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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

A frat party environment with Rep. Farenthold

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Representative Blake Farenthold, Republican of Texas. Credit Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Former aides to Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold tell tawdry tales of a Congressman who bragged to a staff member that a female lobbyist suggested a “threesome” and turned his office into the biggest “frat house” on Capitol Hill.

Farenthold denies one point of the claim about the “threesome.”  He says the woman who suggested it was not a lobbyist.

While three members of Congress have resigned over reports of sexual misconduct, Farenthold still has the backing of most members of Congress, even after reports that former communictions director Lauren Greene won an $84,000 settlement against him.

Farenthold used federal funds to pay the settlement and the House Ethics Committee is finally investigating.  The Congressman is now promising to repay the Treasury and still claims his “conduct has been proper.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he told The New York Times this week.  “I’m happy to visit with anybody who has a concern and explain the facts to the extent that I am allowed to under the settlement agreement.

Former press secretary Elizabeth Peace says Farenthold chief of staff Bob Haueter treated women differently and made conditions intolerable.  So she quit in March of this year.

“There were a lot of inappropriate things that happened in that office that i don’t think would have happened if the congressman hadn’t already set the tone,” she says.

Former aides say the Farenthold office often breaks out the beer the staff keeps in the offie at 4:30 p.m. — known as “beer thirty” — and discussions often turn to sizes of breast sizes of female lobbyists or staff members in other office.

Women lobbyists hesitate to discuss Farenthold on the record and several say they keep away from him or his staff.

One calls the rotund Farenthold “a fat pig” and says “I wouldn’t sleep with him if he were the last man of earth and we needed a baby to help save the human race.”

“He lays on the innuendo and anyone who responds in kind lays themslves open to become his focus,” another tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “I make it a point to never be alone with him.”

House Republicans, however, have been reluctant but are starting to wonder why Speaker Paul Ryan has kept a “hands off” approach on investigating Farenthold.

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© 2017 Capitol Hill Blue

 

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