Beto O’Rourke group raises $ 600,000 for Texas Democrats in Washington: report

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A group of Texas Democrats remaining in Washington, DC, after leaving Lone Star State earlier this month, will receive around $ 600,000 to help fund the trip, former U.S. Representative Beto O said Thursday. ‘Rourke.

The money will go towards a fundraising goal of $ 1.5 million Democrats set for their trip, the Texas Tribune reported.

O’Rourke, who founded the political group Powered by People, revealed the $ 600,000 amount at a virtual press conference Thursday, the Tribune reported. The figure represents an update to a previous tally of more than $ 500,000 collected for state lawmakers, according to the report.

“We’re going to make sure we get the full amount, 100% of what’s collected, for all of you,” O’Rourke told lawmakers during an online appeal, the Tribune reported. “It’s the least we can do for everything you all do for us. We want to do more.”

“Grateful to Beto and all of the people who have contributed to our efforts – many small donations have arrived as well,” Texas State Representative Armando Walle, D-Houston told the Tribune. “We’re all working together to increase these resources. We’re not there yet, but that’s why we’re on the phone, making these calls.”

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Dozens of Texas Democrats fled the state to avoid a special session of the state legislature, denying state Republicans a quorum as they tried to pass new integrity bills elections. Many Democrats have described the Republican-backed bills as voter suppression efforts.

Public relations setback

But Democrats have faced public relations setbacks since arriving in Washington.

On July 15, Democratic State Representative Donna Howard was mocked on social media after posting a photo of her clothes drying in her Washington hotel room, which critics ridiculed as an attempt to portray avoiding legislative obligations as an act of self-sacrifice. .

It was later learned that several of the Democrats in Texas had tested positive for the coronavirus. The disclosure was followed by reports that Vice President Kamala Harris had been tested for coronavirus at Walter Reed Medical Center following a meeting with the Texans on July 13. (White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the Harris test was scheduled before the meeting.)

Harris, who was previously vaccinated, tested negative for the virus, The New York Post reported.

Vice President Kamala Harris meets with Democrats from the Texas State Legislature at the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Washington.  (Associated press)
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Vice President Kamala Harris meets with Democrats from the Texas State Legislature at the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Washington. (Associated press)

Earlier this week, Democratic State Representative Michelle Beckley was mocked for calling herself and others “brave Democrats of Texas” after flying on chartered planes to their hotel in the national capital. She used the same tweet to promote her candidacy for a US House seat against a GOP incumbent.

“I am one of the brave Democrats from Texas who came to Washington to fight for the franchise in my state. Now I am fighting to overthrow a seat held by an anti-democracy Republican. I have 28,500. . Can you help us get to 50,000 subscribers? ” she tweeted.

Texas Republicans called the Democrats’ DC a political coup – with many alleging the move violated the law.

On July 12, Governor Greg Abbott said on “The Ingraham Angle” that Democrats would be arrested upon their return to the state.

Days later, Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan announced plans to put a plane to DC on “hold” to bring Democrats back to Texas.

Reimbursement of daily allowances

Phelan also demanded that Democrats repay a per diem allowance of $ 221 they have been receiving since the special session began in Austin, the Tribune reported.

Beto O'Rourke speaks in Detroit, July 24, 2019 (Associated Press)

Beto O’Rourke speaks in Detroit, July 24, 2019 (Associated Press)

Texas Democrats initially said they plan to stay in Washington until the special session ends on August 6, the Tribune reported.

In addition to paying for their hotel rooms, meals and other expenses, funds raised for Texas Democrats will also help fund a virtual voting rights conference the group plans to host this week, said. Walle at the Tribune.

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Prior to the O’Rourke group’s pledged donations, the runaway Democrats used funds from the Mexican-US Legislative Caucus, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and campaign accounts from individual lawmakers, according to the Tribune.

O’Rourke, 48, served in Congress for the El Paso area from January 2013 to January 2019. In 2018, he lost a bid to topple US Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas and then campaigned unsuccessful for the Democratic Party Presidential candidacy of 2020.

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