Former Rep. Madison Cawthorn is now a Florida Man! The scandal-plagued one-term congressman from North Carolina has decided the fever swamps of Donald Trump’s brain are more to his liking than the genteel pastoral byways of his home state, and he’s lammed it to the rapidly reddening undercarriage of our once hale and hearty republic. (We should really get that unsightly rash checked out, shouldn’t we?)
Sadly, he apparently failed to fulfill his duties before leaving to embark on an exciting new career in power-washing the evening’s cheesy fry detritus off Trump’s squalid corpus.
On Friday, Cawthorn confirmed months of speculation that he’d taken his talents to South Beach—erm, Fort Myers—where he can presumably spring break the night away for the remainder of his days.
During last week’s contentious vote for House speaker, which ended in Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to his new cornpone throne, Cawthorn endorsed one of McCarthy’s rivals, Rep. Byron Donalds—of Florida.
“There are many reasons I moved to Florida,” Cawthorn wrote on Instagram. “One of the big contributing factors is that I know Byron Donalds is a leader in this state. That means this state will always be on offense to safeguard our future. Byron for Speaker.”
The only problem(s)? Cawthorn was still a North Carolina congressman when he apparently moved, and he never finished the job we paid him to pretend to do.
Asheville Citizen Times:
[B]efore leaving office and moving out of state Cawthorn failed to pass on important information about constituents seeking help, newly sworn-in Rep. Chuck Edwards said. Members of Congress typically help those living in their districts with issues ranging from difficulty getting Social Security checks to problems with veterans' benefits. When they leave office they pass along unfinished cases so the next representative can continue the assistance. House rules say the deadline to hand over the casework date was Dec. 23, according to a Jan. 9 release from Edwards.
"The office of former Congressman Madison Cawthorn did not transfer official constituent casework, which is standard practice for any legislative transition," the release said."Due to this lack of information, Congressman Edwards and his staff have no way of knowing which constituents had ongoing casework or other outstanding federal issues. Repeated attempts to reach Congressman Cawthorn and his staff were made over the past month, but no response or action was provided."
A Republican member of Congress was more interested in media posturing and performative outrage than doing the job he was elected to do? That can’t be right.
“I ran on the issue of providing the best constituent service possible for the people of Western North Carolina. I ask that anyone with any pending casework contact my office immediately. In addition," Edwards said, "I would like to ensure that our veterans, the elderly, the infirm and others who need help get the full benefit of the services they are entitled to."
Cawthorn lost his bid for reelection in May’s GOP primary. Though he received a coveted endorsement from Trump, he was beset by scandal throughout his campaign. He was accused of sexual harassment, charged with driving with a revoked license, and called out for lying about the colleges he’d been accepted into. He also kept bringing guns to the airport. And there was that whole crypto scheme.
But the final cocaine straw was likely his unwelcome comment about the wild drug orgies Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley were supposedly throwing in the seedy backrooms of their local Applebee’s.
“The sexual perversion that goes on in Washington. I mean, being kind of a young guy in Washington, where the average age is probably 60 or 70—you look at all these people, a lot of them that I’ve looked up to through my life, I’ve always paid attention to politics,” Cawthorn said on the Warrior Poet Society podcast.
“Then all of a sudden you get invited, ‘Oh, hey, we’re going to have a sexual get-together at one of our homes, you should come.’ What did you just ask me to come to? And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy. Or the fact that, you know, some of the people leading on the movement to try and remove addiction in our country, and then you watch them do a key bump of cocaine right in front of you. And it’s like, this is wild.”
Good God! What the hell was Cawthorn thinking? Did he really think he could blow the whistle on Sen. Ron Johnson’s church basement sex-and-lunchmeat ragers and get away with it?
Of course, it’s a bit odd that Cawthorn didn’t just tell people he’d moved to Florida, even if he’d blown town somewhat prematurely. Does he think he still has a future in politics? Because if he can’t win as a frothing firebrand in this political climate, what are his chances going forward?
Though it’s not like he was really trying to hide his great escape.
The Charlotte Observer:
News of his move to Florida began with rumors as Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Some believed Cawthorn lived near Fort Myers and wondered if he was OK.
Cawthorn soon posted on his Instagram account videos of the devastation taken from a helicopter. He continued to post photos and videos from Florida without any confirmation that he moved there and wasn’t just visiting.
But in November, the Asheville Citizen-Times first reported that Cawthorn purchased a $1.16 million house with a boat in Cape Coral, Florida, just outside Fort Myers.
Cawthorn, of course, built his initial wealth via a multimillion-dollar settlement after the car accident that paralyzed him in 2014.
Have a good life, Madison. But before you do, maybe tie up those loose ends. And for future reference, two weeks’ notice is pretty standard when leaving a job.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.