I am the fourth generation of a family that has worked and lived on the Texas coast. That life experience has shown me the issues that are important to the residents of District 14. I have worked on the water, in petrochemical plants and served in state government as the Director of Coastal Stewardship for the Texas General Land Office for ten years.
I was born and raised in Port Lavaca, Texas, and graduated from Calhoun High School in 1972 as a member of the National Honor Society. Calhoun County is like District 14, a mixture of rural ranchers and farmers, marine industries and petrochemical plants. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in communications in 1975.
Except for the time I served in State government in Austin, I lived in several places in District 14 including Sweeny, Clute, Lake Jackson, Clear Creek, Pearland and Galveston
District 14 is home or the gateway to seven deep-water ports – Port Freeport, Port of Texas City, Port of Galveston, Port of Houston, Port of Beaumont, Port of Port Arthur and Port of Orange. The district has more deep-water ports than any other congressional district in the United States.
I am a pragmatic, pro-worker, pro-business fiscally conservative candidate who will work to bring people together, not divide us.
Without a vibrant economy, government is helpless to provide the infrastructure, education, medical care, public safety for all, and dignity for the ill and elderly. The key to a vibrant economy in District 14 is preserving and improving its ports and industries while protecting and enforcing environmental laws and providing a fair and predictable market for farmers and ranchers. u.s. congress us house of representatives
The current health care system is broken. Only those who work for government or major corporations are provided any sense of acceptable health care, and that is also going in the wrong direction with fewer benefits, higher deductibles and less provider choices. As a small business owner, I have seen the challenges of providing even the most basic health care for employees. The cost is too high, and the benefits are too few. For workers whose employers do not offer health care, the situation is even worse. The current health care situation in the United States is a few large corporations making a profit at your expense. The price of prescription drugs is controlled by a current Congress working for large pharmaceutical donors, not the ordinary citizen. I am one of many people who have had to deny accepting a needed prescription because a one-month supply cost $300 or more. Solutions are not easy, but they are possible. A system whereby the pool of participants is increased to include all citizens is the only path to change the current broken system.
The Republicans have been saying for decades that the only way to grow the economy is to reduce corporate taxes and for individuals in high income brackets and that will create jobs and reduce the deficit. Now that the GOP tax plan has been implemented, the deficit has ballooned. Trickle down economics does not work. Tax brackets should be adjusted to lower taxes on the people who truly make the economy grow, the working middle class.
It is a travesty how our veterans are treated. The rate of suicide from Middle East war veterans is national tragedy. A comprehensive, ongoing mental health program should be implemented for all veterans who have ever been deployed. Military pay should be increased. Veteran health care should be more easily accessed at local health care providers as well as specialized Veteran Affairs dedicated facilities.
Climate Change – Climate change is real and is primarily caused at the current time by man-made emissions from burning of fossil fuels. District 14 can play an important part in the transition to renewable energy. The Texas economy is the world leader in production and transmission of natural gas. Liquified natural gas for export from Texas LNG facilities in Sabine Pass and Port Freeport are keys to the transition. Port Freeport needs federal funding to widen and deepen Port Freeport for higher capacity LNG exports. Current reserves can last for almost 50 years. Many Republicans say that the United States cannot do anything about climate change because other countries like China will continue to build coal power plants. This position does not hold merit and Texas, and especially District 14, can lead the way to transitioning from coal and nuclear power in the Pacific Rim, especially in China, Japan and emerging Asian countries
The United States needs to follow current immigration laws, including applications for asylum, in a humane, respectful and legal manner. Keeping children in cages and separating families is cruel and illegal. Immigration reform should be addressed by Congress not executive orders.
I was raised with a family who hunted. Guns are needed in rural areas of Texas for wildlife management and for personal safety. The loopholes for gun show sales should be eliminated. Assault weapon owners who wish to shoot on private property and gun ranges should be required to undergo a more intensive background check, longer waiting period, posting of a bond to support law enforcement to recover if stolen and requirement for the weapon to be kept under lock and key at all times except when being fired. Purchase of gun safes and trigger locks should be a requirement of purchase of an assault weapon.
Mental health services have devastated by Republican policies dating back to the Reagan era, when funding was drastically cut. The degradation of mental health services is the root cause of many crises – alcoholism, drug abuse and addiction, domestic violence and mass shootings.
Without a vibrant economy, government is helpless to provide the infrastructure, education, medical care, public safety for all, and dignity for the ill and elderly. The key to a vibrant economy in District 14 is preserving and improving its ports and industries while protecting and enforcing environmental laws and providing a fair and predictable market for farmers and ranchers.
From my years of experience working with coastal issues at the Texas General Land Office, I learned that industry and coastal stewards can work together to preserve, protect and improve the beaches, bays, wetlands and coastal prairies of the Upper Texas Coast. The people who manage and work at major petrochemical facilities in District 14 are not faceless multi-national corporations, they are fishermen, hunters, farmers, ranchers and families who enjoy beaches and parks.
The world is growing ever smaller with technology. There are means to maintain peace and strength without wars that do not threaten our national security.
We should do everything possible to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Late term abortions should be avoided except when the mother’s life is in danger. Abortion due to rape, incest and other cases is a personal decision that should ultimately be made by the one individual pregnant woman.
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