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.
We 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?