Friday, April 6, 2018

Last Call For The Friday Night News Dump™

Friday evening, where bad news for the GOP goes to die unnoticed (hopefully they think) but it never does, of course.  Today's contestant: Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold, who was already retiring this year after a sexual harassment scandal where he settled an $84,000 claim using taxpayer money, has now abruptly resigned from the House this afternoon.

Since being elected to Congress in 2010, I've worked to make government more efficient and responsive, cut government spending, repeal Obamacare, protect life and reduce the debt. Locally, I've worked tirelessly to get federal funding for the widening and deepening project at the Port of Corpus Christi and help our other area ports and military facilities. I've also been extremely successful in working with our communities on recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Most importantly, I've been able to help countless people, especially veterans with their problems with the federal government. 
"While I planned on serving out the remainder of my term in Congress, I know in my heart it's time for me to move along and look for new ways to serve. 
Therefore, I sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott today resigning from the House of Representatives effective at 5:00 p.m. today, April 6, 2018.

Several Republicans were already vying for his seat, and even with the midterm losses that the GOP will undoubtedly suffer this year, Farenthold's TX-27 seat isn't going to be one of them.

Which makes me wonder very much why he's getting out now.  Politico hinted a couple of weeks ago that this was coming.

Tales of allegations of misbehavior in Farenthold's office first surfaced late last year. Lauren Greene, a former aide to Farenthold, sued the Texas Republican for creating a hostile work environment, gender discrimination and sexual harassment. She said Farenthold told her he had fantasies and "wet dreams" about her. After complaining about the behavior, Greene said she was fired. 
CNN reported last year that Michael Rekola, another former aide to the Texan, told the Ethics Committee that Farenthold was verbally abusive to him. He said that the congressman suggested Rekola have oral sex with his fiancee before their marriage because it would be the last time he would be able to do so. Farenthold denied making those comments. 
Farenthold said in December he would repay the $84,000 in taxpayer funds used to settle the lawsuit. It is not clear if he has.

So we'll see when the other shoe drops, but it's not a real mystery: the faster he resigns, the faster he gets on board with FOX News and the right-wing gravy train. Just ask former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz.   There's going to be a flood of lame duck GOP Representatives on the market in a few months, so he's acting now.

Now that a budget bill has passed, expect a lot more Republicans to hang it up.

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