May 4, 2014

South Texas Corruption: We Must Remain Vigilant

Unless we remain vigilant, one chapter ends and another begins. Our political selection process still suffers from a strong influence from the Boss Era of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Candidates successfully emerging from such a system are predisposed and heavily influenced to tolerate or engage in the ills that mar our region's history. Voter engagement is key to wrestling away control of candidate selection that now remains in the hands of a small group of self-interested strongmen. The competition of ideas rather than that of personalities or clans is an essential element to a healthy political system. Of critical importance is that of enforcement of the rule of law. Prosecutors, law enforcement and ultimately we the people are essential to maintaining the standards that we all wish to be governed by. By my observation, recent history has shown too many vacillating between denial and disinterest. The recent judicial accounting of the Panama Unit is a victory for those of us interested in a positive change. I suspect this accounting will be but one with more to come. So be it.

THE MONITOR'S EDITORIAL: Panama Unit jailed -- ends dirty chapter in Hidalgo County history.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS covers the resent growth in corruption cases in South Texas.

Apr 15, 2014

Up On TV Tonight

On Austin's @TXCapTonight political talk show with @HCookAustin to discuss the debate between Sen. Dan Patrick and S.A. Mayor Julian Castro. Also up for discussion is the new (@ppppolls) poll showing statewide GOP candidates enjoying double-digit leads.

Apr 4, 2014

The Next Governor of Texas

"The Next Governor of Texas?" It's an easy question to answer but that's the headline of The Weekly Standard's Article on Attorney General Abbott. The writer followed General Abbott on the campaign trail and noted his stop in Edinburg. A good story about the campaign and the man who will be the next governor of the great State of Texas.

Mar 29, 2014

RGV Super Saturday Block Walk

"Alright, alright, alright! Looky here, it's real simple, we're going to win this thing. Alright!"

Mar 19, 2014

A New Beginning

The shadows are growing long here in Washington D.C. as the sun begins to set on another miraculous day on our nation's effort's to recognize it's heroes. I'm overjoyed that it happened and was blessed to be a part of it, yet I'm saddened this trip to our nation's capitol is coming to an end.

The Valor 24, as we have come to call those recognized with the Medal of Honor, whose courage was embodied in the 3 living recipients, were remarkable.

Santiago Jesse Erevia and Jose Rodela, both from Corpus Christi and San Antonio, as well as Melvin Morris of Florida were everything one would expect: gracious, humble and noble.

Mitchell and Marilyn Libman were special too. I had them sign my White House program along with the living Medal of Honor recipients because these moments of tribute belong to them as well.

Tomorrow marks a new beginning, it is the first day of Spring. It is a fitting metaphor for where we go from here. Our country has corrected an injustice and it moves forward better and stronger for it.

Thanks for following. Best wishes.

It Was A Good Day

In the White House's State Dining Room standing in front of the Roosevelt fireplace and Abraham Lincoln portrait. L-R: Maricela De Leon, Aaron Peña, Dominga Perez, Alec Cano, Emily Lindsay, Geneive Cano, Nina Cano and Stephen Cano. Back: Armando Jr. Perez, Armando Perez, Salvador Perez, Robert Perez and Sgt. Barnhart.

Medal Of Honor

Video Of Medal Of Honor Ceremony

Watch the Medal of Honor ceremony filmed at the White House

Mar 18, 2014

A Fifty Year Struggle

Joined by Mitch and Marilyn Libman whose hard work made this day possible.

From the New York Times: Mitch Libman was surprised when his childhood friend, Pfc. "Leonard Kravitz, was not selected for the Medal of Honor — the military’s top honor — after his service in the Korean War. Mr. Libman, back in Denver, had received regular updates from Private Kravitz about the fighting. But then Private Kravitz died a hero, with his actions saving his entire platoonin Yangpyong on March 6-7, 1951.

Private Kravitz was Jewish, and “it was obvious for me, from reading everything, that it had something to do with his religion,” Mr. Libman said in a video interview with the newspaper Stars and Stripes. “And I couldn’t believe that here’s a guy who saved so many lives, and people are upset that a Jewish guy is getting a Medal of Honor,” Mr. Libman said. “And there were so many groups that were caught up in that type of thing.”

Mr. Libman was angry enough to petition members of Congress to reconsider Private Kravitz for the Medal of Honor — he had already been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest military award. The efforts led Congress to require the Army, Air Force and Navy to review the records of Jewish and Hispanic service members who had received the Distinguished Service Cross for their heroics in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars to determine whether they had been passed over for the Medal of Honor because of their race, religion or ethnicity.

A Lasting Friendship

I had the pleasure today to meet Mitchell Libman at the White House whose friendship to a brave soldier caused Congress to order a review for discrimination. Marylyn Libman was with her husband and I thanked her for her work as well. Mitch’s years of advocacy led the Pentagon to do a review of Medal of Honor candidates who may have been discriminated against due to their Jewish or Hispanic origin. This comprehensive review then revealed additional cases of extraordinarily heroic veterans who had gone unrecognized but were eligible for the Medal of Honor. Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21) joined us as he too filled me in on their extraordinary efforts to get recognition for those that may have been overlooked because of race, ethnicity or religious traditions.

Mar 16, 2014

White House Welcomes A Nation's Heroes

During a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans with the Medal of Honor in one of the largest Medal of Honor ceremonies in history.

Each of these Soldiers' bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Congressional review and the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prompted a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran war records from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

During the review, records of several Soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 NDAA was amended to allow these Soldiers to be honored with the upgrade in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers. The ceremony will recognize these 24 men for their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

CLICK HERE to view the entire list of Medal of Honor recipients.

The ceremony can be watched via the internet on a live feed beginning on Mar 18 2014 2:15 PM (Texas time) CST to 4:30 PM CST.

CLICK HERE at to see the live stream at that time.