On Thursday night, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee published a short but direct opposition research memo on Laura Moser, an activist who moved back to Houston last year to run for Congress and who had paid for advertising from a firm where her husband was a partner. The DCCC was clear: It considered Moser a weak candidate, uniquely positioned to lose Texas’s 7th Congressional District even as it seemed to trend Democratic.
Moser responded immediately, condemning the DCCC in terms that would be echoed by progressive groups. On Friday night, she talked briefly about the aftermath of the memo.
Washington Post: Describe what’s happened in the 24 hours since the DCCC put that statement up.
Laura Moser: People have been very supportive. We’ve had like 18 lunches delivered to the office from people we don’t know, all over the country. Before we’d sent out a fundraising email about this — I think we sent it at 5 p.m., my time — we’d raised $20,000. Now it’s a donation every second. And you what? I’d trade it all to have a functional Democratic Party that had unity and wanted to win.
WP: Are you saying, with that fundraising ticker, that the DCCC’s statement backfired?
LM: We’ll see, right? We’ll see at 11 p.m. on March 6. I’ve been on the Internet. I haven’t seen a huge groundswell of support for the Democratic Party in this apart from the five people on Twitter who say I’m a Bernie bro. You know, the #NeverBernie people.
WP: But in the general election, if you get there, how were you going to handle the first thing mentioned in the memo — the essay you wrote about not wanting to move back to Paris, Texas?
LM: That part has backfired. Nobody in Texas’s 7th District wants to live on the Oklahoma border, either. People who live here are thinking: Wait, who thinks that the fourth-largest city in the country is just like Paris? The outrage has not come from here. Anyway, I can think of so many candidates who have said worse things. Or people who have been hit for some things that they didn’t even say. [Pennsylvania congressional candidate] Conor Lamb, a candidate who says we don’t need any new laws about assault weapons after a shooting — I think that’s more troubling than something I wrote four years ago.
WP: Would you have apologized for writing it?
LP: I’ve written stuff I’d have never written if I knew I was running for office. I haven’t focus-grouped everything. And I don’t focus-group what I say now. I think that’s something people like about my candidacy.
WP: In the general election, how were you going to handle the second part of that memo, about paying Revolution Messaging, where [your husband] Arun works?
LM: Am I supposed to hire someone from Washington to come down and take pictures for me? Revolution has much more high-profile clients than me. It would be really weird if I don’t use him. And I have much higher-quality media than the other people in this race. He’s why.
WP: Have you talked to anyone at the DCCC since this happened?
LM: No, no. But Indivisible [an advocacy group focused on resisting the Trump agenda] came out today and said: Butt out; don’t come to our city. They had an organizer who left for another job. Now the resistance base here is like, we don’t want to hear anything from Washington Democrats. No national Democrat has done anything for this state, and now they have the audacity to come in and tell us what to do? You know, being seen as an outsider candidate in this district who’s not beholden to the party — that’s not the most toxic thing to be.