It’s time to give a pink slip to Henry Bonilla, “a partisan Republican soldier … who worked day and night and tried to move heaven and earth to not represent Hispanics,” says Matt Angle of the Lone Star Project. In a December 2003 Department of Justice memo acquired by Angle’s D.C.-based organization, the DOJ investigative team reports the obvious: that Bonilla had been steadily losing Hispanic support in Congressional District 23 because he was unsympathetic to Hispanic issues (insensitive, according to LULAC, like mythic Hard-Hearted Hannah, who threw water on a drowning man). Only 8 percent of Hispanic voters supported him in 2002. That’s why Bonilla’s ace-boon-coon Tom DeLay tried to protect his seat in the 2003 mid-census redistricting by tossing in Anglo voters from Kendall, Kerr, and Bandera counties and tossing out a lot of Webb County, the fastest-growing and most Hispanic county in Texas.
The DOJ memo was overruled and buried, and Bonilla spent good money to keep his personalized district intact. But the protectress of the Americas is giving us a divine chance! — with Ciro “Runoff Rod” Rodriguez in the role of humble Juan Diego, a Democrat hoping to convince a redesigned CD-23 to forsake its false GOP idol and join the rest of the nation in its newfound Democratic federal faith. And miracle of all miracles, this is the first time the party is gathering ’round Runoff Rod in a hotly contested race (the D-triple-C sent in ops who worked high-profile, albeit losing, campaigns in GOP territory in Ohio and Arizona). Runoff Rod’s enjoying blossoming Dem support, a redemption of sorts considering the past afflictions he endured, losing two previous Democratic primaries to Henry Cuellar.
Pilgrims, visit Bexar.org/elections or 335-VOTE for a voting shrine near you (Bexar County Justice Center, 300 Dolorosa, is the main early voting location, in the basement by the cafeteria). And, as Miguel Hidalgo exclaimed in the heat of Mexico’s war of independence, “Death to bad government, and long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!”