Threats against Joaquin Castro prompt law enforcement agencies to increase patrols in San Antonio
Congressman has faced backlash since tweeting out names of major Trump donors
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County Sheriff's Office increased patrols at the congressional district office and home of Rep. Joaquin Castro after threats were made against the congressman, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
The order for increased patrols was issued as the congressman faced backlash for a tweet he posted last week naming 44 people in San Antonio who are major donors of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign. While campaign finance records are public information and easily searchable on the Federal Election Commission's website, Castro was chastised by people across the country who felt the tweet had subjected the donors to potential harrassment.
Police records obtained by the Defenders show that SAPD officers were ordered by Chief William McManus' office to begin increased patrols of Castro's district office in downtown San Antonio on Thursday. The order stated that Castro "has received threats." According to the document, the assignment is still in effect.
Castro has not responded to KSAT's request for comment on the threats and increased police presence.
Another record obtained by KSAT shows Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar requested deputies patrol by Castro's home on Wednesday.
While the Sheriff's Office declined to respond to questions about how long the order for increased patrols will last, the agency sent the following statement: “While we cannot comment on the exact details of this matter, Sheriff Salazar along with the men and women of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office take our responsibility to protect and serve all Bexar County Residents, including our elected officials.”
The list of donors, which Castro tweeted last Monday night, featured Balous Miller, the owner of Bill Miller Bar B Q, and Christopher Goldsbury, the owner of the Pearl, along with 42 others.
Castro tweeted: “Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of @BillMillerBarBQ, owner of the Historic Pearl, realtor Phyllis Browning, etc. Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
Federal law allows individuals to donate up to $2,800 per election to a candidate, but some people on the list also donated to Trump's PAC, including Goldsbury and Miller.
Seven Congressional Republicans, including Randy Weber of Texas, have since called for an ethics inquiry into the tweet in a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Ethics that characterizes the tweet as a "target list."
“The request to the House Ethics Committee is baseless and these Members of Congress know that," said Katherine Schneider, a spokeswoman for Castro. "The information shared by Representative Castro is publicly available through the Federal Election Commission and the kind that’s routinely reported in media outlets of every political persuasion.
"Their letter is a disingenuous attempt by pro-dark money, far-right legislators to limit Americans’ ability to track money in politics. They would prefer large contributions to be kept secret so that there’s no meaningful transparency in political giving. We look forward to hearing from the Committee if the request is considered.”
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