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Saturday, February 18, 2006

2 Forums - 2 DeLay’s - No Torture

February 18, 2006

Yesterday we had two candidate forums. A clear sign of trouble for the incumbent is that he personally appeared at both. The second forum was his very first step inside the Arab Community center in Stafford in the 5 plus years of its existence.

The noon forum was the “Spirit of Freedom” which is Mrs. DeLay’s ladies group. I was not worried about the votes since a TV station wanted to shoot tape of my presentation so I wrote my talk for the TV audience. The only two candidates in person there was Mr. DeLay and yours truly. He knew it was his crowd; I knew the next forum would be bigger -- and would be my crowd...

DeLay said he believed in the primary process but he didn’t tell them he had me bumped from the primary ballot in 2002 when I turned in signatures instead of paying an expensive filing fee. I didn’t mention it to the ladies – it’s water under the bridge. Let’s move on to the future.

The second forum was last night at the Arab Community Center. It was great. My wife Laura and I had a wonderful time. We saw a lot of old friends and made new ones. It’s too bad the TV cameras weren’t there because I felt a real surge of energy in the room as I talked about American values like justice, fairness and equality.

I talked about one Arab American man who applied for citizenship after 11 years of marriage – and the INS took his passport, checkbook and photo of him with Mayor Bill White! What? A terrorist is going to have his photo taken with the Mayor? Another candidate said that his 15-year-old son is on the no-fly list. We read about two year olds are having the same problem with airport security and no one has shoes. Homeland Security under the incumbent is not making sense.

I learned that it was Mr. DeLay’s first time at ACC. I’d been there every time as a candidate since 2000, as well as Jewish Temples, Indian temples, Chinese, Vietnamese Hispanic and African American churches, etc and some churches that I am not sure what they were. The community center has always been full of normal Americans with family values who believe in the American way and our Constitution - even more so than some of our politicians!

One question was raised about torture. I said that America must improve its global image. We are a nation based on courts and laws, not flying people to countries to be tortured. Even Mr. DeLay deserves a day in court rather than being dragged to a foreign country and tortured (don’t even think it). If our court system is good enough for him, indicted on a felony, then it is good enough for everyone else in the world.

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