Posts Tagged ‘Joaquin Castro’

Abbot Makes Reelection Bid Official

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

This will be no surprise to anyone who’s been getting his fundraising solicitation emails over the last few months, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott has officially declared he’s running for reelection in 2018.

Abbott’s grip on the Governor’s office is, if anything, even firmer than Rick Perry’s was. If he hasn’t backed conservatives as fully as they would like on some issues (such as the tranny bathrooms bill), he did oversee a scandal-free administration, a generally booming economy (oil downturns notwithstanding), saw campus carry and anti-sanctuary city bills signed into law, and has an ambitious conservative agenda in the forthcoming special session.

Abbott entered the year with $34.4 million on hand for his reelection efforts, and I’m sure that pile will be substantially larger when semiannual reports (for which the latest reporting period ends today) are announced.

So far Gov. Abbott has no declared primary or general election opponents, as the Castro brothers, not being complete idiots, declined to run. (Julian Castro even scored four points behind Wendy Davis in that mostly-bogus PPP poll.) Abbott’s two biggest potential Republican rivals, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Land Commissioner George P. Bush, have already announced their respective reelection bids.

Baring some radical, unforeseen circumstance, Greg Abbott should easily be reelected Governor of Texas on November 6, 2018.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Just As Good at Cybersecurity as at Running the DNC

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has long been the gift that keeps giving for Republicans. Her tenure at the top of the DNC saw dramatic declines Democratic Party officeholder at a time when Obama was still (theoretically) personally popular. Now her incompetence may be endangering not just the Democratic Party, but American security.

Remember earlier this year when three Pakistani brothers (Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan) who managed office IT for Democratic members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computer networks without permission?

Refresher:

Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

“As of 2/2, his employment with our office has been terminated,” Castro spokeswoman Erin Hatch told TheDCNF Friday.

Jamal also worked for Louisiana Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is on the Committee on Homeland Security.

Imran worked for Reps. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat, and Jackie Speier, a California Democrat. Carson and Speier are members of the intelligence committee. Spokesmen for Carson and Speier did not respond to TheDCNF’s requests for comments. Imran also worked for the House office of Wasserman-Schultz.

Then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, employed Abid for IT work in 2016. She was a member of House committees dealing with the armed services, oversight, and Benghazi. Duckworth was elected to the Senate in November, 2016. Abid has a prior criminal record and a bankruptcy.

Abid also worked for Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat who is member of the foreign affairs committee.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

In addition to the brothers Awam, two more staffers, Hina Alvi (Imran Awan’s wife, who worked for Rep. Gregory Meeks (Democrat, New York) and Rao Abbas, were also fired. “The five current and former House staffers are accused of stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge and committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.”

(Though reports often list five members, Natalia Sova, another Awan wife, also worked as a staffer.)

So when they were accused of stealing and improperly accessing information, they were fired, right? No. Because they were Muslims:

Meeks said he was hesitant to believe the accusations against Alvi, Imran Awan and the three other staffers, saying their background as Muslim Americans, some with ties to Pakistan, could make them easy targets for false charges.

“I wanted to be sure individuals are not being singled out because of their nationalities or their religion. We want to make sure everybody is entitled to due process,” Meeks said.

“They had provided great service for me. And there were certain times in which they had permission by me, if it was Hina or someone else, to access some of my data.”

[Rep. Marcia] Fudge [Democrat, Ohio] told Politico on Tuesday she would employ Imran Awan until he received “due process.”

“He needs to have a hearing. Due process is very simple. You don’t fire someone until you talk to them,” Fudge said.

On Wednesday, Lauren Williams, a spokeswoman for Fudge, wouldn’t provide details about Imran Awan’s firing but did confirm he was still employed in Fudge’s office as of Tuesday afternoon.

The bottom line is simple – these House Democrats decided it was better to be at risk of hacking and extortion than to be accused of racism.

Then it came to light that “House IT Aides Fear Suspects In Hill Breach Are Blackmailing Members With Their Own Data.” Turns out that the Awan brothers were incompetent at their jobs, but House Democrats refused to fire them or consider cheaper employees.

Also this: “Court records show the brothers ran a side business that owed $100,000 to an Iranian fugitive who has been tied to Hezbollah, and their stepmother says they often send money to Pakistan.”

More on that lovely individual the Awan brothers do business with:

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has reported that while working for Congress, the Pakistani brothers controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances, which took–and was unable to repay–a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote that Attar “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon conversing with a Hezbollah official” in 2012–shortly after the loan was made. Attar has also been accused of helping provoke the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a leader of Iraqi dissidents opposed to Saddam Hussein.

After moving to the U.S., Attar made his money practicing medicine in Maryland and Virginia and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies by billing for non-existent medical procedures. The FBI raided his offices in 2009 and the Department of Health and Human Services sued his business partner in 2011.

Attar was indicted in March 2012 on separate tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI found he used multiple bank accounts to hide income. He fled back to Iraq to avoid prison.

“He’s a fugitive. I am not aware of any extradition treaty with Iraq,”

Then the story of the Awan brothers’ security breech took yet another strange turn:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

“We can’t return the equipment,” Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa told the Florida Democrat.

“I think you’re violating the rules when you conduct your business that way and you should expect that there will be consequences,” Wasserman Schultz said.

As one of eight members of the Committee on Appropriations’ Legislative Branch subcommittee, Wasserman Schultz is in charge of the budget of the police force that is investigating her staffer and how he managed to extract so much money and information from members.

In a highly unusual exchange, the Florida lawmaker uses a hearing on the Capitol Police’s annual budget to spend three minutes repeatedly trying to extract a promise from the chief that he will return a piece of evidence being used to build an active case.

“If a Member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no?” she said.

Police tell her it is important to “an ongoing investigation,” but presses for its return anyway.

The investigation is examining members’ data leaving the network and how Awan managed to get Members to place three relatives and a friend into largely no-show positions on their payrolls, billing $4 million since 2010.

The congresswoman characterizes the evidence as “belonging” to her and argues that therefore it cannot be seized unless Capitol Police tell her that she personally, as opposed to her staffer, is a target of the investigation.

When TheDCNF asked Wasserman Schultz Monday if it could inquire about her strong desire for the laptop, she said “No, you may not.” After TheDCNF asked why she wouldn’t want the Capitol Police to have any evidence they may need to find and punish any hackers of government information, she abruptly turned around in the middle of a stairwell and retreated back to the office from which she had come.

Very curious indeed.

It seems that Wasserman Schultz (and very possibly other Democratic congressmen) would prefer to see American intelligence compromised rather than have embarrassing personal information revealed. One wonders if the dismissed staffers were conveying information to overseas jihadis, or if they had incriminating information on any of the DNC, Obama or Hillary Clinton scandals so much in the news.

Stay tuned…

LinkSwarm for May 5, 2017

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo, the holiday that celebrates the French army getting their asses kicked by Mexicans!

A bunch of big news that everyone and their dog has been covering at the top of the LinkSwarm:

  • Big News 1: Despite having the House, Senate and White House, House Republicans spinelessly cave on budget negotiations. “It is noteworthy for what it does not include: namely, most of Donald Trump’s and Republicans’ recent campaign promises. The bill does not defund Planned Parenthood. It does not include any of the president’s deep cuts to domestic agencies. Public broadcasting is funded at current levels. The National Endowment for the Arts’ budget is increased. There’s even funding for California’s high-speed rail.”
  • Big News 2: House Republicans also passed an ObamaCare replacement bill.
  • Consensus is that it sucks less than both ObamaCare and the March versions of the bill, but still sucks plenty. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Chip Roy had this to say in a press release:

    “Today, conservative leaders in the House brought the American people a glimmer of hope that states might save American healthcare from the clutches of a federally controlled and regulated system under Obamacare,” said Roy. “This improved version of the American Health Care Act grants governors the ability to seek waivers from the onerous Obamacare regulations that unfortunately remain in place as the default rule even under this bill. This means governors would have both the opportunity and the burden of leading to free their states from these default regulations.”

    “Further reform remains necessary, however, as the bill retains far too much of Obamacare’s flawed Medicaid expansion, replaces one form of subsidy with an even more expansive one in the form of a refundable tax credit, creates a $138 billion slush fund for insurers, and leaves almost all of Obamacare’s cost-driving regulations and mandates as the federal standard,” Roy continued. “As the bill heads to the Senate, we hope it will be improved, at least by allowing states to opt in to Obamacare rather than forcing states to temporarily, partially opt out.”

  • By one account, the ObamaCare replacement amounts to a $1 trillion tax cut. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • French runoff Presidential elections happen Sunday. The overwhelming favorite Emmanuel Macron is being pummeled by leaked documents (sound familiar?) that suggest he’s been avoiding taxes using offshore accounts. Naturally French prosecutors are ready to pounce…on those spreading the allegations.
  • Texas legislation to repeal sanctuary cities heads to Governor Abbott’s desk.
  • And Travis County sheriff Sally Hernandez even says she’ll obey the law. Imagine that!
  • The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office want police to know that illegal aliens have more rights than American citizens and shouldn’t be prosecuted.
  • President Trump’s insistence on actually enforcing immigration laws is already paying dividends.

    The concrete, realpolitik reason that amnesty is dead is that the appropriate law enforcement policies have been set in motion and they are gaining momentum fast!

    I have long argued that the illegal alien community in the United States is highly fragile. President Trump’s executive order directing Immigration and Customs Authorities and Border Patrol officers to broadly interpret their jurisdiction for capturing and removing illegal aliens has had the immediate effect of decreasing attempts to cross the border as well as inspiring panic in illegal immigrant communities. Police officers and county sheriffs have told me that, even at the height of the Obama era of nonenforcement, illegal aliens shunned the police. Now, in the era of Trump, the possibility of going to work and ending your week in Mexico is a real and potent threat. (This is particularly true if you live, as I do, in Massachusetts). It is a commonplace that law enforcement professionals go to sleep muttering “5% enforcement equals 95% compliance.”

    At the same time, businesses cannot prosper in an environment of uncertainty. The initial impulse of business owners in agriculture and other illegal-alien-heavy industries is to demand, yet again, some succor from the government in terms of work permits for their illegal workers. Just such measures are championed by incoming Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. However, assuming this relief is not forthcoming in the near future (and I’ll get to that in a minute) the only rational policy is for business owners to begin exploring their other options — which might include automation or wage increases.

    When every small business owner in America finally takes paper and pencil and sits down at the kitchen table with their spouse and says “honey, we are going to have to figure out how to make our business work when we can’t hire illegal aliens anymore,” then and only then will the light appear at the end of the tunnel.

    But the key to the problem and the reason for optimism is this: with the law now being enforced, however incrementally, even without funds for more agents, even without funds for the Wall, even without E-Verify, the pressure to re-evaluate in the illegal alien and the business communities will only grow. The success of the policy in reducing the inflow and initiating “self-deportation” will feed back on itself. For years the only salient argument of the open borders advocates on both the right and the left was that enforcing the current laws on the books was impossible. As it becomes obvious how easy, in fact, enforcement is, those advocates will be forced to rely on their more avaricious motives for keeping illegal aliens here.

  • One in four federal inmates is foreign born. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Why Hillary lost, Part 6974: Voters who went for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016.
  • Welcome back my friends to the 2016 election that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside. There behind the glass is a pile of Hillary’s foreign cash, be careful as you pass, move along, move along. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Even Dianne Feinstein says there’s no evidence of Russian meddling in the election. (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • President Trump is more trusted than the national media.
  • Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro decides not to run against Ted Cruz. Smart move.
  • Did a Pakistani ISI assassin defect to India? Sources say: Maybe not.
  • Netflix deletes Bill Nye segment from 1996 that talks about how chromosomes determine sex. When science clashes with the current smelly orthodoxies of liberal dogma, it seems that science gets the axe.
  • Following Victims of Communism Day, here are ten films on the victims of Communism. These appear to be all documentaries.
  • VA official who kept secret wait lists veterans died on fired. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Puerto Rico declares bankruptcy.
  • Is Russia arming the Taliban?
  • “A New Instance of Android Malware is Discovered Every 10 Seconds.”
  • Leftists try to take over the Humble school board.
  • And don’t forget the Rond Rock Bond issue vote this Saturday.
  • Lunatic scumbag street-preacher/tax evader/child molester Tony Alamo dies in prison. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Auction for a treasure trove of early material on the Nation of Islam. Including two manuscripts handwritten by founder Wallace Fard Muhammad, who disappeared in 1934. Alas, the opening bid is a tad steep for my blood…
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke Declares For Ted Cruz’s Senate Seat

    Saturday, April 1st, 2017

    El Paso Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke is officially running for Ted Cruz’s senate seat in 2018.

    Cruz will still be a prohibitive favorite incumbent with a national profile, a battle-tested campaign team and demonstrated fundraising prowess running in a deep red state. However, in O’Rourke he faces something he’s never run into in a statewide race: A serious Democratic office holder who actually wants to run, something notable absent in 2012.

    O’Rouke is not someone to sleep on. The same year Cruz was elected to the Senate, O’Rouke knocked off 8-term Democratic incumbent Silvestre Reyes in a district that’s 79.5% Hispanic. I suspect that he would make a much more formidable general election opponent than the much-better-known Rep. Joaquin Castro. But whether he can get by the likely better-funded Castro in the Democratic primary is another matter.

    O’Rourke is talking about running an unconventional campaign:

    But the El Paso Democrat is earnestly bullish that he will go to the Senate through a strategy of bringing retail politics to a state of 27 million people.

    He has no pollster and no consultants at this point, and said he has no interest in hiring operatives of that ilk.

    “Since 1988, when Lloyd Bentsen won re-election to the Senate, Democrats have spent close to a billion dollars on consultants and pollsters and experts and campaign wizards and have performed terribly,” he said.

    The approach offers a clear contrast with Cruz, who has used his own consultants to devastating effect in his races for the U.S. Senate and the White House. Last month, several members of Cruz’s political team showed attendees at the Conservative Political Action Convention a presentation of his presidential campaign’s investment and innovations in data analytics.

    Certainly Democrats need to change something about running statewide campaigns in Texas, but the “blame the consultants” strategy seems to be yet another case of Democrats ignoring the fact that their liberal policies are unpopular with the Texas electorate.

    Then there’s the money issue:

    Cruz begins the race with $4.2 million in campaign money. And the early signs amid O’Rourke’s run is that Tea Party groups and establishment organizations will line up with tens of millions of dollars to back Cruz at the slightest sign of trouble.

    Nationally, Democrats have no appetite at this point to spend serious money in Texas, and O’Rourke is not accepting money from political action committees. He, like all federal candidates, has no control over whether a super PAC opts to get involved.

    But anyone opposing Cruz is a likely magnet for angry liberal dollars. And O’Rourke could have the makings of a Bernie Sanders-type fundraising operation. He is one of the most adept politicians when it comes to social media and was an early adopter of building a following with Facebook Live, a means of broadcasting events through that website.

    That’s the problem for Texas Democrats: The message that pulls in nationwide liberal dollars is not the message that wins statewide in Texas, as Wendy Davis can attest.

    And that will be the problem for O’Rourke, who seems to be a doctrinaire liberal on just about every issue, from gun control to the border wall to abortion. Indeed, there does not seem to be any issue where O’Rourke is any less liberal than Davis, and he’s arguably worse on gun control.

    If O’Rourke makes it past Castro in the primary, Democrats will probably find out, yet again, that the liberal Democratic policies are still out-of-step with Texas voters.

    Bonus: O’Rourke was in a punk band called Foss in college. Here they are pretending to be a gospel band to get on a Christian access show:

    Well, O’Rourke probably made the right decision not to pursue a musical career. I don’t think Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra were hearing footsteps…

    Failing to Show Up in Texas U.S. House Races

    Thursday, December 17th, 2015

    The filing deadline has passed for 2016 races in Texas, and once again several U.S. House seats will go uncontested.

    The first step to winning a race is showing up for one. Even token candidates force the opposition to expend time and attention on races they could use elsewhere. And having a candidate in the race helps you win during improbable circumstances (indictments, scandals, wave elections).

    As usual, Democrats passed up more races than Republicans, but Republicans seemed to pass on a higher number of races as well.

    Races Democrats Failed To Field a Challenger

    Here are the races Democrats failed to show up in, and the current Republican incumbent:

  • 4th Congressional District (John Ratcliffe, who drew two Republican primary opponents)
  • 5th Congressional District (Jeb Hensarling)
  • 8th Congressional District (Kevin Brady, who drew two Republican primary opponents)
  • 11th Congressional District (Mike Conaway)
  • 13th Congressional District (Mac Thornberry)
  • 19th Congressional District (No incumbent, as Randy Neugebauer is retiring; five Republicans will be vying to take his place)
  • 32nd Congressional District (Pete Sessions, who drew two Republican primary opponents)
  • 36th Congressional District (Brian Babin)
  • With Democrats not contesting eight districts, it allows Republicans to shift time and effort into defending incumbents in more marginal districts (such as Will Hurd in the perpetual battleground 23rd).

    Races Republicans Failed To Field a Challenger

    Here are the races Republicans failed to show up in, and the current Democratic incumbent:

  • 9th Congressional District (Al Green)
  • 16th Congressional District (Beto O’Rourke, a white Democratic incumbent in a heavily Hispanic district whose drawn a Hispanic Democratic primary opponent, albeit one he already defeated four years ago)
  • 20th Congressional District (Joaquin Castro)
  • On Republican missed opportunities, Joaquin Castro is the sort of rising star you want to force to defend his home territory, rather than go off gallivanting at the national level.

    A few other points of interest:

  • Sheila Jackson Lee drew no less than four Republican opponents in District 18.
  • District 15, where Democratic incumbent Ruben Hinojosa Sr. is retiring, has seven Democrats (including Ruben Ramirez Hinojosa) and two Republicans vying for the seat.
  • Matt McCall (and two other Republican challengers) are gunning for Lamar Smith in District 21 again.
  • Shuffling Deck Chairs on the BattlegroundTanic

    Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

    Battleground Texas announced a new advisory board:

    The Advisory Board will be made up of Naomi Aberly, Jeremy Bird, former Dallas Mayor and Ambassador Ron Kirk, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Eric Johnson, Austin Ligon, Jennifer Longoria, Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, Eddy Morales, Amber Mostyn, Carrin F. Patman, Carrin Mauritz Patman, Marvin Ragsdale, Kirk Rudy, and Lynda Tran. Jenn Brown, who started as executive director for Battleground Texas, is now chairwoman of the advisory board.

    Sure, that’s Battleground Texas’ big problem: Not enough advisers.

    The real news here, I think, is the demotion-by-promotion of Jenn Brown.

    As for the board itself:

  • Jeremy Bird was last seen not defeating Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli elections, after his own disasterous stint leading Battleground Texas. He’s now one of the key players behind Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
  • Joaquin Castro is backing Hillary, and his brother is rumored to be Hillary’s top VP pick.
  • Kirk Rudy is a Hillary backer.
  • Moneybags spouse Amber Mostyn is a noted Hillary backer.
  • Ron Kirk might back Hillary (who he’s donated to), or he might back Biden.
  • I think the advisory board may be a move to cement Battleground Texas more firmly in Hillary’s orbit, thus foreclosing the possibility that Bernie Sanders might start picking up activist support in Texas. After all, she still needs to win the primary before getting to the general…

    LinkSwarm for March 21, 2014

    Friday, March 21st, 2014

    Enjoy your complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, and be sure to tip your waitress!

  • Fourteen different ways you can you can avoid the ObamaCare tax.
  • Joaquin Castro to boycott Buc-ees? He should have almost as much luck in Texas boycotting air conditioning and football. Hey, when Castro can offer outstanding fudge and the largest, cleanest restrooms in the state, let me know…
  • Democratic Senators decide they’d like to avoid committing political suicide by voting for Obama’s gun-grabbing Surgeon general nominee.
  • Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall proves once again that taxes are for the little people.
  • Democrats recruit the perfect candidate for congress: an 86-year old ex-felon.
  • Rich liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer is 100% opposed to Keystone pipeline. Well, except when endangered Democratic Senators are involved.
  • What liberals are leaving out of their hagiography of Cesar Chavez: he opposed illegal aliens and would have hated amnesty.
  • Liberals hate the Koch brothers so much they freak out even when they’re donating money to a hospital.
  • How dare some racist Americans call some Muslims pedophiles just because they want to marry 8-year olds?
  • America could hurt Russia by lifting natural gas export restrictions.
  • Swell story of resurrecting a badly damaged B-2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • It’s gotten to the point I can no longer tell liberal ranting from parody of same.
  • More Yelp hilarity for the Backstreet Pub and Grill owner who went out of his way to insult gun owners.
  • Supporting Neil Young and Scarlet Johansson against the Israel haters.
  • “Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue….” Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stopped reading.
  • Solider adopts dog. Dusty room ensues.

  • Texas Congressional Redistricting Breakdown

    Thursday, March 1st, 2012

    I’ve been reading up a bit more on the compromise redistricting lines released by the San Antonio district court. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot was able to keep most of what the legislature passed, and the Governor signed, intact, but a few changes were made to satisfy Democratic demands to win in court what they couldn’t at the ballot box settle lawsuits by various minority interest groups under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

    Though U.S. Congressional Districts, State Senate Districts, and State House districts were all affected by the new maps, I want to focus on three U.S. Congressional Districts, including some shown in this map here:

  • District 35: Lloyd Doggett may not be gone, but District 35, the one Doggett plans to run in, is now 65% Hispanic and mostly based in San Antonio. And the recriminations have already started among Democrats: “If Lloyd Doggett would man up and spend that $3 million he’s been hoarding for the last decade, then we could have an extra Democratic seat.” Doggett dodged a bullet when District 20 incumbent Charlie Gonzalez (son of long-time Congressmen Henry B. Gonzalez, who held the office before him) announced he was retiring, letting up-and-comer Joaquin Castro run for that seat instead of 35, but there’s no shortage of San Antonio-based Democratic contenders, including Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Romo. (There are two Republicans running for District 35, Susan Narvaiz and Rob Roark, both of San Marcos, but given that the new district went for Obaama by 63%, it’s going to be quite an uphill climb for any Republican.) One of the candidates currently running in District 35 is former Democratic Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez (who is very pissy indeed about redistricting), who previously represented:
  • District 23: This seat is currently held by Republican Francisco “Quico” Canseco, who beat Rodriguez by a little over 7,000 votes in 2010. The redistricting map passed by the legislature made Canseco’s district more Republican, but the compromise district scales back Republican gains. It’s now slightly more Republican (50% of the new district voted for Obama in 2008, down slightly from 51% in the old district), but it’s still close enough that Democrats have to consider this a prime takeover target. Still, Canseco now has the power and name recognition of incumbency, and even if Obama wins (doubtful and frightful, but possible), I doubt his coattails will be particularly long in San Antonio. Texas State Rep. Peter Gallego is the likely Democratic candidate, but so far Canseco is beating him in the fundraising race over three to one. (Disclaimer: Canseco is one of two U.S. congressional candidates I donated to in the 2010 election cycle (three if you count attending a couple of John Carter’s picnics at $10 a pop).)
  • District 27: This is the district where Republican Black Farenthold narrowly edged Democratic incumbent Solomon Ortiz in 2010. (Despite the narrowness of the result, Ortiz announced he wouldn’t be trying to reclaim his old seat.) The interim map successfully makes Farenthold’s seat more safely Republican; Obama pulled 53% of the vote in the old district, but only 40% in the new. Farenthold also has a considerable fundraising advantage. The Democratic who raised the most for that race is Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos. However, Cameron County is now in District 34.
  • All in all, Texas Republicans expect to pick up two to four U.S. Congressional seats thanks to redistricting, which looks extremely doable.

    And now we finally have election dates:

  • March 2: Filing for office reopens
  • March 6: Filing closes again
  • May 14: Early voting begins
  • May 26: Early voting ends
  • May 29: Primary Day
  • June 7-9: Republican and Democratic state conventions
  • July 31: Primary Runoff
  • References

  • Interactive Redistricting Map
  • The Texas Congressional Delegation
  • FEC Page for Texas Congressional and Senate Fundraising
  • List of 2012 Texas Republican Congressional Candidates
  • List of 2012 Texas Democratic Congressional Candidates
  • The Texas Redistricting Blog
  • Over on the left side of the Blogsphere, the Kos Kids have put up the a breakdown that includes numbers on how each District voted in the 2008 Presidential race.
  • Joaquin Castro Raises $500,000 To Unseat Lloyd Doggett

    Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

    State Rep. Joaquin Castro raised $515,000 in Q3 in his effort to unseat Lloyd Doggett in the Democratic primary for the newly created 35th U.S. Congressional District. That’s serious money for a single quarter for a House race.

    But don’t count the old liberal warhorse out yet; Doggett had more than $3.1 million cash on hand as of the end of Q2 (and the campaign says they won’t release final numbers until they’re official next week). But between Castro’s fundraising and the new San Antonio Hispanic majority district, Doggett probably has the toughest fight on his hands of his Congressional career.