Probably not, but I sure don’t mind seeing his opponents use it against him.
Republican long-shot candidates are citing high-tech discontent over Rep. Lamar Smith’s proposed government regulation of the Internet in an attempt to knock off the 13-term incumbent in the primary election.
Even two Democrats, seeking to win their party’s nomination, have cited the proposed regulatory bill in their hopes to defeat Smith in the general election this fall.
But Smith, 64, has a campaign war chest of $1.3 million and has represented the Hill Country congressional district that includes North San Antonio since 1987. He will be hard to unseat in the 21st Congressional District on May 29, political experts say.
Smith was author of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was designed to protect U.S. film, recording and intellectual property rights but opposed by Internet providers as censorship.
The bipartisan legislation was pulled after it was attacked by Google and other social media giants.
“Lamar Smith is completely out of touch with Texans. He will hurt Texas business,” said Richard Mack, 59, of Fredericksburg.
Richard Morgan, 24, a former software engineer in Austin, cited Smith’s SOPA bill as a reason he is running in the Republican primary, as well Smith’s long tenure in office.
“He’s been in Congress longer than I’ve been alive,” Morgan said.
In the Democratic primary, two candidates are vying for the nomination: Daniel Boone, a retired Air Force psychologist, and business consultant Candace Duvál.
Boone, 76, of Canyon Lake, a descendent of the Kentucky pioneer, ran unsuccessfully for the State Board of Education and was defeated in the 2008 Democratic primary for Texas House District 73.
He filed last year as a candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican, but switched to the congressional race because he didn’t have the money to run a statewide campaign.
Both Boone and Duvál have raised less than $5,000 each, according to FEC records.
Both cite Smith’s SOPA bill and their opposition to it in their campaign literature.
None of these people are likely to be sworn into office next January, but this is the sort of issue that could at least be a little annoying for Lamar Smith to have to deal with. It may cost him a few votes, though it would have to be a lot more than that to make a difference in CD21. At least he’s being called out for his authorship of a lousy bill. It’s a start.