Most famous for being busted passing out bribe checks from tobacco companies, on the house floor. And now speaker of the house ?
Says a lot about Republicans, our politicians, and our country. So how did he become their leader in the HOUSE? Oh right, being corrupt is just fine for Republicans.
John Andrew Boehner (born November 17, 1949) is an American Republican politician, United States Representative from Ohio. In May 2009, weekly tracking polls indicated that Boehner remained the most unpopular politician in the United States, though it is unclear if this statistic factored in his favorability among elderly conservative women or the staff of Jamaica Me Tan in Cincinnati, Ohio. Boehner spent most of his political career railing against corruption and scandal in Washington, though—ironically—it was a series of Washington scandals that directly resulted in the few professional successes Boehner's had, including his Congressional seat and House Majority leadership. In most countries he would be in prison, but in the U.S. corruption is accepted among our politicians. Undoubtedly eliciting countless giggles in high school Civics classrooms nationwide, the Congressman's surname is correctly pronounced "BAY-ner." Though—fittingly—its phonetic pronunciation is a colloquial term for an erection of the male reproductive organ.
While Boehner has recently become known for insulting reporters haircuts and skipping out on the supposed Republican "revolt" to play golf, Boehner does have several notable policy positions. In 2007, Boehner argued that benchmarks for the Iraq war would ensure failure, a measure supported by the Democrats. In weeks prior, he agreed with President Bush that benchmarks for the Iraq war were "good" and "very important." Many political scientists argue that it's probably not a great sign if one of the leaders of your party can't make up his mind about a central issue of an entire campaign cycle. Boehner does not believe in human contribution to global warming and once remarked: "The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do you've got more carbon dioxide." While many scientists have taken exception to the 15 things that are factually incorrect about that statement, researchers are most surprised at Boehner's inability to just say the word "defecate." Boehner receives campaign donations from what is essentially the set-up to a joke about republican stereotypes: pharmaceutical and cigarette manufacturers, health insurance companies, oil companies, military contractors, and Native Americans. One wonders how that Crying Indian would feel about donating his casino profits to a guy who has defended his environmental position by citing cow shit. That's not to be confused with "chicken shit," a designation, Boehner used in regards to President Barack Obama. Boehner: New Majority Seeks Collaboration with States to Cut Spending, Help Create Jobs”
In 1990, Boehner took advantage of the Republican politician disaster-scandal trifecta that befell Ohio Congressman Buz Lukens who was caught engaging the services of a prostitute. An African-American one. A sixteen-year-old one. For 40 dollars. (Though nearly everyone has denounced Luken, many do admire his frugality.) Helping to lift the people of Ohio and their respected Senate seat being involved with an underage sex scandal, Boehner entered the United States House of Representatives where he would later be involved with a an underage sex scandal. 15 years afterward, Boehner would learn about creepy emails Congressman Mark Foley sent to a young page, but not tell anybody about it until months later. Except then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, which he's "99% sure" he did. Overall, most people remember pretty clearly whether or not they helped cover up for a sleazy old man harassing children, but John Boehner is not most people. In his first year, Boehner and six other congressmen formed the gang of seven. Among the major achievements of the gang of seven are the public exposure of politicians who'd overdrawn their bank accounts and cracking down on the free ride that congressmen were getting at that national travesty: the congressional barbershop. Not so much a "gang" as, say, a coterie, this "gang" was just like the Crips if instead of robbing and murdering people, they solely went around committing municipal code violations. Boehner was one of the chief authors of the Contract with America, a document that many citizens remember existing though no one can actually recall the contents of it. This may be attributable to the Contract's ardent support for a series of initiatives that many Americans agreed with in principal but realistically, couldn't give a shit about.
In 2006, Beohner again displayed his aptitude for taking advantage of other people's criminal indictments when he succeeded Tom Delay as the House then-Majority leader. Electrifying conservatives with his stern pro-business, anti-corruption, small government positions, Boehner would quickly disappoint most of his supporters by approving $9.8 trillion dollars in President Bush's budgets. While most lawmakers are unable to follow through on every promise they make, it is uncommon for a politician to do the complete inverse of every promise they made. Controversies
Connections to lobbyists In June 1995, Boehner distributed campaign contributions from tobacco industry lobbyists on the House floor as House members were weighing how to vote on tobacco subsidies. In a 1996 documentary by PBS called The People and the Power Game, Boehner said "They asked me to give out a half dozen checks quickly before we got to the end of the month and I complied. And I did it on the House floor, which I regret. I should not have done. It's not a violation of the House rules, but it's a practice that‘s gone on here for a long time that we're trying to stop and I know I'll never do it again." Boehner eventually led the effort to change House rules and prohibit campaign contributions from being distributed on the House floor. A September 2010 New York Times story said Boehner was "Tightly Bound to Lobbyists" and "He maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.".
Smithsonian Censorship On November 30, 2010 House Speaker-designate John Boehner, along with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, called for government to censor free speech by dismantling an exhibit in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery after he learned that it contained video by David Wojnarowicz, A Fire in My Belly, that contained an image of a crucifix with ants crawling on it. Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said, “Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake and correct it, or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January when the new majority in the House moves [in].” He later clarified that Boehner wanted the exhibit “cancelled.” Washington Post columnist Blake Gopnik initiated reportage of the story. Benchmarks are "very good"
The Daily Show clip capturing Boehner's expression that benchmarks are "good" just two weeks prior to his stance that benchmarks would "ensure failure" could perhaps be traced back to January 23, 2007, when Boehner said on CNN that he supported benchmarks for Iraqis and a timeline of “60 to 90 days” for the escalation to work. Likewise, Boehner clarified further on Meet the Press, in his response to President Bush's "Iraq plan" that, "We want to offer a resolution that makes it clear that we ought to have a bipartisan panel overseeing this plan, and we outline a series of benchmarks to see how well we’re doing... This plan is heavily dependent on the Iraqis stepping up and taking more responsibility for their own country... And I think that having these benchmarks and being able to follow the progress is very important."  Boehner hands out 'tobacco checks' on floor of House In late June of 1995 then-GOP Conference Chairman John Boehner handed out "about a half-dozen" checks from the political action committee of tobacco company Brown & Williamson Corp. to fellow Republicans on the floor of the House. Boehner's chief of staff Barry Jackson stated, "We were trying to help guys who needed to get their June 30th numbers up, their cash-on-hand numbers up. All leadership does this. We have to raise money for people and help them raise money."
Boehner was forced to stop handing out the checks when two freshmen Republicans, "appalled by it," confronted him and voiced their displeasure. Boehner's reaction was one of tempered apology, "I thought, 'Yeah, I can imagine why somebody would be upset. It sure doesn't look good.' It's not an excuse, but the floor is the only place you get to see your colleagues. It was a matter of convenience. You make a mistake, admit it and go on. I just feel bad about it." (Associated Press, 5/10/96) Boehner: Mine asked me to give out a half dozen checks quickly before we got to the end of the month and I complied. I did it on the House floor which I regret and I should not have done, it's not a violation of the House rules, but it's a practice that's gone on here for a long time.
He's got a real gift for saying absolutely nothing with the careless aplomb of an empty playboy years past his prime. Unfortunately, he's actually a thoroughly corrupt tool of corporate interests who wields great power over millions of people and as the potential speaker of the House his actions are of much greater interest than his shallow rhetoric. Blue America and its partner Americans for America responded to his dull remarks with its latest ad set to start running tomorrow morning. His actions speak much louder than his words: A big tip 'o the hat to Dan Manatt and his creative team at Americans for America for turning that ad around immediately upon hearing Boehner's plodding words this morning. But for the millions of Americans who are suffering because of Republican policies that created their problems and Republican obstructionism that's keeping anyone from solving them, it would be very hard to find inspiration in such drivel.