Saturday, April 07, 2018

Texas Republican Blake Farenthold Suddenly Quits Congress-- And No One Knows Why (Yet)


In his interview with Vice (above) Trey Gowdy explains why “you won’t see me running for political office again. I’m surprised he’s even sticking it out for the rest of his term. He’s counting down the days--“19 more drives to the airport,” he said. And he admitted that the only goal of today’s Republican Party is to win elections. (I have some sad news for you, Trey-- it’s the only goal of today’s Democratic Party too.)

Meanwhile everyone thought far right sex-predator Blake Farenthold was going to stick it out ‘till the end of his term too-- until Friday evening. Todd Gillman at the Dallas News broke the story that Farentold suddenly resigned. So what happened to make him change his mind yesterday? Believe me, it wasn’t anything as philosophical as Trey Gowdy’s reasons. Gillman wrote that “he made no mention on Friday of any of the allegations that ended his congressional career, and made no apologies for using $84,000 in taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment suit” (Money he still hasn’t paid back, despite having publicly promised to do so.
The former conservative radio host and four-term lawmaker said in December that he had "no idea how to run a congressional office" when he got elected and as a result, "I allowed a workplace culture to take root in my office that was too permissive and decidedly unprofessional. It accommodated destructive gossip, offhand comments, off-color jokes and behavior that in general was less than professional."

House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly had prodded Farenthold to give up his re-election plan.

Farenthold, 56, won his seat in 2010 as part of the nationwide tea party wave, defeating a 28-year Democratic incumbent by a few hundred votes. He spent weeks last fall trying to survive the scandal, even as a wave of housecleaning hit politicians, media moguls and celebrities facing allegations of harassment or even assault.

Farenthold acknowledged that he had engaged in lewd conversations with staff, and tolerated such talk among aides. He maintained his innocence in the claim that led to a settlement, insisting that accuser Lauren Greene had been fired for poor performance.

But pressure built fast for him to give up his seat after the size of the settlement, and the use of taxpayer funds, became public.

Last month, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) pressed Ryan to hold Farenthold to his promise to repay the settlement. On Friday, the head of the House Republicans' campaign arm also called on the Texan to uphold the promise.

...A Farenthold spokeswoman did not respond to messages seeking an explanation for Farenthold's failure to repay the funds as promised.

Farenthold's Twitter account was deleted Friday afternoon. His office provided no explanation.

Rice University political scientist Mark Jones noted that under state law, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott would have to set an emergency election to prevent the seat from remaining vacant until January, when the winner of the November election is sworn in.

The resignation took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday-- just over an hour after Farenthold announced the move.

Republicans will pick a nominee in a primary runoff on May 22. Bech Bruun, the former Texas Water Board Commission chairman, narrowly edged former Victoria County GOP Chairman Michael Cloud in a six-way primary.

Democrat Roy Barrera, a federal court security guard, took 41 percent in a four-way March primary. In the runoff, he faces a former congressional aide, Eric Holguin, who drew 23 percent.

The impact of the resignation wasn't immediately clear. If Abbott calls a special election, the winner could have an edge in November. But that could be risky for Republicans, given the hasty exit by Farenthold.

The Democrats are vastly outgunned on campaign cash. Bruun raised $272,000 through mid-February, four times Cloud's haul. Barrera reported no campaign donations, while Holguin brought in $28,000.
TX-27 is one of Texas’ most gerrymandered districts-- a Tom Delay special-- to create a safe GOP seat in a Hispanic area. The district is thought of as the Corpus Christie seat but it heads north into the suburbs southwest of Houston and way north and west into the suburbs east of Austin. In 2016 Trump beat Hillary 60.1% to 36.5%. Delay managed to create a district with an R+13 PVI, virtually impossible for a Democrat to win… except in a massive wave election. Republican officials are still whining about Farenthold-- a multimillionaire-- not replaying the taxpayer money. Ryan’s spokesperson: “Mr. Farenthold made a commitment that he would reimburse taxpayers for the settlement. He reiterated his commitment to the speaker and the speaker expects him to follow through. Steve Stivers, chairman of the NRCC: “I hope Blake is true to his word and pays back the $84,000 of taxpayer money he used as a settlement. As I have said repeatedly, Congress must hold ourselves to a higher standard and regain the trust of the American people.” I guess no one expects Farenthold to pay for the special election he just triggered.

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At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"(Gowdy) admitted that the only goal of today’s Republican Party is to win elections. (I have some sad news for you, Trey-- it’s the only goal of today’s Democratic Party too.)"

says it all don't it. So... why do you continue to support this shit charade?

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will venture a guess that the GOP might feel that they can only cover one blatant philanderer from the consequences of his actions, and only because his position represents many billions in potential profits. Farenthold most likely can't deliver that kind of payback for any support rendered to him, and is thus unable to generate any interest in saving his sorry @$$.

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

As New York mag says, "It's the corruption, stupid!" Our government is a swamy mess and the USA is drowning in it. Blake is just thimble full.

Goodbye, Blake, no loss for Congress.

At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Farenthold anagrams to his govster name: FartLake Bold Hen.


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