Jun 28, 2011

The Session Ends. The Campaign Begins.

Session ends Wednesday. After the end of the business day I will hold my first campaign fundraiser as we prepare for election day on November 6, 2012. This will be a spirited and historic campaign as I seek re-election to a sixth term to the Texas legislature. I will return home in coming days to ask my many friends and neighbors to join us in our effort. Until then, I will take a short vacation with the family for the 4th of July weekend and then reclaim my routines of daily life in our beautiful Rio Grande Valley.

I look forward to visiting with you soon.

Jun 23, 2011

Let Us Begin ...

While I remain focused on the job you elected me to do, I am taking a brief moment today to make an announcement regarding my immediate plans for elected office.

As we close this legislative session, the time is right to put an end to the some of the speculation regarding my intentions. Let me first reaffirm what I have been saying for the past six months, while I respect the honor and privilege of public service in Washington, I am not running for Congress.

Today, I am declaring my intention to seek re-election to the Texas House of Representatives for a sixth term.

We’ve had great success in completing many of the goals that we set out to achieve when I first ran for office yet there are many new challenges that lie ahead. The experience, relationships and knowledge that we gained over the years give us the increased opportunity to meet those challenges head on and help provide a bright and hopeful future for our community

The Rio Grande Valley is changing and we must change with it. What will not change is my commitment to our community and those values and principles that makes the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Texas great.

Let us begin our work. Today, with this announcement and our previous work and experiences, we begin laying the foundation for a successful re-election. I can't however do so without your support. Please join us in this effort.

Thank you for your interest and may God continue to bless you as he does the great state of Texas.

Discuss on Buzz

Jun 22, 2011

Summer Means Capitol Visitors

We have a growing number of visitors to our Capitol office now that school is out. Here is Freddy Gonzalez' Elementary School Principal, Arnoldo Benavides, and his grandchildren. The gavel is "The Little Giant." Our office is located in the Capitol Extension in office E1.304. Please feel free to bring your children, family, or students to visit for a hands-on educational experience in the workings of government.

Jun 19, 2011

Texas A.G. Greg Abbott: A Champion Of Freedom

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was in the Valley on Friday to present State Representative Aaron Peña with the annual Champion of Freedom Award. The award was made to Representative Peña in recognition for his effective leadership and unwavering dedication to the principles of independence during the 82nd legislative session. Attorney General Abbott made the presentation at a luncheon hosted by the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) at the Cimarron Country Club in Mission.

“Through his eight years in the Texas Legislature, Rep. Aaron Peña has been a vitally important ally for law enforcement,” said Attorney General Abbott. “Rep. Peña has worked tirelessly to improve the integrity of Texas elections and is devoted to eradicating corruption. As Attorney General, I am thrilled to honor my very good friend Aaron Peña with the Champion of Freedom Award.”

In a tough legislative session that saw a budget reconciled with billions less in revenue, Rep. Peña once again played an important leadership role. He was named chairman of the House Committee on Technology while serving on other important committees including Homeland Security and Public Safety and Redistricting. Rep. Peña was a driving force in legislation that sought to address voter fraud and corruption of our voting system. He is the founder and first chairman of the Hispanic Republican Conference of Texas which played a critical role in addressing important issues confronted this legislative session. For his service to Texas and his community, Rep. Peña was selected as a recipient of this prestigious award by the TFRW.

“We salute Representative Peña's courage and leadership in standing up for the values that he believes in; the values that made the United States a great country,” said Besa Martin, Chair of Candidate Development for TFRW. “He has consistently promoted justice, morality, and integrity through tireless work and dedication to his district.”

The dean of the Hidalgo County house legislative delegation, Rep. Peña was recognized earlier this month for his work by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce when he was honored with the Teddy Roosevelt Leadership Award.

“It certainly is nice to be recognized for doing what you think is right for your community,” said Rep. Peña. “The TFRW is an outstanding organization and I am quite honored to receive this award. I want to thank Attorney General Abbott for coming to South Texas and making the special presentation.”

Attorney General Abbott and Rep. Peña worked closely this session to pass voter integrity legislation. The attorney general is the state’s chief law enforcement official and has made rooting out voter fraud a priority in his office. The two have worked together in past legislative sessions to enact some of the toughest laws in the nation designed to prevent and prosecute those who use the internet to prey on our children.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry at the RLC in New Orleans

Jun 16, 2011

Attorney General Abbott Keynotes Award Ceremony in the Valley

I'm pleased to announce that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is coming to the Valley on Friday, June 17th, to participate in the Hispanic Business Leaders Conference on Friday, June 17 at the Cimarron Country Club in Mission, Texas.

I've had the pleasure of getting to know the General as we have worked together on many different issues over the past few sessions. I've come to appreciate his support for our community, and his presence at Friday's event is a strong indication of that support for the Rio Grande Valley. The event has exceeded expected capacity and should be an interesting political function.

Jun 15, 2011

Your Ignorance Is Their Power

By Bob Price
Texas GOP Vote

Racism raises its ugly head at the most interesting times. Saturday, June 11 in Austin, the founder of the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas (IRCOT) and Women on the Wall, Rebecca Forest told a sparsely attended group of protesters that there are just too many Hispanics in the Texas Legislature. Is this the voice of those who support legislation like State Senator Tommy Williams' so-called "Sanctuary Cities" bill (SB 9), a bill which has somehow become a "catch-all" for all the anti-immigration bills that didn't make it during regular session? Are they really anti-illegal immigration or are they just anti-immigration, or worse yet, anti-Hispanic?

For a very long time, I have been telling people that groups like her's, ALIPAC, FAIR and NumbersUSA are not anti "illegal immigration" they are, in fact, anti-immigration and anti-Hispanic. Ms. Forest goes out of her way to clearly illustrate my point.

The following video is very hard to hear because of wind noise, but in the beginning of the video you can clearly hear her say, "If you want to know why we can't pass legislation in Texas it's because we have 37, no 36, Hispanics in the Legislature. All of the states that have passed legislation have a handful and I mean literally, some of them have NO Hispanic legislators, well, maybe 3 or 5 or something. So that's, umm, part of our problem and we need to change those numbers." Yes, that's right... She said we have too many Hispanics in our Legislature.

Ms. Forest, those numbers are indeed going to change, but clearly not in the way you seem to hope. With Hispanics being the fastest growing segment of the Texas population, the number of Hispanic legislators will continue to grow and there is nothing you can do to stop that. Nor should you. The real question is, will those legislators be Conservative Republicans like those currently in the recently formed House Hispanic Republican Conference, or will they join the ranks of liberal Democrats as has mostly happened in the past? With comments like these, I am afraid more could be driven to the latter and not the former.

In the wind noise she went on to say, "Umm, we need to do something about that in fact, during the debate on "sanctuary cities," several Hispanic legislators testified that their grandparents and their parents were migrant workers who came over here to work and that THEY even worked in the fields. And some of them even admitted that they had been here illegally and that they came illegally. So the problem is these Hispanic legislators … is that it's too close to them and they, umm… simply cannot vote their conscience correctly. So that's about all I have to say to you, please come to the hearing, and help us spread this message. Thank you."

US Border Watch founder, Curtis Collier said today, "This is one of the most stupid statements I have heard in a long time. US Border Watch's policy has always been that illegal immigration is not a Hispanic focused issue. The reality is, illegal immigrants come here from many nations, races and cultures. Most through an unsecured border and visa overstays. Comments like those from Ms. Forest yesterday are not helpful in trying to resolve these issues and our nation's problems. They only help to drive a wedge between Conservative Hispanics and Republicans."

Democrat blogs have picked up this video and are spreading it like a West Texas Grass Fire. And thus the mission of ALIPAC, FAIR, NumbersUSA, IRCOT and Women on the Wall are revealed and at the same time accomplished. That being to divide the Republican Party on the issue of Illegal Immigration and Border Security while creating a wedge between non-Hispanic Conservatives and Hispanic conservatives. Look at links above at the boards of directors of FAIR and NumbersUSA and you will find liberal, pro-choice, anti-population growth, anti-Hispanic and pro-radical environmentalism activists. Look at the zero population growth writings of NumbersUSA's Roy Beck. Ms. Forest is echoing their sentiments. Are these the kinds of people we should be listening to about Texas legislation?

Could this serious case of foot in mouth disease reflect back on the presidential aspirations of Texas Governor Rick Perry? The Dallas Observer thinks so stating, Rick Perry's Supporters Can't Stop Making Him Seem Like a Closed-Minded *****." Even the Texas Tribune had to throw in the Forest comments in an article about a possible Perry run. The Houston Chronicle said Gov. Perry was forced to respond to these low comments through his spokesperson, Catherine Frazier stating, "The governor certainly does not agree with such misguided and unproductive comments. This is not about race or politics - it is about public safety. We must ensure our peace officers have the discretion they need to keep Texans safe."

To see what the conservative Hispanic legislators are accomplishing (and we need more of them, Ms. Forest!...) look at our series of interviews done this spring with the members of the Hispanic Republican Conference. Look at real business solutions being proposed in the Texas Legislature by Hispanic Legislator Raul Torres. Learn from Hispanic Legislator Jose Aliseda's experiences that led to his strong support for our Voter ID legislation. Listen to the call for a real solution to the problems of Border Security and Illegal immigration by HRC Freshman of the Year, Hispanic Legislator John Garza. Experience the strong Conservative principles of Hispanic Legislator Larry Gonzales. Feel the passion of Hispanic Legislator Dee Margo's focus on the three F's of Faith, Family and Freedom. Watch the transformational political leadership of Hispanic Legislator Aaron Peña as he helps bring more Hispanic Conservatives into the Republican Party.

David Jennings of BigJollyPolitics.com was also quick to point out the error in Ms. Forest's comments stating, "Let me help Ms. Forest out a bit. You aren't going to see fewer Hispanics in Texas government, you are going to see more of them. Rather than cast a net that looks rather racist, why not work within the Hispanic community and identify like minded citizens who agree with conservative principles? Although frankly, I'm not sure she knows much about them."

San Antonio Tea Party's newly elected president, George Rodriguez, also in attendance at the rally, came to the podium after Forest and quickly corrected her ill-stated remarks saying, "That was an unfortunate choice of words. I completely disagree with that. The problem is not that we have too many Hispanic legislators. The problem is that we have Hispanic liberal legislators. What we need to do is find conservative Hispanics to run for office so we can have conservative Hispanics that can vote on these issues."

Ms. Forest, what we need in Texas is less hateful, divisive and yes, racist rhetoric that was on display recently on the steps of the Texas Capitol and more leadership from true Conservatives whether they be Hispanic, Black, White or any other nationality, race or heritage.

Jun 9, 2011

Texas Rangers Fired Upon From Mexico by Cartels

A team of Texas Rangers Recon agents came under attack in Mission, Texas on the edge of my legislative district from the Mexican side of the Rio Grande this morning. The U.S. officers were forced to return fire and injured at least three of the suspects on the other side of the border. Three suspected drug runners were wounded in the exchange of gunfire. Three law-enforcement patrol boats arrived on the scene and received heavy gunfire from the Mexico side while attempting to interdict the drug-laden boats The cartel responded with heavy fire. Mexican authorities were notified of the abandoned cartel drug-laden boats and came to the scene of the crime.

Our law enforcement agencies involved were the Texas Rangers, the Border Patrol and the Texas Parks and Wildlife. There were no U.S. casualties.

Jun 8, 2011

TribLive: Four GOP Senate Candidates

Civic Summit: 2012 U.S. Senate Forum from KLRU-TV on Vimeo.

A moderated conversation with the five leading declared G.O.P. candidates for U.S. Senate: Ted Cruz, Elizabeth Ames Jones, Tom Leppert, Michael Williams and Roger Williams.

52 Years and Still Standing

Jun 6, 2011

Attorney General Greg Abbott Set to Give Keynote to Hispanic Business Leaders in the Valley

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is the noon keynote speaker at the Hispanic Business Leaders Conference on June 17 at the Cimmaron Country Club in Mission, Texas.

Jun 2, 2011

McAllen Chamber of Commerce's Teddy Roosevelt Award

My thanks to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the three hundred or so business community attendees at the presentation ceremony for the "Teddy Roosevelt Award." I am told by President & CEO of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, Steve Ahlenius, that it was for my work in the community and due to some of the more difficult political stands I've taken that gave reason for it's presentation. Well, that's certainly a nice change. Sure glad the home community takes positive notice. Sure beats some of the folks in Austin.

I have come understand that I am only the third recipient of the award. It is a very nice plaque that I will certainly hang in our capitol office where I can proudly display it.

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