Friday, October 31, 2014

Congressional Candidates Spar Over Immigration, Ebola

The use of the military kept coming up at a debate Monday night, although the two issues discussed were Ebola and illegal immigration.

The discussion was in a televised debate between Congressional District 27 incumbent Republican Blake Farenthold and challengers Democrat Wesley Reed and Libertarian Roxanne Simonson.
Victoria Television Group and the Victoria Advocate hosted the debate.
Candidates talked about whether the extent of the travel ban to and from Ebola-affected countries was effective and the use of the United States military to control the spread of the deadly virus in Africa.

Farenthold rebutted, "I don't think it's an appropriate use of our military."
He suggested the use of contractors and specialists. "We do not need to put our military men and women in a situation they are not trained for."
Reed said he found it offensive as a 25-year military veteran that the Congressman doesn't think the military is equipped to handle this threat.
"We do have people on the ground that can take care of this," Reed said.
"We have plenty for our military to do with ISIS and securing our borders," Farenthold said adding the Centers for Control and Disease Prevention dropped the ball.
He said the government agency threw the Dallas hospital nurses under the bus for violating protocol and then days later revised the infectious disease protocol.
Simonson said what the country needs is a surgeon general, not an Ebola czar, to monitor the Ebola response.
She added Ebola is a concern because the country's borders are not secure.
On the issue of immigration, Farenthold said reform needs to start at the top with President Barack Obama.
Simonson said she didn't agree with the installation of a fence as candidate Reed suggested. "We need to speed up the deportation of the illegals that are coming across," she said.
Reed said he does not support blanket amnesty but does support undocumented citizens and urged the need for strengthening border security.
In a heated rebuttal, Reed questioned why Farenthold didn't read the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill approved more than a year ago while he was in office.
Farenthold said what the public needs is the commitment from the president.
"We've worked on this," he said. "We've got a plan in the House of Representatives."
Simonson said the military should do its training on the border - something Reed called reckless and shortsighted.
Reed, in closing remarks, said Farenthold is dishonorable and has lost his way by refusing to read the bill while in office.
Farenthold argued in his closing remarks, "I did read the bill and I don't support it." He added that he's been there for his constituents.
"There's a lot of work yet to be done," Farenthold said.

Residents of District 27 can vote on who will fill the District 27 House of Representatives seat on Nov. 4 or now in early voting.
There are 435 members of Congress who attend committee meetings and help author and sponsor bills.
By Laura Garcia 
Oct. 27, 2014 at 10:51 p.m.

  • Steven Carlino · SUNY Empire State College
    Reed favors sending our military to a hot zone to do what? Our military is the best in the world, but it should not be used for political points in places that are best left to the health care specialists. I agree, it is not prudent use of our military. Frankly, any politician who continues to talk reform, is essentially caving to open borders. We don't need reform, we need careful control of our borders and respect for the rule of law. Enforce the laws as written; stop pandering to the special interests. Period.

    • Georgia Herman
      I thought Blake did a great job articulating his conservative positions. There is a clear idealogical difference in this race, and Reed would just be a rubber stamp of the current failing Obama/Pelosi policies. If the R's take over the Senate, we will see repealing of Obamacare, the opening of the Keystone pipeline and some of those dozens and dozens of other job bills passed by the house land on the Presidents desk. Good job, Blake!

    • Ann E. Smith ·  Top Commenter · Corsicana High School Alumni
      What is Victoria advocating? Did Farenthold pay them for this sorry story? Farenthold with his Republican backers buys the media in our redistricted part of Texas. Please Get Out the Vote and Vote for the people not the corporations!

      • Anne Bauman · Works at Retired/Community Volunteer
        If Reed wants to know what a dishonorable representative is he needs to review the representation of our former congressman. Blake Farenthold is one of the most honorable men I've had the pleasure of knowing. He stays in contact with the citizens of his district & has a most qualified staff at all three of his offices who respond to the needs of the people in Texas District 27. Reed must be aware that one only stoops to calling names when they feel they are losing, as Reed will learned has happened around 9pm on November 4, 2014. I am proud to have Blake Farenthold as my Congressman.

        • Victoria Linn ·  Top Commenter
          I have never seen such a poor executed debate! This was a mess! Wesley Craig Reed though, rose above the chaos and managed to do what Congressman Blake Farenthold couldn't do--stay on topic and offer real answers to the three questions asked.

          • Travis Smith ·  Top Commenter · Victoria, Texas
            Blake Farenthold is an embarrassment to those of us who used to be represented by Ron Paul.

            • June Armstrong Gildersleeve ·  Top Commenter · Syracuse University
              I'm offended that, that so called Marine, called Blake dishonorable!

              • Amando Gonzalez
                I wish we could have watched the debate in corpus Christi. I bet Blake was in the best fibbing style he could muster!