It’s time for House Republicans to demote Aaron Schock

Can someone please explain to me how Aaron Schock is stillsenior deputy whip for House Republicans?

Schock, whose lifestyle as a member of Congress can perhaps best be described as fifty shades of fabulous, was rewarded with the mid-level leadership position after he helped Steve Scalise upset Illinois Congressman Pete Roksam to become the House Majority Whip. Roksam was next in line for the post, having served as the fourth highest-ranking House Republican before then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary challenge and resigned.

So, sure, Schock has some good will built up with his boss in the leadership, but that good will is only going to get him so far. Schock is currently being battered by a steady stream of problematic revelations relating to his personal and public finances — most recently, the Associated Press revealed a host of real estate projects in which Schock appears to have traded political influence for financial gain. And every time a new report comes out highlighting Schock playing fast and loose with spending disclosure rules, and using campaign donors to buy lower and sell higher in the real estate market than he should otherwise be able to, the more toxic he becomes for GOP leadership.

After all, while many members of Congress are independently wealthy, how many of them have seen their net worth double since being elected to federal office? And of those who have, how many of them have done so without improperly wielding political influence?

Schock has raised a ton of money for House Republicans over the last six years, so they will likely stand by him so long as it looks like he can weather this storm. But if I’m John Boehner or Steve Scalise, I have to look at the trouble brewing for Aaron Schock and wonder how long he’s going to last. After all, the congressman is now facing multiple ethics complaints and a primary challenge, to say nothing of the not-so-quiet rumors that Schock’s personal life doesn’t exactly square with his rabidly anti-LGBT voting record.

It must be even more troubling for GOP leadership to see that Aaron “Haters Gonna Hate” Schock has no interest in keeping a low profile amid this drip-drip-drip of damaging reports. His lax disclosures of his taxpayer-funded decadence were in the news cycle for weeks before he canceled his trip to South by Southwest this weekend. His nonchalance in the face of mounting scrutiny over his spending habits have done him no favors with the press — as John noted a few weeks ago, DC is particularly sour on people who flaunt their power too aggressively.

Sooner or later, Aaron Schock is going down. If the current round of spending revelations and ethics complaints don’t get him, something else will. This is a man who clearly believes that either the rules don’t apply to him, or that they won’t ever catch up to him. But after six years of flagrant opulence, he’s put himself on the radar screen of every political journalist who knows that where there’s smoke there’s a flamer fire. With that in mind, the only question left for GOP leadership is how much money he can raise for them before he does some real damage to the party.

It’s a game of chicken that I wouldn’t want to play for very long.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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35 Responses to “It’s time for House Republicans to demote Aaron Schock”

  1. Moderator3 says:

    To whom are you speaking?

  2. Mainlander says:

    I guess even if he goes to prison you’re still going to be jealous. LOL

  3. John B. says:

    He resigned! Must be enough to send him to prison if they keep investigating, otherwise I doubt he’d have voluntarily resigned.

  4. benb says:

    He lied as a Notary and Peoria and the rest of the 74% of his district
    put him back in office. Send all the bills the the 18th and raise their
    property taxes to pay for such an astonishly stupid choice of
    representative. This whole episode is their problem and they should be
    held responsible since they had the information and still chose the
    crook.

  5. Butch1 says:

    The next person should paint it white on purpose. ;-)

  6. Butch1 says:

    We need to find a way to have him removed, period. Perhaps, a “pedophile scandal.” Someone as religiously slimy as he is would be gone in no time.

  7. Butch1 says:

    Someone else is on the same trail as I.

  8. Butch1 says:

    Demote? He just resigned. Although I think there may be more to the story than his money problems and trips. Do you suppose there may be a “skeleton” ready to fall out of his closet? I wonder if that is the real reason he’s resigning. That would seem a much more serious reason than taking a number of trips. He could survive that, but a “sex scandal” and especially one of the same sex kind? I don’t think so. I’m not saying that this is the reason he’s resigning, but what if it is?

  9. Freedonian says:

    As much as I have enjoyed John A.’s skewering of this guy, I thought to check out AMERICAblog when I first heard the news.

  10. Don Chandler says:

    oh you are fast! two hours ahead/

  11. HelenRainier says:

    :-)

  12. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I think we can be certain that it’s someone with a XY chromosome.

  13. HelenRainier says:

    On whom?

  14. Naja pallida says:

    Which tells me that there’s a lot more to this than simply ethics violations. No Republican ever resigns because of a few ethical dilemmas, they don’t even resign after an indictment comes down.

  15. Freedonian says:

    CNN just reported that Schock is resigning effective Mar. 31.

  16. Demosthenes says:

    Rep. Schock is the only GOP representative who is Gay and under 35. That is why he is in the leadership, despite being a crook.

  17. BeccaM says:

    More Schock schadenfreude:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/aaron-schocks-falcon#.lmPa0rM517

    Apparently he’s gone and spent $5k on a podium for giving speeches. A custom job intended to emulate the one President Obama uses.

  18. BeccaM says:

    It’d be best if NASA had the funding to do both…

  19. mirth says:

    And tacky.

  20. mirth says:

    Rather than wasting efforts in calls for demoting insignificant Schock, we should be loudly working to get Cruz out of the chair and off the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness which oversees NASA.

    “In his most recent hearings on the matter, Cruz lambasted the agency’s focus on Earth science and climate change, saying that the “core function of NASA is to explore space.”

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/16/8209409/strange-bedfellows-ted-cruz-nasa-future-environmental-science

  21. Jay Kay says:

    Spit roast him!!!

  22. 2karmanot says:

    Arron Schlock……. who cares! :-)

  23. Naja pallida says:

    When almost all of them are ridiculous in one way or another, it’s hard for them to point fingers at just one guy who happens to be particularly ostentatious about it. Lest it come back and shine light on their own activities.

  24. angryspittle says:

    Heh, heh, heh………..

  25. emjayay says:

    I realize blog posts are written often quickly and disappear into the mists just as fast, and my comment was really picky, given that the error in question appeared to be a real typo, not a grammatical mistake or a their instead of there etc. I recommend printing it out. Somehow that helps me find errors in my own writing or just typing. And it seems like having someone else have a look isn’t asking too much.

  26. 2karmanot says:

    At least once a day.

  27. 2karmanot says:

    lol

  28. nicho says:

    Please direct us to your blog, so we can nitpick your typing.

  29. Jon Green says:

    Thanks for the catch :)

  30. emjayay says:

    I caught a video yesterday where newsguys were trying to ambush him after a speech. He pretty much blew them off of course. The report included as usual talk about, and video, of his “Downton Abbey” style redecoration of his DC office. It is clearly not recreating the red room of Highclere Castle. It is a ridiculous amateur postmodern hash of a take on the room. Frames mounted across moldings with paintings of a different size and a bunch of wall and moldings showing through, unframed paintings, etc.

    It’s completely misconceived and inappropriate for a government office and any successor to his office would have to spend a lot of money to redo it appropriately. It would be tens of thousands of misspent dollars even if it came out of Shock’s pocket.

  31. emjayay says:

    …”so they will likely stand by him to long as it looks like he can weather this storm”

    And the great tradition of not bothering with editing continues.

  32. Riley3967 says:

    “Sooner or later, Aaron Shock is going down.” You can bet on it.

  33. TheAngryFag says:

    The problem is this is premised on the fact that Republicans think rationally. They don’t. Their unholy crusade against Obama, the fact they keep opening their mouths about Rape being a good thing, that they care about the security of the US when their president ignored intelligence reports that could have prevented the worst attack against the US ever as well as threatened to defund the department created specifically in response to that over a temper tantrum on immigration. And now they are holding up human trafficking bills over abortion and we’re going to default on our debts because of their ideological stupidity.

    The only people less rational than Republicans are the morons who keep voting for them who aren’t Koch-level rich.

  34. John Masters says:

    The article seems to assume the Republican leadership would view his behaviors as troublesome. I’d suggest they see them as “business as usual.”

  35. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    A dictionary could use his picture to accompany the definition of hubris.

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