Latinos For Texas Blog

2007-Jan-10

Let us not intimidate and coerce

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 12:11 pm

I wanted to give a big round of applause to the fearless Texas House members who voted against business as usual and the politics of fear yesterday, by voting against Tom Craddick for a second term as speaker of the House. These Representatives showed true courage. Many of these members are Latinos.

They are:
Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas
Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth
Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio
Garnet Coleman, D-Houston
Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas
Jim Dunnam, D-Waco
Craig Eiland, D-Galveston
Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville
Joe Farias, D-San Antonio
Jessica Farrar, D-Houston
Pete Gallego, D-Alpine
Juan M. Garcia, D-Corpus Christi
Ana Hernandez, D-Houston
Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi
Terri Hodge, D-Dallas
David Leibowitz, D-San Antonio
Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas
Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio
Borris Miles, D-Houston
Paul Moreno, D-El Paso
Rick Noriega, D-Houston
Dora Olivo, D-Rosenberg
Solomon Ortiz Jr., D-Corpus Christi
Richard Raymond, D-Laredo
Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin
Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston
Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth

Then let me repost Richard Raymond’s “The Process is Broken” speech in the House Chamber, yesterday. Blogger, M. Eddie Rodriguez was kind enough to post this on Burnt Orange Report and I want to make sure this gets more coverage.

Thank you Mr. Secretary.

Unlike Sylvester I was not prepared to speak today. It was the last thing I thought I’d do. And unlike my good friend, Aaron Pena, I don’t have a prepared text and I am not going to talk about the currents of history. But I have to talk about a path… a better path to future.

Like my friend Patrick Rose, I too, Patrick, am proud to be a Democrat. I am not saying anything else about that one.

But I stand before you members for just a couple of minutes to say this, if you looked at lists in recent days, you saw my name. I talked to a lot of you. In fact I probably talked to lot more Republicans than I ever talked to Democrats during this process. And I reached out to our Speaker, to Mr. Craddick, and I said, I am a good Democrat and I can make you look better if you want to make the process better and he said, “I want to.”

And then we had some Republicans jump in the race and challenge in an unprecedented way; challenge a sitting Speaker of the House from their own party. Two good men: Brian McCall and Jim Pitts. But I stuck with Mr. Craddick until the process got to a point that it wasn’t even about not being for Mr. Craddick anymore but it was about being against the process because the process is broken.

So I stand before you today, I never thought I would do this, I stand up and speak against the only nominee that we have for Speaker. We saw today a good man in Jim Pitts with a critical mass of support against an incumbent speaker. And after Mr. Hartnett fought so hard to make sure that the candidates would know immediately the victor. The Speaker would know immediately who voted for whom. And succeeded in passing that. All of sudden there is no more candidacy by Mr. Pitts. We saw before our very eyes what is wrong with the process.

I have great hope for the future. I always have and I will tell Mr. Craddick who is going to be our Speaker, “Prove me wrong Mr. Speaker. Prove me wrong.” That after we respectfully disagree today with your nomination because I intend to vote “NO” and I will ask every Democrat and a few of you Republicans that ought to give it a little bit of thought to vote ‘No’ on this nomination. Think about it.

After that vote Mr. Speaker, I hope you will prove me wrong because I will extend my hand to you and say “Let’s make this process better.” Let us not intimidate and coerce. And I am not saying you did that but we saw today something we have never seen before in a Speaker’s race but something that we saw too many time these past four years… time and again.

As I said, I know that most of your Republicans, maybe all of you, will vote for Mr. Craddick. And Mr. Pitts got out of this race now that the votes would be known immediately. Because he wanted to, as he said, “because he didn’t want to put anyone in further jeopardy” and he reluctantly withdrew.

It is time to make a statement. It is time to respectfully with our finger vote for the people we represent and send a message to the process and whoever is standing up there after this vote that process and the people of the state of Texas and the God that we swear an oath to matter more than anyone one person having a tremendous amount of power.

I am asking about every single one of you Democrats to think about what is right, to help make this process better and after then that my challenge is very simple Mr. Speaker, prove me wrong, prove me wrong and let’s make this a better place and better process.

Thank you and God bless you.

I wanted to add that locally here in Travis, only Representative Eddie Rodriguez District 51, had the backbone to vote against Craddick. Thank you Representative Rodriguez for standing on your feet against corruption.

Also our friend, newly elected Representative Juan Garcia, also stood up against a corrupt system.

I fully expect after all the speeches yesterday by the House members who demanded honor, standing for your convictions, and that the voting process be publicly recorded, means that a “recorded vote” bill will pass this session. I support a recorded vote bill, so constituents know exactly how their members vote on all legislation. And those votes should be published on the Internet immediately. I know Juan wants that to become law.


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