Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who is running a primary challenge for Sen. John Cornyn’s seat this year, came out of hiding on Sunday evening. The Tea Party favorite, who invited Ted Nugent to last year’s State of the Union speech, had not been seen in Washington since January 9th and had missed 17 straight floor votes in Congress. Other than a quick appearance at a small campaign event arranged by a Tea Party affiliate, nobody had seen or heard from the Congressman, which seemed rather odd since he is supposedly running a Senate campaign to dethrone Cornyn, a fellow Republican.
In comments that Stockman gave to conservative website Breitbart.com, he explained that he has been on an official Congressional delegation trip overseas for ten days. He also claims that the mainstream media has been with him and the other lawmakers on the trip the whole time. However, the only confirmation of him being overseas with a delegation was when the AP reported on their meeting with Egypt’s interim President on January 19th. That trip was for 2 days. There has been nothing else reported on any other meetings or stops.
It should also be stated that nobody else that made the trip to Egypt missed any roll call votes on the floor this month. To this, Stockman had an excuse. He said that he needed to spend a lot of time campaigning “because I don’t have a zillion dollars like Cornyn and have [to] campaign. But I wasn’t missing. The Dallas Morning News covered my talk and Cornyn’s tracker was there. Both the press and Cornyn knew where I was.” However, the Dallas Morning News only showed him attending one event, the aforementioned Jan. 14th Tea Party fundraiser, and he was only there for a short amount of time. There are no accounts of his attending any other campaign events or fundraisers.
But, let’s go ahead and take Stockman’s word for everything. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he really has spent the past ten days overseas on a fact-finding mission for Congress. And, prior to that, let’s say he was out there raising money for his campaign, meeting with individuals rather than going to fundraisers. Then, why couldn’t he or his camp let anybody know this? The AP has already stated that Stockman’s staff ignored repeated emails and messages made by them asking them on Stockman’s whereabouts.
Considering that they are running an underdog campaign against an established Senator, why wouldn’t Stockman and his staff be forthright with any media requests? Heck, when you are going up against a well-funded incumbent, you want all the publicity you can get. Yet, if you check out Stockman’s House website, they haven’t published any press releases since mid-December. No mention of a trip overseas. Nothing.
The fact is, Stockman doesn’t take his job as a Representative seriously. He doesn’t take his campaign for Senate seriously. He doesn’t take anything seriously. He likes the fact that he is sort of a celebrity now by being in Congress and saying crazy things from time to time. He loves the attention he gets from ultra-conservatives for his race-baiting. He knows he won’t have a prayer of defeating Cornyn, but he doesn’t care. He gets to be famous for a bit. He gets his lifetime pension for being a former Congressman (he can’t run for the House now since he’s announced a Senate run.) And, perhaps, he gets a cushy gig on talk radio or Fox News when this is all done.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).