Seven Republicans have sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee requesting an investigation into a tweet from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) that published names of donors to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in an effort to shame them, the Washington Examiner reported.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) originated the letter, which was also signed by Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL), Jody Hice (GA), Debbie Lesko (AZ), Jeff Duncan(SC), Randy Weber (TX) and Ted Budd (NC).
“By publishing a list of private citizens who donated to his political opponent, Rep. Castro sought to encourage harassment against those citizens simply on the basis of their political beliefs,” the lawmakers wrote. “It cannot be fairly argued that Rep. Castro had any other purpose in posting that list and telling his activist followers that those individuals were inciting hate.”
“Whether he intended to provoke physical violence or merely verbal harassment, his intent was to chill the free speech and free association rights of Americans,” the letter argued.
Castro has defended his action by saying that the information was public anyway, and that he didn’t intend for the donors to be threatened or harassed. “Like I said, my post was actually as a San Antonian, my family has been here since 1922. It was a lament,” Castro said. “It wasn’t meant to target these people. It was meant to draw attention to the fact we’ve got a lot of people in our community who are respected by San Antonio, who are contributing to this guy, that’s using their money to fuel hate.”
The congressman’s spokeswoman Katherine Schneider said, “Their letter is a disingenuous attempt by pro-dark money, far-right legislators to limit Americans’ ability to track money in politics. They would prefer large contributions to be kept secret so that there’s no meaningful transparency in political giving. We look forward to hearing from the Committee if the request is considered.”
Castro knows that the likelihood of the Democrat-run House holding him accountable for his actions is next to nothing, and that he will likely not face any censure there. In fact, House Republicans who wrote the letter know this as well, but they want to be on the record in protest of Castro’s attempts to shame donors.
How did we get to the point where anyone has to worry about being shamed for donating to a political campaign?
A bridge too far
An intense effort by some Democrats has been mounted in recent days to link Trump and his supporters to racism and white supremacy after reports suggested that the mass shooter in El Paso may have been both a Trump supporter and virulently anti-immigrant in his views.
Trump has repeatedly denounced white supremacy, but Democrats seem to think that they can erode his solid support by relentlessly him of supporting the fringe movement. Mainstream news outlets have used the word “racist” so many times in regard to Trump that it has begun to sound like a broken record.
Democrats have said in recent days and weeks that the act of supporting border security is in itself racist, which is a clearly ludicrous assertion. This type of divisive propaganda from the left could end up alienating many, including a large segment of Hispanic Americans who support Trump’s border policies and feel that illegal immigration is an affront to those who entered the country in compliance with the law.
Once again, Democrats’ rhetorical overreach may come back to bite them in 2020. When will they ever learn?