PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Letters to the Editor

May 22, 2012

District 36 voters have many choices...or not

BRIDGE CITY — Choices, choices, choices.... voters in Texas 36th Congressional District (a new district) have so many candidate options that it is almost a distraction from the real issues at hand. Let me say that "options" in this case however do not equate to "choices". That being said, in my opinion, there are only three or four viable options and only one real choice for the voters in Texas' 36th Congressional District. The candidates recently met at a forum at Lamar State College- Orange and had an opportunity to answer a set of prepared questions. This is not meant to sell any of those not mentioned here short, as several of those candidates displayed a true dedication to serve the constituents of District 36, but this is rather to call attention to the reality of the situation...

First we have a sitting State Senator and business owner who portrays himself as a "Constitutional Conservative". After reviewing his voting record, I think any prudent person would dispute that claim, but if that isn't enough ask yourself and his campaign staff where his PAC money and donations are rolling in from. That should be enough to set the record straight.

Secondly we have a candidate who portrays himself as "one of us". A lifelong out of state resident who is now a transplanted Southeast Texan, who came down to assist with Hurricane Ike and loved the area so much he made it home. If that was truly the case, WHY did this candidate make an unsuccessful bid for a seat in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District (his home state?) in 2010? My question- If his friends, business colleagues & neighbors in  Minnesota didn't elect him in 2010, why should we elect him in 2012??

Third we have a candidate who is a lawyer, or was it an engineer, or maybe both? Regardless, I wasn't impressed by this candidate during the recent candidates forum as he was more focused on attacking other candidates than answering the moderators questions. In fact, I was most unimpressed with this candidates ability (or inability) to distinguish the difference in state and federal election codes and their applicable jurisdiction(s) .

Then there is Steve Stockman.... As we all know, Stockman unseated Congressman Jack Brooks for the Texas 9th Congressional District seat back in 1994. Portions of what was then the Texas 9th Congressional District are now included in the new Texas 36th Congressional District, so there is no question if Stockman is a "local". Next, we all know Stockman is a "Constitutional Conservative" as he has never claimed to be anything else and his record of sponsored and co-sponsored legislation are reflective of those core values. We also know that Stockman has been the only candidate who has openly issued a statement regarding his position on an issue critical to our entire region- namely the Sabine Neches Ship Channel improvement project. Stockman has openly stated that if elected to the District 36 seat, he will support and assist in all efforts by other Representatives to secure funding and ensure this project is given the attention it deserves. This proves Stockman is well aware of LOCAL ISSUES... and recognizes not only the economic importance of the Sabine Neches Ship Channel to our entire region but also its importance to the national infrastructure as it relates to the shipments of military cargo and petroleum products.

At the recent Candidates Forum, while other candidates were openly taking pot shots at one another, Stockman graciously declined to join in the mudslinging and focused his comments on the positive aspects of what he brings to the table as an experienced candidate and former representative. This was the sell point to me as it was a display of Stockman's integrity, dignity and professionalism. For me Steve Stockman is the only choice!

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