Remember that blowhard from Texas who mouthed off about dueling with the Senators who were holding out on McConnell’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer? I know, it was forever-and-so-many-night-terrors ago, so let me refresh your memory with his actual words:
“Some of the people that are opposed to this — there are some female senators from the Northeast — if it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”
Yep, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) wished he could settle things via a FUCKING DUEL, if only it weren’t a bunch of wimminfolk causing the problems. Anyway, in completely unrelated news, turns out this Howdy Doody/Boss Hogg looking motherfucker (<- Thanks Jodi!) used $84K of taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim with his former communications director. I know: PLOT TWIST!
According to Politico, Farenthold was sued in 2014 by Lauren Greene over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
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.
No information was ever released on that agreement.
House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) told GOP lawmakers in a closed-door Friday morning meeting that only one House office in the past five years had used an Office of Compliance account to settle a sexual harassment complaint. Harper said in that one instance, the settlement totaled $84,000.
While nobody seems to be able to talk about Farenthold’s settlement directly, even to confirm that the amount received by Greene equalled the $84K Harper described, it isn’t hard to connect the dots. And with the House Ethics Committee launching an investigation into the payment of similar Congressional settlements, this may only the be start of the revelations.
To be fair, $84,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to the reported $15,000,000 that’s been paid out in Congressional settlements over the past 20 years, but to most of us… well, that’s a good chunk of change! So, to put things in perspective, let’s take a look at other things that $84K could have been spent on.
NEW — House Ethics committee has told the Office of Compliance to hand over "all records” in its possession “related to any claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or any other employment practice.”— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 1, 2017
1) Hamilton tickets
Watch that Burr duel in person! $84K could get you over a hundred tickets to the hit musical on Broadway, depending on the night you want to attend and how good the seats are (prices range from $399 to like THOUSANDS).
2) A new car!
Want a brand new Cadillac? A Range Rover? BMW? You can find models priced at under $84K. Or you could get like 2.5 new Subarus.
3) A random chunk of undeveloped land!
For $80K you could snag this 5 acre plot of land in the delightfully named Ballston Spa, NY. Or you could buy a cute 2-bedroom house in Wichita for the same price.
4) Kevin Bacon’s Jacket
With $84K you could afford to buy a practically priceless piece of Hollywood memorabilia 4 times over. What is it? Kevin Bacon’s signed jean jacket from Tremors! To be fair, though, there’s only one jacket on the market.
5) Buffalo Bill’s Gun!
Ok, we’re a little late for this one. But back in 2014 a bear claw necklace and a Colt .45 six-shooter once owned by ex-scout and showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody sold at auction for about $80K total.
How would you like YOUR tax money to be spent?