Trump donors on Rep. Joaquin Castro’s (D-TX) list are still facing harassment due to the lawmaker’s striking decision to publicly shame them on Twitter, with one donor fearing for the safety of his employees.
Last week, the Texas lawmaker – who also chairs his brother’s presidential campaign – posted the names and employers of 44 San Antonio residents who donated the maximum amount to President Trump’s re-election campaign.
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro wrote, accusing the Trump donors of “fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
The backlash was swift, with individuals on both sides of the political aisle noting that Castro’s list seemed to be a call for targeted harassment. Castro and his brother Julián have defended the controversial move, arguing that the information was readily public.
The Texas lawmaker told MSNBC last week that his tweet was nothing more than a “lament” – not a call for harassment.
It was a lament,” Castro said. “It wasn’t meant as a boycott. 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,” he added.
Nonetheless, the listed donors have been subject to harassment, due to Castro’s public “lament.”
Precision Pipe Rentals owner Justin Herricks, who was featured on the list, said that he worries for the safety of his employees, as his company has experienced a flood of harassing messages and phone calls. People are calling him a “racist piece of shit,” according to the Hill.
The negative response to Castro’s public shaming effort forced Herricks to address the issue with his employees:
The Hill reports:
Herricks this year donated the maximum $2,800 to the Trump reelection campaign, and he donated $15,000 to the Trump Victory Committee after attending a Midlands County Republican Party dinner with Vice President Pence.
Herricks said his company is about 70 percent Hispanic and that Castro’s tweet forced him to address the issue with his employees. He said his employees were supportive of him.
Despite the hate, Herricks is continuing to stand by the president.
“In this country, you have the freedom of speech and the choice of who you are going to support and give money to,” Herricks said, according to the Hill.
“For me, supporting the Republican Party, I look at the things Trump has done for the economy. I’ll continue to support him and what he’s doing. It looks like Democrats are getting desperate in resorting to these tactics,” he added.
This has not been the only report of harassment. One Trump donor received a vicious voicemail, which gained publicity after the GOP War Room posted the audio.
“I think you’re a scumbag and I fucking despise everything you stand for … I am going to spread your information all over the Internet,” the caller stated in part.
This threatening, hateful voicemail was left for a Trump supporter in Texas after @JulianCastro's campaign chairman posted the supporter's personal information online.
Intimidation and threats are exactly what Castro wanted when he posted this target list.
**language warning** pic.twitter.com/QenNGUDCfa
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) August 9, 2019
Regardless of Castro’s intention, some anti-Trumpers have, indeed, used Castro’s list as a call for harassment. However, Trump supporters have used the negative situation to their advantage, reportedly raising an estimated $1 million for Trump’s re-election campaign following Castro’s tweet.