One of the most conservative Republican members of the House of Representatives, Joe Barton of Texas, has been caught in his own sex scandal which may impact whether he runs again for office next November.
A graphic nude photograph of Barton circulated on social media this week, put up by an anonymous person.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet 68 year old Republican Congressman @RepJoeBarton.
Yeah, he's married (to his second or third wife, I can't tell).
No, this wasn't to her.
Yeah, they say they are the family values party.
Yeah, he has openly campaigned against LGBT rights.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 22, 2017
Today Barton, a right-wing politician and Tea Party member who is the longest-serving member of the House from Texas, made a public apology.
“While separated from my second wife,” Barton said in his statement, “prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women. Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.”
This comes only weeks after Barton announced he will run for reelection next year, to keep the seat which he first won in 1984.
His situation is complicated by the national frenzy over sexual harassment, which is raising a lot of questions about the character and ethics of policial leaders, well-known actors, business people and others.
In an interview with his hometown newspaper, the Texas Tribune, yesterday, Barton indicated he was deliberating whether to continue his political career.
“You’re as aware of what was posted as I am,” said Barton. “I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly.”
Barton is the former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he has campaigned for the deregulation of the oil and gas industries.
Rep. Joe Barton of Texas is a 68-year-old married Republican. You know, the family values party that says “marriage should be between one man and one woman.” https://t.co/cU94OftUCq
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 22, 2017
Barton is a climate change denier who has been known to pack committee hearings with climate change skeptics and act rudely to those who agree with the vast majority of American climate change scientists who believe the global warming crisis is very real. Barton has been known to quote the bible as his proof climate change is not man-made.
In 2011, the non-profit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) put Baron on is annual Most Corrupt Report.
He was charged, reported CREW, with inaccurately reporting the source of an interest in natural gas he acquired, which was purchased through a donor and supporter.
It was first reported by the Dallas Morning News in 2010 that Barton made over $100,000 on his investment while raising serious questions about his ethics.
Barton is for family values, against abortion and has four children and five grandchildren, none of whom it is likely will want a framed photo of his rude nudes.
Many members of Congress and the public feel the same way about Barton, who pushed his regressive, scientistic, extremist alt-right views at committee meetings, in speeches, during hearings and elsewhere, acting more like a bully than a diplomat.
If this scandal is what it takes to get him out of Congress after 17 terms, then that would be a positive impact from an ugly embarrassing situation.