Mar 6, 2014
Mugshots are made at taxpayer expense and are therefore public records — a fact that anyone who serves in a high position should know.
Apparently, however, tea bagger Rep. Steve Stockman, who was soundly defeated on Tuesday in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas, does not know this.
He has has threatened to sue anyone who publishes the mugshot from his 1977 drug arrest.
In 1977, a young man who would later serve in Congress was charged with possession of Valium in Madison Heights, Mich.
In 1995, during his first term in the U.S. House from a Houston-area district, Steve Stockman conceded that he’d had many brushes with the law, including one weekend jail stint that nearly cost him two years in prison because a girlfriend had slipped some Valium pills into his underwear to help him pass the time.
On Jan. 31, Stockman — now challenging Sen. John Cornyn in the March 4 primary — filed a libel suit in Houston against a pro-Cornyn group. He accuses the pro-Cornyn group of “falsely and maliciously accusing me of a felony…. Of course, I have never been charged with or committed any such act, and these anonymous Cornyn supporters know it.”
By then, this newspaper had already documented some of the political whoppers Stockman had leveled in the course of the Senate campaign.
It didn’t take much digging to point out the contradictions in Stockman’s sudden denial of a criminal record. He’d given interviews about that to The Dallas Morning News, then the Houston Chronicle and later Texas Monthly, in 1995 and 1996. (The libel claim is examined at greater length here.)
On Tuesday, Texas Tribune dug out the 1977 police report (download it here), further undermining the credibility of any assertion that the felony charge never happened.
The defendant listed shares a name and birthday with Congressman Stockman. In every detail, it confirms the version of events reported by Texas news organizations in 1995 and 1996, and confirmed – and expounded upon at the time – by Stockman himself.