QueQue: Doggett hits Westside march, Wentworth’s ad war, Lamar targets kinder, gentler ICE
Published: July 6, 2011
Doggett hits Westside march
Republican redistricting pushed Austin-based Congressmen Lloyd Doggett into a linear Congressional district — at least temporarily — stretching from Austin to San Antonio. And though he claims he has yet to start officially campaigning, we’re already seeing more Doggett around town.
He joined a long, blistering July Fourth march with a host of folks protesting the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment on display in Austin and D.C. Before a trek through the city’s Westside, Doggett, flanked by local reps with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Brown Berets of Texas, praised the crowd of roughly 200. “Thank you for your leadership. I’m pleased to be your long-term partner.”
Sound like campaigning talk to you? It did to state Rep. Joaquin Castro, San Antonio’s own political wunderkind now pitted against the veteran politician for the new congressional seat. When Castro joined the crowd moments before the march, he greeted Doggett and laughed, “I thought you weren’t campaigning.” Asked later if he found Doggett’s San Antonio presence irritating, Castro brushed it off with a smile, saying, “Nah, this is a campaign. This is how it works.”
Castro acknowledged Doggett’s long-time liberal presence in Congress, saying, “[Doggett] has of course made an impression on people, and if this is a longevity contest, I’m gonna lose.” Still, he added, “I think here, in San Antonio, we’re more about looking toward our future, not our past.”
Doggett has been forced to dive into San Antonio politics by a newly drawn GOP-inspired map that turns his current District 25 into largely conservative turf, practically unwinnable for the liberal Austin congressman. Doggett has slammed the new map, saying it’s unconstitutional and unlikely to stand up to legal scrutiny. Still, Doggett says, he’ll run in the new district if the courts don’t intervene.
For Doggett, this is the second time Texas Republicans have tried to squeeze him out. In 2003, under the infamous redistricting plan led by now-convicted felon and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the GOP forced Doggett into a new district by making his old one largely conservative and impossible to win.
Doggett said Monday he was invited by organizers to attend San Antonio’s march, saying he’s long been opposed to immigration measures like SB9, what Doggett called “that phony sanctuary cities bill.”
Castro spoke of his grandmother, a Mexican immigrant, who worked as a babysitter, cook, and maid on the city’s Westside for 40 years. “She worked as an immigrant … I don’t know whether she was legal or illegal, but she did everything that she could to help us live the American dream.”