Quantcast
Connect with us

Texas Republican retiring after graphic photo posted online in bizarre revenge porn case

Published

on

Embattled U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, announced his retirement from Congress on Thursday.

“I am very proud of my public record and the many accomplishments of my office. It has been a tremendous honor to represent the 6th District of Texas for over three decades, but now it is time to step aside and let there be a new voice.”

“I am announcing today that I will not seek reelection in 2018,” he said. “To the people of the 6th District, thank you for your support and friendship.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Barton’s decision was first announced by The Dallas Morning News.

The decision came after a tumultuous week for the congressman, after a nude photo of Barton surfaced on social media.

The drumbeat for Barton’s exit came from local officials, including state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, and Tarrant County GOP Chairman Tim O’Hare.

Two of his Texas Republican colleagues, U.S. Reps. John Carter of Round Rock and Mike Conaway of Midland, called on Barton to resign immediately, according to The Hill newspaper.

His retirement sets off a race to replace him, a race that is all but certain to be determined in the GOP primary.

ADVERTISEMENT

Two Republicans, perennial candidate Monte Mitchell and former Navy pilot Jake Ellzey, entered the race in recent days. Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector Ron Wright, a former Barton staffer, told The Texas Tribune on Thursday that he would also run for Barton’s seat.

Potential candidates have a brief window to make up their minds — filing ends on Dec. 11.

A longtime Texas oil and energy man, Barton graduated from Texas A&M University with an industrial engineering degree and later received a master’s in industrial administration from Purdue. After working in the private sector, he worked in the U.S. Energy Department.

ADVERTISEMENT

Barton ran successfully for the U.S. House in 1984, when Phil Gramm vacated his seat to run for the U.S. Senate. In his 33 years in Congress, Barton was known for his staunch conservatism. His power in the chamber peaked as Energy and Commerce chairman in the mid-2000s, when he was instrumental to passing major GOP energy legislation.

Although his influence has waned since losing the chairmanship due to term limits, he has expressed pride in his role as the Texas delegation’s most senior member, assuming a spokesperson role for the delegation.

ADVERTISEMENT

Barton also chaired the House Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, a position from which he helped enact bipartisan legislation to modernize the Food and Drug Administration and encourage they review new medical innovations in a timely manner.

His more than three-decade-long tenure has not come without controversy. Following the BP oil spill in 2010, Barton apologized to company executives when the Obama administration had them set up a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the oil spill. He later retracted his statement that the fund was a “shakedown.”

Barton accused former Democratic Vice President Al Gore of being “just a little off” in a 2007 hearing about climate change and has said global warming is a “net benefit to mankind.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Barton ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 1993, finishing third in the primary. He considered a second shot at the Senate in 2001 following Gramm’s retirement. He ultimately passed after the Bush White House made clear it favored John Cornyn, who was then the state’s attorney general. In 2006, he made a brief bid for House majority leader, but withdrew after learning John Boehner had enough votes.

As the manager of the congressional baseball team, Barton and his two sons were on the field this summer when shots rang out during one of their practices. U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a staffer for U.S. Rep. Roger Williams of Austin and two Capitol Hill police officers were shot. Barton said his sons took cover, one under an SUV and the other in the batting cage during the shooting. He attributes his safety to the Capitol and Arlington police officers on duty that day.

Barton is the seventh member of the delegation to announce they would not seek re-election in 2018. U.S. Reps. Sam Johnson, R-Richardson; Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio; Gene Green, D-Houston; Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas; and Ted Poe, R-Humble, announced their retirements this year. U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke , D-El Paso, is leaving his seat to run for Senate.

With those departures, the Texas delegation will start the next Congress with at least 156 years less seniority than this term. The new dean of the delegation is U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, who was sworn in on Jan. 3, 1993.

ADVERTISEMENT

Patrick Svitek contributed to this report.

Disclosure: BP has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

Trump is ‘asleep at the switch’ in his bunker while America needs a unifying voice: CNN’s Keith Boykin

Published

on

On CNN Monday, former Bill Clinton staffer and CNN commentator Keith Boykin laid out the extent of President Donald Trump's failure in a moment of national crisis.

"Keith, do you feel this time at all may be different as far as a real outcome?" asked anchor Brooke Baldwin.

"I definitely feel this is different," said Boykin. "Think about the conditions that we're in right now. We have 41 million people who don't have jobs. You have 100,000 people who have died from the coronavirus pandemic, disproportionally black and brown people, and people outraged about the shooting and killing and murders of black men and women and the George Floyd incident and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, where people have no place to go, nothing to do. No school or jobs to go to. No distractions. It is not like the typical protest in the past that could go back to work or class. They could spend all summer just being upset unless there is a substantive change."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Legal expert admits he was wrong to argue Trump wasn’t the worst president in history

Published

on

Fordham Law School Prof. Jed Shugerman confessed on Twitter that he was wrong, President Donald Trump really is the worst president in American history.

He explained that in the past he's tried to explain that previous presidents like Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Andrew Jackson were the worst American presidents given what they did to persist the Civil War, the genocide of Native Americans and other acts. They were "openly siding [with] white supremacy and causing a civil war," which he said he thought was "far worse than anything Trump could do."

https://twitter.com/jedshug/status/938449020233580544

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s dangerous mental condition grows worse as America faces devastating crises: Yale psychiatrist

Published

on

A nation most afflicted with a mental health problem is the least likely to address it.  I am speaking of the mental health, or lack thereof, of the president.  His psychological impairments have been deadly through action and inaction, and are now promoting police brutality through pronouncements such as, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” while marking protesters as “thugs”.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image