In an interview with members from LFA-PAC and LFT-PAC, former Congressman and current CD-28 candidate Ciro Rodriguez, recalled his accomplishments and detailed his plans to build the economic and social interests of District 28 constituents should he win the seat he bitterly lost back in the March 2004 Democratic primary to Henry Cuellar.
During that primary, the San Antonio Express-News endorsed Rodriguez over Cuellar. The Daily called him a “champion of San Antonio’s military bases and veteran’s health programs.” Rodriguez was a member of the House Arm Services Committee – a seat held by a San Antonio Representative since 1997 and considered crucial to cities facing possible base closures. In 2002 SA-EN columnist Rodney Stinson, who does not give praise easily, said this of Rodriguez during his crusade to address water quality issues at Kelly AFB:
God bless Ciro Rodriguez. Let me rephrase that. God bless Ciro “Bull Dog” Rodriguez.
As San Antonio’s most egalitarian elected official, he continually demonstrates stubborn, unrelenting opposition to any individual, group or potent force that threatens the powerless citizens of this community.
Maintaining the belief that Congress shouldn’t comprise its commitment to our Armed Forces, Rodriguez said he would, “Continue the fight to protect soldiers and veterans and expanded health care for the neediest.” He explained that the VA must be funded annually. Veterans should get on-demand health care and returning soldiers treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. Rodriguez said soldiers are hesitant to ask for help, “porque son bien machos, but in a couple of years they will feel the effect of war. They are human.”
The former Congressman’s commitment to accessible health care is evident in his work in securing the funding for a current South Texas NIH program on the cutting-edge of diabetes research. Rodriguez insisted, “I will push for funding of a comprehensive bill written by Asian-Pacific Islander, Black, and Hispanic Caucus members to address the growing number of health concerns shared amongst minority communities – for Texas and the entire country.” He was genuinely passionate about a cure for diabetes and outspoken about increased funding for AIDS awareness and research.
When asked what separated him from his opponent, Rodriguez replied, “I am a Democrat. He votes with the Republicans. I would have never voted for the bankruptcy bill and I would have never voted to put a wall around Mexico. He voted to fund it.” In the bigger picture Rodriguez stated, “If I get back and we need to take back the House… this Administration should be held accountable for decisions behind FEMA and Halliburton.”
I have been a teacher and a social worker my whole life. I didn’t get into this profession for the money. I get satisfaction from helping constituents. The key to success in District 28 is commitment to education at all levels, expanded and accessible health care, and investment in infrastructure. This will build a strong person, which builds a strong family, community, and state. We need to make it happen.