Inconceivably, Ducky-Pajamas-Wearing Texas Congressman Has Been Accused Of Sexual Harassment
Texas Congresscritter Blake Farenthold is a real peach. He was elected to the House in 2010, flirted with birtherism,, explained that Ebola was probably going to kill us all because that's how it works in zombie movies, and has frequently suggested that Congress could totally impeach Barack Obama for a million things (but good luck getting a conviction, because liberals still exist in the Senate). And now, if you can believe it, the super-douchey Farenthold has been hit with a sexual harassment suit by a former aide, Lauren Greene, who says that Farenthold and his chief of staff, Bob Haueter, created a hostile workplace environment, discriminated against her on the basis of gender, and then retaliated against her after she complained.
Greene served as Farenthold's new media director and later as communications director, and oh, and what a charming picture of Farenthold her complaint paints of the congressdouche. She says that Farenthold liked to share, like the time in February 2014 when he confided to her "that he was estranged from his wife and hadn't had sex with her in years." The complaint also notes that Farenthold "regularly drank to excess," that at a staff meeting, Farenthold "disclosed that a female lobbyist had propositioned him for a 'threesome,' and that his Eye for The Ladies required staffers to run interference for him so that he wouldn't get himself in trouble:
[Because] of his tendency to flirt, the staffers who accompanied him to Capitol Hill functions would joke that they had to be on 'red head patrol' to keep him out of trouble.
Oh, no, that's not all. When Greene complained to Farenthold's executive assistant, Emily Wilkes, that she was having difficulty doing her job because the congressman seemed to be avoiding her, Wilkes explained why the poor man was so standoffish: he was just consumed with lust, the poor thing, and had to shun working with his own social media director because otherwise he might not be able to control himself:
Wilkes informed Plaintiff that Farenthold had admitted to being attracted to Plaintiff and to having “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about Plaintiff.
Farenthold knew that Wilkes and Plaintiff were friends and confidantes and that Wilkes would likely convey his comments to Plaintiff, which is exactly what happened on this and other occasions
After Greene spoke with Wilkes in January 2014, Farenthold offered Greene the position of Communication Director, but Bob Haueter, then Farenthold's acting chief of staff, told her she'd have to interview for the position and only grudgingly informed her that she actually had the job -- there's your retaliation piece.
Farenthold allegedly "regularly made comments designed to gauge whether [Greene] was interested in a sexual relationship," including a couple of weird incidents that sound strangely familiar:
Farenthold told Greene that she had something on her skirt and that he hoped his comment wouldn’t be taken for sexual harassment. A reasonable person would infer that Farenthold was joking that she had semen on her skirt. On another occasion, Farenthold told Plaintiff that her skirt was partially unzipped at the top. Plaintiff went to the bathroom to zip her skirt, and she realized that the opening was so small that Farenthold would have had to be staring at her closely to notice."
On the other hand, he didn't ask her who left a pubic hair on his can of Diet Coke, so he's probably OK on that one. Another time, Haueter sent Greene home from the office, complaining that her top was so sheer that he could see her nipples; Wilkes later told Green that Farenthold actually stood up for her on that occasion, kind of sort of: "Farenthold told Wilkes that Plaintiff could show her nipples whenever she wanted to." OK, maybe it was actually the little congressman that was standing up there.
Needless to say, Farenthold's office denies everything:
“As is the case with any pending legal situation, the Congressman cannot comment on the specifics of the complaint, however, it goes without saying that both the Congressman and the members of his staff who are included in this complaint have a very different view of the allegations than Ms. Greene,” Farenthold spokesman Kurt Bardella said.
“For the record, the Office did not and does not discriminate based on sex or any other unlawful factor. The Congressman is eager to respond to Ms. Greene’s allegations through the appropriate legal process and is confident that once all of the facts are revealed, he will be cleared of any wrongdoing,” he added.
So, that's just about as weird as it's going to get, right? OK, maybe not all of it. Earlier this week, Roll Call discovered that back in 1999, Farenthold had registered a whole bunch of internet domain names, apparently for the purpose of speculation and possible resale, as one does. Among them was the intriguing "blow-me.org." However, a spokesman clarified that it was all just business, nothing untoward:
Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Farenthold operated a computer consulting company that routinely bought domain names including the one in question. The domain name has never been used and Mr. Farenthold has no intention to renew it[.]
We can only imagine the bidding war for blow-me.org when Farenthold's hold on it expires in July 2015. In the meantime, both Blow-me.com and Blow-Me.net are already available for sale, albeit without the Farenthold pedigree.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.