2022 Texas Elections

Texas 2022 Elections (Pink Tsunami)

Good news everyone! Pink Tsunami is getting an early head start for 2022! By the time you are reading this, it will be past the filing deadline for the Texas elections. This piece, however, has been written earlier. This is to ensure that the piece is fully up to date by the time the filing deadline hits, and that the reader is fully informed. And considering the uphill battle we have to look forward to, we will need them. I mean seriously, we lost fucking Virginia??? How the hell do we have any chance in Texas? Why am I even writing this piece?

As tempting as it is to just doom spiral the entire time, I think it’s best to explain how we got here. Establishment Democrats already have about as much sense as teenagers in bad slasher flicks, but watching a Neoliberal hacks run against a Republican in a swing state makes me feel like I’m watching a snuff film. I desperately hope that he gets out alive, but I already know how this ends because this isn’t a work of fiction. Because when people act like idiots in real life, they get hurt. And as much as I hate to say it, that’s probably what’s going to happen to Beto O’Rourke.

Gubernatorial Election (Beto O’Rourke Vs Greg Abbot)

This election was over before it even began, because Beto thought it was a good idea to come out in favor of mandatory gun confiscation while he was running for President. While that may work in a Democratic Primary for the Presidency, he failed to consider the fact that he may want to run for office back in his home state of TEXAS!! Such a brilliant move to directly confirm what Republicans have been telling you that Democrats will do for decades now! And keep in mind, gun confiscation is such a brain dead policy idea that even I as a leftist am against it. Because if there is anything that the vulnerable black and Latino populations of Texas need, it’s another excuse for cops to come knocking on their door.

Oh, but Beto is sure to win millions of people over when he rides into the debate stage on a skate board, or when he says “fuck” again. Or maybe he can start speaking Spanish again! It’s amazing that Vaush never thought of that, it’s such a perfect debate strategy! Hehehe we’re in hell!!! I’m wondering if I should even bother to point out how much of a piece of shit Greg Abbot is. On one hand, we gotta hold these fuckers accountable, but it feels like I’m trying to punch down a wall with my bear fists. Do I even need to say anything? He’s a fucking Republican, of course he’s a scumbag! Of course he’s bigoted! Of course he’s corrupt! And we don’t have any candidates better than Beatoff My Pork to support, so he’s going to get re-elected, but that doesn’t mean we should go down without a fight.

Just a reminder of what’s at stake with a Greg Abbot re-election, here’s a quick rundown of his recent bullshit.

Greg Abbot’s Covid policy in a nutshell.

This is ignoring the massive role he played in the campaign against gay rights he played in the 2000s and 2010s, where he literally argued that because gay men are just as free to marry a woman as everyone else, that they shouldn’t be complaining. He also ran a highly homophobic ad against his lesbian opponent in 2018, because homophobia is TOTALLY finished! I kid you not, as Attorney general of Texas, he defended the banning of sex toys, for the purpose of “discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex and the pursuit of sexual gratification unrelated to procreation.” In other words, he’s a petty authoritarian who thinks that having sex for any other reason than child birth should be banned.

Greg Abbot is transparently corrupt, malicious, and all around horrible, and he’s most likely going to win re-election unless Beto can tap into what made his 2018 Senate campaign work, which he doesn’t seem to be doing thus far. The plus side is that Abbot’s approval rating has been consistently cratering, and that Beto is a better candidate than Terry McAuliffe, so MAYBE it’s possible that Beto could win if he runs the right type of campaign. The problem is that Texas is a much more conservative state than Virginia, and that gun speech he gave is really going to bite him in the ass. I really hope I’m wrong about this and that Beto can pull out a win, but I don’t have my hopes up.

Lieutenant Gubernatorial Election (Mike Collier Vs Dan Patrick)

There is some hope to be found in Texas’s Lieutenant Gubernatorial election however. Mike Collier, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant Governor in 2018, came within 5% of incumbent Republican Dan Patrick, outperforming Gubernatorial nominee Lupe Valdez by 4% and outperforming Beto in 171 counties. In other words, Mike Collier has a a much better shot at winning than Beto does, which is even better since Texas’s lieutenant Governor has the power appoint committee chairs and direct legislation through the state legislature. Considering how much harm the state legislature has done in the past few years, this race is arguably more important than the Gubernatorial race.

The downside is that Mike Collier doesn’t do as well among heavily blue districts, who overwhelmingly prefer outspoken progressives over moderates, which likely explains why he did not perform as well as Beto in 2018. But as has been establish, 2018 Beto is NOT 2022 Beto. During his Presidential campaign, Beto ditched his 2018 campaign staff and switched over to establishment Obama staffers, which lead to him completely changing his approach. Obama’s campaign may have worked in the 2000s against generic neocons like McCain and Romney, but times are changing. Also Obama was just better at this than Beto is.

Anyway, the point is, Mike Collier will inevitably need more donations than Beto, so maybe focus your efforts on him. This is especially worth consideration because Dan Patrick is every bit as evil as Greg Abbot, possibly even worse. Pretty much everything said about Greg Abbot also applies to Dan Patrick. Let’s go over his list of shit he did.

Mike Collier Donation Link

Attorney General Election (Lee Merit Vs Ken Paxton)

Yet another opportunity lies in the race for Texas Attorney General. In 2018, incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton only managed to win re-election by 3.6%, which was a far cry from the 20.8% margin he was elected with in 2014. In 2022, he not only has to worry about the general election, but he’s also facing a primary challenge from more than one Republican. Ken Paxton has recently been exposed to a number of scandals, including the fact that he has not faced trial after having been indicted on two counts of felony securities fraud, bribery and abuse of office, and even an affair with a Capitol staffer that was later hired by one of his donors. Speaking of donors, those were the people who paid for his legal fees, which totaled in $84,000 in 2017.

This is a man who has sent Cease and Desist orders to public schools for busing eligible students to the polls. This is a man who had his wife run for State Senate to draft legislation to keep him out of jail. And yes, he was also the one who took Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election to the Supreme Court so he could get a pardon, which Trump hilariously did not give him. Do I even need to tell you that he’s also a bigot and perpetually wrong on every issue? I’d just be repeating most of what I said for the last two. The only reason he’s being primaried is because he’s bad for optics.

Paxton’s most competitive challenger is currently George P Bush, the oldest child of Jeb Bush, who is the brother of former President George W Bush, who is the son of other former President George H W Bush, who is the son of former Senator Prescot Bush, and I think you see his biggest selling point. But it’s not his only selling point. Unlike his father and Uncle, who at the very least won’t openly support a fascist who inspired an attempted coup and tried to illegally overturn the results of the election, George P Bush is very much willing to align himself with Trump for the sake of his career, as well as endorsing the primary challenger to the daughter of his Uncle’s Vice President. In yet another pathetic display, George P Bush has willingly ignored Trump’s attacks on his family in order to get Trump’s endorsement, only for him to endorse Paxton instead.

One particular incident that should tell you a lot about George P Bush is that he blamed the Power Grid failures in early 2021 on wind and solar energy, despite the fact that 90% of the power plants that failed used fossil fuels. Policy wise, George P Bush is running on such stunning promises of deploying the National Guard at the border, finishing Trump’s racist wall, and on petty culture war shit like “police good no defund” and the usual “war on Christmas” nonsense. In other words, he’s employing the Glenn Youngkin strategy, which could make him more appealing then someone as addled with corruption as Ken Paxton. Trump endorsing his opponent however, will make it less likely for him to get the nomination if the polls are any indication.

To make things more complicated Louie Gohmert has also filed to run for Attorney General. If you don’t know who Louie Gohmert is, you’re lucky. Imagine someone with Marjorie Taylor Greene levels of conspiratorial buffoonery who has been in congress since 2005, that’s Louie Gohmert. Gohmert’s most infamous controversy is his “terror babies” conspiracy, in which there are, supposedly “terrorist cells overseas sending young women to become pregnant so they would deliver the baby in the United States, and then take the baby with them back to be raised as a terrorist. When adult, this operative—a U.S. citizen by birth—could be easily infiltrated in the U.S. to carry out terrorist actions.When asked by Anderson Cooper if he had any evidence to confirm this, he pointed to a Washington Post article about Chinese Tourists who sometimes give birth in the US so their children have a better life.

Some other noteworthy Gohmert gaffes and scandals includes admitting he would fake being trans to get into the women’s bathroom, suggesting that we alter the moon’s orbit to combat climate change, testifying in support of convicted war criminal Derrick Miller, argued in favor of a trans Alaskan oil pipeline as a means for Caribou to have sex, being one of only four house reps to vote against a bill supporting entrepreneurial programs for women, voting against Anti-LGBT hate crime legislation, being one of only four house reps to vote against an anti lynching bill, getting Covid after not wearing a mask and then saying he might have got it FROM wearing a mask, falsely accusing top Obama officials of allying with the Muslim Brotherhood, voting against a resolution to give the Congressional Gold Medal to the officers who defended the Capitol on January 6th, and claiming that the aforementioned insurrection attempt was set up by Democrats.

I’m not even going to try to mention every idiotic action taken by this moron because, to be honest, I don’t think he’s a threat here. The only reason Gohmert has managed to stay in power for so long is because he occupies one of the most conservative districts in the country. Extremists like Gohmert tend to preform a lot more poorly in swing districts because fear is a large part of what drives turnout in these elections. This is why Biden was able to win in 2020 despite his weakness as a candidate, because there are a fuck ton of liberals scared to death at what four more years of this lunatic would do to our country. On top of this, Gohmert is not smart, and often says the quiet part loud. Moderate Republicans consider people like Gohmert a liability, and will be more hesitant to vote for someone like him than someone like Ken Paxton or George P Bush.

In other words, Gohmert likely won’t even get the nomination, which means he will have given up his congressional seat. This means we will have one of the most fascist aligned Republicans in congress gone, and he will be replaced by your standard dog whistle bigot Republican. And believe me, we need to get as many of these nutcases out of power as possible. And if Gohmert starts to poll well, we need to treat him as a serious threat. We don’t want a repeat of 2016 after all.

On the Democratic side of things, there are currently three candidates running for the nomination, and all three of them seem like fairly competent candidates. The best candidate of the three is looking to be civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is most known for being the lawyer of Ahmaud Arbery’s family. Given that Texas Democrats overwhelmingly prefer progressives, and the fact that Ken Paxton is imbued with corruption, Lee Merritt likely has the best chance at victory. Not to mention that Merritt is running on fixing the system as a whole, while the current front runner Joe Jaworski is strictly focusing on attacking Ken Paxton, which will backfire if anyone else wins the primary. However, it’s worth noting that all three candidates seem fairly competent, which is quite refreshing. If only we had a better Gubernatorial nominee.

Lee Merritt – Donation Link

Texas Congressional District 23 Election (John Lira Vs Tony Gonzales)

The Democratic candidate looks like a cross between The Rock and Ru Paul, and that’s the most noteworthy thing about him.

Well, that just about covers the noteworthy state wide races. Hopefully the Democrats win at least one of them, because there don’t seem to be many Republican seats within striking distance. Back in April, the DCCC announced that it would be targeting Texas’s 23rd and 24th seats. These two seats make the most logical sense given that they have both had Democratic victories between 2016 and 2020.

Those that read my 2020 political pieces may notice that I’m focusing a bit more on the Republican side of things this time around. Last election, I felt it became redundant to point out how each Republican is a total scumbag, but it occurred to me that this is exactly how Republicans get away with that shit. We all become numb to whatever they do that we forget about it by the time election year comes around. And while it may be a bit too much for me to write about every Republican running for re-election in every backwards district where there hasn’t been a competitive race in decades, I’m at least going to tell you why you should vote out as many as these corrupt money grubbing parasites as possible, even if I’m not enthusiastic about their replacements.

Quite simply put, everything that happened in the past five years is a valid reason to vote against Republicans as a collective, but that’s not how these races work. I instead need to tell you about Tony Gonzales and Beth Van Duyne’s individual records, as well as what our chances of beating them are. Tony Gonzales is fairly moderate compared to other Republicans. Tony Gonzales was one of only 35 Republicans to who voted to Investigate the January 6th Insurrection, and he is a part of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. Granted, the Problem Solvers Caucus is only “bipartisan” in that corporate Democrats and Republicans are working together on protecting large corporations and special interests.

The Incumbent Republican Tony Gonzales looks only slightly less derpy than his Democratic opponent, and that’s the only area where he’s an improvement.

Tony Gonzales isn’t even a Brian Fitzpatrick moderate in that he’s pro-choice and pro LGBT either. He voted against the Equality Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 after all. Considering what we have to look forward to now that the Supreme Court upheld Texas’s abortion ban, it’s important that we get rid of as many Anti-choice homophobes as possible, even if they will occasionally say “Trump bad” when the planets align and no one is looking. He also voted against the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act because he thinks black people getting lynched by racist police is good actually. And he voted against the For the People Act, because fair elections mean Democrats win more often. Oh, and the Paycheck Fairness Act, he voted against that one to. Because apparently “Women getting paid” is still something that needs to be debated.

Speaking of issues that should have been long resolved, he voted against the repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. Okay seriously, who the fuck thinks we still need to be in Iraq? It’s been 20 years for fucks sake! We shouldn’t have even been there to begin with! Oh, he also voted against the No Ban Act, because we just have to keep the scary brown people out of our country so they don’t dirk er jerbs! But what really shows just how spineless Tony Gonzales is, is that he voted against Removing Marjorie Taylor Green from standing committees, and he voted to Acquit Donald Trump after he incited a attempted coup! In other words, he doesn’t even do the bare minimum of saying “Trump bad.”

And as for Beth Van Duyne, she is……. oh, she’s been gerrymandered into a significantly safer district, and her 2020 opponent has been drawn out of the district. As much as I’d love to tear into Beth Van Duyne anyway, this piece is already long enough as it is, so I’ll save it for the races that actually matter. As much as I hate to say it, I don’t think Texas is going to flip any House seats in 2022. Every red seat now has a PVI rating in double digits with the exception of Tony Gonzales’ seat, and I doubt he’s going to lose re-election because his opponent John Lira is a walking platitude machine who doesn’t even have an issues page on his site.

The plus side to all of this is that we have a slew of progressives running in congressional elections, which means some of them are going to get elected. And while not having any serious challengers to Republicans is bad in the short term, replacing corporate Democrats in safe blue districts in good in the long term. It’s good precisely because the incompetence of the Democratic Party is a major reason we are still in this mess. And the safe blue districts are exactly where we should be electing progressives! It’s not like the Republicans haven’t done this, hell it’s the only reason most of them got elected!

Texas Congressional District 28 Election (Jessica Cisneros Vs Henry Cuellar)

So the most noteworthy of these races is inevitably going to be Jessica Cisneros’s second attempt at unseating Henry Cuellar. Looking at my 2020 PT piece on Texas, I did not give Henry Cuellar nearly enough of a verbal thrashing (among many problems I have with that piece). Henry Cuellar is firmly in the “basically a Republican but with a D next to his name” category, otherwise known as “Blue Dogs.” Jessica Cisneros ran against him with the support of Justice Democrats in 2020, and lost by less than 3,000 votes. Yeah, that was a devastating loss, but she’s running again, and we’ve already seen Cori Bush and Marie Newman win their primaries on their second attempt, so Cisneros could very well pull through this time.

I said in my last piece that Henry Cuellar voted in favor of federally banning same sex marriage, extending the Patriot Act, defunding sanctuary cities, and accepting contributions from big oil, private prisons, the NRA, and the Koch brothers, and that would be reason enough, but I left out a surprising amount against him. The first thing is that he has has one of the worst records on reproductive health out of any House Democrat. This was already appalling back in 2020, but in 2022 when Texas is facing one of the most draconian abortion bans in this country’s history, it’s unacceptable to have someone like Cuellar representing the people of Texas. Some of his votes include defunding Planned Parenthood, allowing DC bosses to discriminate based on reproductive decisions, restricting access to abortion coverage in health insurance plans, and allowing doctors to refuse medical care to patients based on personal beliefs.

He also has one of the lowest League of Conservation Voters lifetime rankings among House Democrats, with a 47% ranking. And the only reason it’s that high is because he’s been voting more in line with House Democrats since Cisneros scared him the first time. His 2020 score is 90%, and his 2019 score was 79%, but before that, it tended to range from 20 to 20%, and one year was even as low as 8%.

Similarly, he voted with Trump 68% of the time from 2017 to 2018, but he started voting better once he realized he had a primary challenger. Henry Cuellar is such a DINO that not only did he endorse George W Bush in 2000 and was the Secretary of state under REPUBLICAN Governor Rick Perry, but the fact that he planned to vote for Obama was considered headline worthy! I dunno about you, but if it’s considered headline worthy that you plan to vote for the nominee in your own party, maybe you are a better fit for the other one. In 2015, Cuellar was one of only 28 House Democrats to approve the Keystone Pipeline, and one of twelve to vote to eliminate Obamacare coverage for employees who work 30 to 39 hours a week.

Henry Cuellar’s record on Immigration is also every bit as atrocious as his record on abortion and the environment. In 2014, he worked with Republican Senator John Cornyn to strip protections from immigrant children at the border. This move earned Cuellar the ire of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with them outright saying that Henry Cuellar does not represent the views of the Caucus, despite him being Latino himself. In 2017, Cuellar voted with Republicans to allow for the deportation of immigrants suspected of gang membership regardless of whether or not they were arrested. And just this year, he defended the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrant by US Border Patrol agents. Henry Cuellar stated “We have to be careful that we don’t just automatically just blame Border Patrol. They’re trying to do their job as best as they can, and if there’s an issue, we’ll investigate.” This was after Border Patrol Agents were caught on camera using whips on horseback to push back migrants, behavior that was compared to the Ku Klux Klan by The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

For those that believe Henry Cuellar had a sudden change of heart due to his close call with Cisneros, I not only point to that last example, but I also point to the fact that he voted against cutting our bloated Pentagon budget during the middle of the pandemic, voted in favor of a $1,000,000,000 defense fund for Israel’s Iron Dome, was one of 22 House Democrats to block an amendment to prevent transfers of grenade launchers and armed drones to local police, and was one of nine House Democrats who attempted to derail the 3.5 trillion dollar infrastructure plan in the House.

Just another reminder why establishment Democrats are not to be trusted.

The choice is quite obvious when you put Cuellar next to Jessica Cisneros. Cisneros is running on Medicare for All, an independent immigration court system, repealing the Hyde Amendment, monthly $2,000 survival checks, raising the minimum wage, a Green New Deal, overturning Citizens United, and eliminating student Debt, and has received the endorsements of Justice Democrats, Emily’s List, NARAL, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, The Working Families Party, the Sunrise Movement, and Brand New Congress, as well Elizabeth Warren, Jamaal Bowman, and State Senator Wendy Davis.

In addition to the Primary, there is also the general election to worry about. The NRCC has included Texas’s 28th district on their target list for 2022, and considering that only two of the five district included have not become safe blue districts, it’s almost certain that they will target this seat. This means that if Jessica Cisneros wins the primary, she’ll have to fend off a Republican challenger as well. While Texas’s 28th congressional district still has a D+5 PVI rating, the real concern is the fact that Henry Cuellar could likely endorse the Republican nominee if Jessica Cisneros wins the primary. We already know that corporate Democrats are more than willing to endorse Republicans to screw over Democrats given what happened with Kara Eastman and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, but there’s also the fact that Henry Cuellar has endorsed Republicans even when they WEREN’T running against progressives. Henry Cuellar endorsing the Republican nominee is less a question and more of an inevitability, and we’d best be prepared for it if Cisneros wins.

Jessica Cisneros – Donation Link

Texas Congressional District 35 Election (Greg Casar Vs Eddie Rodriguez)

So, in a recent development, Justice Democrats endorsed a second Texas candidate for congress. While having Jessica Cisneros run again was a no brainer, I must admit that Greg Casar was not on my radar prior to the announcement of this endorsement. Greg Casar is an Austin City Council Member who is running for the open seat left by Lloyd Dogget, who is running for re-election in in Texas’s 37th district instead (more on that later). Texas’s 35th district has a PVI rating of D+21, so it’s safe to assume that whoever wins the primary will be elected. The primary will like come down to Greg Casar, and state representative Eddie Rodriguez, and currently, Greg Casar is killing it in the polls.

I’d normally have more to say, but from what I can gather, Eddie Rodriguez also seems to be quite the progressive, meaning that there’s likely no downside to this race. Not something you see very often is it?

Texas Congressional District 30 Election (Jessica Mason Vs Jasmine Crockett)

In Texas’s 30th congressional district, we have an open seat due to incumbent Eddie Bernice Johnson’s retirement. There is now a nine person primary for the Democratic nomination, the winner of which will inevitably be elected due to the district’s PVI rating of D+27. The most progressive candidate in this race, IE the one we want to win, is US Navy Veteran Jessica Mason, who is running on a platform that includes Medicare for All, ending cash bail, legalizing marijuana, a Green New Deal, and abolishing ICE, and has been endorsed by Brand New Congress, Vote Vets, New Politics, and Honor Bound, as well as by Marianne Williamson and Nina Turner. She also raised the most money out of all five candidates, with $133,908 raised as of September 21st 2021.

Jessica Mason will likely be a major player in this campaign, but she doesn’t have a guaranteed win. The current front runner in this race is clearly Jasmine Crockett, who has a fuckton of endorsements from party officials, including Eddie Bernice Johnson. It’s going to be tough for Jessica Mason to catch up. At the very least though, I can say that Jasmine Crockett isn’t the worst choice. While her policy positions are pretty weak compared to Mason’s, she did take Pro Bono cases for Black Lives Matter activists as a civil rights attorney, and she also broke quorum to prevent Texas from passing its draconian abortion bill. When congressional Democrats are too afraid to go against the non-binding Senate Parliamentarian that has no consequences for disobeying, that is a step in the right direction.

My concern, however, is where Jasmine Crockett will be in about ten years from now. We’ve seen time and time again how DC corrupts people with good intentions. When even people like AOC are starting to lose their grip, what exactly does that say about someone who won’t run on Medicare for All in an overwhelmingly blue district? Contrary to popular belief, Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema are not the sole obstacle in the way of progress. Remember, eight Senate Democrats voted against a minimum wage increase last March. In order to counter this, we need to elect as many well principled progressives as possible, and Jessica Mason fits that bill more than Jasmine Crockett.

Jessica Mason – Donation Link

Texas Congressional District 37 Election (Donna Imam Vs Lloyd Doggett)

In Texas’s 37th Congressional District, we have a four way primary for the Democratic nomination. Once again, the winner will inevitably win the general election since the district has a PVI rating of D+24. Given that this district was redistricted from the former 35th district, the incumbent of that former district, Lloyd Doggett has opted to run for re-election in this one instead. Lloyd Doggett is fairly interesting in that he has a fairly progressive record compared to most of his peers. He is known for having a strong record on climate change and the environment, having a lifetime rating of 97% by the League of Conservation voters, which is quite noteworthy considering he’s held this seat since 1995.

His record is far from spotless however. In 2020, Lloyd Doggett endorsed incumbent Travis County DA Margaret Moore instead of her progressive, DSA challenger Jose Garcia (who went on to beat her by over 30 points in the primary runoff). Considering that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both endorsed Jose Garcia, this shows that Lloyd Doggett is very much beholden to corporate influence. This can also be observed when you look at Doggett’s campaign donors, and see that most of his contributions come from Health Professionals, Law firms, and the Real Estate industry.

On top of this, Doggett, has some less than stellar votes on other issues. Doggett’s early record on LGBT rights, for instance, saw him voting to federally ban gay marriage in 1996, and refusing to co-sponsor the Permanent Partners Immigration Act in 2003. In 2005, Doggett refused to co-sponsor the Military Readiness Enhancement Act which would have repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and also refused to co-sponsor the Uniting American Families Act. In 2007, Doggett STILL refused to co-sponsor the Uniting American Families Act, as well as the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, and Early Treatment for HIV Act. In 2009, Doggett refused to Co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act to repeal DOMA and STILL ignored the Uniting American Families Act. For context, those bills respectively had 121 and 136 Co-sponsors at that point in time. In 2011, he finally decided to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage act, but still refused to co-sponsor the Uniting American Families Act.

Lloyd Doggett’s top donors.

Other blots on Doggett’s record include voting to repeal Glass-Steagall, voting for the Patriot Act, voting in favor of Regime change in Libya, voting in favor of the anti sex worker SESTA/FOSTA, voting to condemn the BDS movement, and voting in favor of $1,000,000,000 in funding for Israel’s iron dome.

This is all brought up because Donna Imam, a progressive who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders in 2020, is primarying Doggett. While Doggett wouldn’t be the first Dem I’d suggest to primary, there certainly is a noticeable difference between the two. The most obvious of which is their campaign funding. Imam raised 42.19% of her funds through small dollar donations in 2020, Doggett only managed 3.31%. This means that corporate donors and special interests will have significantly less influence over Imam.

The sheer fact that Imam is continuing her campaign after Doggett stepped in is a sign that she’s likely more of a fighter than he is, and given how dire the situation in Texas is, we need to elect as many fighters as possible.

Donna ImamDonation Link

Texas Congressional District 34 Election (Diego Zavala Vs Vicente González)

In Texas’s 34th Congressional district, we have a seven way primary for the Democratic nomination, the winner of which will most likely win the General Election given the district’s D+12 PVI rating. The primary is a seven way election between seven candidates, three of which are progressives. There was actually a 4th progressive in the race, but Ryan Trevino was unable to make the ballot. The three progressives are Beatriz Reynoso, Diego Zavala, and Osbert Gamaliel Haro Rodriguez.

Of these three candidates, the one with the best approach in my opinion, is Diego Zavala. While I personally would give my vote to Zavala because his site lists the most policies I want to see, I’m also aware that this isn’t what sways most voters. What really makes me view Zavala as the most capable is his rhetoric. In his campaign video, he doesn’t start off with a droning speech about how he grew up in a poor neighborhood to a family of three or whatever. Right from the start, he goes after incumbent Filemon Vela for his corruption, which is an important part of how to run a primary campaign against an incumbent.

Compare this to Beatriz Reynoso, who supports the right policies, but her rhetoric is the same as any other Democrat; a mess of platitudes and cliches about how good things are good and bad things are bad, at least if her campaign video is any indication. This type of approach may have worked in the 90s, but we’re in an anti-establishment era, and an anti-establishment candidate needs to adopt anti-establishment rhetoric. Voters don’t care about who you are or how you grew up, they care about what you’ll do and how you’ll do it! And it’s because of this, that Zavala is the most likely of the three to successfully win this primary, but it’s still a long shot.

While former incumbent Filemon Vela has opted to retire, and he won’t be missed considering he tried to block the Build Back Better plan, former district 15 incumbent Vicente Gonzales has been gerrymandered into this district, and he’s even worse than Filemon Vela. Vicente Gonzales is a member of the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, and the pro corporate Problem Solvers Caucus. And much like Filemon Vela, he ALSO tried to block the reconciliation package, which I’m sure has nothing to do with being offered $200,000 by the dark money group No Labels to do so, and the fact that he raised over $109,000 from corporate donors during his showdown with Pelosi.

He says after the bill was severely gutted and now won’t even pass the Senate. Eat shit.

In 2020, Vicente Gonzales raised a total of $1,008,381, less than 2% of which came from contributions under $200, and 98.48% came from PACs, most of which were from the Insurance industry or Big Oil. Perhaps the latter may explain why in 2020, he was tied with Mike Doyle for the ninth lowest League of Conservation voters lifetime score among House Democrats. Some of Gonzales’s more egregious votes on this matter include being the only Democrat to vote to eliminate environmental justice grants, voting to allow offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with four other house Dems, joining nine other Democrats to block protections for endangered Grey Wolves, voting with four other Democrats to allow drilling in the Arctic Refuge, and voting with two other Democrats to block the EPA from setting standards to reduce methane pollution.

In 2017, Vicente Gonzales refused to co-sponsor a number of pro-LGBT and anti discrimination bills, a few of which had close to 200 Co-sponsors at that point. As of today, he still has not co-sponsored the International Human Rights Defense Act of 2019, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2019, the Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2019, or the Every Child Deserves of Family Act. As a trans woman and a lesbian, I’m quite sick of corporate Democrats who do the bare minimum for LGBT people while they are in office, and come begging for our votes when election season comes around.

Some other shitty votes by Vicente Gonzales include voting in favor of the Thin Blue Line Act, voting for the anti Sex worker bill SESTA/FOSTA, Co-sponsoring legislation to condemn the BDS movement, joining four other Democrats to vote against the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, voting against cutting the Pentagon budget by 10% in the middle of a pandemic, and voting in favor of $1,000,000,000 in funding for Israel’s iron dome. And probably a bunch of other shitty Climate votes. I didn’t even try to list all the times he votes with Republicans against pro environment legislation.

I think that should be enough of a case for Diego Zavala. Although I will support the other progressives if they win the primary, and they still have my support regardless.

Diego ZavalaDonation Link

Texas Congressional District 15 Election (Michelle Vallejo Vs Monica De La Cruz Hernandez)

In Texas’s 15th Congressional district, there is a six way primary for the Democratic nomination. This district has a PVI rating of D+1 however, so they will also have to contend with a Republican in the General Election. Given that former incumbent Vicente Gonzales was moved into the 34th district, which means that right wing lunatic, Monica De La Cruz Hernandez, who lost to Vicente Gonzales by less than three points, is running with an incumbency advantage. Considering that Monica De La Cruz abused her 14 year daughter, was endorsed by an insurrectionist, and promotes the Bigly Lie that the 2020 election was stolen, we seriously do NOT want her to win this! Keeping this psychopath out of Congress is a top priority, even if the Democratic nominee isn’t ideal.

But let’s take a look at Monica De La Cruz’z policy page shall we? Literally the first issue that shows up on her page is “Muh Border,” which includes “Finish the wall” and “Support BPC and ICE.” In other words, no substance other than “keep the scary brown people out.” For energy, she says “End regulations that increase the cost of energy,” “Support oil and natural gas jobs,” and “Reject radical socialist Green New Deal policies.” Hmm, I wonder whose funding her campaign? Oh yeah, Commercial Metals Co! And a whole bunch of other corporate PACs!

The plus side is that there are three progressives running in the primary, and there’s a decent chance that one of them ends up the nominee. The three progressives in question are Julio Garza, Michelle Vallejo, and Vanessa Tijerina. Of the three, I suspect that Michelle Vallejo is most likely to receive the nomination due to her receiving the endorsement of Lupe Votes, having the most Twitter followers, and that she’s the only one of the three to have a campaign video recorded. The launch vid itself is also incredible by the way.

Michelle Vallejo represents everything Monica De La Cruz does not, and is the perfect candidate to run against her. Provided that she receives the necessary funding to compete, she could easily contrast herself to Monica De La Cruz’s destructive, fascist bullshit.

Michelle Vallejo – Donation Link

Texas Congressional District 21 Election (Claudia Zapata Vs Chip Roy)

And finally, a red district with a progressive running in it. Unfortunately, it’s an R+14 district so there’s next to zero chance of flipping this seat in 2022. That being said, I’m still choosing to cover this race because it’s important to support down ballot progressives, and because we’ve already seen that progressives can make in impact even when they don’t win. There’s also the fact that, apparently, every county that Chip Roy represents has trended a few points to the left in 2020 compared to 2016. If this is true, then it makes sense to keep pushing to flip this district.

There are three progressives running in this district, and those three are Claudia Zapata, Scott Sturm, and David Anderson. The Democratic nominee will likely come down between Claudia Zapata and Scott Sturm since they both raised comparable amounts, and given that Zapata has earned the endorsements of University Democrats, AFSCME Local 1624, and Barrier to Entry PAC, I think she has the edge. Given that Zapata is running on a Green New Deal, $15 minimum wage, overturning Citizen’s United, and housing for all, she draws a sharp contrast to the district’s incumbent parasite Chip Roy.

Chip Roy is the type of person who ditched his own wife on their 15th anniversary so he could keep the Democratic majority controlled congress up until 4 AM to secure money for Trump’s border wall. Chip Roy is the type of person who choose to hold up 19 billion in disaster aid to Texas on a vote that both Texas senators voted for. Chip Roy is the type of person who cites an old saying about lynching and followed it up with “we take justice very seriously!” Fuck, there’s going to be a lot to discuss here, so we may as well start in chronological order.

I rest my case.

Prior to running for political office, Chip Roy ghost wrote Rick Perry’s book Fed Up, which served as an agenda for his disastrous 2012 Presidential campaign. Said book infamously referred to social security is a “Ponzi scheme” and called for the removal of the 16th and 17 amendments. In other words, we go back to having the state legislature choose US Senators, and no more federal income tax or social security. Authoritarian nutcase much? Since then, Chip Roy has been a fairly typical Freedom Caucus nutcase, and I’m tired just thinking about writing up everything stupid he’s done.

To get the most obvious away, he was one of those fuckers who criticized lock down orders and then blamed the surge in cases on illegal immigrants… during a period where all nonessential activity on the border was shut down. In January of 2021, Chip Roy joined the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Louie Gohmert to protest a mask mandate for the House chamber.

He was also one of only 14 Republicans to vote against making Juneteenth a Federal holiday. He accused AOC of “political theatrics” when she was called as a witness to testify about a story where a migrant woman held in an ICE camp was forced to drink out of the toilet to survive. He’s pretty much voted against every LGBT rights bill and every climate related legislation to ever exist, and he’s basically a cartoon super villain. There’s probably some even worse shit that he’s done, but it feels redundant to even point this out because the people who vote for him do so for one reason, “own the libs.” That’s the only philosophy that many of these corporate scumbags have, and you idiots continue to vote for them even though they hate you every bit as much as they hate me, and will just as quickly screw you over.

Claudia Zapata – Donation Link

Texas Senate District 27 Election (Sara Stapleton-Barrera Vs Alex Dominguez )

Holy shit, I’m over 7,400 words into this piece and am not even close to being done. Jesus fucking Christ, you better fucking appreciate this shit! The Texas state legislature is obviously quite important considering that they can approve disastrous policies like the abortion ban, the trans discrimination bills, and any of the Covid shit. It’s not just Greg Abbot and Dan Patrick that allow these things to happen, it’s these shitheads as well. Democrats flipped two state Senate seats in 2018 and 1 in 2020, and they need to flip three seats in order to obtain a majority.

The good news is that all State Senate seats are up for re-election in 2022 due to redistricting, when it’s usually only half of the state senate alternating every two years. This basically means more opportunities to flip red seats. The downside is that Republicans have a trifecta, and most likely have gerrymandered the maps to remove the likelihood of competitive races. According to RepresentUs, only one state Senate seat and six state House seats are looking to be competitive.

The one competitive district is Texas’s 27th Senatorial district, where incumbent Democrat Eddie Lucio, a conservative, anti-choice Democrat with close ties to Dan Patrick, is retiring after having held this seat for three decades. It is strongly speculated that the reason Lucio is retiring is due to his close primary race in 2020 against progressive challenger Sara Stapleton-Barrera. In 2022, Sara Stapleton-Barrera is running in a four way primary for the Democratic nomination. Unfortunately, State Rep Alex Dominguez is also running, meaning that the two are going to battle it out for the nomination.

While Alex Dominguez is undoubtedly superior to Eddie Lucio, he’s also a walking platitude machine who stands for nothing, and that’s a death sentence in a swing district during a red wave. Compare this to Sara Stapleton-Barrera who has detailed policy proposals and is clearly shown to be a passionate candidate. I think we know who the superior candidate is. Alex Dominguez is also funded by corporate donors, some of which include the pro charter school PAC Texas Charter Schools Now and Koch Industries. No seriously… the fucking Koch Brothers PAC!

As for the Republicans, the most likely nominee is former Texas House Rep Raul Torres, whose record includes voting to allow corporal punishment in schools, requiring an ultrasound prior to abortion, requiring photo IDs for voting, prohibiting state funding for facilities that provide abortions. Yeah, we don’t want him to win

Sara Stapleton-Barrera Donation Link

Texas Senate District 15 Election (Molly Cook Vs John Whitmire)

In Texas’s 15th Senate district, incumbent John Whitmire, who has held this seat for almost four decades, is being challenged from the left. He is being challenged by Molly Cook, who is running on Medicare for All, legalizing Cannabis, and Fixing the grid. As for John Whitmire, well, we have a lot to unpack with him.

Whitmire recently came under fire after being featured in an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about the lack of air conditioning in prisons. The episode featured a quote of his where he said “You know, we can talk about this all day, it’s not gonna change. The prisons are hot. They’re uncomfortable. And the real solution is, don’t commit a crime and you stay at home and be cool. We’re not gonna air condition them. One, we don’t want to. Number two, we couldn’t afford it if we wanted to.”

Keep in mind, this is in a state where marijuana is illegal, and where people who get abortions may end up if things like this continue. Also keep in mind that in the Summer, the heat can reach up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Also keep in mind that there is a growing population of older prisoners who are more susceptible to the heat. Also keep in mind that over 40% of inmates have a medical condition that increases their risk of heat stroke. Also keep in mind that some inmates have mental health conditions that require them to take medications that compromise their ability to regulate temperature.

This alone should be reason enough that this jackass deserves to be primaried, but it’s hardly the only blight on his record. Back in 2003, 11 Senate Democrats broke Quorum to prevent Texas Republicans from passing their redistricting legislation that heavily advantaged them in the next election. John Whitmire ended up returning to the legislature early, which gave the GOP their Quorum. This resulted in Dems getting massacred the following year.

Thanks John!

Other John Whitmire blunders include, voting to require the National Anthem to be played at all sporting events, prohibiting contracts with companies boycotting Israel, voting in favor of corporal punishment in public schools, voting in favor of a border wall, and being the only Democrat to vote against a bill to ban texting while driving.

In a district where Democrats have an estimated 63% of the vote, there’s no reason to keep a corporate puppet like John Whitmire around. Right now, the women, LGBT, and Latino people of Texas need their elected officials to take a stand. Do you really think that someone like Whitmire will fight for your rights when he can’t even be bothered to support adding air conditions to the prisons where you’ll be kept when you try to terminate a pregnancy? I didn’t think so.

Molly Cook – Donation Link

Texas House District 79 Election (Claudia Ordaz Perez Vs Art Fierro)

In 2018 Democrats successfully gained 12 seats in the Texas House of Representatives, while also managing to keep all of these seats in 2020. . The new map has gerrymandered most incumbents of both parties into safe districts, with only six districts that are looking to be competitive. I’ve thought about whether or not I should cover the elections in these districts, but I’ve decided against it to lighten the work load on my part. I’ve decided that, in regards standard Red Vs Blue races, I will cover them if they are statewide or congressional races, but will otherwise skip them to avoid redundancy.

Another dirty trick on the party of the Republicans, was to pack Claudia Ordaz Perez and Lina Ortega into the same district so they would eliminate one of them. Considering that both of these women are not only progressives who broke quorum to prevent the passing of the aforementioned abortion bill, they are both Latina women. In other words, they wanted to get rid of one of these uppity women of color, so they can send a message to those pesky minorities.

Thankfully, Claudia Ordaz Perez took the chad move of running against district 79 incumbent Art Fierro, who was one of the first three reps to return to Texas and re-instate the quorum. He also endorsed Mike Bloomberg in the 2020 Presidential election… Mike fucking Bloomberg. Mike “stop and frisk” Bloomberg.” The same Mike Bloomberg who called trans women “men in dresses.” The same petty authoritarian who tried to ban large sodas because he didn’t like them. Anyone whoever endorsed this man for President has to have their integrity called into question, and should not be serving in government. Especially not when Texas needs strong, progressive, voices now more than ever.

Get rekd scab.

On top of that, there’s the issue of his donors, which include AT&T, El Paso Electric, Raytheon, Texas Medical Association, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Association, and Walmart, as well as one donor who has given over $4,000,000 to Republican candidates over the course of 25 years, some of which include Dan Patrick, Rick Perry, Greg Abbot, and George P Bush. Oh wait… that same donor contributed to Claudia Ordaz Perez’s campaign… okay maybe Claudia Ordaz Peraz isn’t too great on this issue either. This is why we need to get rid of money in politics.

In the mean time, Claudia Ordaz Perez is the superior candidate since she didn’t re-instate the quorum or endorse Mike Bloomberg.

Claudia Ordaz Perez – Donation Link

Texas House District 50 Election (David Alcorta Vs James Talarico)

In Texas’s 50th House district, we have two candidates running for the Democratic nomination in a district where Democrats make up 75% of voters. Whoever wins this will inevitably win the general election. This is yet another race where an incumbent Democrat is being primaried. From what I can gather, James Talarico is often cited as an up and coming progressive in the Texas legislature, having flipped a red seat in 2018 and since having gained some notoriety after appearing on Fox News and pressuring host Pete Hegseth to admit that Trump lost the election in response to being grilled about breaking quorum.

Unfortunately, James Talarico was also one of the Democrats that returned early and re-instated quorum, which allowed a lot of the horrific legislation in the past year to be passed through the House. Once again, that’s reason enough for a primary, but let’s take a look at his donors. One particular donor has given over $6,000,000 to Republican candidates over a period of 25 years, some of which include George W Bush, Rick Perry, Greg Abbot, Dennis Bonnen, Dan Patrick, George P Bush, and John Sharp. It’s almost as if corporate Democrats and Republicans are all backed by the same special interests! Oh, and he also contributed to John Whitmire’s campaign, just to bring it full circle.

Another donor is Texas Charter Schools Now, a pro charter school PAC that gives campaign contributions to candidates (mostly Republicans) who are pro charter school expansion. I wonder if any of these special interests had something to do with James Talarico re-instating quorum?

Above: 32 year old men playing with dolls to own the conservatives.

This is why so many progressives insist on running without taking corporate PAC donations, and why you should vote for David Alcorta. David Alcorta is a self described Democratic socialist with a strong emphasis on support for Unions and worker’s rights. David Alcorta’s platform includes repealing “right to work” laws, raising minimum wage, medicaid expansion, increased funding for public schools, a tenant’s right of first purchase, and guaranteed 2 weeks paid vacation, paid sick leave, and paid parental leave for all employees.

I think we know who the real progressive is.

David Alcorta – Donation Link

Texas House District 51 Election (Cody Arn Vs Mike Hendrix)

In Texas’s 51st House district, we have seven Democrats running for the nomination. Considering that 81% of this district votes Democratic, this all but ensures that whoever wins will get the nomination. The most progressive candidate in the race is Cody Arn, whose platform includes a housing first strategy, outlawing conversion therapy, fixing the grid, medicaid expansion, 12 week maternity leave, automatic voter registration, $15 minimum wage, marijuana legalization, and banning the death penalty.

Normally, there would be one particular candidate whose leading the pack for me to discuss, but I’m pretty much just going to make a guess as to who Arn’s main competitor is. I’m going to guess it’s Mike Hendrix, since he’s the only one who has any media coverage that can be found through Google. I also suspect that people will be drawn to Hendrix’s campaign because of his backstory as a survivor of conversion therapy, which he was sent to as a kid in response to him outting the pastor who molested him. His story is especially harrowing because Texas is one of 22 states with no state law or policy against conversion therapy for minors.

As a transgender lesbian myself, I do not want to downplay the severity of what Mike Hendrix went through. No human being deserves to suffer through that form of torture, and I don’t doubt that Mike Hendrix has anything but pure intentions running for this office, and I wouldn’t consider it a tragic loss if he won over Cody Arn. The key problem with Mike Hendrix… is that I can’t find anything about his policies. The article about him says that he’s a progressive, and says that he has worked with ACLU, Texas Criminal Justice Reform, and The Marijuana Policy Project, but his site lists nothing.

Having scrolled through hundreds of campaign sites in order to research these pieces, I almost instantly become skeptical of any candidate that doesn’t list their policy positions. What this communicates to potential readers is that you don’t think policy is important, and that you’re not in this to actually make significant changes. This leads me to believe that Mike Hendrix is more likely to be corrupted by the influence of big money. Cody Arn meanwhile, seems to specifically ally himself with the left wing of the Democratic party, and this leads me to believe he’d be more principled. Again, this is all speculation, but I’m generally inclined to promote whoever the most progressive candidate in the race is, and that’s Cody Arn.

Cody Arn – Donation Link

Texas House District 147 Election (Namrata Subramanian Vs Jolanda Jones)

Texas’s 147th House district has seven people running for the Democratic primary. Given that the district is 77.34% Democratic, it is pretty much assured that whoever gets the nomination will go on to win the general. The most progressive candidate in this district is Namrata Subramanian, whose platform includes Medicare for All, a minimum wage increase, reducing police spending, ending qualified immunity, and banning the death penalty. Namrata’s platform is notably more progressive than even most progressives running for Texas state legislature. Medicare for All is not mentioned as much since Texas has yet to even expand Medicaid, and defunding the police is practically unheard of… this is Texas after all. She’s also running at a disadvantage in such a large race.

The current front runner appears to be former HISD School Board member Jolanda Jones, if the amount of endorsements she has built up is any indication. I’d love to tell you about her, but any source that would tell me anything is behind a paywall. My usual method of researching these candidates if Google does nothing is to search them on Twitter and see what their constituents are saying, but it didn’t really bring up anything conclusive this time. Basically, all I was able to find out about her record is that she’s passionate about issues involving racism and sexism, and that some people don’t like her.

I will admit, I have a tendency to get suspicious about candidates who are vocal on identity politics, yet silent on progressive policies like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, defunding the police, etc. I end up getting suspicious because, with a lot of establishment Democratic politicians, they prove time and time again that their devotion to these causes is all for show. Saying they’ll protect gay and trans rights doesn’t lose them the support of their donors after all. And as someone who genuinely cares about a lot of these causes, this REALLY gets under my skin.

Now, I don’t know if Jolanda Jones is one of those people. It would be dumb to leap to conclusions when researching her record is made nigh impossible due to constant paywalls, but as a default, I’m skeptical of people like this who are backed up by a ton of establishment endorsements, and it’s frustrating that these people will always win because people vote based on name recognition rather than policy. So I can’t say whether or not Jolanda Jones will be a good legislator, but I can say for damn sure that Namrata Subramanian will be better.

Namrata Subramanian – Donation Link

Conclusion

Do you really want another four years of this shit?

Over 10,000 words eh? I think this is a bit of a step up from my 2020 piece if I do say so myself. And I didn’t even really cover local elections, namely because most of them have later filing deadlines, and it’s much harder to research races before all the candidates even filed. Although if there are any noteworthy candidates that I missed, feel free to let me know because I can still try to set up a TCSN interview with them.

But yes, there’s a lot going on here. It’s a good sign that we have so many progressives running, because lord knows the Democratic Party needs them. It’s going to be immensely frustrating if we end up like 2020 where most of these candidates get wiped out, even though that seems to be the case with a majority of progressives who end up running. The plus side is that at least a few of the candidates I covered will end up winning, especially since a few of these races have more than one progressive.

While is could be easy doom spiral about Texas based on what happened in Virginia, let’s not forget that every Democrat who won in 2018 was re-elected in 2020, despite the fact that several Democratic seats were flipped elsewhere. A large part of what drive Democratic turnout is the ability to build up fear and disgust towards Republicans, and there’s no shortage of that in Texas. Between the the power grid, the abortion ban, the “critical race theory” ban, the trans athlete ban, there’s no shortage of reasons for people to show up to the polls.

Does this guarantee a win? Oh God no, but Texas is so much closer than it has ever been to turning blue. What I’m trying to say is to get off your ass and campaign for these candidates. If you don’t like Beto, it doesn’t have to be him. I just showed you a whole bunch of better candidates. If you have some spare cash, through it to Lee Merit or Jessica Cisneros, or to anyone else I’ve covered here! If I can write up a 10K plus word piece about this despite the fact that I live in Pennsylvania, there’s no reason you can’t! And most importantly, make sure to actually fucking vote! I don’t like or agree with Obama on a lot of things, but there is one area I can’t disagree. Vote like your life depends on it, because it fucking does!

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