Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) late Tuesday expressed support for Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), after he faced a backlash for posting the names and employers of Trump donors in his own district of San Antonio, Texas.
“Chairman Castro, They don’t like it when you name their donors. The public needs to know who funds racism,” she tweeted.
Chairman Castro, They don't like it when you name their donors. The public needs to know who funds racism. https://t.co/7qfg1RT79y
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 7, 2019
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — a close ally of Tlaib and member of the self-proclaimed “Squad” of female freshman Democrat lawmakers — shared Tlaib’s tweet.
Castro spent Wednesday evening defending himself for posting a graphic listing 44 Trump donors in San Antonio, Texas, in an apparent effort to shame them for their support. Eleven were listed as “retired.” He also listed the Twitter handles of two of their employers — making it easy for Twitter users tweet to them.
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of @BillMillerBarBQ, owner of the @HistoricPearl, realtor Phyllis Browning, etc.,” he tweeted. “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’ pic.twitter.com/YT85IBF19u
— Joaquin Castro (@Castro4Congress) August 6, 2019
Castro defended his action by saying the information was public, no private information was included, and it was not a “call to action.”
Twitter users indicated they did not buy that explanation.
“It’s absolutely a call to action. You’re hoping they are fired, or their business gets boycotted, or they are generally harassed and intimidated to the point that they never dare donate to someone you and your ilk find unacceptable again. Everyone can see exactly what you intended,” one tweeted.
It's absolutely a call to action. You're hoping they are fired, or their business gets boycotted, or they are generally harassed and intimidated to the point that they never dare donate to someone you and your ilk find unacceptable again.Everyone can see exactly what you intended
— astroglide (@Astroglide13) August 6, 2019
Indeed, some Twitter users called for a boycott of Bill Miller’s Bar-B-Q and the Historic Pearl restaurants.
However, Texas Governor Bill Abbott took the opportunity to visit the establishment after Castro’s tweet:
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 7, 2019
Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is running for president in 2020, and he is the campaign chairman for his brother’s campaign. Although the candidate did not tweet about the controversy, his national press secretary, Sawyer Hackett, also defended Castro’s tweet.
Dangerous? This is public information published by the FEC—information you and your colleagues have used for countless stories over the years.
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) August 6, 2019