Thursday, June 07, 2018

For Texas, It's Just A Matter Of Time-- Meet Mike Siegel


Some of the best candidates running for Congress in Texas lost out to conservatives in the primary or the primary run-offs. But not all. Mike Siegel, running in a bizarrely gerrymandered district (TX-10) that goes from northern Austin and Pflugerville to Bastrop, La Grange, Columbus and Sealy right into Prairie View, Cypress, Tomball and the suburbs northwest of Houston. The district has a PVI of R+9 and Trump beat Hillary 52.3% to 43.2%, not as badly as Romney had beaten Obama. It's only a matter of time before TX-10 is purple. And Mike Siegel, this year's Democratic nominee thinks 2018 could be the year.

One of the best of the Texas candidates who didn't make it through primary season, Derrick Crowe, is enthusiastic about Siegel. He told us that "As the Assistant City Attorney of Austin, Mike fought hard against Texas Senate Bill 4, the racist and dehumanizing 'show me your papers' bill advanced by Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick last year. I was proud to stand with him last Friday as we rallied, marched and protested Ted Cruz and Mike McCaul over Trump's appalling family separation policy."

Goal ThermometerMcCaul, who married into the Clear Channel family-- and voted for the estate tax to perpetrate the idea of aristocracy on America-- is either tiger richest or one of the 3 richest members of the House. He first bought the district in 2004 with $1,907,000 from the family fortune. As of March 31, he had raised $1,063,419. Mike Siegel had raised $105,998 by them, most of which he had to span on the primary and runoff. There were 6 Democrats in the primary and he came in first with 40.3%. The runner-up, Tawana Cadien, was a serial vanity candidate and Siegel beat her in the May 22 runoff 70-30%. He knows beating McCaul will be a lot more difficult. I asked him to introduce himself to DWT readers. If you like what you read, please consider contributing to his campaign by clicking on the ActBlue Making Texas Blue thermometer on the right.

Why I’m Running for TX-10
by- Mike Siegel

I’m a progressive Democrat raised in a union family with work experience as a public school teacher, community organizer, civil rights lawyer, and assistant city attorney. Michael McCaul is my “representative,” but he refuses to meet with any of my neighbors, and he is more concerned with raising his national profile and appeasing Donald Trump than with fighting for the needs of his constituents.

I live in north Austin, in a 10th District that was represented by Lyndon B. Johnson, and that was represented by Lloyd Doggett before the big Texas gerrymander of 2003. McCaul won the next election and six more. In the intervening years, he has become exceedingly wealthy, reporting personal wealth as high as $300 million. Because of his money and the favorable map, McCaul is often described as being “safe.”

But here in the 10th, we aren’t safe.

McCaul is Chairman of Homeland Security, and a proponent of the Border Wall, Family Separation policies, and similar cynical and hateful attacks on our immigrant community. He voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act-- and celebrated afterwards as millions of Americans faced a loss of care. He voted for the 2017 tax cuts that put tens of million dollars in his own pockets while setting up the right-wing push for austerity. He is an “A”-rated NRA candidate, a recipient of Koch Brothers support, and an opponent of unions, reproductive rights, social security, clean air and clean water.

If we are not safe under McCaul, why should he be?

In fact, McCaul is not. Even though the 10th was gerrymandered to be a 60/40 District in favor of the Republicans, Texas cities keep growing, and Austin and Houston continue to sprawl towards each other. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump beat Clinton by nine points in the 10th.

And since that time, McCaul has only inflicted harm on his constituents, by cutting our healthcare and transferring a trillion dollars from working families and essential government programs to the richest among us.

McCaul has also neglected the most basic aspects of representation. The 10th includes Katy, Cypress, and Tomball, three Harris County cities that were dramatically impacted by Hurricane Harvey. McCaul has done little to nothing to help those affected. And instead of obtaining federal support to fund fixes to decrepit flood control facilities, McCaul trumpeted his demand for $20 billion to fund a useless Border Wall.

McCaul’s base of support is brittle, and can be dislodged by a strong field campaign supplemented by targeted outreach across the nine counties of the 10th. We can motivate volunteers because we are fighting for the needs of our friends and neighbors.

We are fighting for healthcare for all and a reversal of the 2017 cuts; for fair immigration policies that keep families together; for a living wage and a retirement with dignity. We are fighting to keep corporate and NRA money out of politics.

To win the primary in a field of seven Democrats, I recruited 250 volunteers from diverse constituencies, including labor organizations, Indivisible activists, and the immigrant rights community.

To win the general, we will need to multiply efforts and reach out to additional communities who are suffering under the Trump-McCaul paradigm.

The 10th is not first on the “flippable” lists, but McCaul is not invincible, and his disdain for regular Texans is an Achilles heel.

We are running a hard campaign that will join forces with all of the activated groups in Texas, from Beto’s campaign for Senate to the grassroots organizations that have sprouted under Trump. We can take back the 10th and, in the process, strike a blow against this Republican reign of terror.

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At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TX is kind of interesting to think about... maybe in a decade or so.

Ever since LBJ betrayed whites by wrangling Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts, it's been hard Nazi. The white majoriey there are as racist as AL, dumb as OK and mean as Reinhard Heydrich.

Yet, there is quite a vibrant progressive itch among even some of the whites (see: Austin) that they almost reflexively REFUSE to scratch.

But as the years pass, the demographics are changing bwo the latino, black and asian demos outreproducing the whites. I don't know what year it is projected that the registered voters will be majority minority, but it has to be in the next decade.

The problem for the majority minority, sadly, shall be that they will still have only the choice between Nazis and fascists. The occasional decent candidate will always be impotent against the permanently entrenched corrupt fascist oligarchs in the non-Nazi party.


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