Two Democrats who are absent from the Texas legislature to ostensibly protest GOP attempts to reform voting in the state, are instead vacationing in Portugal, according to the Texas Tribune.
State Reps. Julie Johnson and Jessica González are with their significant others in Europe because they had “non-refundable” tickets, according to information tweeted out by Texas Monthly reporter Jonathan Tilove.
Hi. Covering the TXDEMS in DC for @TexasMonthly. Can confirm @juliejohnsonTX and her wife & @jessicafortexas and her fiancé are in Portugal for a vacation they had been planning, with non-refundable tickets, for a year-and-a-half. Still participating in caucus meetings via ZOOM.
— jonathantilove (@JTiloveTX) August 3, 2021
The legislators are participating in strategy sessions with the Democrats via Zoom.
González is the vice chair of the Texas House Elections Committee and presumably would play a large role in any Democrat strategy on voting reform.
“Wow, just wow. Exploding head Had to cancel my family’s vacation last week to Grand Teton because of a special session they helped create back in May. Texas deserves better than this,” tweeted Tom Oliverson, a Republican state Representative.
The Texas Republicans have been waiting in Austin for Democrats to return to a legislature that saw Democrats walk out to prevent Republicans, who have the majority, from passing election integrity legislation.
Wow, just wow. 🤯 Had to cancel my family’s vacation last week to Grand Teton because of a special session they helped create back in May. Texas deserves better than this. #txlege https://t.co/guEWC9m2Fc
— Tom Oliverson, M.D. (@TomOliverson) August 3, 2021
The Texas Democrats have already faced criticism of their strategy to walk out on the legislature after a trip to Washington D.C. produced positive COVID-19 cases for their delegation and others that they met with in D.C.
The missing Democrats’ European vacation now adds to the impression that the Democrats either don’t take the COVID surge, or the Texas special session, very seriously, but instead are playing for the cameras.
Johnson and Gonzalez, both lesbians, were elected in 2018 to represent the LGBTQ community in the legislature according to the Dallas Morning News.