I thought the sky was a little darker than usual Friday night as the rain fell. Sure enough, I learned that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) swooped into Houston to raise some money for Democrats as the keynote speaker during their annual fundraising dinner. As the Houston Chronicle reports, the Democrat party in Harris County, your nation’s third largest county and home of Houston, the 4th largest city in America, held the annual Johnson-Rayburn-Richards Dinner using the theme “It All Starts Here”.
Harris County Democrats say the theme of the dinner is “It All Starts Here,” a nod to the strategic importance they say Harris County could play in turning Texas blue. They point to Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump by more than 161,000 votes in the county in 2016, a boost in voter registration gains this year in the county and the area being home to some of the most competitive Congressional and state legislature seats in Texas.
Pelosi’s appearance comes just three weeks after U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer attended a private fundraiser Houston to help Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, like Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Congressman challenging Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018.
A Texas Tribune political reporter tweeted that Hillary Clinton phoned into the dinner event via local congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee’s phone. She thanked them for working to turn Texas blue then said, “I have a good feeling that this could be the year. Go get them, Harris County!” Well, Hillary also had a good feeling about winning her own race in November 2016, but we all know how that turned out.
— Harris County GOP (@HarrisCountyRP) February 17, 2018
Pelosi’s arrival also comes as the 2018 mid-term elections build. Democrats need to pick up 24 seats in Congress to regain the majority. If that were to happen, Pelosi could again become Speaker of the House. Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat first elected to Congress in 1987, was the House Speaker from 2007 to 2011 when Democrats last held the majority of seats in the House.
One of the 24 seats Democrats are focused on flipping is in Houston, just miles from where Pelosi will be speaking. U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, represents the 7th Congressional District. While he has held that seat since 2000, Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Donald Trump in the district in 2016. That has Democrats targeting Culberson for defeat in November.
I live in Culberson’s district. Early voting for the March primary begins next week.
But wait, there’s more. Billed as a “GOP Tax Scam Teach-In”, Pelosi and Houston area Democrats appeared at a town hall event hosted with the American Federation of Teachers (of course) Saturday morning. Her topic was the highly successful and popular GOP tax plan recently signed into law. While multi-millionaire San Fran Nan calls the extra money in the pockets of working Americans “crumbs”, polling grows ever more favorable of the tax reforms. The snarky doom and gloom talk from Democrats have worn thin as workers see paychecks with extra money included. Somehow, the likes of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee – a perennial embarrassment to those of us living in Houston – participating in a “teach-in” doesn’t fill me with confidence that accurate information is being distributed.