He’s not giving up.
Oh, boy. How far left will the left go? I ask this because former President Barack Obama’s HUD Secretary Julian Castro will visit New Hampshire to speak to the state’s Young Democrats Granite Slate Awards dinner this month.
Failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton even considered him as her running mate.
But is it wise for the left to prop up Castro? I’d say he’s too far left for the Democrats, but Donald Trump is president so anything can happen.
From The Washington Examiner:
“I have every interest in running” in 2020 for president, Castro said, according to a report. “Part of the process of figuring out whether I’m going to run is going to listen to folks and feel the temperature” of voters.
Castro, who was considered for Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, launched the Opportunity First PAC earlier this year and is working on a memoir. He said President Trump’s first year in office partially contributed to his desire to run for commander in chief.
“This guy is taking the country in the completely wrong direction and he’s hurting people while he’s doing it. I have a completely different vision for the country and this seems like an important moment to turn things around,” Castro said.
San Antonio Mayor
Legal Insurrection has written about Castro before, since he has been dubbed a rising star within the Democrat party. Back in 2014, Professor Jacobson noted that when Castro served as mayor of San Antonio, a pretty big city in Texas, he had “no more responsibility than being Mayor of Wasilla, and maybe less.” Remember when Sarah Palin was vice president candidate? The left trashed her little responsibilities as mayor, but weirdly enough, no one has touched Castro. Byron York documented the responsibilities of a San Antonio mayor:
San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas and seventh-largest in the nation, has a council-manager-weak mayor form of government. The manager runs the city. “The office of the city manager serves as the focal point for the executive leadership and direction of the city organization,” says the website of San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley. The site says Sculley, in office seven years, has “appointed executive leadership, reorganized city departments, streamlined city business systems, improved customer service and elevated the professionalism of city management.” Sculley makes $355,000 a year, one of the highest salaries for a local office in Texas.
The office of mayor carries with it no executive authority. Castro’s website says he has “focused on attracting well-paying jobs in 21st century industries, positioning San Antonio to be a leader in the New Energy Economy.” Castro’s site says he has also “brought a sense of urgency” to urban revitalization, and has created something called SA2020, “a community-wide visioning effort turned nonprofit that has galvanized thousands of San Antonians around a simple, but powerful vision for San Antonio — to create a brainpower community that is the liveliest city in the nation.”
Creating visioning efforts, senses of urgency, and brainpower communities brings the mayor far, far less money than the city manager. “The mayor’s job pays $20 a meeting plus a one-time $2,000 fee, so I basically make $4,000 a year,” Castro told San Antonio television station KENS last year.
His run included some controversy, though. Julian’s identical twin brother Joaquin stood-in for him during the city’s River Parade aboard the City Council barge. From The Houston Chronicle:
“We can’t help that we look like each other,” said Julian Castro, a council member and leading contender for the mayor’s post.
As many as 250,000 people gathered along the River Walk to watch the decorated barges float by Monday night. Many mistook the state representative for the mayoral hopeful.
“When he was waving, they would say, ‘Julian,’ and he would say, ‘No, it’s Joaquin,’ but you can’t really yell at 200,000 people along the route,” Julian Castro said.
River Parade announcer Bob Guthrie told radio station WOAI, which first reported the story, that materials provided to him showed Julian Castro — not his brother — among passengers on the City Council float. He said he wasn’t told about the replacement.
Castro also promised to clean up crime, but unsolved murders numbers remained high. School reform didn’t happen either as San Antonio’s schools “continue to perform the worst among schools in Texas’s large cities.” Unemployment even went up.
Professor Jacobson perfectly summarized Castro in July 2016 as an “empty suit” and received the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development position as a way to give him more credibility rather than just a pretty face.
His ambition remained more important than anything because as HUD Secretary he violated the Hatch Act when he put his support behind Hillary:
Housing Secretary Julian Castro violated the federal Hatch Act restricting partisan political activity by federal employees when he praised Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during an interview conducted from his government office, government investigators found Monday….
A report from the Office of Special Counsel delivered a mild rebuke to Castro for his handling of the April interview with Yahoo News. The seal of the Housing and Urban Development department was visible behind Castro as he answered questions from host Katie Couric about his support for Clinton, including his chances as running mate. (He said he did not think he would be chosen.) ….
The report found that Castro did not separate his role as HUD secretary well enough from his role as a Clinton supporter and referred the findings to President Obama. There was no immediate word on whether Obama planned to act on the findings.
Did he receive any punishment? Of course not.
HUD’s finances also went downhill during Castro’s tenure. The officials “ignored 63 financial management recommendations from Congress’ investigative arm since 2012 and only half-heartedly followed many more, resulting in the $43 billion agency’s books to be all but useless.” The Daily Caller continued:
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has struggled to resolve persistent management challenges, in part because it has not consistently incorporated requirements and key practices identified by GAO to help ensure effective management into its operations,” GAO said. “In addition, HUD’s past remedial actions were not always effective because they were not sustained.”
“Turnover among senior leadership, shifting priorities, and resource constraints have contributed to HUD’s difficulties in implementing needed changes,” the report continued. “As a result, GAO and others continue to find deficiencies in numerous aspects of HUD’s operations.”
Politico also reported that this rising Hispanic star spent his off time learning a new language…Spanish. Yes, he spent “more time reading and watching television in Spanish, trying to get his speaking speed skills up to speed.” (That same article “forgot” to mention that he didn’t make much progress in San Antonio and made HUD finances worse)
He also ran into trouble when progressive groups launched an attack against him, which effectively removed him from Hillary’s VP list. From Politico:
By the coalition’s calculations, HUD under Castro has sold 98 percent of the long-delinquent mortgages it acquired through a program aimed at preventing foreclosures to Wall Street banks under Castro’s watch, without anywhere near the number of needed strings attached. (HUD says that figure is way off.) And Nelson and Walters say that for a politician who’s aiming to be considered the vice presidential prospect for both progressives and minorities, Castro has done too much to help private equity firms like Blackstone, instead of black and Latino communities.
“If Secretary Castro fails to create significant momentum in terms of stopping the sale of mortgages to Wall Street, then I do think it disqualifies him. But there’s time left on the clock,” said Jonathan Westin, the director of New York Communities for Change, which was formed out of the remains of the community activist group ACORN. “I think a lot of the progressive movement would not be in support of a Castro ticket if he fails to make traction here.”
The problem with Castro was with the Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, which began in 2010 and allowed “mortgages going toward foreclosure to be sold to what HUD calls ‘qualified bidders and encourages them to work with borrowers to help bring the loan out of default.'” Politico continued:
The progressives attacking Castro say they believe the mortgages should be sold instead to nonprofits and other institutions that would care more about the communities involved. What Castro’s done, they say, has essentially amounted to a fire sale for Wall Street firms.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and one of Sanders’ few endorsers in Congress, complained about the program to Castro last week in a letter obtained by Politico.
“Your own Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, which was designed to help right the wrongs of the meltdown years, has been selling homes that once belonged to the families I’ve spoken with at rock-bottom prices to the Wall Street entities that created this situation in the first place,” Grijalva wrote.
There’s also the case of his leftist-radical mother Rosie Castro, a leader of the La Raza Unida movement that promotes Chicano identity. She even bashed the men who won at the Battle of the Alamo:
Maria del Rosario Castro, the mother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, said in 2010 that she grew up being told the battle was “glorious,” only to learn the so-called heroes were really “a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists who conquered land that didn’t belong to them.”
“But as a little girl I got the message — we were losers,” she told The New York Times Magazine. “I can truly say that I hate that place and everything it stands for.”
The Alamo, then a sprawling mission for missionaries and American Indian converts, was attacked in February 1836 by Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Though historical accounts vary, Texans, including famous frontiersman Davy Crockett, fought back for 13 days only to surrender, on March 6.
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