Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia McKeon, a candidate for California Assembly with House Speaker Boehner
When your top Congressional staff leave the state for another staff position, it is a definite tell. Buck McKeon who in November won easy re-election in his Santa Clarita and very GOP registered district is 74 years old.
Bob Haueter, former district director to U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, has been hired to fill the same position for Blake Farenthold, a second-term GOP congressman in Texas.
Haueter started work Monday in Corpus Christi.
“(Farenthold) is a nice guy, a great guy, and he offered me an opportunity to do what I know,” Hauter said from his district office on Shoreline Drive, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve both him and the constituents of (Texas’) 27th congressional district.”
The move comes just days after Haueter’s former boss, McKeon, announced he had hired Farenthold’s chief of staff, Alan Tennille, as his chief of staff in Washington.
The rumor in Ventura County politics is that former California State Senator Tony Strickland who recently lost to Democrat Julia Brownley for a Ventura County based Congressional seat will move into McKeon’s district.
But, former California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and recently elected Assemblyman Scott Wilk are both said to be looking at the race.
Remember it is top two in California – so, when McKeon retires it will be a two Republican primary and general election.
Who will be the first to throw their hat in the ring?
Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia McKeon, a candidate for California Assembly with House Speaker Boehner
Dr. Lee Rogers, who is running for Congress in California’s 25th District, filed a complaint and supporting documentation with the Federal Elections Commission today about the use of a Buck McKeon for Congress campaign mailer to benefit his wife and Campaign Treasurer, Patricia McKeon, a State Assembly candidate.
Lee Rogers released the following statement:
“Rep. McKeon violated the law by sending out a campaign mailer warning voters that Paul Strickland – one of Patricia’s opponents in the State Assembly race – is not related to State Senator Tony Strickland. Rep. McKeon is not running against a Strickland and such a clarification is unnecessary for his Congressional campaign. The purpose of this communication was to help Patricia’s Assembly race since Paul Strickland is the fortunate recipient of some name-misidentification. It is improper and the complaint we filed this morning brings that to light.
“Congressman McKeon can’t use funds raised for his federal campaign for communications to benefit his wife’s Assembly run specifically because she is an agent of his campaign committee and the expenditure would not be “independent” as required by campaign finance law.
“Because Patricia McKeon serves as her husband’s Campaign Treasurer, she can’t receive any beneficial communication for her State Assembly race from Buck McKeon for Congress. The two roles have to be completely separate.
“Buck and Patricia McKeon need to play by the same rules as everyone else.”
Dr. Roger’s has a good point, but ethics has never stepped in the way of a McKeon campaign.
The ethics of the entire Team McKeon WILL be an issue going into the November general elections, particularly if Patricia McKeon wins a spot in the top two next Tuesday.
Rep. Buck McKeon is featured in a Los Angeles KCAL 9 video.
With less than a week to go in the California primary, a powerful Southern California congressman finds himself facing his toughest test in more than a decade.
Political reporter Dave Bryan said Republican Howard “Buck” McKeon has spent much of his campaign deflecting charges, not just from the Democrats, but from his fellow Republicans as well.
The election should be a cakewalk, but by all accounts it might be close.
Says Bryan, charges of nepotism, sweetheart deals, and a nasty war of words with his former district director have made the once-solid-red 25th district anyone’s game.
The 25th district stretches from Simi Valley to Mammoth Mountain. It includes parts of Lancaster, Thousand Oaks, Santa Clarita and Palmdale.
After two decades on Capitol Hill, Santa Clarita’s first Mayor, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon is an institution in California’s 25th congressional district. Now he’s risen to become chair of the House Armed Services Committee, one of the most powerful positions in Washington.
McKeon is so well known and liked in this district, he hasn’t had a tough race for Congress since his very first in 1992.
“Some I have had very little competition,” McKeon says, “this one there’s a lot more competition.
In fact this year’s election may be a referendum on McKeon himself. He’s been hounded by reports that he took a sweetheart deal on a mortgate refi in 1998 from Countrywide Financial. He flatly denies the charges, and says he’s not being investigated by the House Ethics committee.
Podiatrist and surgeon Lee Rogers, a Democrat who’s running against McKeon, has a different take on the Countrywide deal..
“People look at that and they say there’s two sets of rules. There’s the rules that they’re operating by and there’s the rules that the rest of us operate by.”
Is McKeon worried his opponent’s damaging words are landing? “We’ll find out next week,” he says, “I don’t believe most people believe what’s being said.”
McKeon’s wife Patricia, who, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — a campaign watchdog group — made hundreds of thousands of dollars as her husband’s campaign treasurer over the years, is also running for office this year..
“She’s running for the State Assembly and she’s a hard worker,” says McKeon.
McKeon’s former district director Scott Wilk, doesn’t go along with that and he is her opponent.
They’re calling it the “Family Feud.”
Watch the video report here.
The sorry fact is that Rep. Buck McKeon will win a top two spot in the November general election just on pure political power. Buck has the campaign cash and the organization that far surpasses any of his opponents. Plus, the CA-25 Congressional District is solidly Republican in registration.
It is not so certain that she will be able to win a top two spot in AD-38.
And, if Patricia falls, will the GOP split be so great as to imperil Buck’s campaign in the general election?
Rep. Buck McKeon and his wife, Patricia, a candidate for California Assembly with House Speaker BoehnerYou remember the Flap, the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to his wife and the report that was issued previously.
Now, Rep, Buck McKeon has gone on the record defending the practice of paying his wife, Patricia, for working on his campaign.
McKeon, a Santa Clarita Republican who is the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, defended the decision to hire his wife.
“My wife, Patricia, has been an essential component of my campaign,” he said in a statement. “She had daily roles as my treasurer and district fundraiser, as she worked an incredible amount of time preparing FEC reports, putting on district fundraisers, and managing my full-time campaign office throughout the years. Her duties have been in total compliance with the rules of both the House Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission.”
Patricia McKeon is a Republican candidate for California’s 38th Assembly District, which includes Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and a portion of the San Fernando Valley.
Well, I say B.S. and there is more than an appearance of Buck taking money from the special interests in the defense industry (He is Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee) and lining his own pocket.
Is there any wonder why many consider politicians crooks?
There is no exception here.
If you recall a few weeks ago, Democrat Dr. Lee Rogers purchased a lunch with his Congressional race opponent incumbent Republican Rep. Buck McKeon.
Congressional Candidate Dr. Lee Rogers won an auction for lunch with Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon at the College of the Canyons Silver Spur Celebration Saturday night. The auction took place in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Rogers paid $300 to the College for the lunch donated by McKeon.
“The money goes to the College Foundation, which is a good cause,” said Rogers. “I would like to sit with the Congressman and have a cordial discussion about the challenges that face the communities in the 25th district and the United States.”
The donation offers lunch in Santa Clarita or Washington, DC for the winner and up to three guests. Rogers intends on inviting three members of the local press to observe the lunchtime conversation. Invitations will be extended to The Antelope Valley Press, The Signal, and The Simi Valley Acorn. “There are many serious problems facing the district and it will be good to compare and contrast our views on policy,” Rogers said.
Rogers will reach out to Congressman McKeon this week to set up a date for the “lunch summit.”
I guess there was a problem in scheduling or whatever.
But, never fear another opponent of Rep. Buck McKeon, Republican Dante Acosta has agreed to stand in and take Buck’s place.
From the press release:
Congressional Candidate Dante Acosta has offered to lunch with Democrat Candidate Lee Rogers after Congressman McKeon’s unresponsiveness.
Dr. Rogers won an auction for lunch donated by Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon at a charity fundraiser to support College of the Canyons, an important local educational institution.
After reading web postings that Dr. Rogers was unable to schedule a date after numerous attempts, Mr. Acosta reached out to Dr. Rogers.
“I know from firsthand experience the difficulty in obtaining a meeting with Congressman McKeon and the how frustrating it can be dealing with his office, so I decided to offer to have lunch with Dr. Rogers myself and he has agreed,” Acosta said. “I also told Dr. Rogers to invite any members of the media he wishes, I’m not afraid to speak in front of the press.”
“It is so important for a representative to be willing to listen to and engage with the community. It is part of their job to work with ALL members of the community, Democrat or Republican to get things done. I have very strong principles and will no doubt have differences with Dr. Rogers but if you are not willing to listen and discuss issues how will you know what you do agree on? I look forward to being able to discuss the important local issues like stopping the Cemex mega-mine and bringing more jobs to the district as well as federal issues such as the war in Afghanistan and the national debt.” Mr. Acosta added.
Mr. Acosta and Dr. Rogers agreed to hold their “Lunch Summit” on March 27th in Santa Clarita and will invite the press to dine with them.
You would think that Rep Buck McKeon who delivered a speech this morning at the Reagan Presidential Library would have agreed to his luncheon obligation today.
I mean, after all, it is for charity.
Photo Credit: SCVNews.comFrom the press release:
Gold Star Father, financial advisor, and pro-military advocate Dante Acosta has officially filed as a candidate for California’s 25th Congressional District. The 25th Congressional District covers Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, the Antelope Valley, and Porter Ranch. Mr. Acosta is an active member in his community. Since the death of his son, U.S. Army SPC Rudy Acosta, one year ago Mr. Acosta has been an outspoken advocate for our military’s force protection protocols.
“We are facing unprecedented economic challenges and global pressures that threaten our security and way of life,” Acosta says. “However, I strongly believe the American dream is still alive.”
As a strong conservative and principled leader, Mr. Acosta believes in a common sense government. “I believe in a strong military, helping small businesses create more jobs, and ensuring a bright economic future. As a leader my moral compass dictates the highest ethical behavior and standards for this office.”
“I am running because I want to see the 25th to be adequately represented. Having to deal, first hand, with the lack of leadership in this district has motivated me to pick up the torch and run this race. I want to be sure the great people of this district have a strong representative who listens to, communicates with, and cares about them.”
Dante Acosta is a long time resident of the Santa Clarita Valley. He is a senior financial advisor, a Gold Star father, and advocate for our military. He currently lives in Canyon Country with his wife of 26 years, Carolyn, and his two children.
Filing deadline closes in an hour and let’s see if anyone else files.
I suppose Rep Buck McKeon will discuss his Afghanistan Surge proposal at this speech.
With some calling for a rush to the exits in Afghanistan after two weeks of heightened violence, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is looking to add troops into the mix. The bill, should it gain traction, could force the U.S. to change its current drawdown plans.
California’s Rep. Buck McKeon introduced a new bill that calls for U.S. military to guard U.S. entities, replacing the thousands of private security guards and Afghan nationals that are currently being used.
In calling for the bill, McKeon notes increasing incidents of Afghan military attacking U.S. and NATO troops. Afghan soldiers and government workers have murdered six American troops since the news that U.S. troops accidentally burned some Qurans and religious material. In the last five years Afghan forces have attacked NATO troops nearly 200 times, killing at least 70 coalition troops and wounding more than 100. An Army report declassified last year found that American troops think Afghan forces are dangerous and unstable. And many Afghan soldiers and police “demonstrated a general loathing of US soldiers.”
The bill does not specify the number of troops needed but a congressional aide told Security Clearance that the expectation would be that it would not need to be a one-for-one swap of U.S. troops for Afghanistan and private security guards because “American forces would be far more capable and efficient.”
The legislation does allow that if the President does not want to add troops, he would have to certify that using Afghan nationals and private security contractors would provide a level of security equal to what would be provided by U.S. troops.
The President will never allow Congressman McKeon to dictate to him on the Afghanistan issue. Nor, would Democrat Senate majority leader ever allow this bill come up for a vote in the U.S. Senate, even if it passed the House.
So, what is the real reason for this bill?
I will have a post up later on this military father, Dante ACosta, who will be running against Buck McKeon in the June primary election.
There is another expose out today linking Santa Clarita Valley Republican Congressman Buck McKeon, his wife Patricia McKeon who is a candidate for the California Assembly and the defense industry.
In past years, it has not been surprising that the chairmen of the House of Representatives of the Armed Services Committee have taken many large campaign contributions from defense contractors. It has happened through many sessions of Congress and included both Republican and Democratic chairmen. So, an article on the current chairman of the Armed Services Committee taking campaign contributions from defense contractors would seem to be an obvious and redundant read.
However, Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-California) has taken self-dealing to new heights and is having those same contractors contribute to his wife’s campaign for the California legislature. The explanations from his wife’s campaign flack and the contractors would be funny if it weren’t so brazen.
Read it all.
Looks to me that my Congressman Elton Gallegly should have run against Buck McKeon to at least clear the GOP Field and preserve this seat for the GOP.
I am wondering what candidates will come out of the woodwork by the end of filing tomorrow at 5 PM. I suspect there will be a few to challenge the House Armed Services Chairman McKeon who seems to have an extreme ethics problem.
I don’t think his wife’s candidacy for the California Assembly will help him much. I am covering that race at Flap’s California Blog.
Enter Patricia McKeon, Buck’s wife. She has been his campaign treasurer for years and is one of the highest-paid Congressional wives. She is 70 years old and touts her role as a mother of six and a grandmother of 31. She proudly lists her background as head of the PTA and involvement in the Boy Scouts. She now has declared her candidacy for the 38th District of the California Assembly. She said that she was inspired to run after being outraged that Los Angeles plans to tax a 10-cent charge on plastic grocery bags.
Well it turns out that many of our major defense contractors are also outraged over this tax on plastic bags and/or other regulations that might be rattling around the California State Assembly. These major companies have given this first-time candidate around 45 percent of her campaign money so far.
Last Friday at the California Republican Party’s spring convention in Burlingame, CA, Republic Report caught up with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has been leading the investigation into the massive Countrywide bribery scandal.
A leak to the media that identified three Republicans who are being investigated by the House Ethics Committee has lawmakers and staffers wondering who the source is, and his or her motive.
There are many theories on who, over a four-day period, forked over the names of GOP Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas), Buck McKeon (Calif.) and Elton Gallegly (Calif.) to media outlets in reference to an ongoing investigation into VIP loans given to lawmakers by Countrywide.
The leaks stunned the three legislators, who have all denied accepting special rates on the loans in exchange for political favors.
Some are pointing the finger at House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for releasing the publicly sensitive information, though his office is pushing back at that notion.
Four years after Countrywide Financial became a symbol of the mortgage meltdown, the company and its questionable dealings have become a potent political issue in the Santa Clarita congressional district held by Republican Howard “Buck” McKeon.
Congressional investigators allege that McKeon and Rep. Elton Gallegly, a Republican colleague whose neighboring district includes much of Ventura County, got cut-rate home loans under a Countrywide VIP program known as “Friends of Angelo,” named for the now-defunct Calabasas lender’s former chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.
McKeon received a $315,000 mortgage refinance in 1998 as his family-owned business, Howard & Phil’s Western Wear, was going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents reviewed by The Times. McKeon was no longer involved in the daily operation of the business after his 1992 election to Congress, but he had retained a stake in it. He saw his income plummet in the years before refinancing his Stevenson Ranch home, financial disclosures and bankruptcy filings show.
In spite of that, McKeon received a favorable rate and wasn’t required to produce documentation proving he could repay the mortgage — terms ordered by Mozilo himself, according to documents subpoenaed for a House inquiry.
The McKeons bought the Stevenson Ranch property, a foreclosed home, in August 1997 for $261,000, putting down 10% and getting a loan of $234,900, property records show. In January 1998, they took out a home equity loan of $31,500 through Valencia National Bank, where McKeon had previously sat on the board.
That October, Countrywide approved the $315,000 refinance loan. The loan paid off McKeon’s original mortgage loan and the home equity loan and gave him $46,894 in cash.
Five months later, the couple took out another home equity loan through Valencia, in the amount of $30,000.
Clearly, there was an attempt by Countrywide Financial to influence Rep Buck McKeon and the others. But, why is Rep. Issa refusing to call it a bribe?
Why, because, silly, they are Republicans and they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
As I pointed out yesterday, this involvement of Rep Buck McKeon and his California Assembly candidate wife, Patricia McKeon in the Friends of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide Financial scandal will be used in both McKeon’s upcoming campaigns.