Interviews with Members of the Hispanic Republican Conference

TexasGOPVote and VOCES Action conducted a series of interviews with members of the Texas House of Representatives' Hispanic Republican Conference. 

The Hispanic Republican Conference has been growing. Originally it was formed by the House’s five Hispanic Republicans but has since been joined by other State Representatives whose districts have at least 30% Hispanic constituents. The Hispanic Republican Conference will be addressing some issues that have been controversial in parts of the state with large Hispanic populations.

Hispanics make up 36% of the Texas population and this percentage is growing. Hispanics share Republican conservative values of fiscal responsibility, faith, hard work, family values, and are pro-life. VOCES Action has been educating and empowering Americans with Hispanic backgrounds, and who hold conservative values, to make more responsible and informed voting decisions.

The members of the Hispanic Republican Conference answered questions about the importance of attracting Latinos to the GOP, why they chose to become a member of the Hispanic Republican Conference, and discussed the issues that concerned the people of their districts. Listed below are Texas Representatives that were interviewed and a quick preview of any additional questions they may have been asked. Click on the Representative's name to view the full interview:

Rep. Aaron Peña - Aaron Peña discusses his recent switch from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party and what led him to do so. He also discusses the Obama Administration's failure to take action on border security and immigration.

 

Rep. Larry Gonzales - Larry Gonzales discusses education cuts and explains, "There's no way around the fact that education's going to have to be cut, but you do it wisely, and you do it carefully, and you make correct decisions…Teacher in the classroom, kids in the classroom, there's your core, you go out from there making your cuts."

Rep. Raul Torres - Raul Torres discusses his ideas with regard to efficiency and the application of the six-sigma principles to improve efficiency in government, HB3149. "...As we looked into it, we got really excited... In every case, federal, state and local government... has found significant savings to their programs.

Rep. John Garza - John Garza discusses his immigration bill, House Concurrent Resolution 88 (HCR 88). He explains that HCR 88 urges Congress to enact an overhaul of the immigration system to promote national security and economic prosperity.


Rep. Jose Aliseda - Jose Aliseda discusses the importance of Voter ID legislations and how the Democrats are deliberately trying to confuse the issue with race. "...In my speech on the floor, I didn't mention race or ethnicity one time. I talked about ACORN, and I talked about Americans wanting to believe that their election system is at least as safe as renting a movie at Blockbuster."

Former Speaker Tom Craddick - Tom Craddick discusses the oil and gas industry and its importance to Texas. He also discussed the importance of reaching out to the Latino community,  "...we're seeing more and more where the issues, the legislative process... the Hispanics are moving more and more with the Republicans, and they realize that faith, jobs, education, hard work, all those are common grounds."

Rep. Dee Margo - Dee Margo discusses HCR88, the need for a rational immigration process, and security in El Paso. "...My grandfather came from the Rio Grande Valley, the Hispanics that I've seen in El Paso, and we're overwhelmingly Hispanic, are very conservative... the 3 F's, faith, family, and freedom. They're in favor of American values, in spite of how they may be portrayed by certain political parties..."

Rep. Rodney Anderson - Rodney Anderson discusses community outreach and how he spent 6 months knocking on doors and getting to know his minority majority district. "I am a little unique in that I am a Republican that represents a district that is 50% Hispanic, 15% African American, and 5% other. We're a 70% majority minority district, and a lot of my success I attribute to being actively engaged with my entire community..We spent a great deal of time over a 6 month period knocking on doors…they were surprised that it was a candidate knocking on their door..."

Rep. Ken Legler - Ken Legler explains how Texas is the largest natural gas producing state, and if the Democrats stepped aside, Texas and the rest of the U.S. would be energy independent. "In TX...we have the Barnett Shale area, and we have the shale and natural gas and oil down by the border…I have no clue why the Democrats keep fighting it…I don't know if it's just because they want to fight us, the Republicans, or if they really believe in it…We are almost at the point where we have enough natural gas, where we can actually export natural gas to Europe."

Rep. Jason Isaac - Jason Isaac discusses the importance of integrity in the election process. He explains that an increase in the election process means an increase in the amount of voters that will participate in the process. "I don't like to play sports with people that I know are going to cheat."

Rep. Geanie Morrison - Geanie Morrison discusses why being a member of the Hispanic Reublican Conference is important to her as well as what committees she is a part of and what those committees are currently working on. "Hispanic values are exactly Republican values. They're family, they're education, and wanting to make sure that their children do well."

Rep. John Kuempel - John Kuempel discusses the issue of gambling and explains that he believes the people of Texas have the right to vote whether or not to allow in the state. "80% of Texans want the right to vote, whether it be for or against gambling, so what better way to represent the state than…to give people their right to vote…"

Rep. Connie Scott - Connie Scott discusses her district and how south Texans in the Corpus Christi area are trending Republican.  "I think there are so many issues that we can come together on. I think that if you sit down and talk to anyone individually, I could certainly argue the point that they are more Republican."

Rep. Marva Beck - Marva Beck discusses the importance of protecting our natural resources  and developing our vast energy resources without the need of environmentalists politicizing it. "We need all of our natural resources…We need coal, we need oil, we need gas, and the technology is there for us to do this safely and to clean up if there is an accident. I don’t think that we need federal supervision to do it, we already have a state agency that does a better job than the federal agency does."

Rep. Kenneth Sheets - Kenneth Sheets discusses legislation he is working on to ban bath salts, a synthetic form of cocaine, in Texas. He also discusses the Sonogram Bill "The problem is they're not being given an opportunity to view them... the important part is making sure these women have a right to look at these sonograms before making a choice."The problem is they're not being given an opportunity to view them... the important part is making sure these women have a right to look at these sonograms before making a choice."

Rep. Barbara Nash - Barbara Nash discusses a piece of legislation she is fighting for, HB359, regarding corporal punishment in Texas public schools.  "I had always said, 'don't hit my children.'"

 

 

Rep. Warren Chisum - Warren Chisum discusses the environment and the EPA's lightbulb ban. "You bet you, I'm in favor of getting us a lightbulb manufacturer coming to Texas, we'll sell lightbulbs in Texas, and we'll all be able to read with Texas lightbulbs, so I'm fine with South Carolina doing this. I support them because it's our right as Americans not to be just controlled by the federal government."

Rep. Todd Hunter - Todd Hunter discusses redistricting, the conservative trend in south Texas, and Federal government's hold on Cedar Bayou. "The Dallas Fort Worth area should be getting at least on of the new [Congressional] seats. The three others could be placed in Houston, the San Antonio Austin area, south Texas, or even Dallas as an argument they have two seats. We haven't finalized, but you'll start seeing us looking at Congressional redistricting over the next three weeks."

Rep. Bill Callegari - Bill Callegari discusses co-authoring the Sonogram Bill. He also discusses a new piece of legislation he is working on, a Coercion Bill, which protects women from being forced to have an abortion. "Texas, through the last ten years, has made great strides in air quality. Any data you look at indicates that Texas has made great strides, but yet we still have this influence from the EPA that kind of stymies what we're doing. We're working with the EPA, but actually kind of going on our own somewhat in the last ten years, and we're going to keep doing it the way we're doing it…"

Rep. Wayne Smith - Wayne Smith discusses the strides in air quality Texas has had on its own without the need of the EPA's interference. "Texas, through the last ten years, has made great strides in air quality. Any data you look at indicates that Texas has made great strides, but yet we still have this influence from the EPA that kind of stymies what we're doing. We're working with the EPA, but actually kind of going on our own somewhat in the last ten years, and we're going to keep doing it the way we're doing it…"

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