He's been back in Congress for less than a year, but already Rep. Steve Stockman has generated a collection of headlines that many veteran lawmakers would take an entire career to produce - and now he's extended an invitation to a controversial rodeo performer who came under fire for his act in an Obama mask.
First, shortly after the Texan Republican was sworn back into office, he used his single guest pass to bring conservative rocker Ted Nugent, a gun rights defender, to the State of the Union address in February, countering a Democratic offensive for stronger gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting.
An unabashed proponent of the Second Amendment, Stockman has threatened to impeach President Obama if he enacts gun control measures by executive order. For Independence Day, he even held a raffle to give away a free Bushmaster AR-15 rifle.
Since taking office, he has ruffled some feathers in Washington by perpetuating conspiracy theories about President Obama's citizenship, stoking so-called "birthers" who are not convinced that the president's U.S. birth certificate is authentic.
In his latest publicity stunt, Stockman has invited to perform at a rodeo in Texas' 36th District a rodeo clown who created a stir for donning a mask of President Obama while sporting an upside down broomstick attached to his backside at an event in Missouri last Saturday.
"Liberals want to bronco bust dissent. But Texans value speech, even if its speech they don't agree with," Stockman, who also served in the House of Representatives for one term in the mid-1990s after the Gingrich revolution, wrote in a statement announcing his latest act. "Disagreeing with speech is one thing. Banning it and ordering citizens into reeducation classes for mocking a liberal leader is another. Liberals have targeted this man for personal destruction to create a climate of fear."
The rodeo clown has not been publicly identified, although the Associated Press identified him as Tuffy Gessling.
The Missouri State Fair on Monday imposed a lifetime ban to prevent him from ever performing there in the future.
On Monday, the president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association resigned in protest that the association had not banned the rodeo clown from its membership.