Rep. Joaquin Castro to Run Against Congressman Lloyd Doggett in New CD-35

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From the Texas Tribune:

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the nine-term, liberal Austin congressman, foiled Republicans’ efforts to redistrict him out of office in 2003 and intends to do it again in 2012, living “in a Winnebago, if that’s what it takes,” to vie for a newly-drawn district that encompasses San Antonio’s most Democratic and Hispanic neighborhoods and spreads up to southern Travis County.

The Republican Legislature drew him a bad map again this year, and getting through March's Democratic primary could be a doozy. At a minimum, Doggett will face State Rep. Joaquin Castro, a 36-year-old rising star in his party who has politics in his DNA – his identical twin brother Julián is San Antonio's mayor – and grew up in one of the San Antonio neighborhoods central to the new district.

Under the proposed Congressional map that “gerrymanders more than nine million Latinos in Texas to make sure that we have no more electoral opportunity than we did in 1991,” Travis County, nor the Austin area, contains a Congressional District solely represented by a Democrat. Many in the Austin area, and Travis County community, want to ensure that a Democrat that lives in Austin represents them in Congress, and I expect many who read Burnt Orange Report will strongly favor Congressman Doggett. The congressional district was drawn with the express purpose of removing Congressman Lloyd Doggett from office.

But Representative Joaquin Castro is a great elected official, one who is an excellent spokesperson for the American Dream and the future of our country. As the Tribune story above notes, the district is weighted to favor an Hispanic from San Antonio, and the financial advantages Congressman Doggett currently possesses are leveled out, at least initially, by the numbers of the district.

It will be an interesting race, and one I hope Burnt Orange Report will cover closely in the weeks and months to come.


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. “I expect many who read Burnt Orange Report will strongly favor Congressman Doggett”
    Yes, we will support Congressman Doggett. I found it funny that the Obama folks were phoning and emailing me to contact Doggett to support the President's Healthcare Proposal. Like my Congressman, I felt the President's legislative healthcare package did not go far enough.

    Whether Congressman Doggett runs for Dist 10, Dist 25, or Dist 35, I will support him. This is “Charge of the Light Brigade” time as for as I am concerned for a proven effective US Congressman from Texas. Whether Doggett was my State Senator or US Congressman, I have always been proud to have him represent me. He is one the smartest and ethical politicians I have ever known.

  2. So does Doggett already live in the potential 35th?
    I find this statement interesting from the Trib article – Doggett would start “living “in a Winnebago, if that's what it takes,” to vie for a newly-drawn district that encompasses San Antonio's most Democratic and Hispanic neighborhoods and spreads up to southern Travis County.”

    If Doggett has to MOVE into the district to run for it, is Doggett really in this for the right reasons or just to stay in Congress? From what I understand the new map covers the center of San Antonio, then takes a weird gerrymander route up IH-35 into east Austin. Granted, if you look at the map it's squirrely but for a person to move into the district just to run for it is even more squirrely.

    I can tell you this, this is one BOR “we” who will be supporting Castro for the seat. I'd prefer a young Hispanic with a great track record for education for this seat. We need more Hispanic congressmen and congresswomen in Texas to match the population. I respectfully disagree with ssuits on this and feel if we're going to preach for more Hispanic representation it's time we put our votes where our mouths are, especially for a bright, young Hispanic like Castro.

    • Yes, Doggett has to move
      Although Lloyd Doggett currently lives in Hispanic East Austin, the R's drew the lines for hill-country based CD25 to snake across Travis County and take in his residence. This is the same cheap trick that they pulled in 2003, when they made a finger of CD10 reach his apartment, take it in, and then stop.

      Getting rid of all the white Democratic officeholders (and especially the conservative ones, a category that does not include Doggett) was Tom Delay's game plan from the start. That way, Dems would be forever viewed as a party only of minorities, and would never challenge statewide again. So far, it has pretty much worked the way DeLay drew it up, marginalizing Democrats statewide and pitting good Democratic constituencies against one another.

      BTW, there's no official requirement to move. By the constitution, you only have to be a resident of your state to run for Congress, not a resident of your district. But anybody who moves very far will get tagged as a carpetbagger. That's a label that emphatically does not apply to Doggett, who has spent pretty much his entire life in Austin, and who currently represents a lot more of the (potential) new CD35 than he does of the new CD25 that he's been drawn into.

      Let's hope that the courts or DOJ kill this monstrous redistricting. But if they don't, I'll be 100% behind Lloyd Doggett. He's a superb Congressman, and we need to keep him.

      (Stacy, it's nice to be in a debate where we're on the same side.)

    • just FYI
      From my understanding, Rep. Doggett does not live in the newly drawn CD35. He does, however, currently represent a sizable chunk of what would be CD35 – much (if not most) of the Travis parts, all the Caldwell parts, and all the Hays parts.

      The only Travis county seats in the new maps that look remotely similar to the ones from the old maps are CD10 (McCaul) and CD21 (Smith). In the new map CD25, Doggett's current district, covers very little of the current/old CD25.

      • Residency
        Neither Castro or Doggett live in the proposed CD35 at this moment. Congressman Doggett's house is four blocks out.  

      • Good point
        Yep, just pulled that up and saw the location. As Michael points out you don't have to live in a district, just in the state. The district is pretty jacked up when it comes to gerrymandering so gosh knows what it'll end up looking like before this is over.

    • Good dialogue on this
      Thanks for the clarifications on the matter. It is going to be a tough race for Dems but hopefully we'll have a much stronger candidate after the primary ready to take on a Republican challenger and Republicans in Congress.

      Charles Kuffner wrote a great assessment of this potential race today. He points out that while Republicans are evidently targeting Doggett, in doing so they might be helping Democrats build their bench if Castro is elected.

      That's a point I've been bringing up all along. It's great to have people like Doggett in office but at some point we need to have some of our older Democrats step aside to allow a younger group of elected officials take the mantle. We need to build the bench and we don't seem to be doing a very good job of it.

  3. You know there are far too few politicians
    of the caliber of either Doggett or Castro and to see them have to fight each other for the scraps that the R's drop off the table really pisses me off. I can see the advantages of Castro taking the district but that means we lose a terrific progressive. Maybe Doggett should run for the Senate seat instead then he could challenge Gen. Sanchez who is not a proven progressive or even a proven campaigner. I know I'd love to have Doggett as my Senator.

    • 1984 US Senate Race
      Congressman Doggett fell on the sword for Democratic Party progressives in 1984 when he was beaten by Phil Gramm. This was before Texas was a solid Republican state for statewide offices and when it really mattered to stop Phil Gramm and slow down the national Republican agenda.

      I think maybe Rep. Castro should pick up the proven progressive flag and do his own “Charge of the Light Brigade” for US Senate. Lloyd and I have been there, done that. The wise thing for progressive Democrats to do is to leave a proven, effective US Congressman, with seniority, in office working for all Texans.  

      • Old thinking
        While I understand your position that doesn't really mean a lot in this new era of politics. We all respect Doggett's past record but honestly, maybe it's time for him to step aside (or us to encourage him to step aside) and bring in some new talent. It's pretty obvious the Rs are not going to leave him alone any more. His “effectiveness” may have diminished and will never be reclaimed. I know that's a bitter pill to swallow but we're talking new times with new rules.

        I can understand the allegiance people in Austin and some progressives might have to Doggett but he really means very little to us here in San Antonio, the other end of the “35 road trip” (I find it ironic it's the 35th since it's basically a road trip between SAT and AUS along IH-35).

        Regarding a Senate bid that would be a massacre (maybe that's what you're hoping for Castro). That's not how we build the bench and has been the reason we keep getting trounced in statewides. I find your thinking there archaic and dated. Sorry, but that just hasn't been working. Tell me what path to victory Castro would have running for the US Senate? (crickets)

        • Path to Victory for US Senate in 2012: None
          In the new era of politics both Castro and Doggett have zero chance. The only reason for either to make this race is to pay their party pay dues and build an organization for future races. Doggett is 64 and Castro is 36, Doggett has paid his dues and near the end of his career. The Hispanic population continues to expand statewide. Time is on Castro's side.

          I prefer to let the old Thinkers send Gen. Sanchez into a certain losing battle. Just don't suggest to me that Doggett should fight this battle again. Hopefully, Doggett has some residual organization and friends in San Antonio from his 1984 losing US Senate race. That may turnout to be his secret weapon.

          • Thanks for candid answer
            ssuits thanks for that candid answer. I agree neither has a chance against Dewhurst. I almost apologized again for being blunt but stopped short of it and decided to stay in the spirit of honesty you lead with. We really need to start being more honest with ourselves on these races and quit living in fantasy lands. Then maybe we'll find that true path to victory.

            Regarding Doggett going into the Senate race, I would never suggest that. Regarding Castro going into it, I'd prefer him not do that either. It puts an L in your record and could harm future chances. I would prefer he tackle the House race and build both his reputation and organization.

            Plain and simple, we really gain nothing from Doggett's seniority with the House for a few cycles. It's too entrenched with hardline Republicans. If anything, as I've suggested, we lose with Doggett since he's got a big target on his back and will require a lot of Democratic political capital from his fellows to provide support for anything he champions. I don't know if we have that much to spare at this point.

            Castro would provide a fresh view in the House. If anything, he gets a free ride for about a year while the other side tries to figure him out. Strange but honest. He also forces a “put up or shut up” position of support for Hispanics. Either you walk the walk or quit talking about it.

      • Not the wisest thing
        The wisest thing is for folks to defend their own districts rather than poaching other districts because it is the path of least resistance.

        It is also wise for Texas Democrats to start thinking about what is next…and not what was next 35 years ago.

        • I agree…
          This is more Doggett's than it is Castro's. The number may have changed the district has definitely been manipulated, but it's still the largest intact piece of Doggett's old district.

          • no
            don't assign me positions that you know i don't maintain.

            this isn't doggett's district. i can say it as many times as you can say the negative.

            the highest probability is that the 35th won't change, but that the 25th will get dramatically better.

            doggett should man up, defend his district in court and at the polls.

          • Have you pulled District Viewer up?
            You keep saying that and from what I've seen on the maps and overlays that's FAR from the truth. Look, I'm okay with your positions (may no agree but respect them) but PLEASE don't spread misinformation.

          • This Victim/Poacher has spent a lot of time with the District Viewer
            These are my observations:

            CD 33 was drawn as a Republican district at the expense of a Hispanic district in Tarrant and Dallas Counties.

            South Texas got CD 34 to compensate for the loss of CD 27 to the Republicans. The revised coastal district of CD 27 got from CD 25 the Central Texas counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, and Fayette.

            CD 35 was drawn to get Doggett and to compensate Bexar County for its loss of CD 23 to the Republicans. To facilitate this, CD 25 was drawn to run from East Austin, to Wimberley, out to Brownwood, then over the Cleburne, and ending up in Corsicana while bypassing in a loop CD 31 and CD 17.

            CD 36 was drawn as a Republican district at the expense of a Hispanic district in Harris County.

            In summation: Anglo Republicans control of more than 70 percent of congressional seats even though Anglos make up only 45 percent of the population. CD 36 and CD 25 are the most gerrymandered districts, with CD 36 referred to as “a giant shrimp”. It is in every Texas Democrat's best interest that the current congressional map approved by the legislature is overturned in court and replaced by one drawn by the judicial system.

          • Great assessment
            ssuits thanks for the assessment. Good review of the districts and I like the “shrimp” Rorschach observation. I still content CD35 is pretty hacked up from a gerrymander district perspective. It's trek along IH-35 to connect Austin and San Antonio is just insane.

            My comment was really addressed at McBlogger who keeps asserting the large portion of CD25 is in CD35 and apparently “was just blinded by the huge chunk of it that is currently his district.” That's just flat out not true.

            One thing you left out in your assessment regarding Bexar County is that CD20 was also hacked up pretty badly, taking the core of San Antonio, namely part of Monte Vista, King William, the westside and downtown out of Gonzales' district. Those areas are actually the most progressive areas of San Antonio and could mix well with the southeast areas of Travis County (just an observation). I want to dig into that more in a blog entry. Just need the time to do the data analysis on the precincts.

  4. katiebellmoore on

    Interesting reading all these comments. So many parts to this debate and I agree with a lot of the thoughts posted here.

    What I want to point out is if we lose Doggett in the Congress we lose A LOT of seniority. As we all know, it helps to have years of experience and relationships in Washington to get things accomplished. I really like Castro and have big hopes for him but I think losing the leadership of Congressman Doggett right now is just too much.

  5. A Tale of Two Cities
    Interesting comments on this situation. I figured the best way to get my thoughts out was to blog about it. I really hate that this is probably going to come down to Austin vs. San Antonio but it is. I don't see Austinites wanting to let go of Doggett. Those of us here in San Antonio really feel Castro would be a better representative of a Hispanic district.

    If anything, it's going to make for an interesting year ahead of us.

    BTW, regarding the seniority comment, that would mean more if Democrats had more control in Congress. However, with Republicans in control AND with them pretty ticked off at Doggett, he's not going to be extremely effective moving forward. I think the repeal of his amendment was a great example of that. Doggett's a marked man and could be more of a liability moving forward at this point. Sorry, but that's the truth of the matter.

    • katiebellmoore on

      Hays County
      This isn't just Austin vs. San Antonio. I live in Hays County and Doggett has been an amazing representative for us. He really understands our needs and goes to battle for us often.

      • Sorry for missing that
        Didn't mean to diminish Hays or any of the other counties. Yes, this is about the entire 35th. It's good that Doggett has served you well. Castro has served us well in Bexar County. The point I was really making is that the core base that will be driving the campaigns will be in SAT and AUS.

        We'll see how this ends up. Based on the comments it's provingy point though. This won't be your average race by any stretch.

      • To the contrary
        I live in Hays and have found neither he or his staff to be even adequate. The average voter never sees the lot of them.

    • Seniority
      Seniority still gives him gain an edge over other Democrats, whether they are a majority or not.

      There's also no guarantee that Republicans will be in control of the House long term.  If the Democrats regain control in 2012 or 2014, Doggett's seniority will mean a lot.

      Plus I'd really love to stick it to the Republicans trying to gerrymander him out.  If he loses in the primary that's letting them win.

      • Probably not going to change by 2014
        I'd love to see the House flip by then but because of the deep entrenchment from 2010 it's going to take some time to flip the House. Like I said, any opportunities he MIGHT get will be slim thanks to the target on his back for Rs. Some Ds may not want to risk political capital to support him due to that. It's great to want to “stick it to the Republicans” but if it hurts the district did we really gain anything?

        I think they've won this one. I'm not for giving him a district just because I don't like Rs. This is about representation, not Miss Congeniality.

          • Just looking at things realistically
            Not giving in but would prefer to face reality and chart a path than live in some fantasy land with shortsighted plans. Tell me where this will change, honestly. I bet you had 2010 all tacked up with Democratic victories. Most Ds did and we got slammed HARD.

            I know we'll flip the House but we need to face reality and deal with the issues today. Honestly, your thinking is what has the Democratic Party in Texas in the shape it's in. colin wrote a good piece about new thinking. I think it's time you read it first before slamming my thinking.

          • Oh, no…
            you don't know me at all. I knew we were going to lose, but I underestimated how badly… frankly, I didn't understand how effective Perry had been in nationalizing every single race. I'm pretty negative on 12 as well, with the way things are going.

            Unfortunately, we've fallen into the trap of appealing to polls instead of persuading. I think you're advocating someone who can play along and eke out some minor gains along the way. I want someone so horrible, so evil, so crafty that the otherside would rather self immolate than touch him.

            Doggett's that guy.  

            The issue is we have been FAR too quiescent for far too long. Enough. We need to be more aggressive and we need more aggressive candidates. I'm not sure Casto's one of those folks.

            A new kind of politics has us stuck in the mud. That was all nice in 2008 and 2009, but it's 2011. It's time for pulling out the knives and guns.

  6. Where to begin
    I'm working on a diary on this…but can hardly hold my tongue.

    1) this isn't Doggett's district. It is a new district with no incumbent.

    2) it is the only new Hispanic opportunity district…it should represented by an Hispanic

    3) with Castro in the race we have a strong progressive who represents the next generation…but Doggett would leave an open seat that would be unwinnable for a Dem…unless that Dem had a lengthy record of service, high name ID, and $3 million. If only there was such a Democrat out there!!

    4) we wouldn't be losing anything in seniority. Doggett isn't in the leadership and isn't in line for a chairmanship when we take back the house. (I guess we should go the Strom Thurmond route and not let the next generation lead and build up there own seniority.)

    5) what would we say if Ciro filed in Charlie's district ? After all , it is a much smaller district, much more Democratic and much easier to campaign in.

    Winning the future? It starts with getting our top players off the bench and in the game. #favre

      • Kind of
        They actually create a new district in the 27th to protect Farenthold, but use the old number to make it seem like they didn't.

        What they actually did was shrink down the old 27th based on population growth, create an entirely new district for Farenthold and swapped out the numbers.

    • I hate that line
      Winning the future is so amateurish. It's meaningless pap from a President who largely wasted a massive opportunity to redefine politics in the 21st century.

      I'm really surprised by Castro's decision here. It's so opportunistic.

      • Surprised at doggett
        I never thought he'd back down from a tough fight and step on the backs of the very underrepresented communities that he claims to have the best interest of.

        It is a sad commentary on the desperation of incumbents to hang on to office.

        The real reason we are so far out of power in Texas??? We haven't had any senior Dems looking down the road and thinking about the future of US, and not their own future.

          • Very simple
            Our entire legal premise is that Hispanics fueled the growth and deserve more representation.

            Doggett has a record, name ID and $3 million dollars to defend his seat. No other Dem in the region that I'm aware of stands a chance of holding their own seat after it is hit by redistricting than Doggett.

            By him seeking the path of least resistance, he endangers our opportunity to get a great player on the field and building our future prospects.

            Say Doggett stays 10 more years, what will be different? He'll still not be in the leadership, not be chairing an important committee, not be viable as a statewide candidate, and we will have lost the opportunity to strengthen our hand and have a young Dem better positioned to be a statewide opportunity.

            And, yes, I do think an Hispanic should represent an Hispanic district.

            I don't remember Frost trying to snag EBJ's district or Lampson trying to snag SJL's district when their districts were decimated. They manned up and put up a fight. This is not that different. IMHO

  7. In 2010 Three Texas Democratic Congressmen Lost, Two were Hispanic
    Based on the performance for down ballot Democrats for statewide office, the Democratic base is about 35%. When it became apparent years ago that Republicans were on the winning side of a growing red trend, we had hopes that Henry Cisneros and an emerging Hispanic vote would get us back in the game around 2010 or 2012. That has not happened, so much for old thinking in a new era of politics.

    The Republicans have manipulated the congressional maps to intentionally create problems for Democrats and Hispanics. So before we start fighting among ourselves about whether Lloyd Doggett and Gene Green should be replaced by younger Hispanics, we should stay focused on the pending court case.

    The bottom line is Hispanic voting strength statewide has been diluted. The Republican plan splits Hispanic communities so that conservative Anglos would be more likely to win seats in Congress. Travis County, split five ways, and Hays County, split three ways, were severely impacted by these illegal actions to split Hispanic communities.  I attended both the Senate and House Redistricting public hearings. The Republican majority made it real clear they were ramming their maps through and expected to be in court over it.

    • Victim line
      Come on. This is more of the victim line. Yes, they redrew the maps and yes, it will get challenged. But if you think we're going to get a whole new map set you're really living in a dream world. The lines will get tweaked more than anything. The 35th was drawn for Hispanics and Democrats. Why not put a Hispanic in it? If we're not doing that to increase Hispanic representation in Congress what the heck are we doing with the maps in the first place?

      I knew it would get like this. Every argument you can come up with to defend Doggett. Seniority, paid his dues, the maps are wrong, Republicans hate him, the list goes on. Maybe it's time for him to retire and let a new breed of Texas Democrats at this. Sorry but I think you guys are icon worshiping more than looking at the future of Texas Democrats.

      Based on this, why don't we choose our representatives the old fashion way – lock up the party leaders in an enclave and wait for white smoke to come out of the chimney.

      • Now wait a minute…
        there is another argument as well.

        For me, it is simple.  Lloyd Doggett has been by far the best member of the Texas Congressional Delegation and I say that without hesitation.  He has been there for us when quite frankly, there have been Texas Democrats who have not walked the walk.  And so I'm going to be there for him.

        For that reason, I strongly support Lloyd Doggett.  He has done the job and will continue to the job the way he has always done.  

        Seniority, “paid his dues”, and the maps are not reasons for me to support Lloyd Doggett.  But his performance is.

        For the record, I like the Castro brothers a lot! They both have great futures (along with the great jobs they are doing now). Really, if Joaquin was running against anybody else, he would have my support in the primary. These are the races that I hate because we have two great candidates and one has to choose between them, while we have other districts with no good candidates. On the other hand, at least we are guaranteed to have a good congressman.

        And look — if I was Castro and I wanted to go to Congress, then this is the time, place, and district to go in, so I would do it.  I can't argue with that.

        Then again, who cares what I think?  I live in Northeast Texas…

    • I concur
      And when our legal case is built on “Hispanics fueled the growth and should have new opportunity districts”, Doggett guts that argument by saying to the court “give us more Hispanic opportunity districts so anyone faced with a tough redraw can shop around for an Hispanic district I  can swipe”.

      • No, no…
        why don't we give Doggett back his district, then create another one that could elect Casto. You know, gerrymander the hell out of it and see if we can get the Latino population to 100%.

        This map wasn't designed to give a leg up to a Latino legislator. It was designed to take out Doggett who they view as more of a threat.

        OK, I'd rather have the guy their afraid of representing me.

        I love how the entire argument here spins around this being 'Castro's' district. Considering how much of it was Doggett's, I'm thinking he probably has a better claim on it.

        • Let us just be honest
          No one is afraid of Doggett. Not Dems, not Repubs…no one.

          Don't mistake politics for personality.

          This may be about taking the last white guy, but it isn't because anyone at all is scared of him…it is because he is the only non-minority district they can screw around in.

          • Really?
            then why spend all the energy doing this to him and splitting Travis into a pinwheel?

            It was, in part, because of the education money. OK, how does a powerless Congressman do that? Ways and Means ain't a bad gig, Colin.  

          • the edujobs money
            came through like nothing ever happened.

            again, not liking him and being afraid of him are too different things.

            ways and means is nothing to sneeze at…but he'll NEVER be chair.  and the budget committee? it isn't even a real committee. they don't have any power or influence…and most years they don't even pass a “budget”.

            it is hard to admit to the apologists, but doggett is an average congressman with a hearty base of support that has elevated him to heights that he has not earned.

            again, i've yet to see anyone make a case for doggett beyond inertia. other than cap and trade, i can't recall anything meaningful that he has ever done in terms of legislative accomplishments.

          • Colin, Are you a volunteer or on the payroll?
            From 6/25/11 San Antonio Express News:

            “Castro, however, expects the new district to remain largely intact, a view echoed by Colin Strother, a Democratic political consultant in Austin.

            “This is the only Hispanic opportunity district proposed, so it's highly unlikely” that courts would reject it, Strother said.

            Strother disparaged Doggett's plan to run in the new district, calling him an “old, white guy” who should step aside.

            From your LinkIn page:

            Owner Strother & Company

            Public Relations and Communications industry

            November 2006 – Present (4 years 8 months)

            Current and Former Clients (partial list):

            US Congressman Henry Cuellar

            State Representative Dawnna Dukes

            State Representative Jose Menendez

            State Representative Joaquin Castro

            State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon

            State Representative Sylvester Turner

            State Representative Aaron Pena

            Mayor Raul Salinas (Laredo, Texas)

            City Councilman Justin Rodriguez (San Antonio, Texas)

            City Councilman Phillip Cortez (San Antonio, Texas)

            Sheriff Martin Cuellar (Webb County, Texas)

            District Judge Catherine Torres-Stahl

            District Judge David Rodriguez

            Rene Barrientos for State Senate

            Rick Reed for DA

            Chip Haass for County Commissioner

            Chris Forbrich for City Council

          • Unproductive
            I rated this comment as unproductive. Other members of BOR may disagree, and can rate your comment as they choose. But I wanted to explain my view on this.

            Colin has always been forthright with who he supports, and I'm not going to put a litmus test on this kind of topic. How many people have volunteered and/or worked for Doggett at some point in time? Colin has the decency to use his name, and he doesn't hide who he is. Moreover, that he supports or (possibly) still works for Castro (which your comment only alleges, and does not prove) does not disqualify his opinions. Again, I'd have a different feeling if he were commenting anonymously than if he were commenting publicly.

            Let's try to move forward with merits, not with missiles. Thanks.

          • I have been a Doggett Volunteer since 1973
            I am a Doggett supporter, not one of Doggett's apologists.

            I thought BOR encouraged paid political consultants and paid campaign workers to disclose that fact with their posts if the posts they are making concerns a candidate they are currently receiving compensation from.  Reading the comments made by “colin” in this weekend's San Antonio Express News triggered my question.

            If I am mistaken, then I apologize. I was looking for a yes or no answer. For those of you who have not figured out who ssuits is, I am:

            Stacy Suits

          • Still not productive
            ssuits your comment still implies something not even verified. In my book that's just smarmy and not productive to conversations. Not sure why you pulled that stunt. I don't follow the Statesman that often but the Express-News often solicits comments from known political experts in the area about moves like that. If anything, you should be slamming the Express-News and not Colin. The reporter called Colin, not the reverse as you seemed to have implied.

            Instead you attacked Colin with a strange litany of campaigns. Can you explain why the list of campaigns and how they are relevant to the discussion? How is Chris Forbrich's campaign relevant to Castro's bid? How about Chip Haass?

            That kind of comment is just amateur in my opinion.

          • I have not made one negative comment about Rep. Castro in this whole thread of comments
            Yet, I have been hit with “old thinking”, “victim line”, and “put up or shut up position of support for Hispanics”. I had pretty much let those comments go trying to stay on point.

            Colin's twenty or so posts containing such comments such as “apologists”, “sad commentary on the desperation of incumbents to hang on to office”, “poaching other districts”.  “one argument beyond inertia in support of Doggett”, and “Doggett should man up”.  I was pretty much going to let those comments go too.

            However, when I read in the San Antonio newspaper Colin quoted as saying “an old white guy who should step aside”, I took offense.  Especially when he is labeled in the San Antonio newspaper as being a “Democratic political consultant from Austin” that has only one Travis County client listed on his resume.

            We “manned up” with Doggett to beat our tea bagging Republican opponent in 2010 not using kid gloves on her and we overcame the near riots created by out of town protesters at Doggett's town hall meetings over health care reform. What younger Democrats need to know about old white guys is that we are like old dogs. When we have had enough of being poked with a stick, we will bite the hell out of you. So enough of referring to fellow Democrats by their age, race, and sex in a disparaging manner or you may get another missile sent at you.

          • Now we know how you play
            Thanks for the info and how you deal with things. No more on this in here. I violated my own position regarding Michael's truce (had to when McBlogger spread some misinfo).

            Regarding the “put up or shut up” on Hispanic support, I find it interesting we clamor for the districts because of the rise in Hispanics in Texas, yet seem to feel they don't deserve to represent districts where the majority of the constituents are Hispanic. That's where the comment comes from. You either walk the walk or don't.

            Politics in SAT changed when we went to single member districts in the city. We saw a more racially diverse council as a result of it. Now our council has two Caucasian males, an Asian American female, an African American female, a Hispanic female, and five Hispanic males. Several of the representatives are young, including our Hispanic mayor, and several are older. Our last mayor was an older, retired Caucasian male. We have a ways to go regarding LGBT candidates but it's developing. I think we get it.

            FYI, old thinking applies to people of all ages. I won't go to the victim line. Just in case you want to know, 52yo white guy from Arkansas here.

            Sounds like we'll have a great race for the primary. Oh, and you might have explained that about his races when you posted it the first time but we learn as we go. I think some of our consultants here in SAT have worked on races in Austin. I'm just sayin'.

            We'll see you at the polls.

          • Where did I spread misinfo
            Please provide the link… was it that a large part of 25 is not in 35 (that was accurate… we disagree on the size of it, but it is the largest intact piece)? Or was it that it would result in a lot of nasty feelings in Austin?

            You can disagree, but it's not misinformation. It's simply how we see what was done to Travis County in redistricting.

          • Looking at the maps
            Actually the largest geographic parts of CD25 are in CD10 and CD27. Another large piece is in the new CD25.

            Now, regarding the population from the old CD25, a large part of the population from that district is in the new CD35 but the largest population area of CD35 is in San Antonio.

            So, if anything, there's some interpretation on the matter of what is large but that's where I see it when I look at District Viewer.

          • Up-rated
            Given the client history and active commentary here, I think it's a valid question and not deserving of the down-ratings. I am not rating 'excellent,' just countering the 'unproductive' ratings.  

          • Unlike you stacy
            I've always disclosed my clients and never hidden preferences. My posts in this thread do not pretend to be neutral observances but rather are what they seem to be–advocacy for a friend whose time has come to lead.

            I do not work for Castro. If he called tomorrow, I'd drop everything and serve in whatever capacity he asked.

            Nice ad hominem, though. If you invalidate the point-maker, you can invalidate the points. Love it.

            FTR, in the past few years I've commented on just about every discussion…sometimes asking questions, sometimes giving perspective, and sometimes encouraging authors to keep writing.

            I missed your thoughts on the disaster recovery diary…but I'll look again in the probability that I missed them. The party is about more than one person and about more than a singular point in time.

          • Thank you for answering my question
            I am done discussing congressional redistricting until the court case has been heard and ruled on. My main extracurricular activity, now the Legislature is going out of session, will be to work on 10-2-1 mixed district plan for the voters to consider and adopt for the Austin City Council. The 6-2-1 plan under current consideration by our city council members does not go far enough to protect minority representation and to provide for fair geographic representation.

            I have not commented on your Disaster Recovery Diary yet because I am still collecting my thoughts on this painful subject. During the 90's when things really started going into the ditch, I was an early critic of the TDP Coordinated Campaigns having an Austin-centric, consultant-driven, top-down model. I gave up on the TDP a long time ago and have focused on working with active county parties. For example, I prefer attending Hays County Democratic Party functions over ones held by the Travis County Democratic Party.

            I am willing to give the TDP another chance. You are right; some major changes need to be made. The problem will be getting a majority of active Democrats to commit to a new path and way of becoming a viable state party again.

          • Advocacy for a friend
            who is paying your mortgage:)?

            I had to, dude… was just too funny to read you all worked over this:)!

            Seriously, not a big deal and you could have headed it off at the pass with the first post. Just tell people. Working for Joaquin Castro is nothing to be ashamed of. MANY of us LIKE him.

            These are both fantastic candidates.

          • ??
            i have no idea what any of that means.

            asked and answered.

            haven't worked for castro since 02.

            would gladly do it again in a heartbeat against doggett or anyone else.

            not sure why you keep misrepresenting what i say.

            i say i don't, and you say i do. does not compute.

  8. Unfortunate and Sad
    This situation is both unfortunate and sad, for many reasons. Among other things, this is a primary that will no doubt drain millions in donations and resources that could better be spent elsewhere in the state. Just because

    Second, rather than this being an argument about “old” leadership versus “new leadership,” perhaps we should look at it in terms of the seniority and influence we'd be loosing in Congress with no Lloyd Doggett. I think Texas as a whole is much better off with a Congressman with seniority as opposed to one with none, regardless of that individual's pedigree.

    In terms of the San Antonio versus Austin argument, and the 100,000 more Hispanic voters in this district, and the other arguments people are using to promote a Castro candidacy, aren't a disadvantage Doggett can't overcome.

    While there is no question that Texas hasn't done a spectacular job keeping up a “farm team” in recent years, there is always a time and place for people to climb the ladder. This isn't the time in this particular district. We don't need a contentious, multi-million dollar party primary in this district at this point with everything else that will be coming down the pike in 2012. I will stop short of saying it shows poor judgment on Castro's part to start this fight, although that may be a fair assessment.

    Castro is a bright, young leader who has serious potential for the future. But I believe he should consider what is both best for the party, his district, and all Democrats in Texas before making this move. It will tie up a lot of funding and resources that could be used in other races and other districts unnecessarily. And, it could cost Texas Democrats seniority in Congress. I'm certain that his constituents would benefit far more from more Democratic elected officials elected to Congress, the Legislature, and statewide office than from a contentious and expensive primary that simply isn't necessary.  

    • hey vince!
      you make some really great points.

      the situation does suck.

      but without primary challenges that buck the conventional wisdom, we don't have Kennedy, LBJ or Obama.

      i respect your opinion a lot and appreciate your measured tone.

      you appear to have balanced out the emotions that others of us could not.

    • I guess ssuits needs to go after you
      Vince, since you were quoted in the E-N regarding the race I guess we should be seeing a posting by ssuits on your ties to the Doggett campaign. 🙂 I mean, we should be seeing equal treatment right since he's all in a tither about who's buttering who's bread.

      Good quote and it will be an interesting race.

      • “old, white guy who should step aside”
        Vince gave a professional response to a reporter's question in a professional manner, just like Harold Cook has made in other newspaper articles concerning this potential race. Not an advocacy tirade attacking someone over their age, race, and sex. There is a difference.

        However, if either Vince or Harold is currently being directly compensated by Congressman Doggett or a political PAC actively supporting Doggett for CD 35, they should disclose it.

  9. Doggett on balance
    Has been an exceptional Democrat and a clear voice on most progressive issues for quite a while.

    My position (though at times very poorly communicated) is that we have a remarkable opportunity to get a great player off the bench and in the game. Doggett has been sometimes a voice alone in the wilderness backing civil rights, equality and fairness. I don't happen to think that what I propose is such a great departure for him. Quite frankly it discourages me that other (and apparently he) think that allowing a bright, young Hispanic leader to grab the baton and sprint towards the finish is heretical.

    My personal issues as an unsatisfied constituent aside, my contention for quite some time is that we desperately need new voices, fresh faces and new leaders of all stripes…some conventional and some unconventional.

    I will reserve the balance of my posts to correct factual inaccuracies and allow others the opportunity to post their own thoughts.

    In closing I'll just say that Doggett and others COULD take half of a step back and think about the party they love so much. How long should the next generation of leaders wait? When is a good time for them to run? When will you say, “I've done my best and carried my load, but I want all of YOU and this party to have a snowball's chance to lead our state out of this despair and into the future. I'm ready to use my experience, my expertise and my good name to help you get on the field and make it happen for the millions of Texas families that will need you long after I'm gone.”

    • How long should the next generation of leaders wait?
      Sometimes up to 20 years. In 1974 we took on Congressman Jake Pickle with State Rep. Larry Bales, age 34. Our main campaign points were Nixon's impeachment and the energy crisis at that time. Three weeks out from Election Day, polls were showing us within 5% points of him.

      The 61 year old Congressman, at the time, in the final two weeks gave us a classic ass whipping I will never forget and just stomped us on Election Day. Several years later he forgave me and spent some time mentoring me. I learned a lot from the old Congressman.

      Congressman Pickle retired in 1995 at the age of 82. He represented CD 10 from 1963 to 1995 and was succeeded by Congressman Doggett. Congressman Pickle did some of his best work for both the nation and Travis County in those last 20 years.  

      • And we will keep losing statewide elections
        We'll just keep losing at the statewide races from now own until we quit idol worshiping. That's the old thinking I'm talking about and it's not about age but the concept that we keep some people in year after year. We have an entire bench of young, progressive candidates that need to move up the bench to gain notoriety and recognition but people like you just block them out because of your idol worship.

        I've talked about this to a LOT of people lately and that's their number one complaint about the Democratic Party in Texas. We aren't building a bench. I heard it last night from a Democrat here in SAT and have had it echoed to me by a lot of people. Yet, no one seems to want to give up their favorite Democrat to help build the bench.

        Oh well, I guess we'll have to be content with Miss Congeniality for a while.

        • Yes, our bench is an issue
          but the idea of a bench is to expand your reach, not recycle it.

          As for statewide elections, our problems are about far more than just our bench.

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