A Texas Democrat who fled the state to stymie a GOP-backed election reform bill is being ripped for touting herself as “brave” for doing so — as she launched a bid for Congress from a Washington, D.C. hotel room.
State Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Tx.) announced her bid to unseat Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-Tx.) in a professionally shot video posted to her social media on Tuesday evening, in which she could be seen watching cable news coverage of her group from a DC hotel room.
“Generations of Americans have come to Washington, DC to learn about our democracy. I came here with over 50 of my colleagues to save it. Leaving our families behind to block Texas Republicans’ voter suppression bill,” Beckley said from her swanky pad, which featured a full view of the Capitol.
The House hopeful wasted no time trying to increase her digital profile after the launch, promoting her and her Texan colleagues’ jaunt as a profile in courage.
“I’m one of the brave Texas Democrats who came to D.C. to fight for voting rights in my state,” Beckley tweeted. “Now, I’m fighting to flip a seat held by an anti-democracy Republican. I have 28,500. Can you help us get to 50,000 followers?”
She followed up the tweet with a link on how best to contribute to her campaign.
The tweet was met with immediate backlash on Twitter.
“YOU. CALLED. YOURSELF. BRAVE.” radio host Jason Rantz tweeted.
Another commenter tweeted, “If you have to tell people what you did was ‘brave,’ it’s a pretty good bet that it wasn’t brave at all.”
In her campaign video, Beckley chastised GOP lawmakers for opposing Democrats’ federal election reform efforts in the House and Senate, which many on the left have said make it harder for poor people and minorities to cast ballots.
Republicans, meanwhile, have said that the measures in the bill are designed to ensure the integrity of the vote by preventing voter fraud.
Beckley also accused Republican lawmakers of “blocking any attempts to protect voters’ rights,” though her main gripe is GOP opposition to federally-imposed legislation on voting.
The group of 50 Democrats, Beckley included, flew to the nation’s capital last week to press Congress to pass federal election reform legislation that would supersede the Texas bill as well as other election integrity laws in states like Georgia.
The Texas state Senate approved the sweeping bill last Tuesday night, one day after dozens of House Democrats fled the state to prevent the chamber from taking up the legislation.
The state Senate approved the bill on an 18-4 party-line vote. Nine Senate Democrats had joined 51 of their House colleagues in hightailing it to Washington, DC, though this was not enough to deny the upper chamber a quorum.
However, the legislation is now stalled due to the lack of a quorum in the House.
The trip, which is expected to cost upwards of $1.5 million, is being funded by a host of donors, including Beto O’Rourke — a Democrat who represented Texas in the House until losing a 2018 challenge to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — and music icon Willie Nelson.