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Around these parts, when we hear the name "Steve Stockman," we usually wonder what damn fool shenanigans he's gotten up to this time. This is, after all, the guy whoinvited Ted Nugent to be his guest at the State of the Union address, asked the Obama-mask rodeo clown to please come and spread good cheer to the children of Texas, and wondered why Barack Obama can't make healthcare.gov work more like a 1985 video game. What we don't usually associate the name Steve Stockman with is "mysterious income that he's failed to disclose," but we're sure we can get used to it. Turns out that one of the top wingnut loudmouths on Twitter is pretty tight-mouthed about his finances, possibly in violation of federal disclosure requirements. The Houston Chronicle published a bigass investigation Sunday, reporting that Stockman


"failed to make federally required disclosures about business affiliations that stretch from Texas to the British Virgin Islands, and has provided no details about the business he claims as his sole source of income."

There's probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for Stockman's reluctance to actually say where his money comes from, which is most likely that he doesn't wanna.

Some highlights of what Stockman hasn't said and when he hasn't said it: after serving a two year stint in Congress in the late 1990s, Stockman won Texas's brand-new 36th district in the 2012 election, but didn't bother filing mandatory campaign disclosure forms until moths after he was sworn in -- you know, one off those little chores you just have to get around to. And the reports he did submit were described by the Chronicle as "bare-bones," listing 2011-12 income of $350,000 from something called "Presidential Trust Marketing," but not really making clear just what the hell "Presidential Trust Marketing" actually is or what it does. (Obviously, it markets presidential trusts. Now go away.)

We also like to imagine Chronicle reporters Lise Olsen and Will Tucker giggling as they typed up the second paragraph in this bit:

All of the forms exclude information Stockman must disclose, said Kathleen Clark, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. As a specialist in government ethics, Clark reviewed the forms at the Chronicle's request.

Stockman, who has an accounting degree, reported more than required about his wife's income, Clark said. But he omitted his own business relationships, bank accounts and the value of any businesses, she said.

"Did anyone review this? Has the House Ethics Committee followed up? It just seems very odd. I would have a lot of questions for him," said Clark, who is based in Washington, D.C. "There are many things about the disclosure that I don't understand."

Brett Kappel, another campaign finance attorney they spoke to, wondered why Stockman hasn't at least been fined for his late 2012 campaign disclosure. Again, cue the schadenfreude:

"It sounds like he has no clearly identified source of income," Kappel said. "If you're an accountant, you should be aware of state and federal filing requirements (for nonprofits and for-profits) and if you are a former member of Congress you should be aware of disclosure requirements."

Other fun stuff: The Chronicle couldn't find any public records about this "Presidential Trust Marketing" thing, but it did turn up a "Presidential Statutory Trust Foundation" that Stockman registered in Wyoming from 2007 to 2009, and another thing in Texas from 2004 called "Presidential Trust" -- listed with a P.O. box as its address, like so many of the finest legitimate business establishments.

Also, too, in 2004-2005, Stockman and "Presidential Trust Foundation" had a website seeking donations for awesome political projects like a movie to be called "Twisted -- Michael Moore Exposed," which never got made, so we'll never know what kinds of "tragic propaganda" the film would have exposed. The website referred potential donors to the same P.O. box that Stockman used for other ventures.

There's a lot of other stuff about the cool stuff Stockman ran through that P.O. box; doesn't look like anything illegal, but it's sort of interesting that a guy who thinks that government regulation is out of control also happens to have set up "at least 17 different business names and corporate identities" in four states, plus the British Virgin Islands. Almost all of them are registered out of a couple of P.O. boxes -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

Stockman's office has, of course, refused to answer any questions about the hinky disclosure records, because why would they cooperate with a liberal media witch hunt against a true patriot ___________ (insert your own arglebargle here)? Being in the Party of Personal Responsibility means never having to say anything without your attorney present.

[Houston Chronicle vie TPM]

Doktor Zoom

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.

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