Sure, it’s a popular mantra among Democrats since his failed run for President, but for everyday Texans on both sides of the political spectrum “You Cruz You Lose” is suddenly sounding with a much deeper resonance.
As Katherine Blunt of the Houston Chronicle reports, Ted Cruz may be well known in Washington, but in his home state of Texas, the distinguished Senator is essentially M.I.A…
Ted Cruz is still missing.
The U.S. senator from Texas didn’t appear at a town hall meeting Saturday, much to the dismay of several organizations that have for months tried to corner him during his trips to Houston. Hundreds of constituents appeared in the hope of peppering him with questions before he returns to Washington, D.C., but they were forced instead to address a panel of speakers assembled in his absence.
Cruz isn’t really missing, of course. His spokesman noted that the senator took questions from 200 employees at a NASA subcontractor in Stafford last week.
But he has for months declined requests from left-leaning groups including Indivisible Houston, Pantsuit Republic Houston and others to attend town hall meetings with local voters concerned about education, health care, immigration and other issues that became particularly contentious when President Donald Trump took office. With Congress in recess until Friday, the groups raised $5,000 to host the event in a Texas Southern University auditorium regardless of whether Cruz showed up.
“We are legitimately concerned about things happening in Texas,” said Lauren Summerville, an organizer with Pantsuit Republic. “The people have a lot of questions.”
If you’re struggling to keep track, this now marks the Second Congressional Recess in a row that Senator Cruz has REFUSED to hold an official public Town Hall. This being the case while several of Cruz’s colleagues are doing their civic duty as elected officials, even if it isn’t always easy.
So what could be the reason that the Texas Senator can’t seem to muster the courage to meet his own constituents face to face?? I suppose Texans could understand if the expense of having to fly back and forth from Washington placed an undue burden on Cruz’s paltry salary of $174,000 per year (multiply that by 6 years in office, and you’ve hit over $1 million that Cruz has been compensated by the very Taxpayers he seems to ignore), but luckily for Senators, flights to and from the Capitol are are covered by… well, us.
Granted, this has been Cruz’s first term in office. Hosting Constituent questions in a Town Hall can be of great challenge to even the most experienced elected official. I guess that could be an excuse, if not for all of those Town Halls, Teleconference Sessions, Open Forum Debates that Cruz seemed to master during his 2015-2016 Presidential Campaign. From the looks of it, Senator Cruz seems to have spent more time listening to the concerns of Iowa and New Hampshire residents than those who sent him to Congress in the first place. Not a good statistic for a politician rapidly approaching reelection.
And in case you’re wondering… at least one opponent for Ted Cruz’s seat is having no problem facing the public. Just last week, Congressman Beto O’Rourke held another Town Hall in El Paso, facing tough questions from his constituents concerned his bid to challenge Cruz would detract from important work for the people of his district. O’Rourke is now 4 for 4 on his promise to host monthly Town Halls, even after the launch of an ambitious Senate campaign.
Sounds like the current Senator could take a couple of cues from his rival. In any event, he better do something. Like the warming temperatures, this campaign won’t stay cool much longer. Let’s hope Texas finds its Senator soon.