Joe Barton, a good ‘ole boy Texas Republican–best known as a “climate change denier” and defender of the incandescent light bulb–has been caught with his pants down, literally, according to a photo going viral online.
Barton, 68, was left red faced after a photo of his penis sent to an unknown, but obviously angry person, popped up (no pun intended, well maybe).
The photo clearly showed Barton’s face, although judging by his ample girth, it’s probably been awhile since he’s seen his own wee Willie.
The case has some parallels to a sexting scandal involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who was forced to resign. He was later convicted in a separate case of sexting with a 15-year-old girl.
Barton issued an apology today (Nov. 22), according to the Texas Tribune newspaper.
“While separated from my second wife, 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.”
But not all of the relationships were consensual.
The person who posted the photos on an anonymous Twitter account, claims she, or he, is being “sexually harassed” by Barton.
The Twitter user also posted a graphic text message. “I want u soo bad. Right now. Deep and hard,” it read.
The poster also claims to have several videos of Barton “masturbating,” according to gossip site TMZ.
Ironically, the Texas Tribune reported that the poster could be guilty of “revenge porn.” In Texas it’s illegal to post photos and other matter intended to embarrass or humiliate someone from a prior marriage or relationship.
Barton has served in the House for 32 years and is running for re-election. He’s one of the founding members of the hard-right “Tea Party.”
As vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committees, he has substantial influence on energy policy. He supports total deregulation of the oil and gas industries and has challenged climate change science.
Barton has also gone to bat for the online poker industry and was named in 2011 as one of the most corrupt members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Barton established the Barton Family Foundation in 2005 to support charities in his district, which includes Arlington, part of Fort Worth, and small towns and rural areas south of Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area.
His daughter-in-law, Amy Barton, is the Foundation’s Executive Director. Major energy corporations, which he oversees in Congress, have major gifts to the foundation.
In its seven-year history, the foundation has only given $90,000 to a Boys and Girls Club.
Barton told the Texas Tribune he is currently deliberating his political future, but has no plans to resign