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Sunday, August 07, 2005

TX-28: Let It Begin With Cuellar

Posted by Tim Tagaris

It wasn't the "Gang of Fourteen" that sold out the working men and women of America in the early morning hours of July 28th, it was the "Gang of Fifteen Democrats" who voted for CAFTA that did the dirty work. Chief among the back-stabbers was Democrat Henry Cullar of Texas.

Rangel recalled a conversation he had had with Cuellar when both attended a meeting at the White House several weeks ago. “He gave me his personal assurances that if I helped this president [on CAFTA], that this president would be there for me,” Rangel recalled. “He said he knew this from personal experience.”
And Cuellar does have a good amount of personal experience with the President and other Texas Republicans.
As a state House member in 2000, he [Cuellar] stumped for George W. Bush's presidential effort. Afterward, he agreed to serve the new GOP governor, Rick Perry, as secretary of state.
Not only did he vote for CAFTA, but Cuellar took his actions a step further, attempting to lobby other Democratic representatives to support the bill. Fittingly, Cuellar will get primaried in 2006 by Ciro Rodriguez, former Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the House of Representatives. I read with glee that labor leaders are already rallying against Cuellar and the DCCC will likely turn its back on any attempt defend the traitorous representative.
That outraged unions. Chuck Rocha, national political director at United Steelworkers, called Mr. Cuellar his No. 1 target and said he's mobilizing the district's 20,000 members and retirees. [...]

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee generally backs incumbents but probably won't give much help in this sort of contested primary.

This comes on the heels of Majority Leader Pelosi reportedly contemplating formal action against several of the Members who strayed from the caucus on this important vote. Maybe Greg Meeks (NY-6) will be next. Meeks supported CAFTA despite being unchallenged by a Republican in both 2002 and 2004. I say let the formal action begin, and let it begin with Cuellar.

In 2004, Cuellar defeated Rodriguez by 55 votes. He went on to defeat Republican Jim Hobson 59% to 39%. And although George Bush won by a narrow margin over John Kerry in 2004 in the district, Al Gore defeated Bush in 2000. We should retain this seat no matter what happens in the primary. In Texas-28, it's time to fight it out in the primary.

I know there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the D-Trip lately, but this made me happy. I know the official line is that they don't get involved in contested primaries anyway, but we all know that can be a load of mularkey at times (see Jeff Smith). I hope we can start using potential primary challenges more often as a stick for those who feel it convenient to stray from the caucus on important votes like CAFTA. For a Democrat who won by 20% in 2004, there was no excuse to vote "aye" and then attempt to lobby other Democrats to join the dark side on this one.

Posted at 02:27 AM in Texas | Technorati


Is Rodriguez going to be added to the ActBlue page?

Posted by: quaoar [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2005 11:23 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Excellent. I suggested we go after Cuellar the other day. Definately doing more harm than good for the party AND his constituents.

Posted by: nada [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2005 02:38 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

There's more than one Dem gunning for Cuellar. There's also State Rep. Richard Raymond. May I suggest you include an ActBlue link for him as well?

Posted by: kuff [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2005 04:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hey folks,

I don't think we are going to include ActBlue links for any of them, to be honest.


Posted by: Tim Tagaris [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2005 05:30 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's how you take on the Republicans even way before elections take place.

Join the revolution for progressive legislation


Hit Republican contributors in their wallets. You will find links, email address and telephone numbers to tell some of the big Republican contributors either get the Republicans to pass our progressive legislation or face a mass boycott of your products and services.

Posted by: buckfush [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2005 06:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Cuellar will lose to either Raymond or Rodriguez. But it's best to let the voters and players in TX-28 figure out which of those two it will be. ActBlue donations would be a big mistake at this time. Good on you Tim for avoiding that, and it'd probably be good to actively discourage netroots intervention until this particular contest gets decided.

Posted by: texas dem [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2005 05:09 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

We ought to embark on a lobbying campaign with the DCCC to deny its assistance to the CAFTA Democrats. At a minimum, the party ought to deny its resources to rebels.

This will, no doubt, cause a few defections. I don't see that as a long term problem. On the contrary, it will serve Pelosi and her eventual successor if the CAFTA Democrats are not re-elected.

Posted by: James E. Powell [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 8, 2005 11:22 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment