Last night, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) lost his primary campaign against Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in catastrophic fashion. Stockman only accumulated 19 percent of the vote to Cornyn’s 58 percent (as of this writing). We knew this would happen from the beginning, especially after the first poll that emerged showed a 44 point deficit for the wacky congressman and well-known Twitter troll. Furthermore, he was at a significant financial disadvantage with (try not to laugh) only $32,000 in his war chest at the beginning of the campaign, compared to $7 million for Cornyn. And it didn’t get much better throughout the rest of the too-short primary cycle.
But here’s the thing: a lot of people, including me, are beginning to question whether Stockman was actually running. The evidence points to no, he wasn’t. Instead, he could very well have been just pretending to run in order to grab as much cash before leaving office next January. By the way, no, he’s not running for re-election in November. And, yes, members of Congress can use whatever campaign cash is left over when they step down to establish foundations in their own name, or to donate to charities or they can simply keep the money handy for when and if they decide to run again.
The Daily Beast‘s Ben Jacobs reported yesterday:
[I]t’s the worst kind of grift that is designed to separate gullible donors from their money and put it in his campaign’s coffers. There is not even the pretense of actual interaction with voters. Tea Party leaders have complained that Stockman has not shown up to any events. One Texas Tea Party activist noted in an epic understatement: “Day to day, just getting hold of him, that’s just not Steve, I guess.” Instead, the Stockman campaign simply sends blast emails to potential donors and tweets a lot.
Okay, so what do you call a campaign in which the campaigner never campaigns? A scam, obviously.
It sounds like Team Stockman tried run a campaign in which they raised as much money as they could while spending as little as possible. Traveling to statewide events in Texas costs money. Having a campaign headquarters that doesn’t look like Buffalo Bill’s creepy dungeon in “Silence of the Lambs” also costs money. This way, when Stockman leaves office, he might have a tidy stack of cash to play with.
It’s as of yet unknown how much money he’s raised during his Senate race, but even if he didn’t raise a penny all evidence still points to, modifying what Jacobs wrote, an attempted grift… READ MORE