Monday, January 13, 2014

History Lesson: How Steve Stockman beat a 21-term incumbent

From a paper copy of the November 21, 1994 issue of Time Magazine we came across:
Stockman was a pro-gun, pro-school prayer sometime house painter and occasional accountant.  The most effective element of his platform was simply not being 21 term Congressman Jack Brooks who, if he had been re-elected, would have been the most senior member of the House. 
Stockman, 37, didn't earn a college degree until 1990 and worked sporadically while raising money in the conservative Churches of east Texas for a campaign that would spend little more than $100,000.  But his limitations were a virtue because his target was so big -- and so maculate.  Jack Brooks, an ex-Marine who chomped on a cigar in his seat as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee long after the ashtrays were removed, could be a poster child for term limits.  More liberal than his east Texas constituents...he had hung tenaciously to office, power, perks and pork by fiercely protecting his constituents love of guns, rice subsidies, and the death penalty. 
But Brooks' last grab for a slab of bacon proved too much for his sated constituency.  After he managed to get $10 million for the Jack Brooks Criminal Justice Center at Brooks' alma mater Lamar College slipped into the crime bill, voters saw pork for the bad financial bargain it is -- two dollars in federal taxes for every one that might come back to the district in the form of pork.  Stockman, who had been trounced by Brooks in 1992, saw his chance and tried again.  Some Republicans in Texas ignored him as a wild man [Author's Note: History Repeats itself.].  (Stockman unfurled posters that said FIGHT CRIME, SHOOT BACK.)  But he found ardent support among the pro-lifers, term-limit advocates, and gun owners, angry at Brooks' vote for the crime bill.  And the giant fell: Brooks won only 46% of the vote.
We apologize for not including a link to the full article, but we were referring to an old paper copy.

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