Latest Hit Piece on Madison Cawthorn Is Laughably Dumb

AP Photo/Chris Seward

There are people who really, really don’t want Rep. Madison Cawthorn to be re-elected to the House. First, leftwing activist groups tried to get him thrown off the ballot, asserting that he fomented an “insurrection.” Then, a series of opposition research dumps focusing on his immature antics have come to haunt the congressman.


One of them involved a staff member putting his hand on Cawthorn’s crotch while they made sexual jokes. Another, which I won’t link to here, showed a naked Cawthorn, supposedly prior to him attaining office, dry humping his cousin while others looked on and laughed.

Now, as weird and ill-advised as that stuff is, there is a level of “guys doing stupid crap” in all of it. More than a fair share of men will likely admit to making homoerotic jokes with friends in their younger years. Still, I can understand if someone looks at those instances and says, “Yeah, I don’t think this person should be in Congress.”

As a personal matter, I’m not big on the Matt Gaetz-Madison Cawthorn “squad” that exists even though I also despise the establishment of the GOP. I feel like they try way too hard to grift off Trump’s appeal while never offering much value. Why can’t we just get more representatives like Chip Roy and Jim Jordan? Yet, the latest hit piece on Cawthorn is enough that I’ll jump in and defend him.

Read the following headline and tell me what you think it’s trying to project.

Now, if you were just a random person pursuing Twitter, you’d think that headline indicates that Cawthorn illegally funneled money to his cousin, including taxpayer funds, right? I don’t think I’m being unfair by saying that’s exactly what that headline is meant to insinuate. Saying Cawthorn “gave” the money to his cousin carries a clear implication. But what’s the real story?


If you actually read the article, which most won’t (as evidenced by the replies), here’s what it says.

U.S. House members are prohibited from hiring immediate family members, such as first cousins. But the requirement doesn’t extend to second cousins. Nonetheless, the payments sharpen the focus on the nature of the relationship between Cawthorn and Smith and raise questions from political observers about the perception of family self-dealing…

…Smith was listed as a congressional office scheduler to Cawthorn and received $32,744 between Jan. 4, 2021, and Aug. 22, 2021, according to quarterly statements of disbursements published by the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House. Smith wasn’t listed under Cawthorn’s office personnel section in the final months of 2021. Instead, he served as an “ADA aide,” a reference to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Between Aug. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021, Smith earned $28,487 from the new position.

Let me boil all those extra words down into a concise statement: Madison Cawthorn legally hired his second cousin to be a staffer and paid him a relatively small amount of money over several years to do the job.

That’s the “scandal” here. It’s astonishing that something like this even made it to print, but worse is that this “news” outlet chose to lead with a headline that made it seem as if Cawthorn had been doing something nefarious.


Meanwhile, if news organizations are looking for actual scandals involving campaign funds being paid to family members, they should start with Ilhan Omar and Maxine Waters. The former has funneled over a million dollars to the “consulting” company of her now-husband (and payments were made while they were having an affair). The latter has paid her daughter over a million dollars with campaign funds.

But the media doesn’t care about those actual scandals. They’d rather wring their hands over Cawthorn paying a staffer because he’s not their type. It’s just stupid. If someone wants Cawthorn out of office, they should do it the right way, not with cheap misinformation smears like this.


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