Democratic San Antonio mayor Julian Castro is scheduled to headline the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday night despite a questionable record on crime and education and campaign finance.
When he ran for mayor in 2009, the 37-year-old Castro campaigned on a pledge to reduce crime, saying, “Making our communities safe is my top priority.”
San Antonio’s crime rate, however, has seen only meager improvements since Castro took office. Unsolved murder rates have skyrocketed.
“Rapes are up 5.3 percent from the previous year, to 492 reported incidents; aggravated assaults are also up 5.3 percent from 2009, to 4,672 reported incidents; and motor-vehicle thefts are up 1.5 percent from 2009, to 5,893 reported incidents,” according to National Review.
Meanwhile, San Antonio’s unsolved murder rate has increased from 24 to 39 percent from 2010 to 2011.
The mayor’s education record is no better. San Antonio’s schools have continued to perform at the worst levels in the state under Castro’s leadership, despite the mayor’s campaign promise of school reform.
“Annual rankings by Children at Risk, a Houston-based nonprofit, find that San Antonio schools continue to perform the worst among schools in Texas’s large cities. The most recent assessment placed only 13 percent of the area’s schools in the top tier and put 37 percent in the lowest-performing group,” according to National Review.
Additionally, San Antonio’s unemployment rate has increased from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent during Castro’s time in office, and has reportedly reached as high as 8.1 percent.
Apart from his lack of mayoral achievement, Castro is also the son of a left-wing radical.
His mother, Rosie Castro, was a leader of the La Raza Unida movement to promote “Chicano identity.” She was described by the New York Times as a “’70s firebrand.’”
For example, Rosie Castro once said that “the ‘heroes’ of the Alamo were a bunch of drunks and crooks and slaveholding imperialists” and that “I hate that place and everything it stands for.”
Julian Castro hung a La Raza campaign poster in his office as one of his first acts as mayor, according to the New York Times.
Castro’s political success can be attributed, in part, to the help of a scandal-ridden Democratic benefactor.
Obama supporter and controversial San Antonio lawyer Mikal Watts held a fundraising event for Castro in 2009.
Castro “referred a wrongful-death lawsuit to Watts’ San Antonio law firm,” according to a San Antonio political gossip blog, and “collected a sizeable fee after the case was settled.”
Castro’s dealings with Watts drew criticism from Castro’s political opponents when Castro allegedly loaned his mayoral campaign a $215,000 portion of the “sizeable fee.”
Castro has close ties to Barack Obama. He is a frequent guest at the White House and has attended several Obama events—he even sat in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box at the 2012 State of the Union address. Castro has also participated in Obama campaign conference calls, according to National Review.