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Why Texas just became 2014's biggest sideshow
Welcome to the strange world of Rep. Steve Stockman
 
Rep. Steve Stockman, better known as the guy who brought Ted Nugent to the State of the Union. 
Rep. Steve Stockman, better known as the guy who brought Ted Nugent to the State of the Union.  (Nyc Labretš/Demotix/Corbis)

Move over, Todd Akin: Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas is 2014's version of the Republican most likely to say something crazy on the campaign trail.

Stockman this week announced his candidacy in the Republican primary against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn. Cornyn is not all that vulnerable to a challenge from the right — he's a solidly conservative senator and has the war chest to back it up. Add Stockman's track record of making outlandish comments, and you've got every opposition researcher's dream and very little chance of a Tea Party upset.

But based on those comments, the race should be entertaining, to say the least. Here are eight things you should know about the colorful freshman congressman:

1. He compared Obama to Saddam Hussein
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, President Obama indicated that he would use executive actions to implement gun control reforms. Stockman, in turn, threatened to start impeachment proceedings against the president. The day before Obama was set to announce the reforms, Stockman compared the president's decision to invite children to the press conference to Saddam Hussein's "use" of children: "He's even using children, it reminds me of Saddam Hussein when he used kids to —" Stockman said in an interview on Fox News, before getting cut off by a skeptical Greta Van Susteren.

2. He's an ace at trolling liberals
Stockman has often used his Twitter account to troll environmentalists with his thoughts on oil and gas production. "The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out," he said in one tweet. "There is reportedly $1 trillion in oil off the coast of California. But liberal hatred of science and human progress keeps them bankrupt," he wrote in another. And one more: "Funny thing about liberals hating oil and gas — they're expressing it on computers made from petrochemicals. Why do liberals hate science?"

3. He's a birther
Long after the president released his long-form birth certificate, quieting some of the more reasonably-minded conspiracy theorists out there, Stockman didn't let up. He said the birth certificate was possibly "fraudulent," and introduced legislation to investigate its authenticity. Stockman is such a devoted birther, in fact, that he announced his candidacy for Senate on the web's birther mainstay WorldNetDaily.

4. He invited Ted Nugent to the State of the Union
Stockman was also the man who invited Ted Nugent to the State of the Union last February. "He's a very articulate spokesman," Stockman said of Nugent. "I'm excited to have him. I think he gives a balance to what's being said tonight at the White House." Among the many pearls of wisdom Nugent has shared: "Obama, he's a piece of sh*t. I told him to suck on my machine gun."

5. He's a Waco conspiracy theorist
Here's one from the archives: Back in 1995, Stockman accused the Clinton administration of orchestrating the infamous federal raid on a compound in Waco, Texas, as a way to help pass an assault weapons ban. "Waco was supposed to be a way for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Clinton administration to prove the need for a ban on so-called assault weapons," he wrote at the time.

6. He really, really likes guns, and really, really hates abortion
Stockman also has a storied history when it comes to gun control and children. First, he introduced a bill to repeal federal laws that require "gun free zones" around schools. Then he pushed legislation that would defund schools that punished children for playing with imaginary guns, a trend that Stockman said is teaching kids to "be afraid of inanimate objects that are shaped like guns." And, most memorably, there was that time he tweeted: "If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted."

7. He doesn't get LGBT people
On the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, Stockman mocked the legislation's additional protections for LGBT people: "This is a truly bad bill. This is helping the liberals, this is horrible. Unbelievable. What really bothers — it's called a women's act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that — how is that a woman?"

8. He keeps Valium in his pants
And then there are his various legal and ethical problems. First, as the Houston Chronicle reported, Stockman has some financial disclosure issues. "Both as a candidate and as a congressman, Rep. Steve Stockman of Clear Lake has failed to make federally required disclosures about business affiliations that stretch from Texas to the British Virgin Islands, and has provided no details about the business he claims as his sole source of income," according to the Chronicle. Prior to that, years before he took office, Stockman "was charged with a felony after one such incident when authorities found Valium in his pants; he said a girlfriend put the pills there, and the charge was later reduced," as the Washington Post reported.

 
Jillian Rayfield is a freelance writer in New York. In the past, she has written for Salon, MSNBC, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine's Daily Intel, and Talking Points Memo.

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