Saturday, July 27, 2019

#TXLEGE, #TXSEN: Royce West, Borris Miles, and a test of oppo research

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
1 Corinthians 15:33

[Note: Just for fun, imagine the reaction if any Republican candidate in a similar situation had secured an endorsement from Charles Schwertner.] 

Texas Tribune, Thursday:
[Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Royce] West has suggested he is optimistic that he can be more than just a Dallas-centric candidate by tapping into his legislative relationships throughout the state. He wasted little time proving that after his announcement as he earned endorsements from state Sens. Carol Alvarado and Borris Miles, both from Houston. And state Sens. Jose Menendez of San Antonio and Jose Rodriguez of El Paso attended the announcement itself.

[Note: Emphasis added.]
We remarked shortly thereafter:

It's now been two full days, and nobody has commented.

In case you've forgotten why an endorsement from Borris frickin' Miles might be considered a big deal:
Lauren*, a Texas legislative intern, was standing underneath the bright blue-and-red neon sign of The Continental Club, a famed Austin bar frequented by schmoozing politicians, lobbyists, and reporters.

That week in May 2013 was filled to the brim with end-of-session (“sine die”) parties, and Lauren was with a group of other interns on South Congress when Democratic state Rep. Borris Miles pulled up.

According to Lauren, Miles leaned out of the carriage he was riding in and pulled out a large roll of money. He handed “maybe $500” to an intern and then looked at Lauren.

“You know how you have the roll of hundreds that you see on TV? It was like that,” Lauren told The Daily Beast.

“I said, ‘Hi Representative, how are you?’ Then he slowly looked me up and down, counted out more money, reached out his hand and said, ‘Bitch, you want to fuck with me tonight?’

“I said ‘No, thank you’ and physically stepped back,” Lauren recalled. “I didn’t want to be rude to him. I remember his intern pacifying him and saying, ‘It’s time to go.’

“Everyone was just shocked that he said that—that he cussed at me and that he was offering me money. It was outrageous,” she continued. “I just remember thinking, ‘I need to go, and I need to not be here anymore.’”
And this:
One time, Chris said, he “witnessed [Miles] catcalling women in Downtown Austin on the way back from a Spurs game, and there had to have been at least 15 or 16 other members that were there because it was a member event.”

The Spurs had played the Lakers that April, and the lawmakers went together to San Antonio to watch one of the games. “As we’re driving back towards the W, he’s hanging out of the open door of the bus and shouting at women,” said Chris.

Chris could not recall the catcalls specifically but said, “It was not something that I would want shouted at anyone.”

Chris’ chief of staff confirmed to The Daily Beast that he heard about the alleged catcalling the next morning.
And this:
Ben*, a former staffer who recently worked in the Capitol and “spent a lot of time with Miles,” said he witnessed the then-state representative “forcibly kiss” at least one woman at the W Hotel.

“He offered to buy her a drink, kept trying to kiss her, and she kept trying to push him away,” said Ben. “He kept laughing about it.

“It was so creepy, and he had this big smile,” said Ben. “Borris loves the W Hotel, and he has a tendency to force himself upon women at bars and kiss them or grope them. He’ll tell them that he is a higher elected official than he actually is.”


“He also has a tendency to call women out of their name when they turn him down,” he said. “‘Bitch,’ ‘ho,’ ‘whore.’ He doesn’t like being told ‘no.’
And this:
When Heather* first covered the Texas Legislature as a journalist in 2011, she was repeatedly targeted by Miles, she told The Daily Beast in a story published last month.

Late one night when the legislature was in session, Heather was reporting on HB 400, which would have scrapped Texas’ law mandating class size ratio. Miles famously used a point of order to defeat the bill, landing him the title of Star of the 2011 Legislative Session by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.

Heather said she had been trying to get details about the bill negotiations, when that night, around midnight, Miles cornered her in a hallway and forcibly kissed her outside the House chamber.

“It happened quickly,” Heather said, noting that Miles laughed afterward. “I think he thought it was hilarious.”

“He’d said several times already, ‘If you go out to dinner with me, I’d be happy to give you the details,’ and I’d sort of laugh it off but it was weird and obviously gross.”
You can read the full report here.

So, yeah, that guy made an endorsement in the current U.S. Senate race.

Yet neither MJ Hegar nor John Cornyn seem to care.


Obviously, this is a longstanding beef for this author.

Last election cycle, we discovered that Beto O'Rourke likewise did a campaign event with Borris Miles.  In addition to writing a blog post, we also passed that information along to both the Cruz campaign and the RPT chairman.  Unfortunately, neither did anything with that information.

This time around, the difference is that this author doesn't particularly care who wins the U.S. Senate race.  So we're not going to tell any campaigns.  But we mentioned them by name, so they'll get the Google alerts.

Bottom Line: Any campaign that allows an opponent to get away with touting an endorsement from someone with Borris Miles' "alleged" record is completely incompetent and deserves to lose....

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