Den of Thieves …

Do you remember the name Blake Farenthold from my December 3rd post titled He Stole Our Money?  He is a representative to the U.S. House  of Representatives from Texas, and what put him on my radar back in December was that he had settled out of court, an accusation of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination, and he had done so to the tune of $84,000 … on our dime.  Yes, folks, he used taxpayer money to pay money so that he wouldn’t be sued, for he knew he was guilty.  I concluded my December post saying, “Mr. Farenthold must be made to serve as an example, for if there are no repercussions for him, he will not be the last to play fast and loose with our money.”

The very next day, Farenthold promised to ‘hand a check over this week.’  No, I really don’t think it was anything I said, but more likely pressure he faced from his fellow House members.  Well, that week came and went, another, and another, until it was March, and more than 100 days after the promised check that seemed to have been forgotten.  And no doubt it would have faded into the shadows, but for Representative Jackie Speier, who sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, requesting that he hold Farenthold accountable and demand repayment of the $84,000.

Farenthold came up with a series of excuses, one being that he was waiting to see if the House passed a bill on sexual harassment in the workplace.  The House passed the bill … still no check from Farenthold.  Then he said he would wait to see if it passed in the Senate.  It did … still no check.  Then he said he would wait to see if Trump signed the bill.  He did … and, sigh, still no check from Blake. Estimates of his net worth vary significantly, but the lowest seems to be $5.7 million!  I think he can afford the $84,000 we paid because he couldn’t keep his fly zipped.

Paul Ryan took no action, but in April, the House Ethics Committee warned Farenthold that it was about to rule against him in its investigation into whether he sexually harassed members of his staff, used official money for campaign purposes and lied in previous testimony to the committee.  On April 6th, Farenthold abruptly resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives, thereby avoiding any punishment that would have been handed down by the Ethics Committee.

Last Tuesday, May 15th, Farenthold told a reporter with ABC News …

“I will say this on the record: I have been advised by my attorneys not to repay that.  That’s why it hasn’t been repaid.”

Farenthold has a new job, by the way, as a government lobbyist at the Calhoun (Texas) Port Authority, earning $160,000 annually.  My understanding is that, legally there is very little that can be done to force Farenthold to repay the money.

Farenthold-pajamasWe paid for a man to wiggle out of a situation he got himself into by sexually harassing his staff, yet we are told that we cannot afford more funding for schools, cannot afford to provide healthcare to lower income families, cannot afford the bills for food stamps and housing subsidies for those living below the poverty level, cannot afford to reduce the interest rates on student loans … and the list goes on.  But we can pay for ol’ Blake’s indiscretions.  I see a problem here … do you?

36 thoughts on “Den of Thieves …

  1. Dear Jill,

    If misappropriation of tax payers’ monies by the GOP in the US Congress were treated as the crime that it is, almost all of them would be behind bars. Lock them all up. And they dared to point the finger at HRC. Her foundation is at least a highly rated charity that does a lot of good.

    The charity of these members has been self-serving. After they are caught with their pants down, cronie GOP members find the recalcitrant culprit a good paying job. And they aren’t even forced to reimburse tax payer monies.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • And the heck of it is, I would be willing to bet this is the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’ and that there is far worse going on that we are not aware of. Sigh. And will others be any better? Doubtful. Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For those that ask if it was misappropriation of funds, it was not. The grand upright moral members of the US congress allotted themselves a fund for paying off their sexual misdeeds and the fund is of course paid for by the taxpayers. It is a slush fund to pay off staff and others that have a legitimate complaint against a congress person and has been used often to pay off sexual harassment claims. Horrible, but true. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

      • Here is a newspaper article on it. . This outrageous system grows out of a 1995 law, known as the Congressional Accountability Act.

        …the fine-print provisions — such as mandating that settlements be secret and having taxpayers pick up the tab for lawmakers violating the law — represent the opposite of accountability.

        It angers me that congress can escape responsibility it forces the citizen to accept. Congress is rather famous for exempting themselves from laws they pass everyone else must follow. Remember in the attempt to kill the ACA ( Obamacare) they exempted themselves from the repeal in healthcare. Good morning by the way. Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

        • I suspect we would all be hopelessly enraged if we knew just half of what our “elected representatives” have done with our money! And probably going all the way back to Washington! Sigh. Thanks for the link, Scottie … interesting and maddening info. And a good morning … er … almost next morning … to you, also! Hugs!!!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, the man’s word is just that “words.” I would suggest that his picture in his pajamas be put in his hometown paper and be the first link in any search until taxpayers are repaid. The headline should be “This is what your $84,000 buys.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Who has employed such a man ? if you check out the Calhoun Port Authority there are a few clues. A gateway to markets so they need the unscrupulous who won’t flinch at riding near the wind and may be relied upon to overstep the mark if it pays off; besides the pay looks good.
    They have just endorsed a new facility to make plastics perhaps they have not caught up with the news about plastics contaminating the oceans. While we consumers struggle to control our plastic use it would appear that the production is increasing exponentially!

    Liked by 5 people

    • My understanding is that since he resigned, there is nothing that can be done, for it is considered more a matter of “bad judgment” than a criminal act. I’m still looking into it, though, for I’m not 100% clear myself.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not quite clear on this myself, but my understanding is that since he resigned, the Ethics Committee no longer has any authority over him. Congress no longer has any authority over him. And who would file a civil suit? I’m not sure it couldn’t be done, but I cannot get a definitive answer, though I have been trying.

      Liked by 2 people

        • You would think, wouldn’t you. I was pondering on this, checking a few legal sources, and I think the thing is this: If you work for a private company and you ‘misappropriate funds’, using them for your own personal needs, then that company can sue you. But since he worked for the federal government, who sues him? Possibly the Department of Justice, but under Sessions? And the other thing is I imagine that in the grand scheme of things, they wouldn’t consider a paltry $84k to be worth the trouble. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

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