair.
Bauman noted that some people he knows who share his disappointment over the current state of U.S. politics no longer vote because they believe it “lends credence” to a lousy system.
“I don’t feel that way. I’ll keep fighting until I go,” he said.
In case you were wondering what our Bob has been doing since his forced withdrawal from public life, after some bouncing around, he hooked up with "a libertarian-oriented publishing company called Agora Publications," and in 1998 --
helped to found a subsidiary to the company called the Sovereign Society, which publishes email newsletters and books specializing in legal tax avoidance through the use of offshore investing.
“I write for them on a regular basis for their daily e-newsletter that goes out to more than 335,000 people,” he said. “And I write books. I’ve written five or six or more books on offshore financing and on places to invest off shore -- asset protect -- all of the things that Newt Gingrich has been railing against for the last few days,” he said.
Apparently his heroic work in spreading the gospel of tax avoidance is what Bob has in mind by "fighting until I go." It's inspiring to know that he hasn't let our lousy political system take all the fight out of him.