Back in 2011 or so, WC ran a monthly nominee for the annual Hypocrisy Hall of Fame Award.1 But the hassle of picking the biggest hypocrite in any given month was too great, and WC’s notorious Magpie Sensibilities sent him off chasing other shiny blog subjects. But the Trump Era has brought political hypocrisy to new, record heights, so at least provisionally, WC is reviving the monthly posts with the aim of having readers pick the Year’s Biggest Hypocrite.2
This month’s nominee is Steve Stockman, Congressman Clueless, the pride of East Texas.
Former Congressman Stockman served two, non-sequential terms in the U.S. House. He rode the Gingrich wave into a seat in 1994. And he was the beneficiary of some of Texas’s most egregious gerrymandering, gaining him a seat again in 2012. In the first term, he called the Waco siege a ploy by the Clinton administration to galvanize support for an assault weapons ban. In his second term, Stockman opined “Obamacare is less popular than Chlamydia” and “Obama has no sympathy for unarmed women raped by criminals.” He also called for President Obama to be impeached, and circulated a pamphlet to each of his colleagues making his case.
He loved stunts. He walked out of one of President Obama’s State of the Union speeches, and invited Ted Nugent to another. He created a web of dubious businesses, quasi-charities and shell companies through which he funneled other people’s money.
Throughout both of his terms, Rep. Stockman had a penchant for outrageous remarks and flirtations with militia types, a fondness for conspiracy theories and any number of shadowy business dealings.
At one point in his second term, Rep. Stockman spent $32,000 to pay for surveillance of three state legislators. As the Houston Chronicle put it,
So yes, among the services Stockman provided to his constituents was managing a group of amateur spooks who bumbled around Austin with video cameras, recorder pens and microphone watches, recording hundreds of hours of footage which ultimately proved useless.
If you were wondering how Rep. Stockman paid for the inept investigation of his betters, or funded his failed U.S. Senate campaign, well, that’s why he’s September’s candidate for Hypocrite of the Year.
He stole it.
The law and order candidate is a thief. A convicted thief now, found guilty by a jury of his peers – probably his betters, certainly his moral superiors – of pilfering $1.25 million in charitable donations to pay for dry cleaning, a hot air balloon ride, amusement park tickets, hotel bills, a trip to a California day spa and a dolphin tour boat ride in New Orleans. He bought plane tickets to South Sudan, donated to an underground Norwegian radio station and gave his relatives $24,000 for “heirloom quality advent books.” And paid for his “investigation.” But most of the money he stole from charities went to pay for his unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate.
The jury found him guilty of 23 of the 24 felonies coming out of what the prosecutors called a “white collar crime spree. Two of the principal witnesses against Stockman were his two former aides, Thomas Dodd and Jason Posey. They both entered guilty pleas and testified against their former boss.3
WC isn’t shedding any tears for conservative mega-donors Richard Uihlein ($350,000) and the late Stanford Z. Rothschild Jr. ($450,000). You deal with right-wing sleaze balls like Stockman and you get burned. Doubly burned in this case: Stockman threw them under the bus after stealing their money, claiming they were “willing participants” in his theft.
So there you have September’s candidate for Hypocrite of the Year: a self-righteous, ultraconservative ass who stole money from charities to fund hot air balloon rides, boondoggles and an election campaign.