Aide: Rep. Farenthold ‘Drank to Excess,’ Prompted ‘Redhead Patrol’

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) allowed a culture of sexism to flourish in his office, a former press secretary told The New York Times. The former press secretary, who is one of three former staffers to file complaints alleging sexual misconduct in Farenthold’s office, told the Times the congressman often became violently angry in his office and bullied staffers. Farenthold “regularly drank to excess” and flirted with women, particularly redheads, prompting staffers to lead “redhead patrols” to keep the congressman out of trouble, the former press secretary alleged. The former press secretary also said Farenthold’s employees frequently discussed reporters’ breasts in the office. Through a spokesperson, Farenthold denied the allegations. Farenthold, who until 2014 owned the domain name blow-me.org, was sued that year after a former communications director accused him of sexual harassment. Farenthold settled with the woman for $84,000.