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.

  10. Sanity
    LOL, good point Michael. I guess we're just so excited about this race we're ready to go. It will be an interesting race to watch. What I really hate is that it's going to pit Austin politics against San Antonio politics. Maybe we pull a Red River Shootout and have the candidates meet in New Braunfels or San Marcos for the debates. We'll wear Silver and Black and Austin folks can wear Burnt Orange and White. (Just having fun.)

    Honestly, I just realized I think our defensive positions are coming up because of our comfort levels with our hometown candidates. I'm sure both cities (and those in between, almost forgot katiebellmoore) do things their own ways and just feel comfortable with those candidates we've come to know and love. Heck, if Mark Strama took on Charlie Gonzales I'd be up in arms about some young guy taking on my favorite congressman too. I'd probably dig out the same positions the Doggett supporters are right now.

    Thanks for the sanity check.

  11. Willingness to fight
    Actually it's about a willingness to fight, not compromise for the sake of compromise. It has nothing to do with some kind of overwhelmingly progressive bent.

    I was referring to someone who scares the Republicans into doing nothing to them or their district. I don't think Castro can do that. I think Doggett does.

    If anything, I think Castro may be too quiescent and cooperative with the radical republicans currently in place. Maybe I'm wrong and he'll be just as fierce an advocate and defender as Doggett has been. That would be great. Unfortunately, I'd rather just vote for the original.

    I'm advocating real leadership and persuasion rather than the current phony bipartisanship and equanimity.

  12. Wait a second here
    Okay Michael called a sort of truce on this but your last comment CANNOT go without response. Let me give you a little more of this. This is a BRAND NEW DISTRICT. It took the core of Gonzales' district also in San Antonio, my district. Doggett has a current district but apparently he and you don't think he can't win it.

    I'll remind you to relook at District Viewer and notice that a chunk (but not a large chunk) was his old district. Gonzales also lost a chunk of his district. I don't see Gonzales running over to the new district. He stayed where he was and plans to run for it, unlike Doggett who cut and ran. Did I miss something there buddy?

    You act like the 35th is Austin's district. Check the map out again. It runs right into the core of San Antonio and to the westside. I just lost my congressman also, someone I also highly respected but I'm not whining. I am supporting someone I know and who I think will do a darn good job.

    So cut the victim stuff and let's follow Michael's advice from now on.

  13. FTFY
    “tired and true” .

    What if some70 year-old guy with no real future in politics kept a young Doggett off the field in 1973??

  14. Like???
    What exactly is he doing that amounts to such a great job?

    Haven't seen one argument beyond inertia in support of Doggett.

    As a constituent of his since late 06, I have and continue to rate him fair to poor. No visibility, no contact, no proactive communication, no help to local candidates and very little willingness to work with smaller towns on their critical needs.

    My vote on this one was made up long before Castro decided to run in a NEW, OPEN seat.

    It all started when he decided to be an undecided on HCR a few days before the vote. A lot of Dems in much tougher districts were toting their load.  

  15. Doggett supported the public option for HCR
    Let not rewrite history, from 3/20/10 Austin American Statesman:

    “I think it's been clear from the outset that I want to vote for a health care bill,” Doggett said.

    But he added that before he can commit, he needs to make sure certain issues are addressed.

    Among his concerns, he said, are affordability and sufficient competition among insurance companies. He also wants to ensure that enough consumer protection provisions make it into the bill, such as those dealing with pre-existing conditions.

    “I still have concerns about this bill,” he said.

    Doggett, a proponent of a public option, said the bill is a starting place. Members of Congress will have to consider other pieces of health care-related legislation this session. One possible bill could deal with rate review and rate regulation, he said.

    Doggett conceded that a public option, which would make a public health insurance plan available in health insurance exchanges, won't be on the table.

    Doggett was one of a few House Democrats from Texas who hadn't backed the Senate version by Friday.

  16. Money to Texas schools
    If the Republicans hadn't taken back the House and reversed it, his amendment to keep the state government from taking away federal money for schools by using it to make up for their short-changing education would have resulted in hundreds of millions more for schools.

  17. No joke
    Colin, you're the only constituent I've ever met with an unkind thing to say about the man. I've hear staffers whine about him because he's a tough boss and kind of a task master, but I've never heard a constituent complain about him.

    I know Republicans in my old precinct who were PISSED when Delay redistricted them out of Doggett's district.

  18. Thanks for the back up
    And proving my memory to be accurate.

    There were a handful of people who also supported legislation that never existed.

    I happen to be talking about HCR. 3/20 was LONG after the bill had taken form…approximately 9 months after.

    There was no version on the table at that point that matched his ideal. Are you his constituent? I'd so, did you want him to withhold his vote for HCR and wait for the perfect one to come around in another 18 years?

    I am his constituent. I remember 1993-1994. I wanted him to support what was on the table.  

  19. I wanted him to vote for it too
    but your comparison to other dems is misleading.  He wasn't “undecided” because he wanted to pander to public opinion and make it easier to get re-elected, but because it wasn't progressive enough, and as a bargaining chip to make it better.  I don't think there's any chance that he would have been a deciding vote against it.

  20. I did
    and a lot of people are going to consider 35 OUR district because it is the only one that hasn't been gerrymandered all to hell to elected a Republican.

    MANY of the people in Austin consider the Democrat THEIR Congressman. Whether it makes sense or not is irrelevant.

    I don't know why you find it so offensive that I would dare to explain the situation here to you. It's the reality on the ground.

  21. says the white guy
    so your position is that young Hispanics don't want to be represented by an Hispanic? where do you live? i work in Hispanic communities every day and that isn't what the reality is on the ground.

  22. vote counts
    you are right about his reasoning, but we had people willing to take a vote that they knew would kill their career and he's undecided because it isn't perfect? that was a bad move and caused the vote count (which came down to the freaking wire) to be skewed.  instead of focusing on our folks in swing districts, someone had to waste time courting the vote of someone who should have been on board 200%.

  23. Game on buddy
    With that kind of attitude your comment became irrelevant to me. It's pretty apparent this is a continuance of the attitude that is wrecking the Democratic Party in TX. I agree that whoever wins the election representsthe district, not just Austin. Your statement reflects otherwise and is actually offensive.

    If that's the prevailing attitude in Austin, game on buddy! But knowing many of the good Ds in Austin I don't think that's the case and you are an outlier. You've already demonstrated a desire to misrepresent people (colin's comment) and I think your doing that about the sentiment of other Austinites.

    I'm coming up with a new blog entry that shows this district could be a great progressive district in both SAT and AUS. We'll see where it goes.

  24. Just curious
    Are you a Doggett constituent?

    Have you ever contacted his office for assistance?

    I have…and was sorely disappointed.

  25. Okay, now you got personal
    “You're ability to read this as a personal attack makes me wonder about your psychiatric stability” was probably one of the most uncalled for comments on this entry.

    That was a personal attack and will be duly noted for any future conversations. I never make a statement like that about anyone unless they are making direct, verbal assaults on a person.

    When I read your comments on this it seems you are the one taking it personally about Doggett and Austin.

    I will tell you Doggett figured out he needs SAT to win the election and has started visiting the Alamo City a LOT more these days. So far he's been down here three times in the past four days, a record for him.

  26. Austin
    McBlogger isn't just making stuff up. The loyalty to Doggett in Austin transcends pretty much everything. There's 1 seat out of 5 that will be Democratic after the 2012 election. Over the decade, the current lines might see one or two more of those become competitive (maybe) towards the end of the decade. But for now, the calculas is really simple for Austin Democrats.

    Do you think Austin should have a Democratic Congressman? Yes

    Will you vote to return Austin's lone Democratic Congressman to DC? Yes

    And that gets you about 85% of the Travis County vote. I mean, who wants to be the head of the Travis County for Castro committee?  Some people would consider that political suicide in this town because people just love Doggett that much.

  27. So where does that leave us folks in Bexar County?
    I guess the bulk of the populus in the district doesn't mean anything.

    Look, I don't like the fact this pits San Antonio against Austin but understand they gutted Gonzalez' district for this district also.

    KT I really respect you on a lot of things but it's like Austin people think they own this district when the majority of the folks were never in CD25 to start with.

    Can you see how this makes us feel? Sorry but I don't think we're going to just roll over because you guys love Doggett.

    Until this past week he made occasional visits down here. I understand he was beholding to his district but now he's like a fixture down here. I can't wait to see him move here next.  

  28. Austin will have a Democratic congressman
    In case you forgot, Castro is also a Democrat. The bottom line is CD35 will be Democratic. The real question will be who that Democrat will be.

  29. I will take that role, K-T
    and the consequences that come with it.

    I am ready to see someone like Rep. Castro hold higher office.  And that certainly doesn't make me a “Republican pawn in a decade long effort to oust LD” as some of my friends have characterized Rep. Castro.

    I am want to see young Hispanics with a great story who are going to inspire and motivate my community.  I am looking for a leader who is going to push us forward.  I electing Rep. Castro is a good start.


  30. A 10-2-1 plan will be publicly discussed as a viable alternative
    The mixed district plan that goes onto the ballot will need to be supported by the NAACP and LULAC or it is dead on arrival. The discussions should be focusing on 8-2-1 versus 10-2-1.

    8-4-1 provides for a city council the same size as a 10-2-1 plan with less geographic representation and less protection of minority representation than a 10-2-1 plan. 6-2-1 and 6-4-1 plans, fail to protect African American representation and short changes Hispanic representation while providing less geographic representation than a 10-2-1 plan.

    If any city council staff member cares to have discussion with me about the pluses and minuses of 8-2-1 versus a 10-2-1 plan, they know where to find me.  I sincerely want the best plan possible brought forward and passed at the ballot box. Further, if any council member would consider appointing me to any commission working on this issue, I would make the time available to serve on that commission.

  31. Speaking of Lamar Smith, My New Congressman
    Will San Antonio Democrats run someone against him? If not, I am sure we can find an irate Democrat in Hays or Travis County to file for the 2012 elections.

  32. It leaves you with a race on your hands.
    I respect you too man, and it's hard to explain to someone not from Austin, but the Democratic community (grassroots and establishment) is going to be whole hog for Lloyd Doggett. Here, it will be about whether or not we lose our Congressman. It'll be as if Lloyd was under heavy fire from a Republican and might lose and everyone comes out of the woodwork to save Lloyd.

    There's a reason that Doggett's in San Antonio. He's a smart politician; he's not going to waste his time convincing Austin voters as they don't need convincing, they only need to be turned out. He'll camp out in the new parts of the district and challenge the very heart of his opponents turf. And in some cases, win it.

  33. I would expect nothing less
    Yea, this is going to be an interesting race. As I said, it will be tough for a bunch of us in both cities. I think you nailed it in your assessment of Austinites fighting in this race as if an R were challenging Doggett. The good part is that it's another D so there will be a Democrat representing the district regardless.

    Regarding Doggett, it will be interesting to see him here more. He'll have to learn SAT politics which can be much different than Austin politics. Regarding some of the liberal aspects, while the district does pull in the more progressive areas of SAT, it also pulls in some areas that aren't all the way up. That may play well to Castro who is progressive but maybe not as much as Doggett.

    I'm sorry but extreme progressive attitudes don't play very well these days and it's a way to lose elections.

    We'll all be good after its over and have to sit down at Scholz's or Fatso's for fun afterwards.

  34. Not at all
    We're all looking for someone good, first. I don't know too many of my friends that vote for or against a candidate based on genetic characteristics.

    By your logic, I would of course always prefer white men which isn't true.

    But I get it, the racial thing is your best argument and you're going to flog it relentlessly.  

  35. OK…
    …It wasn't a personal attack, it was serious concern.

    I keep explaining how Austin is and you keep thinking it's something personal and weirdly misinterpreting what I write. What else am I supposed to think? I'm just saying that people in Travis County, regardless of their actual district, think of the Democrat who represents any piece of Travis County as the one that represents them as well as their district.

    If Castro wins, he'll be the one getting the calls from little old ladies in NW Hills to come to their 4th of July parade.

    As for Doggett, it doesn't surprise me in the least he's down there. Most representatives will campaign and attend events in the districts they're being drawn into. He also has a tremendous number of supporters and personal friends in SA. Former Mayor Hardberger is one.

    You can cut some of the naked aggression. Again, take a step back and pull the emotion out of the thing. You're reading something into what I write that simply isn't there.

  36. We do the same here
    Funny, we do the same with Gonzalez and, in some cases, Cuellar. What's going to be just as interesting is for those of in the core of San Antonio to get over the fact Gonzalez is not our rep any more (you see where I'm going?). But we're doing that and digging into this new district.

    Actually most of us here in San Antonio will be happy with either Doggett or Castro. We'd prefer a young Hispanic but Doggett's just as good. I think that's what really kind of the rub in this.

    Maybe we've been through so much lately here in Bexar County we're ready for some focus back on the issues. It's been a rough year for us and we finally see light at the end of the tunnel now. We really appreciate the support statewide on our problems. It was incredible. Now we're ready to retire our debt and get some good Democrats elected.

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