23 “small government” Republicans set on controlling women through the very government they say is too big and controlling. Where are the women?
In a long Facebook post, gay CBS anchor Itay Hod has essentially outed Republican Congressman Aaron Schock on the grounds of hypocrisy. While Hod frames the post as a hypothetical exploration of when outing is appropriate, he provides lots of details and concludes with an ostentatiously “unrelated” link to the 7 gayest Instagram Photos of Aaron Schock from 2013.
Hod is clearly fed up with Schock and perhaps just as much with his colleagues in the media who knowingly play along with closet cases.
what if you know a certain GOP congressman, let’s just say from Illinois, is gay… and you know this because one of your friends, a journalist for a reputable network, told you in no uncertain terms that he caught that GOP congressman and his male roommate in the shower… together. now they could have been good friends just trying to conserve water. but there’s more. what if this congressman has also been caught by tmz cameras trolling gay bars. now what if you know that this very same guy, the darling of the gop, has also voted against repeal of don’t ask don’t tell, opposed the repeal of doma, is against gay marriage; and for the federal marriage amendment, which would add language to the us constitution banning gay marriage and would likely strike down every gay rights law and ordinance in the country?
Are we still not allowed to out him?
let me ask another question… doesn’t the media have an OBLIGATION to expose his hypocrisy? if he had done something so hypocritical and he wasn’t gay, wouldn’t we demand journalists do their job? but they can’t… because we won’t let them. you’re not allowed to out ANYONE, we tell them.
Schock has long been the subject of rumors about his sexual orientation. He has always claimed he is straight (although his wardrobe is not). Schock didn’t boost his heterosexual cred any by posing for a series of shirtless images showing off his abs for Men’s Health.
Just to show he straight he is, Schock has accumulated an antigay record that ranks with the best of the homophobes. He has opposed marriage equality, protections for same-sex bi-national couples, and repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, just to name a few, earning him a stellar 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign.
At the same time that he’s voting to deny the LGBT community its rights, Schock has, as AmericaBlog points out, created one of the gayest Instagram accounts ever. Although he follows only 71 people on Instagram, one of them is 19-year-old Olympic diver Tom Daley, presumably so that Schock can solicit his views on Midwest agricultural policy. Openly gay conservative Josh Barro tweeted that fact without comment. None is needed.
That “bad product,” Schock said, is hurting President Barack Obama’s credibility with the young people that voted him into office.
"Young people helped put the president in office, and with this health care law, he’s pushing them into years of less choice, fewer opportunities, and larger bills," he said. "This isn’t how it was supposed to be."
Obama touted 500,000 December enrollments through the federal health care exchange in a Friday press conference, although no official enrollment totals for the month were released.
h/t: TPM LiveWire
Even before President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans were vowing to repeal it. It’s no wonder, because polls showed that the basic elements of the ACA were quite popular, and there was a real danger that it would become more so as people found out that the plan denounced as a “monstrosity” by the National Republican Senatorial Committee would not trample on their liberties so much as help protect their health. Desperate to avoid this, the GOP-controlled House has voted no fewer than thirty-seven times to repeal Obamacare in the three years since it was enacted.
Now letters produced by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that many of these same anti-Obamacare Republicans have solicited grants from the very program they claim to despise. This is evidence not merely of shameless hypocrisy but of the fact that the ACA bestows tangible benefits that even Congress’s most extreme right-wing ideologues are hard-pressed to deny to their constituents.
As I reported here last September, Congressman Paul Ryan, who as Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012 called for its repeal, sent a letter requesting ACA money for health clinics in his district two years earlier. The Nation has obtained documents revealing that at least twenty other Obamacare-bashing GOP lawmakers have similarly pleaded for ACA funds on behalf of constituents. Among them are Kristi Noem, a Republican lawmaker from South Dakota likely to run for the Senate next year, as well as Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who has been touted as a potential GOP presidential candidate in 2016.
In one of two letters sent by Portman to the Department of Health and Human Services, the senator requested ACA funds to help a federal health center in Cleveland, where the money could help “an additional 8,966 uninsured individuals” to receive ”essential services,” in his words. In Noem’s case, the congresswoman requested ACA funds to construct a community health center in Rapid City to provide primary services to the uninsured. Both Noem and Portman won office in 2010 campaigning vigorously against the law and have since worked to repeal it.
Though notably less transparent, the behavior of these GOP lawmakers parallels that of GOP governors like Arizona’s Jan Brewer, who blast the president’s health reform package while embracing the millions in Medicaid funds that it provides.
The letter writers include GOP rank-and-file Congress members, leaders and committee chairs, all of whom have supported the repeal effort. David Valadao, for example, a freshman representative who campaigned last year on his opposition to Obamacare, requested funds in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius two years ago for a program to improve “the general health” of the Fresno County area, which he then served as a California assemblyman. Congressman Jeff Denham, a two-term GOP lawmaker who won his seat with support from Tea Party activists, penned a letter recommending the same application for Fresno County. The county Department of Public Health won the grant. Valadao’s and Denham’s offices declined to comment.
The Affordable Care Act authorizes an array of grants to local hospitals, community health clinics and doctor training programs, as well as public health initiatives to improve health and access to care. The billions of dollars in grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and lawmakers on the state and federal levels have sent letters endorsing applicants.
Texas Senator John Cornyn, the Republican whip, wrote to the Centers for Disease Control to recommend a grant for Houston and Harris County. Congressman Michael McCaul, a Republican and the chair of the Homeland Security Committee, wrote a letter praising the same grant request, calling the effort a “crucial initiative to achieve a healthier Houston/Harris County.” Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Thad Cochran of Mississippi also recommended grant request approval for public health or health clinic funding.
House Republicans and the Senate Republican Policy Committee have trashed the ACA’s Community Transformation grants as an Obamacare “slush fund.” In the letters seeking these grants, however, GOP lawmakers have heaped praise on their potential. Cornyn writes in his letter that the grant would help “improve the health and quality of life of area residents.” Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican from Illinois, congratulated a local nonprofit for winning a Community Transformation grant, noting that the program will give “people the tools to live healthier and longer lives.”
The National Republican Senatorial Committee warns of Obamacare that “as this awful legislation gets ever closer to going into effect, the negative consequences are only becoming increasingly clear.” But the NRSC’s chair, Jerry Moran, has hailed programs that exist because of it. In August, he attended a ceremony announcing a $4.7 million expansion of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. A picture posted on Moran’s official Facebook page shows the senator in a suit with his foot on a shovel to break ground for the health clinic. “That funding—that came from the Affordable Care Act, and he voted no,” says Krista Postai, CEO of the CHC-SEK clinics. She adds that Moran had been supportive of health clinics in the past, and she was disappointed to see him vote against the law that made her clinic expansion possible. Postai noted that her clinics are already improving lives with ACA funding, and that there are thousands of uninsured and disabled people in her community who now receive coverage and preventive care thanks to the law.
Some of the letters obtained by The Nation are from lawmakers who are no longer in office, including Jerry Lewis, Bobby Schilling, Kay Bailey Hutchison and Robert Dold.
The letters of support for ACA grants are a reminder (if one is needed) that some Republican claims against the bill reflect politics rather than policy preferences. GOP Congressman Hal Rogers, who rails against healthcare reform as “socialistic,” wrote a letter asking for an Obamacare health clinic grant almost as soon as the money became available. Federal health centers provide a range of healthcare services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. The ACA dramatically boosts spending on these centers, by about $11 billion, with the goal of reaching 1.25 million additional patients.
Congressman Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican who has led efforts to repeal healthcare reform, stood next to a 6-foot stack of papers he dubbed the “Obamacare Red Tape Tower of Regulations” at a press conference in May. In October, Cassidy posed for a different type of press event, standing with school administrators in Baton Rouge, scissors in hand, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for three school-based health centers. The ceremony was a celebration of a $500,000 grant authorized by the Affordable Care Act to expand health clinics in area schools.
Before healthcare reform made nearly every federal health program a political football, the Bush administration routinely requested greater funds for federal community health centers with little controversy. But health clinics once supported by the GOP are now on the chopping block. Republicans, led by Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas, have attempted to roll back the ACA’s expanded clinic funding. Also, several of the repeal bills in Congress have targeted the entire law, including funds for health centers and public health initiatives. The fact that they have sought grants for those centers has not stopped Republicans from voting against them. Louisiana’s Cassidy, for instance, voted for Burgess’s bill to shut down funding for clinics.
Whether cutting a ribbon or signing a letter, no Republicans have acknowledged that the health programs they are endorsing are provided by Obamacare.
Some GOP lawmakers have balked at the charges of hypocrisy. “Sen. Chambliss voted against the Affordable Care Act, just as he did the stimulus package. But the bill passed, and if the money is available, we want Georgians to be able to compete fairly with folks from other states for it,” wrote Lauren Claffey, the senator’s press secretary, in an e-mail. Similarly, Senator Isakson’s office e-mailed a statement from the senator claiming: ”I voted against Obamacare and will continue to work to repeal it. However, one of the most important parts of my job as senator is to assist Georgia individuals, businesses and local governments in their dealings with the federal government. Any time one of my constituents has business with the federal government, I try to be as helpful as possible by supporting worthy projects.”
The Republican Party is losing one of its potential front-running candidates for governor.
U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has opted not to seek the governor’s mansion, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The young GOP rising star is expected to make a formal announcement Friday.
“He said back in the fall he was going to see whether he thought he could do more good running for re-election for Congress or running for governor,” Schock aide Steve Shearer told the Peoria Star late Thursday.
Schock, 31, ultimately decided to remain on Capitol Hill, where he serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Shearer, Schock’s chief of staff and campaign manager.
But the young third-term Peoria congressman also faced the reality of a crowded GOP field — and a tough general election race if he prevailed.
Republicans still potentially in the running include state Treasurer Dan Rutherford; state Sen. Kirk Dillard, of Hinsdale; state Sen. Bill Brady, of Bloomington; Winnetka millionaire Bruce Rauner, and WLS-AM (890) radio talk show host Dan Proft.
Rauner has already formed an exploratory committee stocked with business leaders capable of raising money to add to contributions Rauner can make from his own fortune.
“Aaron realized he is only 31 and is not willing to risk everything against Rauner’s millions and probably Lisa Madigan,” said one state House Republican familiar with Schock’s thinking.
Madigan, the Illinois attorney general and daughter of state Speaker Michael Madigan, is eyeing a primary run against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Former Commerce Secretary William Daley also is a possible Democratic candidate.
h/t: Chicago Sun-Times
Freshman U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, did not cooperate with the Office of Congressional Ethics in its initial probe of alleged campaign finance violations by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria.
“The OCE infers that the information Mr. Davis refused to provide, taken together with the factual findings in this referral, supports the conclusion that there is substantial reason to believe that the alleged violation occurred,” the OCE said in a report made public Wednesday.
The report recommends that Davis and three other non-cooperating witnesses be subpoenaed.
The investigation, now before the House Ethics Committee, deals with allegations that Schock solicited donations of more than $5,000 per donor for a super political action committee. The OCE report says Davis, then an aide to U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, was identified by the super PAC’s managing director as the contact person for five potential donors before the 2012 primary election.
The report deals with efforts by a super PAC called the Campaign for Primary Accountability to help raise money for what turned out to be a successful primary challenge by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Manteno, to former U.S. Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Leaf River.
“In early March 2012, CPA managing director learned that a House staffer, Rodney Davis, planned to have contributions sent to CPA from various donors for television commercials opposing Representative Manzullo,” the report states. It also says that the CPA development coordinator told the OCE that Davis was the contact person for a total of $120,000 in donations from five donors.
Both Davis and Schock represent parts of the city of Springfield.
At the time of the Kinzinger-Manzullo race, Davis was not yet a candidate for Congress. He was chosen by GOP county chairmen to run in the 13th Congressional District after the primary election winner, former U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, dropped out of the general election race.
WASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee said Wednesday it will continue an investigation of Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock over allegations he solicited donations of more than $5,000 per donor to a super political action committee. The committee also said it’s continuing a probe of whether a trip New York Democrat Bill Owens took to Taiwan was arranged by lobbyists for the country’s government.
Both cases had been referred to the House committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics, a separate, outside ethics office. The House committee announced its decision to continue looking into each case on Wednesday, while releasing OCE’s report on both cases.
In a statement, the ethics committee said that in both cases merely “conducting further review … does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee.” The committee also said it would refrain from further comment pending completion of initial reviews.
Both Schock and Owens said they expect to be exonerated by the House committee.
Schock’s case involves an allegation he asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., to contribute $25,000 from his leadership PAC to a super PAC that backed Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., in a House primary against Rep. Don Manzullo. Kinzinger won the March 2012 primary. Redistricting following the 2010 census put the two congressmen in the same and the primary.
According to the OCE report, the Super PAC backing Kinzinger, the Campaign for Primary Accountability, received a minimum of $115,000 that came from “efforts of Rep. Schock and his campaign committee.”
Schock told investigators that he never requested the $25,000 from Cantor. According to the OCE report, Cantor told investigators that Schock had asked him if he would give the $25,000 donation to back Kinzinger. Cantor said he then gave money from his committee to the super PAC backing Kinziger in the primary.
The case involving Owens relates to a December 2011 trip he and his wife took to Taiwan. Owens and his wife were invited by the Chinese Culture University of Taiwan. But the trip may have been arranged by lobbyists for the country. Lawmakers are prohibited from taking trips that are paid for by lobbyists.
Owens said he expected the investigation would clear him of wrongdoing.
H/T: Huffington Post
Republican Congressman Aaron Schock, despite ethics issues, is considering a run for Governor of Illinois
Progress Illinois is reporting that Republican Congressman Aaron Schock of the 18th Congressional District of Illinois is contemplating a 2014 run for Governor of Illinois.
However, Schock has an “Eric Cantor” problem.
Schock goaded House Majority Leader Eric Cantor into donating $25,000 from Cantor’s own SuperPAC, ERIC PAC, to the Campaign for Primary Accountability, which supported Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the 16th Congressional District of Illinois Republican Primary, who narrowly won an incumbent-versus-incumbent primary against Donald Manzullo.
In the last 15 years, two of Illinois’s former governors, George Ryan, a Republican, and Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, have been sentenced to prison after being convicted on corruption charges. Simply put, Illinois does not need yet another unethical governor.
#ILGov: PPP finds Quinn in precarious shape for reelection as Illinois governor, but Madigan looks strong
Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois has had some terrible ratings for a long time, but these latest numbers from PPP are just disastrously bad. Thanks in part to presiding over an income tax hike necessary to pay for state government services, Quinn’s worked his way down to a 25-64 job approval score, and predictably, his numbers in hypothetical 2014 matchups with Republicans are just awful:
- 37-44 vs. state Sen. Kirk Dillard
- 39-43 vs. Treasurer Dan Rutherford
- 40-39 vs. Rep. Aaron Schock
Obviously, lots of Democrats are thinking about replacing Quinn, so Tom Jensen tested Attorney General Lisa Madigan (who has high name rec) and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley (who doesn’t) as well. Madigan leads Dillard and Rutherford 46-37 and Schock 46-38, while Daley trails Dillard (34-36) and Rutherford (37-38) but edges Schock 40-35.
Madigan has long been mentioned as potential gubernatorial candidate and has a good 48-32 favorability rating overall and a 68-16 score among Democratic primary voters. In a direct head-to-head with Quinn, she trounces him 64-20. Even Daley comes out ahead, too, though, 37-34, which really should give Quinn second thoughts about seeking reelection.
Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Rutherford noses Schock 27-26 in a hypothetical three-way primary, with Dillard at 17. He also takes the top spot in PPP’s kitchen-sink scenario:
- Dan Rutherford: 19
- Aaron Schock: 18
- Bill Brady: 14
- Kirk Dillard: 12
- Joe Walsh: 8
- Bruce Rauner: 7
- Someone else: 7
- Not sure: 15
As for the additional names there: Bill Brady was the GOP’s 2010 nominee, who barely beat Dillard for the nod and then barely lost to Quinn; Joe Walsh is the infamous loudmouth and soon-to-be-former congressman; and Bruce Rauner is a wealthy private equity titan.
With the dust settling on the 2012 election, the focus in Illinois politics has already shifted two years into the future.
Tuesday was a bruising election for Illinois Republicans—particularly in the Statehouse—leaving the GOP hoping it can knock Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn out of Springfield when it gets its chance in the 2014 gubernatorial race.
The names of several Republican state senators have been thrown around, like Matt Murphy and Kirk Dillard to name a few, with several more trickling in.
There’s even interest from outside the political arena, as some speculate influential businessman Bruce Rauner will toss his hat into the ring for 2014.
Then, of course, there’s the comely Congressman Aaron Schock. At 31, Schock is the youngest member of Congress, and has made no secret he’s harboring gubernatorial ambitions.
Despite his incumbent status, Gov. Quinn has more than just GOP hopefuls nipping at his heels.
Whispers that some credible contenders within his own party, like Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan or Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, could run against Quinn are only likely to grow louder in the coming months.
h/t: Huffington Post
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) became the youngest member of the House of Representatives when he was elected in 2008. Now, National Journal reports he has his eye on becoming the youngest governor in Illinois history.
"On Wednesday, less than a week before he’s favored to win a third term in Congress, Schock met with top officials at the Republican Governors Association in Washington, to discuss the possibility of running for Illinois’s top job in 2014. Four sources in Illinois and Washington with knowledge of Schock’s meeting with the RGA said his interest in the race is an open secret, and that he’s told donors he is seriously considering the contest."
Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed recently reported a rumor that’s been going around in political circles: “U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin telling pals he might retire in two years.” If Durbin does quit after three terms, here are some possible replacements.
DAN HYNES: The ex-comptroller finished second to Barack Obama in the 2004 Senate primary and barely lost to Pat Quinn in the 2010 gubernatorial primary. He’ll only be 45 in 2014 and may be tempted to try again after two close races.
DAVID HOFFMAN: Former Chicago Inspector General Hoffman finished second to Alexi Giannoulias in the 2010 primary, and his supporters insist he would have won if the primary had been held in March, instead of February. However, he’s too much of a goo-goo to excite minority voters, and no white Chicago Democrat has won a Senate seat since Paul Douglas in 1960.
TONI PRECKWINKLE: The Cook County Board President runs the county that will cast more than half the votes in the Democratic primary, and she’s a Hyde Park liberal in the Obama mold. Would be the favorite to win the primary, but may experience an anti-Cook County backlash in the general election. Drawback: She’ll be 67 years old.
SHEILA SIMON: It’s her father’s old seat. On the other hand, she couldn’t get elected mayor of Carbondale, and only won statewide as Pat Quinn’s running mate.
KWAME RAOUL: Hey, the state senator who used to hold Raoul’s seat also had an exotic name, and he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
PAT QUINN: Facing certain defeat in his run for a third term as governor, would Quinn decide to switch offices and run for the Senate instead? He ran for this same seat in 1996, when Durbin won. Quinn will be 65.
JAN SCHAKOWSKY: The North Shore congresswoman considered running for the Senate in 2004. Too liberal for a statewide race.
AARON SCHOCK: He was the youngest congressman, the youngest member of the General Assembly and the youngest trustee of the Peoria School Board. Schock would benefit from the tradition of reserving one Senate seat for a Downstater. A Republican who’s not hung up on racial or cultural issues, Schock has a knack for winning votes from people who don’t agree with him on the issues — his inner-city Peoria district replaced him with a black Democrat. Plus, he’ll only be 33.
ADAM KINZINGER: Another young Republican congressman, Kinzinger will only be 36 in 2014. Unlike his prospective seatmate, he actually flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. He expanded his statewide appeal by beating fellow incumbent Don Manzullo to represent the new 16th District.
JIM OBERWEIS: Just because we’d like to see him die broke.
KIRK DILLARD: He really, really, really wants to be governor, like ex-boss, Jim Edgar. But that ship sailed for him in 2010 when he lost the primary to Bill Brady by 193 votes. Dan Rutherford will be the Republican nominee for governor in 2014. So Dillard may as well run for the Senate.