A few weeks ago the Peter Morrison Report (FaceBook site is HERE) was contacted by the Debra Medina campaign. She is a Republican candidate for governor here in Texas. An interview came out of that discussion.
To be fair, I have also contacted the campaigns of the other three declared candidates: Kay Bailey Hutchison, Larry Kilgore and Rick Perry. If they agree, each will be featured in a future report so you can make an informed decision in March.
The interview consists of a question followed by the candidate’s unedited responses. Let’s get to it:
Peter Morrison Report: What do you see as the top challenges facing Texas, and our next governor?
Debra Medina: Texas, like all of the United States, is facing unprecedented economic challenges. Property taxes, excessive regulation and broad use of eminent domain authority all but destroy private property ownership. Couple those concerns with a growing dependence on federal largesse, a high unemployment rate, additional school property tax buy down and diminishing sales tax returns and you quickly realize that the state of Texas must cut spending drastically and restructure tax in order to relieve the drag it places on the economy.
PMR: In your opinion, what are the causes of the terrible setbacks the Republican Party suffered in 2006 and 2008? How do you think we can reverse this trend?
DM: Failure to walk our talk. We must elect officials who follow the strict interpretation of constitution and govern in a manner consistent with our party platform. Recognizing that politics is corrupting and that absolute power corrupts absolutely, the Texas Republican Party should adopt a rule unilaterally establishing term limits as an additional eligibility requirement when seeking a place on the primary ballot for all state officeholders i.e., state representatives, state senators and all state-wide officeholders. This would serve to protect not punish Republican office holders. It would keep them beholden to the people they serve and remove incentives to be “bought and paid for” by special interest groups
seeking to use the law to gain favor in the marketplace.
PMR: What are your major differences with Rick Perry, and why should conservative Texans support you over him?
DM: I recognize that the family is the building block of a free society and that parental rights to manage that family as they deem must be aggressively defended. It is not the role of the government to usurp that right even when the government thinks it knows best. Rick Perry only wants you to manage your family until he doesn’t like what you do, then he will use the mighty arm of the great state of Texas to swoop in and mandate healthcare or take your children.
I recognize that private property ownership and gun ownership are essential elements of freedom. I will fight to curtail eminent domain authorities and will certainly recognize the duty to protect the sovereignty of Texas rejecting any attempts to cede our land to foreign interests. I will advocate the ownership and skilled use of weapons so as to increase safety and security in our state. I will not, as Perry did, cavalierly throw tax money at psychological counseling following the next tragic shooting in our state as though that will help solve the problem. I recognize that the protection of life, liberty and property must begin with us. We must be prepared to defend ourselves. In our earliest days as a country, Noah Webster recognized, “the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, of any pretence, raised in the United States.”
I recognize that the central banking system in the United States is incapable of maintaining a stable economy. I recognize that the market is the best regulator of the economy where inefficient businesses are allowed to fail and are held responsible for those failures. I recognize that Texas assets must be protected and that just as nations such as China and India are moving away from the dollar, Texas must move a portion of our assets as well to protect those assets and protect the Texas economy. I will not sit idly by and wait for Washington D.C. to protect Texas. I will not, as the Governor did with his “what recession” remark discount the suffering in Texas as many are unemployed and struggling. I will recognize that people not government care best for people. I will resist efforts to make the state the benefactor of the hurting and needy – families and businesses alike.
PMR: If elected, what concrete steps will you take to deal with the invasion of illegal immigrants which is transforming Texas?
DM: Texas must press the federal government aggressively to secure our border. Meanwhile, however, we can not simply wait on Washington D.C. to act. We must develop stronger working relationships with border county sheriffs to support and augment their efforts to secure the border to insure that all traffic enters Texas through a legal port of entry. These efforts should involve coalition building between state and local law enforcement, allocation of funds for equipment and personnel and enhanced deployment of State Guard and volunteer corps along the southern border.
Texas must also protect the economic interests of her citizens by challenging federal mandates into healthcare. The cost of
providing “free healthcare” to anyone who asks has forced many hospitals from market-driven profitable enterprises to public-dependent (tax funded) facilities. Texas’ healthcare providers must be allowed to set their own charitable service policies. Texas should fight to overturn the federal EMTALA provisions and return to the state oversight of our healthcare industry.
PMR: What is your stance on the Voter Photo ID bill from the last session?
DM: Do not believe photo ID will serve to prevent illegal voting until and unless the issuance of photo ID is restricted to U.S. citizens and legal aliens. Texas currently issues drivers licenses to individuals who admit to being in our state illegally. We should work instead to tighten voter registration requirements and to insure that the voter rolls are accurate.
PMR: Do you support sanctions against employers that knowingly employ illegal aliens?
PMR: Do you support a border fence?
DM: Only in areas where local law enforcement acknowledges that it will help in their efforts to secure the border. In discussions with these individuals believe that is in densely populated urban areas only.
PMR: Do you believe that local governments and law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce immigration laws?
DM: No, believe that immigration law enforcement is clearly the purview and responsibility of federal law enforcement. Do believe that we, local governments and law enforcement, must enforce the laws that we have. Do believe that individuals convicted of a crime in Texas should be deported if they are here illegally.
PMR: As governor, would you encourage localities in Texas to enforce immigration laws?
DM: Will work closely with local law enforcement to identify where and if state law needs to be strengthened to address this issue. Would not advocate local law enforcement becoming “federalized.”
PMR: Do you support Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona, who has vowed to keep enforcing immigration laws even though the feds have ordered him to cease and desist?
DM: Appreciate Sheriff Arpaio’s efforts to insure law and order. Appreciate his leadership in enforcing law and protecting citizens in his county in spite of “you can’t do that” opposition. Agree with Sheriff Mack regarding the role of the county sheriff, “We must start at home, in our counties, in our own ‘spheres.’ We must erect the barriers and keep those at bay who would confiscate bank accounts, guns, land, property, and children…You cannot shrink from that duty merely because the violator comes into town with a three piece suit and a fancy attaché case.”
PMR: In August, you posted an article called “Latinos and the GOP” on your campaign website, which many conservatives would find troubling. You seemed to be criticizing Kay Bailey Hutchison for voting against Sonia Sotomayor on the Supreme Court, and saying that her vote will make it harder to attract Hispanics to the GOP. Yet Sotomayor is a hard core supporter of affirmative action and quotas, as well as gun control. This seems inconsistent with your
stances on personal liberty and the right to bear arms. Can you explain what you meant?
DM: Kay Bailey Hutchison was absolutely correct to vote against Sotomayor; the problem I was addressing is that the GOP has treated Latinos so poorly for so long that George Lopez was able to characterize this as a racially motivated “no” vote instead of a “no” vote based on the fact she was the wrong candidate on the issues. Texas Republicans have for years claimed to be working hard on “minority outreach” and yet we see no indication of any meaningful relationship with or participation of Hispanics in the Republican Party. Because there is no true relationship between the party and the Hispanic community in this state, all action is viewed along strictly racial lines. People are social beings, we crave belonging to a group.
Texas Republicans must recognize that there are many areas where we share common ground with Hispanics. We must purposefully and genuinely reach out to this group (and to other groups) where there is a high likelihood of shared value. We must teach and we must engage…or Hispanics will continue to block vote straight ticket democrat…and in just a few years when that voting block alone comprises in excess of 50% of our population, conservatives will be forever a bygone relic in the Texas public square. There is no room for compromise of values and ideals; there is plenty of room to talk so that we are heard – that includes speaking the language (or, in my case, at least making sure my message is communicated in Spanish), getting into the community, meeting people where they are and where they live.
PMR: In that same piece, you went on to say that the GOP must start considering the reaction of the Latino community when it comes to illegal immigration and border security. You even refer to these as “Latino interests.” It’s hard to understand this as anything but a call for the GOP to back off on these issues. Could you please clarify what you meant?
DM: By ignoring our law, we’ve contributed to a climate that has hurt the state and no area more so than the Texas border. A new culture of lawlessness exists along the border and an area which was once a paradise of productive farm land has become economically depressed and in some areas quite desolate. We must enforce the law, but we should see this as an issue of law, not an issue of race. We must stop allowing it to drive a wedge between cultures. That doesn’t help anyone.
This issue is a polarizing one because we’ve allowed it to travel along racial lines, rather than directed the dialog along state sovereignty and economic lines where it belongs. We would not be at odds with fellow Texans if the debate were kept in proper perspective: The state of Texas and the United States have a duty to protect our sovereignty. My comments were not a call to back off on these issues. They were anything but. I said we can not be indecisive. We’ve not taken a position; we’ve not stuck to a position. Meanwhile, the social and economic divides along the Texas border have grown wider; the crime rate climbing, the drop out rate among Hispanics remains alarmingly high and is predicted to stay there. Until and unless, Republican leadership is willing to make a concerted effort to address these issues and others that are uppermost in the minds of the Latino community in this state, we are likely to see that block vote continue straight ticket Democrat.
PMR: You support the growing movement among states to reclaim our sovereignty from the federal government. What actions would you take to strengthen this trend, and to reclaim more sovereignty for Texas in particular?
DM: In particular, I have already taken steps to lead the charge against the socialization of health care presented by the Obama Administration. I have consulted with the Attorney General’s office. I have called on the citizens to lobby their representatives for special session of the Texas Legislature to prohibit enforcement. I am also looking into the legal process of suit against the federal government on constitutional authority to stop this legislation, whether it be injunction or class action.
PMR: Does the U.S. Constitution prohibit secession? If so, where?
DM: I find no prohibition to secession in the original content of the U.S. Constitution but understand that historically, secession has led to war. I prefer taking steps to declare our sovereignty as stated in the Texas Bill of Rights and nullification of federal authority on constitutional grounds.
PMR: Do you support the concept of state nullification of federal law?
PMR: There is currently a move to hire hundreds of additional state employees to administer the food stamp program in Texas. Supporters say that there’s a backlog resulting in some people experiencing long delays in getting approved. Where do you stand on this?
DM: I will not grow state government. Our state has a debt of $31 billion. The inefficiency of government, whether it be federal or state, has gotten out of hand as leadership has been taken over by entrenched career politicians. Running a state is a business and should be handled as a business. We must use sound business and management practices to correct inefficient use of resources.
PMR: What additional taxes or tax increases, if any, would you support and under what conditions?
DM: I support the elimination of all property taxation and prefer a broader based sales tax that would decrease the present sales tax percentage and allow property owners to own their property without the danger of losing it to any government agency. I do not anticipate supporting any tax increases. I support shifting responsibility for government to counties and cities – closest to he area where the service is delivered and allowing/forcing the revenue to be derived there ie., altering the 6.25:2% sales tax allocation so that more of the tax stays local
PMR: Do you support the franchise tax?
DM: No, the franchise tax is nothing more than an income tax imposed on businesses.
PMR: Do you support any sort of race-based preferences (i.e. affirmative action)?
DM: No, under the rule of law, in a Constitutional Republic, all citizens are equal and should not receive unjust preference to the detriment of others.
PMR: Do you support the continuation of preferences in state spending being given to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs)?
DM: No, the decision to patronize business should only be the decision of the consumer, through a free market economy and should not be based on preferential treatment.
PMR: Do you support extending concealed carry rights to Texas universities?
DM: Yes, the Second Amendment insures the right of law abiding citizens to carry a weapon for the protection of the innocent.
PMR: Do you agree with Harrold ISD’s decision last year to allow board authorized individuals who have undergone specified training and have their concealed carry permits to carry concealed weapons on Harrold ISD school campuses?
DM: Yes, the Second Amendment insures the right of law abiding citizens to carry a weapon to protect the innocent.
PMR: When does human life begin?
DM: Human life begins at conception.
PMR: When does a baby get human rights?
DM: A human baby receives rights from the creator at conception.
That’s it for the Debra Media interview. I appreciate her taking the time to answer my questions and urge all Texans to carefully consider their options in the March 2nd primary.