Pete Gallego Gears Up, Canseco Whines (And Will Speak at the RNC)

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Time for more news about the race to represent Texas's 23rd district in the House of Representatives.

In the spring, Republican Rep. Canseco claimed that he was “assaulted” by the TSA during an airport screening. When he was selected for a patdown, Canseco slapped away the inspector's hands when they approached his upper thighs. The TSA deemed him an “unruly passenger” but now says it has reached an “amicable conclusion” with him.

A second, similar incident happened on April 22nd, when Canseco's bag was selected for additional screening. Canseco grew irate and a police officer was summoned. After a “lengthy discussion,” Canseco finally consented to the bag check. “They really are not law enforcement. They are nothing more than screeners,” Canseco told the San Antonio Express-News this week about his encounters with the TSA.

Whether or not you agree with TSA methods, this is a great example of Canseco's paranoid arrogance. A routine pat-down is not an “assault” under any definition of the word. Canseco's failure to be prepared for this type of thing displays an ignorance of government processes and throwing a hissy fit is not the way a lawmaker should go about addressing perceived problems of government. The second incident with a bag is an even more paranoid Canseco outburst. Is this guy mentally fit for office?

According to Republicans, yes. Canseco has been given a speaking role at the Republican convention on the August 27th, the first day of the convention, party leaders said Monday. “Our country is at a crossroads and the convention will be a great opportunity to address the American people with a vision for economic growth and job creation,” Canseco said in a statement.

As the general election gears up for what may be the hottest race in Texas, Gallego is doing the smart thing: revving up his campaign team. He's given Anthony Gutierrez the position of campaign manager and moved previous campaign manager Jeff Rotkoff to senior adviser. Gallego also named the deft former Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Rebecca Acuna to Communications Director. “We are ready to hit the ground running,” Acuña said. “There's a lot at stake and a real sense of urgency in this race.”

This is what strong campaigns do: they progress. Gallego did the same before his victorious runoff election, and it's encouraging to see him do the same now. Scott Yeldell, Canseco's campaign manager, falsely attacked the move: “This further signals that this turmoil has not ceased, and it makes you wonder – if you can't even run a campaign, how can you represent a district as large and complex as the 23rd District of Texas?”

Nope. It means Gallego's ready to kick Canseco to the curb.

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About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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