Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Republicans Claim Steve Stockman Hasn't Been Brought Before The Ethics Committee Because Dems Like Having Him Around As An Embarrassment To The GOP


In the spring of 1995, the FBI let domestic terrorism conspirator Steve Stockman (R-TX) off very lightly for his role in the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people and injured almost 700 more. He was defeated right afterwards but he found himself a district clueless and extremist enough in east Texas so that he could worm his way back into Congress last year. Since then he's been jousting with his immediate neighbor to the north, Louie Gohmert, over the bragging rights over who can be called the most far right imbecile in Congress.

A 57-year old supposedly-"former" drug addict, Stockman will make up and say anything-- which is why many people are convinced he is still on narcotics-- that incites right-wing extremists. He was kicked off the House Financial Services committee and put on Foreign Affairs where he sits and spins tall takes about Benghazi! all the time. One of his colleagues described him to me as "the biggest waste of time on either side of the aisle on this committee and probably in the whole United States Congress… What kind of people live in that district?"

That district, according to Stockman's own website "contains the highest number per capita of oil and gas refineries and downstream petrochemical plants in the world." But he doesn't get the kind of financial support other pro-Oil extremists with big energy districts get. A staffer at a K Street lobbying form told me that "no one wants to be associated with Stockman. He's a ticking time bomb and when he explodes, everyone wants plausible deniability… No one understands how someone like this gets into Congress." In the current cycle, the gas and oil industry has given Stockman $12,500. This is what they've been giving to Members of Congress who they actually support so far this year; these are the top 20 recipients of Big Oil contributions this year:
John Boehner (R-OH)- $249,189
Bill Cassidy (R-LA)- $144,250
Mike Conaway (R-TX)- $125,900
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $101,900
Steven Daines (R-MT)- $87,412
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)- $86,200
Eric Cantor (R-VA)- $82,850
Fred Upton (R-MI)- $76,750
Pete Olson (R-TX)- $69,150
Dave Camp (R-MI)- $67,500
Steve Scalise (R-LA)- $67,500
John Fleming (R-LA)- $64,100
Bill Flores (R-TX)- $62,300
Bill Shuster (R-PA)- $61,500
Charles Bostany (R-LA)- $60,200
Kevin Brady (R-TX)- $59,150
Roger Williams (R-TX)- $58,150
Mike Pompeo (R-KS)- $55,100
Shelley Capito (R-WV)- $54,300
Plenty of support for oil and gas patch Republicans in Texas and Louisiana… but contributions for Stockman were as low as what Big Oil gives Democrats! In fact John Barrow (D-GA) got almost 4 times what Stockman got and every single oil patch congressman-- regardless of party-- got more than Stockman. And, I've been told, it's not only because he's a violent extremist who everyone expects to doing something beyond the pale again. It's also because he's a profoundly corrupt man. Stockman took at least $350,000 in payments out of a mysterious right-wing entity that either he or the RNC appears to control called "Presidential Trust Marketing." Investigators are looking into this.
Both as a candidate and as a congressman, Rep. Steve Stockman of Clear Lake has failed to make federally required disclosures about business affiliations that stretch from Texas to the British Virgin Islands, and has provided no details about the business he claims as his sole source of income.

Stockman returned to office in 2013 after 16 years away from Congress-- crediting a low-budget, come-from-behind campaign to which he claimed to have lent more than $100,000 of his own money. Stockman failed to file a federal disclosure form during his candidacy in 2012 when he ran for the newly created District 36, which stretches east and north from Southeast Harris County, around Beaumont, and beyond to the Louisiana line.

Every other Texan in Congress, whether incumbent or freshman, filed a report in 2012.

Stockman already was serving as a U.S. representative when in April and May 2013 he submitted bare-bones reports for his candidacy, nearly a year after the deadline. Those listed all of his income in 2011 and 2012 as $350,000 in salary and fees from an unexplained entity called "Presidential Trust Marketing." He then filed two more disclosures as a congressman, in June and September.

Those disclosures only raise more questions.

All of the forms exclude information Stockman must disclose, said Kathleen Clark, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. As a specialist in government ethics, Clark reviewed the forms at the Chronicle's request.

Stockman, who has an accounting degree, reported more than required about his wife's income, Clark said. But he omitted his own business relationships, bank accounts and the value of any businesses, she said.

"Did anyone review this? Has the House Ethics Committee followed up? It just seems very odd. I would have a lot of questions for him," said Clark, who is based in Washington, D.C. "There are many things about the disclosure that I don't understand."

Brett Kappel, another Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in campaign finance law and disclosure rules, said Stockman should have been fined for failing to file a disclosure as a congressional candidate in 2012. Kappel said Stockman's 2013 disclosures left out information about his active business affiliations.

"It sounds like he has no clearly identified source of income," Kappel said. "If you're an accountant, you should be aware of state and federal filing requirements (for nonprofits and for-profits) and if you are a former member of Congress you should be aware of disclosure requirements."

Under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, every member of Congress must disclose any businesses in which he or she has an interest, even those that produce no income.

Stockman has not responded to repeated Chronicle requests for an interview about his campaign and personal finances. He also did not respond to detailed follow-up questions the Chronicle sent this week about his failure to make required disclosures.

"We're not going to accept any more of your questions," a staffer in Stockman's congressional office said Tuesday.
The Chronicle investigations into his murky finances are pretty detailed and all available here. Many in Washington are scratching their heads wondering one Stockman hasn't been hauled before the House Ethics Committee. One Republican staffer blames the Democrats. "They like him in Congress because he makes the rest of us look so damn crazy… They don't want to kick him out but a lot of us do."

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