It's official. Lloyd Doggett did not show up to debate Dr. Donna Campbell on Friday for the congressional seat in District 25-TX. And frankly, no surprises here. Lloyd Doggett hates being challenged, questioned, and generally unappreciated for his ongoing efforts to solve all our problems with Washington spending. And now that the Cook Report has removed the seat from the Democrat's "safe" list (one of eight races suddenly up for grabs, including Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich), he has even more reason to worry.
I ask any independent voter, why re-elect an incumbent who is so inaccessible and unwilling to stand on their own record? Has Mr. Doggett become so entrenched in the swamps of Washington, he won't even make an appearance in front of an unbiased audience and face their questions? What type of lawyer and long-serving congressman ducks a debate with a doctor who has never run for political office before?
This has been typical of Doggett's campaign against Dr. Donna Campbell, an emergency room physician and small town mom with lots of grassroots support. He has repeatedly attempted to paint her as an extremist. Yes, we should all be frightened of our scary family doctors who attend t-ball games and Halloween parades for their adopted four year old daughters. Thank God there are bureaucrats in Washington protecting us from these extremists!
We already saw Mr. Doggett flee constituents at his own town hall on Obamacare last year. We saw him bash these same constituents on national TV with Chris Mathews. We heard him call the tea parties “a bitter brew” and “mob scene.” And then to rub the voters faces in it, he admitted he would have voted for Obamacare, opposed by a nearly 2 to 1 margin in Texas, “just based on it’s opposition."
He also ran a misleading TV ad this election cycle claiming to be against bailouts, in which the business he featured actually received millions in federal stimulus (in an update, I note that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which benefitted greatly from that kickback, contributed $10,000 to Doggett's campaign this year). Reports have also surfaced of using the University of Texas official student directory to spam students with campaign materials attacking Donna Campbell (a violation of the rules and regulations of The University of Texas Board of Regents, not to mention use of taxpayer dollars for partisan purposes). This is not the behavior of a statesman so much as the personality flaw of a desperate politician.
Last Saturday, Mr. Doggett refused Dr. Donna Campbell’s invitation for a debate. She had already secured the venue and was seeking his input for a moderator, but the 16 year Democrat incumbent laughed the invitation off as her trying “to get him to come to her tea party rally.” On Friday night, he officially failed to show at the event.
Campbell has posed a serious challenge to Lloyd Doggett in a blue district where few, if any Democrats have ever been challenged. And she's doing it without mainstream political help from the Republican Party. This is a rag-tag effort made up of independent individuals, many of whom have never been involved in a political race before.
If King Lloyd really finds that kind of peaceful dissent by the people frightening, then it's clear he's no longer fit to serve his constituents. He is running only for his career. Eighteen years is obviously too long in power.
Doggett may hide until Election Day, but the voters are waiting to call him out - especially those who don't live in downtown Austin. And that's a lot of voters in District 25.