June 26, 2020: Roy’s Chief of Staff placed on leave for “poor judgment and inappropriate language”

After ignoring repeated complaints from TX-21 Indivisible members about the unprofessional and disturbing online behavior of J. Wade Miller, Rep. Roy’s Chief of Staff, Congressman Roy finally acknowledged the problem. In response to a detailed report by Gilbert Garcia in the San Antonio Express-News, “Rep. Chip Roy’s staffer uses Twitter for profanity-laced rants,”  Roy issued a press release stating that “I have put [Miller] on leave subject to completing appropriate counseling, and he has taken himself off of all forms of social media, effectively immediately”:

June 24, 2020 Press Release
Rep. Chip Roy released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“It came to my attention in recent days that my Chief of Staff, Wade Miller, exercised poor judgment and used inappropriate language while engaging with individuals on social media. It was wrong, and in response, my first step was to reprimand him privately, request that he back away from social media, and relay to my entire staff that under no circumstances is this kind of profane language acceptable on social media or any other platform.

“Wade has apologized to me and our team, and through this statement apologizes to the entire community I represent. He also informed me today that he, a Marine combat veteran, took it upon himself to make appointments for PTSD counseling. He said, ‘I let my anger over attacks on my military brothers and sisters, as well as law enforcement, cloud my judgment and represent this office poorly.’

“I have put him on leave subject to completing appropriate counseling, and he has taken himself off of all forms of social media, effectively immediately.

“While he is on leave my Deputy Chief of Staff, Maggie Harrell, will be acting Chief, and we will all continue to strive to ensure my office reflects the values of the central Texans I am proud to represent.”

The evening before the press release was issued, TX-21 Indivisible members were told by Rep. Roy’s staff that “the powers that be have decided that TX21 Indivisible will no longer be allowed to join office visits, virtual or otherwise.”

While the members of TX-21 Indivisible wish Mr. Miller the best as he works through his issues, we deplore Congressman Roy’s cowardly decision to punish us for his staffer’s misbehavior by banning us, his constituents, from contacting him. From Rep. Roy’s first day in office, we have sought to establish a civil and productive dialogue with him, despite our considerable differences. As this most recent incident shows, it is not our conduct that has caused problems. Rather, it is the aggressive, disrespectful climate that Rep. Roy himself has cultivated among his staff that has made a mockery of representative governance in TX-21.

If Rep. Roy truly wants his office to reflect “the values of the central Texans” he so “proudly” represents, he should re-open that office, the same way he insists we “Open America.” He should listen to what the voters of TX-21 are saying. To do otherwise is to demonstrate once again his disdain for the people who pay his salary.

 

 

 

TX-21 Indivisible Candidate Forum Coverage!

LeederDavisSchornThe Austin Chronicle had a great write-up of our candidate forum last month: Dem Candidates Wendy Davis & Jennie Lou Leeder Take the Stage. Reporter Michael King provided summaries of the candidates’ responses to each of the audience-generated questions we asked, and pointed out that “Incumbent Roy was nominally invited to attend, but the event organizers said he had not bothered to reply. He was represented instead by an empty chair and sign for ‘WhoIsChipRoy.com,’ an Indivisible website devoted to opposition research on Roy.”

Our sole quibble with King’s report is that WhoIsChipRoy.com only contains “oppo research” if you consider Chip’s own words, and the data he has provided in his financial disclosure reports, “research”!

If you missed the forum, the video from our livestream is still available.

Oh, and if you’re curious why Chip couldn’t attend? He told us he was too busy, but at 9:00 that evening, as we were wrapping up, he tweeted this earthshaking piece of news:

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That’s right: Instead of coming out to meet with TX-21 voters and answer their questions, Chip was at home, yelling at his phone.

Woman wears banner disguised as sari into Texas Capitol

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In the days leading up to the first day of the Texas Legislature’s Special Session, a San Antonio member of TX21 Indivisible thought of a way to sneak a banner into the Capitol building. Siri used a sari from her native India and hand stitched “TX21 Indivisible” to create a banner, which she wore into the Capitol and unfurled on the second level of the rotunda!

Despite what this article from the Austin American-Statesman says, the goal of TX21 Indivisible is NOT to set the agenda for the Democratic party. We are nonpartisan, which means we are not affiliated with any political party. We are a grassroots organization of citizens who are constituents of Texas Congressional District 21. We are made up entirely of volunteers from the ten counties that comprise the district. Through local activism and advocacy, we seek to resist the agenda of Trump and the Republicans and to hold our representatives accountable to their constituents.

Thank you Siri!

Support of ACA Repeal Bill Erodes

Kelly and TrishTed Cruz was in San Antonio on July 7, 2017, as Trumpcare was reaching the Senate. TX21 Indivisible activists Kelly and Trish were featured in a photo in the New York Times as they rallied in front of a radio station where he was being interviewed.

Cruz has made it his holy grail to repeal “Obamacare,” or the Affordable Care Act, and wholeheartedly supports the bill in the Senate. This excerpt from the Times article, tells why it will hurt Texans:

In Texas, hospitals are putting pressure on Senator Ted Cruz, the state’s junior Republican senator, who is up for re-election next year. If the Senate bill is adopted, said Ted Shaw, the president of the Texas Hospital Association, more people will be uninsured and ‘more Texans will be forced to rely on hospital emergency departments for care.’ In rural areas where people tend to be older and sicker and have lower incomes, many hospitals say they are already struggling to survive and would be hit hard by the cuts to Medicaid in the repeal bills.”

Read the full article here.

Thanks Kelly and Trish!

Congressman Lamar Smith has a Problem with Science – and with Voters

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Sharon Lerner of investigative journalism powerhouse The Intercept visited TX21 Indivisible activists in San Antonio and the Hill Country for this article. Lerner writes:

“For most of his four years as chair of the Science Committee, Republican Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas has served up more spectacle than policy. As arguably the showiest climate denier and opponent of environmental regulations in Congress, Smith has orchestrated climate change hearings that are the scientific equivalent of pro-wrestling matches. Stacked with skeptics who mocked mainstream climate science, they offered virtually no chance for significant dialogue. Similarly, Smith’s challenge to the well-documented relationship between air pollution and lung disease was seen as little more than a craven nod to the energy companies that were responsible for that pollution. And his repeated use of his subpoena power has served mostly to attract attention and make life difficult for the scientists and government workers he has targeted.”

Read the article here.

Lamar Smith’s office receives pro-science Valentine’s greeting

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Members of Moms Clean Air Force and TX21 Indivisible visited the office of Rep. Lamar Smith in San Antonio on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2017. Cards and signs expressed concern about Smith’s lack of support of scientific research when creating policies for the EPA. As chair of the US House Science, Space and Technology committee, Smith wields great power over environmental regulations that impact clean air.

In an article from NowCast SA, Moms Clean Air Force states, “Science is the cornerstone of the Clean Air Act. In order to carry out its statutory responsibilities, the EPA uses high-quality peer reviewed research from trusted, independent, scientific sources. EPA regulations must be science and health-based.”

The activists also met with Mike Asmus, Lamar Smith’s District Director. According to the article, Asmus said all he could do was pass along word to Smith of the protesters’ visit. Weak!

Read the full article here.

TX21 Indivisible Visits Lamar Smith’s SA Office, Makes MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show

February 2, 2017 – Members of TX21 Indivisible, along with Indivisible groups nationally, continue to push their representatives to hear the rising chorus of voices demanding transparency and accountability from their elected officials.

As featured on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show:

TX21 Indivisible members visited and protested in front of U.S. Representative Lamar Smith’s San Antonio office on Tuesday, yet again demanding the Representative visit his district to meet with constituents. This visit, on the same day that thousands turned out in Austin in support of Texas Muslim Capitol Day, turns a spotlight on a rising progressive movement within Texas and across the country, to resist the Trump agenda and protect democratic values.

Twenty-five concerned citizens broke into two groups to alternately visit Mike Asmus, Lamar Smith’s District Director, while the other group remained outside protest on the access road. Jeanie Valenzuela, who led the delegation, explained “this was the second week in a row we met with [Asmus] asking the same questions” about when Smith will visit the district and getting the same answer that “there are no planned town halls in the foreseeable future.” Asmus assured the group he was passing their concerns on to the Representative but would not comment on whether he had received any response. The group insisted that Smith “is not serving as our representative in Washington if he doesn’t come back to hear what we think.”

In addition to demanding Smith return to his district to meet with constituents, TX21 Indivisible members expressed their extreme disappointment with cabinet confirmations and their opposition to Affordable Care Act repeal without a suitable replacement in place. Valenzuela says the group will be back next week, with an even better turnout, asking the same questions and holding Smith to account: “We need Lamar to stand up for the people, and for the morals of the country. He needs to come home and talk to us. He can’t keep hiding. We’ll keep going back until we get answers”

Article contributed by Claire Barnett – a TX21 Indivisible member