February 10, 2012
Patrick McHenry has voted against a bill that would prohibit them from committing what would otherwise be a crime (namely, insider stock trading). His justification seems to be that the bill, though seemingly fine on its face, was created by a Democrat. McHenry’s opponent, Ken Fortenberry, is angry:
The corruption in Washington is an outrage to everyone, but instead of standing up and speaking out against it, McHenry continues to condone the despicable and unethical behavior of people who somehow think they are above the law. No wonder the approval rating of Congress is at an all-time low — just 9 percent.
Fortenberry seems to think that McHenry is himself corrupt, and is very likely profiting off of congressional insider trading like everyone else.
In any event, should McHenry not vote on a good bill just because Democrats initially came up with it? Of course not. The bill has bipartisan support. Really, the only reason not to support it that some people have come up with has been that it “singles out” certain (corrupt) politicians and it may incite the public to “overreact”.
Even if Democrats are almost always wrong, a broken clock is right twice a day.
That is, unless you’re McHenry.
Long story short: Patrick McHenry held one of his self-promoting town halls in Gaston County recently. These are pretty normal for any Congressman to hold, and McHenry generally holds them to galvanize his few remaining supporters and to pretend he cares about his district. McHenry’s opponent in the upcoming Republican Primary, Ken Fortenberry, decided he would show up and begin to question McHenry about some of the questionable donations he’s taken in the past.
McHenry’s response? To end the entire town hall meeting instead of answer any questions from anyone. He literally ran after he was saved by Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown:
Ken Fortenberry, who plans to square off against McHenry in the 10th Congressional District Republican primary, stood up and challenged the congressman with several questions.
After McHenry refused to answer a question twice, Fortenberry walked out of the room, prompting Gaston County Commissioner Chad Brown to stand beside McHenry and bring an end to the meeting.
The question(s) Fortenberry asked apparently had to do with the fact that McHenry has taken a ton of cash from some of the very companies responsible for destroying the housing market:
The depressed housing market came up as a subject and McHenry said there must be transparency in financial products. He added that federal loan mortgage institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be “cut off from taxpayers.”
That sparked Fortenberry to stand up and ask McHenry how he could stand before constituents and say that, knowing he’d accepted monies from institutions like that in the past.
Translation? McHenry doesn’t want to answer complex questions. McHenry wants to stand around and tell people how good of a Republican he is, and that’s about it. And that’s not only despicable, but fairly weak.
Think McHenry’s childish tirade against Elizabeth Warren had anything to do with good Republican politics? Think again. McHenry was probably doing it because his pockets are lined with cash from the financial industry:
Rep. Patrick McHenry spent hours in his subcommittee attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Run by Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB was a crucial element of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act last year. In short, it’s the federal entity least connected to Wall Street and most closely tied to the actual interests of consumers. Why would this be such a problem for McHenry? Well, his campaigns are funded primarily by the financial and real estate industries. As the Campaign for America’s Future notes, you can start by looking at last year’s campaign money:
#1: Wells Fargo – $15,550#3: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu – $11,500#5: American Bankers Association – $10,000#5: Bank of America – $10,000#5: Ernst & Young – $10,000#5: PricewaterhouseCoopers – $10,000#5: Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America – $10,000If you want to keep going, you’ll find plenty more. Finance, Insurance and Real Estate has provided McHenry with $1.2 million in campaign support in his four campaigns. That’s by far the highest level of support — more than the second and third entries combined. McHenry also found himself in hot water for accepting campaign donations from Countrywide and then served on an investigation into CEO payout fraud that targeted Countrywide. Sounds like a conflict of interest to most people, but in Darrell Issa’s kingdom, it qualifies McHenry to lead the charge on financial issues.
McHenry is so dramatically opposed to providing an unbiased hearing on these issues that when he held a hearing in March on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act — the legislation that created the CFPB — he refused to let Rep. Barney Frank testify. That’s right: The person who co-authored the legislation and shepherded it to passage was proactively denied the opportunity to testify about its content and intent.
By all means, there’s nothing wrong with playing hardball with Democrats, especially when Democrats try to pass bad legislation. The problem is, Patrick McHenry doesn’t play hardball on the issues — he plays hardball because banks with money tell him to play hardball. Patrick McHenry doesn’t represent the 10th District — he represents banks that screwed over the 10th District thanks to loopholes and financial problems.
Patrick McHenry would like you to think, according to one of his latest videos, that President Obama destroyed gas prices. While Obama has done quite a bit to destroy our economy, McHenry isn’t telling the full story — rather, he’s yet again stretching the truth to sound intelligent while deceiving his supporters.
In the following video, McHenry claims that when Obama took office, prices were at $1.84/gallon, and recently, gas prices are nearly $4.00/gallon:
According to historical graphs provided by the Energy Information Administration and the website Gasbuddy.com, gas was indeed about $1.80-1.90 when Obama took office, and it is indeed about $4.00. What McHenry doesn’t say is that the $1.84 price was a sudden drop in gas prices that were nearly $4.00/gallon in Fall of 2008. This drop was, of course, mostly the result of the economic crisis, meaning the price had little to do with fiscal policy by any party and more about the entire economy thrashing on the deathbed. In fact, this 2008-2009 price drop didn’t last terribly long — a few months later, the price slowly began rising back up to about $3.00/gallon, and only recently it’s been pushing $4.00.
There’s nothing wrong with attacking Obama for his horrible management of the economy — he’s entirely clueless when it comes to fiscal policy, and a lot he’s done both in our nation and abroad has caused gas prices to rise. Still, McHenry’s video misleads voters into “remembering” things that never happened, and it gives Democrats easy ammo to criticize Republicans and claim we make up facts (see e.g.: this recent OpEd in the HDR). There are a lot of things Obama can and should be attacked for; however, Republicans do not need to invent misleading statistics and figures to do so.
Yet again, this is a perfect example of why McHenry is a bad Republican that makes us all look bad. Good Republicans find strong issues to attack on and don’t mislead voters with cherry-picked figures, setting an example for everyone to see and appreciate. Bad Republicans, like McHenry, do all they can to seem intelligent while misleading their own constituents, giving Democrats ammo to fire back in future elections.
McHenry is at it again, this time over scheduling. While spending his time up in Congress doing as little as possible for his district, he recently decided to get in a fight with Elizabeth Warren because he didn’t want her to leave a hearing. The problem? McHenry’s staffers gave Warren the run-around regarding time, but according to McHenry, “[that] was not the case”:
Hilariously, a Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of MD, tried to stop McHenry from making himself look like a further asshole, saying “I’m trying to be cordial here — you just accused the lady of lying. You need to clear this up with your staff.”
Hundreds of angry Democrats and Republicans are now spamming McHenry’s Facebook page, demanding that he apologize — something he will not do.
Some fun quotes from around the internet:
This week [McHenry] became Exhibit A of the coarse incivility that has become the hallmark of political discourse in this country. His refusal to admit his error in judgment and apologize shows not only a lack of maturity but a lack of respect for the office he holds and for the people he represents here in North Carolina.
The Hickory Daily Record:
[...] Rep. McHenry you should apologize.
McHenry has been one of the most completely shameless of House Republicans since his arrival in Congress, in 2005, when he immediately and publicly endorsed Tom DeLay’s brilliant plan to exempt himself from ethics rules as his connections to Jack Abramoff began to end his career.
Angered by his quietness on the topic, the group Republicans for Family Values, led by Peter LaBarbera, is demanding Patrick McHenry answer the following question: “Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual?”
Peter LaBarbera, founder of Republicans For Family Values (www.rffv.org), urged potential Supreme Court pick Elena Kagan , Republican Reps. David Dreier and Patrick McHenry, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist — each the subject of wide speculation that they practice(d) homosexuality — to answer the question: ‘Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual?’
“In an era of ubiquitous pro-gay messages and pop culture celebration of homosexuality, it’s ridiculous that constituents should be left guessing as to whether a judicial nominee or politician has a special, personal interest in homosexuality,” LaBarbera said.
“Especially in the wake of the Eric Massa (D-NY) and Mark Foley (R-FL) scandals, these men need to honestly answer the question about whether they are or were practicing homosexuals,” LaBarbera said. McHenry is getting married in June, but that does not settle the question, as there is a history of “closeted” homosexuals entering into sham marriages to cover up their illicit lifestyle, according to LaBarbera.
The Foley scandal demonstrates the political dangers for Republicans of covering up for covertly homosexual members. Duplicitous homosexual legislators can become extortion targets or be pressured to make pro-“gay” votes like Dreier on ENDA. But generally, constituents have a right to know if their representative secretly practices any immoral behavior — including homosexuality, but also if he is a skirt-chaser, gambling addict, etc.
“We appeal to Kagan, McHenry, Dreier, Crist, and all potential “hiding-in-the-closet” politicians or appointees to answer the question: ‘Are (or were) you a practicing homosexual or do you consider yourself homosexual (gay)?’Homosexuals’ privacy interests simply do not outweigh the public’s right to know about potential conflicts-of-interest in the lives of their representatives and judges,” LaBarbera said.
You read that right: while Patrick McHenry is “fighting for” the 10th District, he has managed to vote for more than $16.8 million dollars in pork, more than 170 other Congressmen. More than Democratic nutcases Dennis Kucinich (McHenry voted for 52% more) and Henry Waxman (24% more)! The following members of the House — including many other nutcase Democrats — voted less:
Delahunt D-MA, Lungren R-CA, Altmire D-PA, Kanjorski D-PA, Rohrabacher R-CA, Walberg R-MI, Baldwin D-WI, Matheson D-MA, Sanchez D-CA, Sutton D-OH, Israel D-NY, Putnam R-FL, Schwartz D-PA, Tanner D-TN, Duncan R-TN, Upton R-MI, Wasserman-Schultz D-FL , Johnson D-TX, English R-PA, Johnson H D-GA, Buchanon R-FL, Chandler D-KY, Bauchus R-AL, Butterfield D-NC, Levin D-MI, Peterson D-MN, Nadler D-NY, Smith C R-NJ, Cohen D-TN, Inglis R-SC, Serrano D-NY, Miller, J R-FL, Pallone D-NJ, Hastings D-FL, Maloney R-TX, Gonalez D-TX, Capps D-CA, Klein D-FL, Cole R-OK, Yarmuth D-KY, Petri R-WI, Waxman D-CA , LaTourette R-OH, Miller, G D-CA, Ramstad R-MN, Foxx R-NC. Space D-OH, Welden R-FL, Garrett R-NJ, Davis, D D-IL, Issa R-CA, Ferguson R-NJ, Blackburn R-TN, Roskam R-IL, Schiff D-CA, Murphy T R-PA, Towns D-NY, Thornberry R-TX, Diaz R-FL, Rangel D-NY, Reichart R-WA, Sherman D-CA, Hoekstra R-MI, Chabet R-OH, Shimkus R-IL, Bono R-CA, Boren D-OK, Napolitano D-CA, Neal D-MA, Wexler D-FL, Ehlers R-MI, Jones, S D-OH, Meeks D-NY, Sali R-ID, Young, D R-AK, Berman D-CA, Carson, Engel D-NY, Kings R-IA. Starke D-CA, Baca D-CA, Cubin R-WY, Walz D-MN, Platts R-PA, Radanovich R-CA, Keller R-FL, Hall, R R-TX, Moore D-KS, Smith, A R-NE, Watson D-CA, Barton R-TX, Barrett R-SC, Carnahan D-MO, Weiner D-NY, Davis, L D-TN, Waters D-CA, Deal R-GA, Johnson, T R-IL, Clay D-MO, Fortuno R-PO, Reyes D-TX, Buyer R-IN, Kucinich D-OH, Brady, K R-TX, Doggett D-TX, Hinojosa D-TX, Moore, D D-KS, Norton, E D-DC, Bordalla D-GU, Cardoza D-CA, Bachus R-AL, Lipinski D-IL, Johnson S D-OH, Royce R-CA, Burton R-IN, Graves R-MO, Mack D-NY, Pence R-IN, Cuellar D-TX, Camp, Meeks, Manzullo, Capito, Gohmert, Gallegly, Lewis, R, Fallin, Miller, C, Jackson, L, Wilson, C, Brown, W, Diaz-B, Rush, Westmoreland, Bilbray, Solis, Costa, Schakowsky, Schmidt, Clarke, Herger, Ryan, P, Sanchez, L, Poe, Bachmann, Becerra, Velazquez, Filner, Gutierrez, Jordan, Sessions, McCotter, Smith, Ad, Campbell, Price, T, Christensa, Goodlatte, Linder, Nunes, Thompson, B, Richardson, Sensenbrenner, Tiberi, Faleomavagea, Tsongas
Remember, not a few years ago McHenry tried to have the government spend over $129,000 on a “Perfect Christmas Tree” pork barrel project — a project to give money to people who make Christmas Tree decorations. McHenry may pretend to be a Republican, but he sure as hell spends like a Democrat — or even worse.
Yes, again. Not satisfied to just blow $700 on rock concert tickets like in the last election, Patrick McHenry’s PAC, “More Conservatives”, the very same corrupt one that has the whole Conservative world angry at Patrick McHenry, about a month ago blew a significant chunk of change on a luxury box for a Bruce Springsteen concert in Washington for a “fundraiser”. Rather than actually come to North Carolina and deal with his constituents or even bother pretending to care, he blew “full market price” on the box. You know, because PAC money for electing conservatives to Congress should be spent paying for a luxury concert box for McHenry, rather than helping out the unemployed, starving people in his district. What’s hilarious about all of this is Bruce Springsteen is a big Democrat supporter. Thanks for giving money to the opposition, McH!
Patrick McHenry, in perhaps a grab for attention, has been caught in a deliberate, backhanded and malicious lie by PolitiFact. As you’ve probably heard, Patrick McHenry claimed that Conservatives are “measurably less likely than liberals to return their census forms“. The insinuation was that Conservatives were being tricked into not returning them.
Except it was a deliberate lie.
According to the Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact, McHenry’s statement is 100% false. Frances Deviney, senior research associate at the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Texas, says it best: “The short version is that what [McHenry]‘s saying doesn’t correlate with the data”. In Texas, the location McHenry was looking towards in regards to his statement, counties that had higher vote tallies for Republican John McCain (who McHenry attacked in the 2008 election) have slightly higher participation rates in the census. On top of that, a Pew study showed that a higher percentage of Republicans (90%) than Democrats and independents (85%) said they intend to participate in the census.
The long story short? Patrick McHenry deliberately lied and made Republicans look bad. Thanks!