The Jury Talks Back

8/9/2019

Fallout From Joaquin Castro’s Outing Of Trump Donors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 10:06 am

[guest post by Dana]

I’ve posted a few times about Joaquin Castro’s risky stunt to shame Trump donors by releasing the names of 44 individuals who maxed out their contributions to the Trump campaign. While there have been no reports of anyone on the list having been physically harmed, there are reports that individuals on the list have indeed, been directly impacted by it. (Ed. Pre-emptive strike: Yes, I know that this is public information that anyone can access. However, Castro is an elected official who released the information to simultaneously advance his own political ambitions and agenda while shaming and intimidating donors. There is a built-in power imbalance to this, given Castro’s large platform and the vast number of people with whom he can share these names. It’s telling that he used his intimidation tactics on the vulnerable mom and pop donors and retirees, and not on the Big Money in politics.)

Harper Huddleston explained how his family has been impacted:

A San Antonio man was wrongly outed on Twitter as a donor to President Trump by Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro and said Friday the incident forced him to review emergency plans with his wife and three children.

Harper Huddleston said… that his name appeared on Castro’s list instead of the name of his retired father, who contributed to the Trump campaign. He said the mix-up was because they share the same first name, but have different middle names, though his father does not go by the name Harper.

Huddleston said he supports Trump and has contributed in the past to the mayoral campaign of Castro’s brother, Julian, who is now running for president. He said he was glad to have received the negative attention instead of his father, but… forced to go over emergency plans with his wife and children.

“We convened together as a family and talked about situational awareness, exit strategy, avoiding and exiting conflict, talked about staying low and close to home and just being at our very highest senses,” said Huddleston.

He also said that Castro’s stunt might backfire and end up motivating Trump supporters and “galvanize the interest and reinvigorate making America great again.”

Also, a business owner has been harassed and lost business as a result of being on the target list:

For many businesses, a sudden deluge of phone calls might signal an influx of new customers. But most of the 25 calls Justin Herricks received before noon on Thursday were from people who wanted to tell him he was a white supremacist for donating money to President Trump.

“I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, we were going to use you for business, but we found out you’re a racist,’” Mr. Herricks, the owner of Precision Pipe Rentals, an oil and gas services company in San Antonio, said in an interview. “‘We hope that you burn in hell and your business will go with you.’”

On the upside, Castro’s target list is indeed backfiring, given that some on the list are his, or his brother Julian Castro’s supporters. Uh, were their supporters:

In attempting to embarrass constituents who donated to President Trump, Texas congressman Joaquin Castro appears to have overlooked the fact that six of those he named also gave cash to him and his twin brother, 2020 Democrat Julián Castro.

[…]

A Washington Examiner review of Federal Elections Committee filings found three individuals on the list who gave $5,600 to Trump… and Joaquin Castro…

Another three individuals on the list told the Washington Examiner that they supported Julián Castro’s mayoral campaigns…

…“It is just amazing to me that he would do that,” said William Greehey, a philanthropist and former CEO of Valero Energy, who donated $5,000 to Joaquin Castro’s congressional campaign in 2013, covering the primary and general elections…Then he’s calling me a racist because I’m supporting Trump. I mean, this is just ridiculous.” said Greehey, who noted he started a $100 million homeless campus project that mostly serves Hispanic individuals. “There’s a lot of things you don’t like about the president and his tweeting, but here Castro is doing the same thing with his tweeting.”

Edward Steves, owner of a manufacturing firm that he said is the oldest company in San Antonio, told the Washington Examiner that he once hosted a fundraiser at his house that raised over $300,000 for Julián Castro’s mayoral campaign…

“He’s probably got 44 people that are going to contribute heavily to whoever might run against him in the primaries,” Steves said.

Donald Kuyrkendall, president of a San Antonio commercial real estate company, shared concern about his family’s safety and wondered what the Castro brothers hoped to gain by the Twitter outing of Trump donors.

“Were his intentions to incite people to picket Bill Miller’s barbecue or to come to Don Kuyrkendall’s house, you know, assault my wife, make nasty comments?” Kuyrkendall said.

Kuyrkendall said that in wake of the tweet, his lawyer reminded him that he once donated to Julián Castro’s mayoral campaign.

Wayne Harwell, who gave $1,000 Joaquin Castro in 2011, then a state representative who would win his House seat the next year, emphasized his enduring financial support for Trump.

“I sure will not give to Castro any more,” he said…

Ed Kelley, retired former president and CEO of USAA Real Estate, said that he supported Julián Castro’s mayoral campaign in the past and considers him a friend, though he does not know Joaquin that well. The tweet “did not leave a good taste in my mouth” and “was not something I appreciated,” Kelley said.

–Dana

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