Why Three Texas Congressmen Are Protesting the Inauguration

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJanuary 18, 2017 1:24 pm

At least three Texas Democrats have decided to boycott Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Friday. One of them is U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio).

Castro told Texas Public Radio he’s sitting it out because Trump has shown contempt for many Americans – including Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

“You have to earn people’s respect and this is somebody who has not shown respect, basic respect for millions of Americans,” he says. “And I don’t think that’s a cause for celebration.”

U.S. Rep. Al Green (D-Houston) says one reason he’s not going is Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign.

“I cannot participate in the inauguration of a person who calls women dogs, who would bar Muslims from this country, who has insulted a gold star family, who has insulted Latinos,” he says.

Rounding out the trio of protesting is U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin).

But how big of a deal is it that these Texas politicians are sitting on the sidelines? University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus has this take:

“This is a symbolic protest but it does have powerful meaning for Texas Democrats,” he says. “There has been a concern that there hasn’t been a significant enough appeal of Texas Democrats and they haven’t really been able to tap into this growing movement that the Democratic party is trying to harness both in terms of race and youth – and this is the opportunity of the party to be able to make a stand on this issue.”

Participating in the protest could also raise the national profile of these Texas politicians – and Rottinghaus says Castro is definitely one to watch.

“If there’s one thing the Texas Democrats need is some notable figures who have both vision and the ability to run a good campaign,” Rottinghaus says. “If it’s the case that Joaquin Castro can parlay this exposure into a broader political movement – this could be successful for the Democrats as well as for him.”

About 60 Democratic representatives from across the country have opted to boycott the inauguration so far.

H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt has pledged $100 million to open a training center for Texas public school superintendents, principals and administrators.

Kate Rogers is the executive vice president of the Holdsworth Center – named for Charles Butt’s mother.

“[Participants will go through] a very rigorous curriculum that lasts over two years really focused on both their personal leadership but also on best practices and talent management to support the work of the district,” she says.

More than 20 school districts have been invited to apply for the program, which starts this summer.

Know a Texan who’s missing home? It looks like you can send them a candle that smells like the Lone Star State.

According to retailer Homesick Candles, the state’s signature scents are a mix of the following: “A hint of leather, a bit of fresh cotton and just a touch of sage.”