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Matt Baume's 'Downton Abbey' Inspired Dissection of Aaron Schock's Resignation and Anti-LGBT Politics: WATCH

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Having recovered from St. Patrick's Day, Marriage News Watch's Matt Baume is back again this week to take a look at Rep. Aaron Schock's resignation and why, gay or straight, the Illinois politician is part of a larger problem of anti-LGBT lawmakers perpetuating the "closet" and profiting from discriminatory policies.

There's also a spot-on recreation of Downton Abbey's "Masterpiece Classic" opener featuring some choice Schock Instagram photos that even the Dowager Countess herself would approve of.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Aaron Schock's Dad Says His Son 'Wears Stylish Clothing And Yet He's Not Gay' - VIDEO

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After Aaron Schock's announcement yesterday that he would resign from Congress following persistent investigations into his finances and potential abuse of power, Schock's father is speaking out about his son's decision to step down.

In an interview with ABC News affiliate WLS, Dr. Schock commented that he believes the press was "out to get him" and that Schock was targeted for a take-down because he is "a little different." Said Dr. Schock, "Aaron wears stylish clothing and yet he's not gay..and he's not married and he's not running around with women. Everyone's throwing up their arms because they can't figure out Aaron. So he must be crooked."

In the interview Dr. Schock also commented on his son's future prospects, saying,

"Two years from now he'll be successful, if he's not in jail...If they're going to convict him on paperwork, then they're going to convict him. That's their privilege...They're out to get him and they're making issues out of things that really shouldn't be issues." 

Watch the interview (which turns to Aaron being "a little bit different" at the 5:20 mark), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rachel Maddow Looks At The Rise and Fall of Republican Boy Wonder Aaron Schock: VIDEO

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Last night Rachel Maddow reported on the big story out of Washington yesterday that Congressman Aaron Schock would resign after questions continued to arise about whether he had abused the powers of his office for personal and financial gain.

Known for doffing his shirt and showing off his abs more than anything else, Schock found himself in hot water after The Washington Post reported that the decorating of his congressional office was inspired by British costume drama Downton Abbey. While amusing enough on its own, it was that revelation that unleashed a tidal wave of questions about Schock's actions while in Congress that could not be easily answered, questions about whether he had used taxpayer and campaign dollars in inappropriate ways. As Maddow said, "What started as one off hand comment about the decorating of his office in this ostentatious way turned into a full blown mess for Aaron Schock; boy wonder's cape was unraveling really fast."

And it turns out, Schock's latest misbehavior has a past precedent. Which got Maddow to wonder, "Why is Congressman Schock leaving for real?" Was there some other shoe about to drop? 

Watch the report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rep. Aaron Schock Resigns

Republican Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois has resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives following a series of scandals that raised serious questions about Schock's alleged mis-use use of campaign and government funds. 

From Politico:

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c744e751970b-800wi“Today, I am announcing my resignation as a Member of the United States House of Representatives effective March 31,” Schock said in a statement. “I do this with a heavy heart. Serving the people of the 18th District is the highest and greatest honor I have had in my life. I thank them for their faith in electing me and letting me represent their interests in Washington. I have given them my all over the last six years. I have traveled to all corners of the District to meet with the people I’ve been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbors.”

“But the constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself. I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve,” he said in a statement.

Schock made the decision to resign after investigators from the Office of Congressional Ethics began contacting Schock's associates in closed-door sessions.

Schock has come under fire for a host of questionable activities including accepting free interior design services to model his congressional offices after interiors from PBS' Downton Abbey (accepting services as a gift is a violation of House rules), not disclosing a male companion on an official trip to India, and mishandling of taxpayer and campaign contributor funds. Politico reports: 

B88OAgkIUAE9wthDuring the past month, Schock repaid the government $40,000 after spending money from his official office budget to redecorate his office in the theme of PBS’s “Downton Abbey,” an English historical drama. He also reimbursed taxpayers more than $1,200 after using his office account to pay to fly on a private plane to a Chicago Bears football game.

Separately, on a campaign finance document, Schock labeled the cost of a November flight on a private plane as a software purchase. He has failed to report trips abroad, as required. And he held a fundraiser at a golf course without reporting paying for its use.

In an interview with POLITICO last week in Peoria, Schock could not say with certainty that he had not broken the law.

“I certainly hope not,” Schock said.

Meanwhile, Twitter has been awash with reactions to news of the Congressman's announcement. 


Rep. Aaron Schock Under Fire for Not Disclosing Companion on Official Trip to India

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) has come under scrutiny again for bringing Jonathon Link, a photographer and videographer, on an official trip to India paid for by The Global Poverty Project, a private advocacy organization, the National Journal reports.

LinkUnder House rules, according to the NJ, a member of Congress can "accept private money for a companion's travel expenses only if the companion is a staffer, spouse or child. Link was none of those; he didn't appear on Schock's official or campaign payroll until September 2014."

The NJ adds:

The organization offered to pay for the costs of one staffer to accompany Schock as long as the staffer flew economy class, according to the spokesman. Another aide was originally going to come, but the organization noted they were looking for a photographer, and Schock suggested Link, with whom he has worked in the past, the spokesman said. The photos Link took were made available to both Schock and the Global Poverty Project.

Schock never disclosed that Link went on the trip, which is required by law.

The Blue Nation Review reported on Link and the India trip last week.

It also reported on unusual fees paid late in 2014, some of which went to Schock's 'personal photographer':

After voting to freeze salaries for federal workers all the way through 2015 and opposing any minimum wage increases, Congressman Aaron Schock quietly gave huge pay raises and/or bonuses to most of the staff members in his taxpayer-funded office during the last three months of 2014, according to Congressional expenditure reports examined by Blue Nation Review....

...Jonathon Link, Schock’s full time personal photographer, started September 1 and was paid $4,166 for that month, which translates to an annual salary of about $50,000. In the final three months of the year, he was paid $17,500, which translates to an annual salary of about $70,000. In addition to his congressional salary, Link’s photography studio was paid more than $29,000 during the final three months of the year for “Web Dev Hst, Email and Rltd Serv.” Schock’s office also paid “Web Dev Hst, Email and Rltd Serv” through Fireside21—a company that charges just a few hundred dollars per month and actually specializes in web development, hosting, email, and related services for Congressional offices. Was Link double-dipping?

Schock on Wednesday shook off a CNN reporter asking him to explain his "lavish lifestyle."

Watch the video HERE.

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Aaron Schock Shakes Off CNN Reporter Asking Him to Explain His 'Lavish Lifestyle' - VIDEO

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Aaron Schock is having a very bad 2015.

The Illinois Repubilcan's Downton Abbey-inspired office (which set in motion a series of inquiries about his mishandling of funds) has been the focal point of the media's scrutiny over the past month, but it was his "haters are gonna hate" response to all the digging that really caught the public's (and Jon Stewart's) attention. 

Schock has since lawyered up against all the media haters and, if his interaction with CNN's Drew Griffin on Wednesday is any indication, won't be commenting any further on his "lavish lifestyle."

Watch Schock shake it off, AFTER THE JUMP...

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