Posts Tagged ‘Blake Farenthold’

Blake Farenthold Withdraws From Primary

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Breaking news:

U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, under fire over a sexual harassment lawsuit, will withdraw from the March 6 Republican primary.

Mike Bergsma, chairman of the Nueces County Republican Party, told the Caller-Times he was told this morning by Farenthold’s campaign team he will not seek re-election next year.

“It’s a damn shame,” he said. “He’s been an excellent congressman, and I’m sorry this has happened.

“One wonders whether anyone could have survived scrutiny that intense.”

A statement from Farenthold’s camp was expected later this morning.

News of Farenthold’s decision comes as two prominent Texas Republicans, one a sitting member of Congress and the other a former congressman and presidential hopeful, are supporting challengers to Farenthold in the primary.

Former Congressman Ron Paul, who retired after seeking the 2012 presidential nomination, said he is backing longtime Victoria Republican activist Michael Cloud.

“I know him to be a man of his word, principled, trustworthy and hardworking,” Paul said in a statement distributed by the Cloud campaign. “I hope my former supporters will get behind him because our country desperately needs leaders with integrity, courage and moral character. Michael Cloud is that kind of leader.”

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, meanwhile, announced his support for Bech Bruun, the Corpus Christi native who last week resigned as chairman of the Texas Water Development Board to challenge Farenthold. Williams is the first member of the Texas GOP delegation in Washington to publicly break with the incumbent.

“Bech is exactly the kind of person I would be proud to call a colleague in the United States Congress,” Williams, R-Weatherford, said in a news release distributed by Bruun. “Bech knows what it means to be a good steward of your hard-earned tax dollars.”

Farenthold, who is seeking a fifth term representing the Coastal Bend, has been under intense fire since it was disclosed that he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide with $84,000 in taxpayers’ money. He has said the settlement was a strategic decision to put the matter to rest even though he insists the charges are untrue.

It would have been better had Farenthold resigned ahead of the primary filing deadline, but since there were already six Republicans and three Democrats gunning for his seat, voters will not lack for choices…

Texas Republicans Behaving Badly

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Republican congressmen have not been immune to the sexual harassment revelations sweeping the nation. There’s one that has been swept up, and there’s one that really hasn’t, but who’s been swept up into the “sexual misconduct” category anyway, and who’s retiring, so I’m going to talk about both here.

First, the not-a-sexual-harasser-but-retiring-anyway is Rep. Joe Barton. Barton decided to retire after nude photos of him surfaced on the Internet. It turns out that those photos were taken during consensual sex after Barton had separated from his wife. A definite lapse in judgement, but by the current standards pretty small potatoes, and arguably Barton is the victim of revenge porn rather than the victimizer. But now comes reports that Barton’s ex-wife has accused him of being a serial adulterer, so, yeah, retirement is probably in order.

More serious are the problems of Rep. Blake Farenthold, who was fingered as the accused in a sexual harassment suit that lead to an $84,000 payout from the secret congressional slush fund we’ve been hearing so much about.

Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s former communications director, sued her boss in December 2014 over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Greene said another Farenthold aide told her the lawmaker said he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Greene. She also claimed that Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and told her in February 2014 that he was “estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years.”

When she complained about comments Farenthold and a male staffer made to her, Greene said the congressman improperly fired her. She filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, but the case was later dropped after both parties reached a private settlement.

Wasting $84,000 of taxpayer money because you couldn’t keep from sharing your perv fantasies with a staffer is a pretty bad look for a Republican who brags about their budget cutting. Vowing to repay the money isn’t enough. Farenthold should follow Barton’s lead and announce he’s retiring at the end of his term.

(I should note that I should know Farenthold, since we were both active in the Austin BBS community at the same time. (Kids, go ask your parents what a “BBS” was.) But I don’t remember him, and we may have just managed not to bump into each other.)

LinkSwarm for September 7, 2012

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Still trying to get back in the swing of things, so here’s a LinkSwarm for a lazy Friday:

  • Texas is on track to enjoy a $5 billion budget surplus, which I thought news too good to hold for the next Texas vs. California roundup.
  • The vast, yawning Obama jobs gap.
  • How Obama destroyed the Democratic Party.
  • The outgoing New York Times public editor just comes out and admits the paper is a shill for the Democratic Party:

    Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

    As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

  • Dwight covers yet another green scam.
  • Those self-identifying as Republicans now outnumber Democrats among American voters.
  • Here’s irony for you: The Obama Administration’s War on Fossil Fuels is harming the environment in the Gulf Coast.
  • If you haven’t seen the Democrats’ self-inflicted God debacle, here’s the video:

  • And here’s Allen West’s ad about it.

  • One democratic delegate was so offended he left the party and joined the Occupy protestors.
  • Speaking of Occupy, the would-be Occupy Cleveland bridge bombers have pleaded guilty.
  • The $4.351 trillion difference between Obama and Clinton.
  • More economic rumbles from China, which is no surprise to anyone who has heard about the “Ghost Cities.”

  • Toll road between Austin and San Antonio to have 85 MPH speed limit.
  • The Second Most Important Race in Texas: CD23

    Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

    The most important Texas political race is obviously the Texas Senate race. Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, I fully expect Ted Cruz to soundly thump Paul Sadler in November.

    The second most important Texas race is for the 23rd Congressional District, where Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco eked out the second closest win over a Democratic congressional incumbent in 2010, beating Ciro Rodriguez by a little over 7,000 votes. Rep. Blake Farenthold’s win over Solomon Ortiz in the 27th congressional district was the closest Texas CD race that year, decided by a mere 799 votes, but the 27th was made considerably more Republican in redistricting, going from voting for Obama by 53% of the vote to a mere 40% of the vote under the new district lines.

    The legislature was not able to reenforce Canseco’s sprawling district to nearly the same extent, and it was only made slightly more Republican, going from a 51% Obama district to a 50% Obama district. That, plus the power of incumbency and $1 million cash on hand (as of June 30) give Canseco a real fighting chance to hold the seat. His Democratic opponent, Pete Gallego, spent all his money to beat Rodriguez in the runoff, but this is still the only decent shot Texas Democrats have to defeat a incumbent Republican congressman this year, so expect the usual big Democratic donors (unions and trial lawyers) to come to his rescue.

    Heritage ranks Canseco a solid (if not exceptional) conservative at 72%, higher than the (lamentably low) Republican House average of 65%, but 50 points better than even the best Texas Democratic representative (Henry Cuellar).

    If you were looking for a Texas congressional race where your donations might help Republicans hold a tough seat, this is the one.

    A few recent tidbits about the race:

  • Canseco will be a speaker at the Republican National Convention.
  • Canseco is not a fan of the TSA fondling his junk. Maybe he’ll help eliminate this useless agency.
  • Meanwhile, Gallego has overhauled his staff for the fourth time.
  • Texas Congressional Redistricting Breakdown

    Thursday, March 1st, 2012

    I’ve been reading up a bit more on the compromise redistricting lines released by the San Antonio district court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot was able to keep most of what the legislature passed, and the Governor signed, intact, but a few changes were made to satisfy Democratic demands to win in court what they couldn’t at the ballot box settle lawsuits by various minority interest groups under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

    Though U.S. Congressional Districts, State Senate Districts, and State House districts were all affected by the new maps, I want to focus on three U.S. Congressional Districts, including some shown in this map here:

  • District 35: Lloyd Doggett may not be gone, but District 35, the one Doggett plans to run in, is now 65% Hispanic and mostly based in San Antonio. And the recriminations have already started among Democrats: “If Lloyd Doggett would man up and spend that $3 million he’s been hoarding for the last decade, then we could have an extra Democratic seat.” Doggett dodged a bullet when District 20 incumbent Charlie Gonzalez (son of long-time Congressmen Henry B. Gonzalez, who held the office before him) announced he was retiring, letting up-and-comer Joaquin Castro run for that seat instead of 35, but there’s no shortage of San Antonio-based Democratic contenders, including Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Romo. (There are two Republicans running for District 35, Susan Narvaiz and Rob Roark, both of San Marcos, but given that the new district went for Obaama by 63%, it’s going to be quite an uphill climb for any Republican.) One of the candidates currently running in District 35 is former Democratic Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (who is very pissy indeed about redistricting), who previously represented:
  • District 23: This seat is currently held by Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco, who beat Rodriguez by a little over 7,000 votes in 2010. The redistricting map passed by the legislature made Canseco’s district more Republican, but the compromise district scales back Republican gains. It’s now slightly more Republican (50% of the new district voted for Obama in 2008, down slightly from 51% in the old district), but it’s still close enough that Democrats have to consider this a prime takeover target. Still, Canseco now has the power and name recognition of incumbency, and even if Obama wins (doubtful and frightful, but possible), I doubt his coattails will be particularly long in San Antonio. Texas State Rep. Peter Gallego is the likely Democratic candidate, but so far Canseco is beating him in the fundraising race over three to one. (Disclaimer: Canseco is one of two U.S. congressional candidates I donated to in the 2010 election cycle (three if you count attending a couple of John Carter’s picnics at $10 a pop).)
  • District 27: This is the district where Republican Black Farenthold narrowly edged Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz in 2010. (Despite the narrowness of the result, Ortiz announced he wouldn’t be trying to reclaim his old seat.) The interim map successfully makes Farenthold’s seat more safely Republican; Obama pulled 53% of the vote in the old district, but only 40% in the new. Farenthold also has a considerable fundraising advantage. The Democratic who raised the most for that race is Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos. However, Cameron County is now in District 34.
  • All in all, Texas Republicans expect to pick up two to four U.S. Congressional seats thanks to redistricting, which looks extremely doable.

    And now we finally have election dates:

  • March 2: Filing for office reopens
  • March 6: Filing closes again
  • May 14: Early voting begins
  • May 26: Early voting ends
  • May 29: Primary Day
  • June 7-9: Republican and Democratic state conventions
  • July 31: Primary Runoff
  • References

  • Interactive Redistricting Map
  • The Texas Congressional Delegation
  • FEC Page for Texas Congressional and Senate Fundraising
  • List of 2012 Texas Republican Congressional Candidates
  • List of 2012 Texas Democratic Congressional Candidates
  • The Texas Redistricting Blog
  • Over on the left side of the Blogsphere, the Kos Kids have put up the a breakdown that includes numbers on how each District voted in the 2008 Presidential race.
  • Solomon Ortiz Concedes

    Monday, November 22nd, 2010

    Blake Farenthold is now officially the next congressman from Texas’ 27th Congressional District. That brings the Republican totals up to a 62-seat pickup for 2010, with possibly as many as 64, and at least 241 seats in the House, the most Republicans have controlled in 60 years.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit)

    LinkSwarm for Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Saturday, November 20th, 2010

    Time for another LinkSwarm, with a good dollop of Texas political news:

    Fat Lady Starts Clearing Her Throat for Solomon Ortiz

    Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

    Most of the recount is finished, and the vote total of has only fluctuated by a few votes. Unless Ortiz has a few magic ballot boxes up his sleeve in Nueces County, Republican Blake Farenthold is the new U.S. Congressman for Texas’ 27th Congressional District.

    LinkSwarm for Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Thursday, November 11th, 2010

    Another LinkSwarm of sundry sundries:

    Solomon Ortiz Tries To Pull An Al Gore, Gets Bitch-Slapped By the State Supreme Court

    Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

    Remember during the aftermath of the 2000 election when Al Gore tried to get a recount done in just the counties that favored Democratic voters?

    Well, soon-to-be-Ex-Rep. Solomon Ortiz just tried to do the same thing in the race he lost to Republican Blake Farenthold, asking for a recount of just three Nueces County precincts.

    The Texas Supreme Court rejected his appeal, noting that state law requires all precincts to be included in the re-count.

    Ortiz said he’ll refile the petition. A bit more information here, though it still doesn’t say which precincts. FWIW, here are the Nueces election night precinct-by-precinct results.