What does a self-loathing closet case anti-gay ex-Congressman do after somehow getting a sweetheart deal on his financial crimes prosecution?
So, disgraced former Republican Congressman Aaron Shock is in the news again: Former GOP Congressman Aaron Schock spotted at Coachella making out with a guy and What Happens at Coachella Doesn’t Stay at Coachella (If You’re Hanging with a Gay Right Wing Republican). He was a public official who voted for and campaigned on anti-gay causes. He tried to make it legal for people to fire folks merely for being suspected of being gay. He voted against amending federal hate crimes laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability. He voted against the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in December 2010. He has never renounced those positions, even after resigned from office while he was being charged with a lot of financial malfeasance.
Last month prosecutors reached an agreement with Schock where all charges against him were dropped in exchange for him paying $42,000 to the IRS (taxes owed on a fraction of the money he illegally obtained while in congress) and $68,000 to his congressional campaign fund. As part of the deal, Schock’s campaign committee pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of failing to properly report expenses.
For years rumors circulated around about the anti-gay congressmen, because of his unusual fashion choices and the years of being unmarried and wealthy but always having unmarried male “roommates.” But things hit mainstream media after someone reported that his personal Twitter account and Instagram account was following hundreds of gay models and male athletes who were always known for posting pictures of themselves scantily clad. Shock abruptly unfollowed those hundreds of accounts en mass when a major news site finally mentioned the gay rumors
Then on a taxpayer-funded trip abroad Congressman Shock had this guy who was listed as a staff photographer (but he never took pictures) put in a hotel room with a door adjoining his, get upgrades and other things using programs that are usually meant for spouses, and so on. The supposed photographer sat with Shock at banquets similarly to the spouses of other congressmen on the trip, The supposed photographed posed in pictures standing beside Shock like the spouses of other congressmen and the American service members abroad they met with on the trip. Read that again: the official staff photographer didn’t take pictures, he posed as if he was the congressman’s spouse in the pictures.Let’s not forget the time when when he was walking around a gay neighborhood with reporters during Pride week where he was supposed to be talking about some urban issues but he kept getting distracted on camera with his eyes following the hot shirtless men who walked by. Those are among the many, many, many reasons that everyone with a lick of sense had been saying for years that the anti-gay (ex-)Congressman is probably a closeted gay man.
I’ve seen people–gay people–posting on some sites that Shock’s private life is his business, and if out gay guys want to hang with him, we shouldn’t judge.
He used the power of his office to cause harm to queer people. He used the power of his office to argue that anyone should have the right to fire, evict, or refuse to give medical services if they even suspect that person might be gay. He argued that employers and private citizens should be able to pry into other queer people’s private lives and discriminate against them. Until he makes amends for that by coming out, apologizing for the harm he caused, and make some kind of significant contribution to pro-queer causes, he has forfeited any right to a private sex life of his own. And I can absolutely judge any other queer people who friends with the douche who enabled hate crimes and more.
I’m hardly the only one who is asking that question: Editorial: The downfall of Aaron Schock: Greed and ego.
The downgrading of the criminal case is a head-scratcher. Repaying the IRS and his campaign fund seem to be admissions Schock misspent money and violated tax laws. Federal law forbids taxpayer money and campaign money from being spent for personal use. That’s also what tripped up former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Remember the elk heads and the Michael Jackson memorabilia bought with campaign money? For that, Jackson and his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, each spent time in federal prison.
So another Illinois Congressman who committed similar infractions had to pay back every dime (not just a fraction), and still had to spend time in prison? The Congressman who had to spend time in prison was African-American and was a Democrat, and by some strange coincidence, the Congressman who isn’t have to spend prison time for the same kind of crime (and gets to pay back only a fraction of the stolen funds?)—is a white Republican.
But that couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it. Can it?
Is it cynical of me to expect that now that this deal has been struck, that Schock will be getting some appointment from the White House. I mean, the scale of his corruption is extremely small potatoes compared to the alleged president, but he would fit right in. And his extreme anti-gay rhetoric (despite almost certainly being a self-loathing closet case) would certainly appeal to the alleged vice president.
I mean, the Get Out of Jail (almost) Free had to come from somewhere, right?
Self-loathing closet cases who bilk taxpayers to lavish international trips on their boy toys must be outed
As Joe Jervis over at JoeMyGod.com observed, “investigators are trying to determine, among other things, if his traveling companions were legitimate staffers or, you know, his boyfriend(s).”
On one of those taxpayer funded trips Congressman Shock had this guy who was listed as a staff photographer (but he never took pictures) put in a hotel room with a door adjoining his, get upgrades and other things using programs that are usually meant for spouses, and so on. Those are among the many, many, many reasons that everyone with a lick of sense has been saying for years that the Congressman who pushed lots of anti-gay legislation when he was in office and made speeches saying the employers should be able to fire people who they even suspect might possibly be gay (and that landlords should have the right to evict tenants simply because the landlord suspects they might be gay, et cetera) is probably a closeted gay man. So the exact relationship between Shock and this string of good-looking unmarried “roommates” that Shock kept in his multiple extremely expensive homes is quite relevant to some of the financial shenanigans under investigation.It’s not just the former Congressman’s fashion choices. It’s not just the fact that at one point his personal Twitter account and Instagram account was following hundreds of gay models and male athletes who were always known for posting pictures of themselves scantily clad (and then unfollowing those hundreds of accounts en mass when a major news site finally mentioned the gay rumors). It’s not just the years of being unmarried and wealthy but always having unmarried male “roommates.” It’s not about the adjoining hotel rooms with the unmarried male roommate while traveling. It’s not about the way when he was walking around a gay neighborhood during Pride week with reporters where he was supposed to be talking about some urban issues but he kept getting distracted on camera with his eyes following the hot shirtless men who walked by. It’s not about using an airline perk that is supposed to be reserved for spouses to get the unmarried male roommate/supposedly staff photographer moved up to First Class to sit with him. It’s not about his decorating choices. All of that smoke adds adds up to a something, yes.
But the two issues are: he was a public official who voted for and campaigned on anti-gay causes. He tried to make it legal for people to fire folks merely for being suspected of being gay. That means the moral and ethical imperative is to look into all this suspiciously gay behavior. So the Log Cabin Republicans are absolutely wrong (again) when they insist that outing is always wrong.
But yes, with all the financial crimes that he’s been indicted for, including spending taxpayer money to take a so-called staff photographer who acted like a boyfriend the entire trip and never took pictures, those questions are completely legitimate. If the guy went along because he was the Congressman’s boyfriend and didn’t perform any legitimate staff duties, then that was a misappropriation of funds. Lock him up!
The most important new bit of news about the former Congressman and current sad closet case is: Springfield trial hardly a stretch for ex-Rep. Schock, prosecutors say: Schock has maintained his high-flying ways since quitting Congress in 2015, traveling to Jamaica, Peru, China, Hong Kong, Mexico and Canada, federal prosecutors said in a new court filing. So poor Aaron was trying to get his trial moved because it is so, so hard for him to drive all the way to Springfield. Meanwhile, he’s still galavanting all over the world, presumably financed in part with the proceeds of his shady selling of one of his homes (which was originally purchased with profits from some of the corrupt activities he’s currently under indictment for): Aaron Schock Sells Home Above Market Value to Political Donor.
When Schock was a congressman he never missed an opportunity to vote in favor of any anti-gay bill that came along. He gave speeches about how not only shouldn’t anti-discrimination laws apply to gay people, but that employers should be free to fire employees simply because they suspected the employee might be gay, that landlords should be free to evict or refuse to rent to people who they simply suspected might be gay, and so on. Which is the reason a lot of us in the queer community starting pointing out that there was a lot of reason to suspect Schock was gay (still unmarried, has gone through a series of very hunky male roommates who also are unmarried, has taken hunky male roommates on trips–sometimes at taxpayer expense–where they act like a couple, has been photographed and filmed outside gay bars and bathhouses a lot (he once gave a media site a filmed interview while walking around a gay neighborhood a week before Pride in which his gaze was frequently seen being drawn to shirtless queer men walking by, for goodness sake!), spent a lot of time going to Gay Republican fundraisers and such. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
So we aren’t attacking him for being queer, we’re pointing out what seems to be a very big instance of hypocrisy in which a closeted queer Republican has (once again) built a career out of attacking and oppressing other queer people.
Anyway, so he’s a douche who doesn’t mind stealing money from the taxpayers and his constituents, who doesn’t mind throwing queers under the bus to get that money, and doesn’t believe he should face any consequences for this. Let’s hope the court system proves that belief false: ANTI-GAY GOP REP. AARON SCHOCK ARRAIGNED ON 24 CORRUPTION CHARGES.
I’ve written a few times before about the poorly-closeted former Congressman Aaron Schock. He’s in the news again this week, but you may have missed it among all the other crap: Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock indicted on 24 criminal counts and Schock accused of vast criminal misconduct: ex-congressman used his office like a personal money-making operation.
When I say poorly-closeted I’m not just referring to his interesting fashion choices. There have been a series of hunky young unmarried male roommates. Once a reporter caught him and one of said roommates showering together in their condo when the reporter arrived for a scheduled interview. The fact that for a long time the accounts he followed on Instagram were all out gay models and athletes who frequently posted barely dressed pictures of themselves (which he unfollowed en masse when the shared shower story brought a bunch of attention to him).
And let’s not forget one of the last congressional junkets he took, where a hunky roommate (not the chief of staff roommate mentioned in the story above–they shared a home in D.C., this roommate lived in the uber-expensive house the congressman owned back in Illinois) accompanied the congressmen listed as a “campaign photographer,” yet he attended all of the social events and stood next to the congressmen in all of the photo ops while the other congressmen in the same photos are standing next to their wives. And the many times he was spotted in gay bars or other gay events, such as this one two weeks ago: The Stylish Aaron Schock Wore A Vest To This Big Gay Halloween Party.
I mention all of this because while he was in Congress, in addition to all of the shady financial shenanigans, he had a perfect anti-gay voting record, and gave more than one passionate speech arguing that people should have the right to fire an employee or refuse to rent an apartment to someone that they simply suspected might be gay.
At this point, I almost expect him to come out, then claim that all this stuff is either because of the mental stress of being closeted, or the work of people trying to blackmail him. The day after the indictment he had a major whining session telling reporters it’s a travesty that the FBI is making a criminal mountain out of a “molehill” of small errors. Right. Getting someone to set up a fake business’s bank account, making your constituents pay over $7000 into the fake account, billing the tax payers for the travel the constituents thought they were paying for themselves, and then withdrawing the money is a molehill. Never mind $140,000 in false mileage claims, a $5,000 chandelier for your office, and… and… and…
I guess he’s just a douche.
Speaking of horrible people, Maricopa County voters oust Sheriff Joe Arpaio, elect Paul Penzone. Arpaio is a notorious Sheriff who his county kept re-electing despite (or maybe because) of his awful racist policies, statements, and actions. But the more taxpayer money that went to paying his legal fees, and finally criminal contempt of court charges seem to have driven away most of his supporters.
Don’t confuse Arpaio with another notorious Arizona Sheriff who lost an election this week: Democrat Tom O’Halleran beats Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu mum on plans after leaving office. Babeu was not running for re-election as Sheriff, instead he was running for Congress. This is his second attempt to run for Congress. In 2012 he ran on a virulent anti-immigrant/family values platform, which was derailed when one of his gay ex-lovers came forward–the ex was an undocumented immigrant, who said Babeu knew it at the time, and that when he broke up with Babeu, Babeu had threatened to have him deported if he ever told anyone about the relationship. Babeu denied all the allegations for a while… then as other exes (all Hispanic; what is it with racists wanting to f– the people they hate?) came forward (and the state’s Solicitor General started investigating), he came out as gay, but denied that he had known his ex was undocumented, not had he ever threatened him.
The ex claimed to have incriminating emails and text messages. The public got so see some pretty incriminating excerpts from the text messages and emails. The Solicitor General eventually announced that he had exonerated Babeu of all criminal wrongdoing, but also said they there would be no charges of filing a false report pursued against the ex, which leads most observers to conclude that exonerated is a strong word. In any case, Babeu lost in 2012, and he lost again this week.
So at least a few elections went the way they ought.
Update: It’s December 13th, and the last couple of days this month-old current events post is getting a lot of hits. I assume it’s because yesterday Totally Not-Gay Former GOP Rep. Aaron Schock Pleads Not Guilty to Funds Misuse. Anyway, there’s now a follow up post you might find amusing: Totally not-Gay Aaron Schock in the news again.
Update 2: Just before April Fool’s Day there was another spike of hits on this post, which I assume was because Schock’s attorney was trying to get some evidence thrown out on rather dubious grounds that week. That story and a similar news story the same week led me to write: Weekend Update 4/1/2017: No need for jokes while we have these clowns in the news. Then an insulting anonymous comment led to a follow-up: More adventures in straightsplaining—bless your heart.
Update 3: And in August this post started getting lots of hits because ex-Congressman Shock’s attorneys asked for all the embezzling and related charges to be thrown out because investigators asked some witnesses whether Shock was gay. That is a completely bogus reason to throw out charges, particularly since one of those charges is related to taxpayer-funded travel expenses for a so-called staff member who never seemed to do legitimate staff work but instead behaved like the congressman’s boyfriend or spouse, prompting me to write: Self-loathing closet cases who bilk taxpayers to lavish international trips on their boy toys must be outed. It also led me to this very interesting article: Court docs reveal Aaron Schock’s aides urged him to stop acting so ‘gay’.
Update 4: And then in March 2019, in what the editors of the Chicago Tribune call “a head-scratcher,” Schock is avoiding prosecution by agreeing to pay a fraction of the misappropriated funds back and to pay backtaxes, causing me to write: Disgraced former Congressman gets an out of jail free pass…. Wow.
Update 5: And in April 2019, Schock was photographed making out with another man at the Coachella festival—not just making out, but with his hands down the guy’s pants! What does a self-loathing closet case anti-gay ex-Congressman do after somehow getting a sweetheart deal on his financial crimes prosecution?. Who didn’t see that coming?
Update 6: In August 2019, Schock asked a blogger to “leak” a conversation between himself and said blogger on a gay hook-up app as a trial balloon about coming out, and also got another homocon blogger to chime in about how awful everyone is for trying to force Aaron out of the closet. And then Schock renounced any and all of it. Or something. I expand on it here: Tuesday Tidbit 8/20/2019: Closeted politician tries to co-opt us to dodge his anti-gay past.
Update 7: Now, in March 2020, Schock had decided to really come out. He means it, this time, because there is a really long post about it on his Instagram. As Joe Jervis notes on Joe.My.God: “The post goes on for several self-pitying pages.” He still doesn’t apologize for all his anti-gay votes and campaigning. The closest he comes is saying if he were in Congress today he would vote differently on LGBT issues. But he also reaffirms several times that he still supports the rest of the Republican agenda. In the self-pitying parts he blames his anti-gay votes on feeling the need to fit in with his Republican colleagues, which I’m going to give myself a silver star for, as I have predicted on this blog that Schock would eventually come out and blame the pressures of being closeted for all his hateful speeches and votes. Anyway, an unrelated news event a couple months ago already prompted me to write everything else I have to say on the matter of self-loathing closet cases who try to come out while still espousing all or most of those hateful beliefs: Confessions of a former self-loathing closet case.