Two Texas Democrats who joined dozens of their colleagues in fleeing the state last month to prevent a vote on Republican election integrity bills in the state legislature are reportedly on vacation in Portugal.
State Representatives Julie Johnson of Farmers Branch and Jessica González of Dallas, according to the Texas Tribune, were not in the Capitol earlier this week, and the Texas House Democratic Caucus “could not account” for their whereabouts.
Jonathan Tilove however, a reporter for Texas Monthly, tweeted that he “can confirm [Johnson] and her wife & [González] and her fiancé are in Portugal for a vacation they had been planning.”
Hi. Covering the TXDEMS in DC for @TexasMonthly. Can confirm @juliejohnsonTX and her wife & @jessicafortexas and her fiancé are in Portugal for a vacation they had been planning, with non-refundable tickets, for a year-and-a-half. Still participating in caucus meetings via ZOOM.
— jonathantilove (@JTiloveTX) August 3, 2021
Tilove notes that the vacation appears to have been pre-planned for “a year-and-a-half” and that the tickets are “non-refundable.”
The Tribune writes that the vacations do not affect their effort to break quorum with the Republicans “but it is at odds with Democrats’ insistence that they would use their time away to advocate for federal voting rights legislation in the nation’s capital.”
They had to go defend democracy in Europe too! What a joke.https://t.co/Zl3iRqgMZa
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) August 5, 2021
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Texas Democrats Vacationing In Portugal
Not only is news of two Texas Democrats on vacation when they’re supposedly off fighting for democracy in the nation’s capital at odds with messaging, but it is at odds with those who have portrayed their stunt as some sort of major sacrifice.
Johnson was the lawmaker who famously tweeted an image of her fellow heroes on a bus to the airport toting a case of Miller Lites.
When it comes to protecting our right to vote, all cards are on the table. We broke #quorum again today because the Gov & #txlege Repubs chose to bully Texans out of our constitutional rights instead of finding solutions to problems that really exist. #SuppressionSession #DemsOut https://t.co/muMdHLSy9F pic.twitter.com/9UbJnB8ehW
— Julie Johnson (@juliejohnsonTX) July 12, 2021
Houston-area representative Gene Wu sought sympathy for having to eat a salad as a “fugitive.”
Rep. Donna Howard heartbreakingly revealed that she was forced to hand wash her own laundry for some reason in her $200 per night hotel.
You bet we’re recognizing & honoring our country’s heritage. As most Texans, tho, this is what we’re doing tonight—using whatever is accessible, uwashing our clothes in the sink. #txlege https://t.co/HC8uDSnWk5 pic.twitter.com/DoaatSCqmj
— Donna Howard (@DonnaHowardTX) July 16, 2021
And Representative Senfronia Thompson compared fleeing Texas to the plight of being a “slave” on the run while leading her comrades in a rousing rendition of ‘We Shall Overcome’.
This isn’t even good parody. Texas delegates start singing “we shall overcome…” –
“It’s a big pitchy for me…” pic.twitter.com/SuEZDVk2Zn
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) July 13, 2021
Even as a pair of lawmakers are vacationing in Portugal, Texas Democrats like the aforementioned Thompson are begging for financial help.
“You’re damn right that my colleagues and I left Texas to defend it,” Thompson writes in a fundraising pitch emailed to supporters Thursday morning.
“While the GOP is deadset on making it harder to vote, Democrats are hard at work defending our democracy,” the email reads before soliciting donations upwards of $100.
Read that again – “Hard at work.”
? Our Dems in DC said they’d appreciate care packages from home. Before 5pm Tues, we’re collecting Dr. Pepper, salsa, hard candy, hairspray, travel toiletries, hand sanitizers, sewing kits, first aid, and/ or $ to pay shipping. TY!
? 9am-5pm, M-F 1414 N. Washington Ave, Dallas pic.twitter.com/PgZHQTy10h
— Dallas Democrats (@dallasdemocrats) July 24, 2021
News of the vacationing Democrats also comes less than two weeks after they were mocked as “pathetic” by radio host Clay Travis when a group began soliciting care package items on their behalf.
Among the items requested were “travel toiletries.”
Interestingly enough, Gonzalez refused to confirm or deny whether or not she was partaking in a European getaway with Johnson while leaving their resistance-mates behind in D.C. to fight for democracy.
“I don’t respond to rumors,” she said in a text to the San Antonio Express-News later adding, “No one has shown proof.”
“No one has shown proof” that I’m in Portugal is…not a denial to being in Portugal https://t.co/XxbVNNOmau
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) August 4, 2021
Claiming there is no proof is a really weird way of simply saying ‘No, I am not in Portugal’ if say, that was the case.
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Source: The Political Insider