2014 voters guide: U.S. House primaries
02/18/2014 9:47 PM
02/18/2014 9:49 PM
Here’s a closer look at candidates in the Republican and Democratic primary races for U.S. House in the March 4 primary elections.
All candidates in contested races that appear on Tarrant County ballots were sent a Star-Telegram questionnaire about their campaigns and background. Here are the responses — unfiltered and in their own words — from the candidates who replied. Spelling and grammar have not been corrected.
U.S. representative, District 6
Joe Barton (i)
Age and date of birth: 64
Occupation and/or your main source of income: U.S. Representative
Campaign phone number: 972-875-8688
Web site: www.joebarton.com
Education background, including all degrees: BS – Industrial Engineering – Texas A&M 1972; MS – Industrial Administration – Purdue - 1973
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I currently serve as the Chairman Emeritus on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I continue to lead the fight against ObamaCare, work toward a balanced budget, advance a rational energy policy that lowers costs for consumers, and promote legislation that will protect the private information of online consumers. White House Fellow 1981-1982
Issues and qualifications: I don’t think my work is done. The decisions made in Congress over the next few years will have a profound effect on the future of the country. I think I have the conservative credentials and the leadership ability to make sure the views of the people in the 6th District are properly represented in Washington.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I’m a consistent conservative voice for Texas and the Nation in Congress. I have a proven record of achievement and responsible representation for the district. I have called the 6th District home nearly my entire adult life. I understand the values of the people who live here and we share many of the same core conservative beliefs.
I’ve been a leader on free market based health care reform and energy policy. As Chairman and now senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I turned my conservative ideals into legislation, while at the same time building bipartisan support.
My lifetime voting record is over 90% on conservative scorecards and my commitment to hands-on, face to face constituent service is unquestioned.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? We need to get government spending under control and balance the budget. I also think that it is necessary to repeal or replace ObamaCare.
We borrow too much and spend even more than that. Our national debt is more than $17 trillion - an unfathomable number that is now a sad, scary, and frustrating reality.
Despite this, the federal government continues to borrow money while expecting the American taxpayer to foot the bill. Our revenues are dwarfed by our expenditures, and many in Washington think the solution is to raise your taxes. However, tax increases will only strain your wallet further. Instead, the federal government needs to drastically reduce mandatory spending. Common sense dictates that you don’t spend more than you have. Americans around the country do it every day, and it should be no different for the federal government.
Our current rate of spending is simply unsustainable and leaving this growing burden for our children and grandchildren is irresponsible. It’s time for the federal government to be more accountable with your money.
When it comes to ObamaCare, I have backed up my word with actions by voting dozens of different times to repeal all or part of this disastrous law.
The mandates in ObamaCare need to be replaced with market based solutions. Needed reforms include expanding health savings accounts, allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, expanding state high-risk pools so that people with pre-existing conditions get the coverage they deserve, and much needed medical liability reform (something that is already helping Texans). One of the primary goals of my plan will be to lower health care cost for all Americans.
I don’t want to move toward a government operated single payer system and that is what ObamaCare does over time. It destroys the private insurance market.
The reforms I support take the power away from bureaucrats in Washington and put it back in the people’s hands.
I am an original co-sponsor of the American Health Care Reform Act (HR 3121), which I believe would accomplish many of the goals I stated above.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe that keeping the decision of "term limits" for Representatives is best left to the people who elected them into office. Members of the House must participate in elections every two years, which provides accountability. With this rule in place, an elected official could very easily serve two years or forty years depending on the quality of their service.
Frank C. Kuchar
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Payroll/Benefits/HR Manager
Campaign phone number: 682-232-3507
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.kucharforcongress.com
Education background, including all degrees: AA - Florida College, 1972; CA in Biblical Studies, Florida College, 1974; Covenant Theological Seminary, 1974-1976; Business & Accounting studies at SIU-Edwardsville, IL & UT-Arlington
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I wrote and teach a 12-week course on the Constitution to any groups that have an interest in such a class. On Constitution Day, I go to a couple of elementary schools here in Arlington and speak to students about the importance of our history, our Constitution and American Exceptionalism.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I'm not a career politician and seek only to restore us to a limited form of government by joining forces with the few others in Congress who adhere to the same principles. I understand limited government, business (having been a small business owner at one time), and the daily challenges facing citizens for I am one of them.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? 1. Replacement of our current income tax system with a consumption tax. 2. In conjunction with #1, greatly curtail spending by elimination of unconstitutional programs/agencies/regulations. 3. Immigration - our system needs major overhauling and securing our borders. I oppose amnesty, legalization of any kind.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes on both accounts.
U.S. representative, District 25
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Attorney, retired
Address and how long you’ve lived at that address: 2204 Greenwood Ave, Austin, 14 years
Campaign phone number: (512) 947-4945
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: www.gourdforcongress.com
Education background, including all degrees: BA, Psychology; UT, JD, Law, UT Law School
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: President of J.J. Seabrook Neighborhood Association, helped start ans was a member of East MLK Planning Area Contact Team, Board Member of Chestnut Senior Housing Association, Board Member of Inter-Cooperative Council
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I feel like my background in community politics and bringing boots on the ground to concrete projects, as well as working with diverse people to accomplish common goals, makes me especially suited for this office. I feel like I would bring a fresh perspective to an institution whose reputation has been damaged by business as usual.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? In many of the areas of the district, there are problems with water that need to be solved, and there is a problem nationwide with income inequality as people have a difficult time finding jobs that will pay them decent wages for their hard work.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I would keep an open mind on this, but in general I am lean against term limits. If someone is being effective for the people they serve, it is in the peoples' best interests that they continue doing their job. However, many public officials are merely placeholders held in place by institutionalized corruption, and that is not helping anyone.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Science Administrator/Active Duty Retiree (US Army/US Public Health Service)
Campaign phone number: Campaign phone number is 512-270-6436
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site : www.marcomontoyaforcongress.com
Education background, including all degrees: Ph. D. (Socio-demography) South Dakota State University; .M.P.H. (Health Administration) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.A. (Educational Psychology) California State University at Los Angeles; .B.A. (Sociology) California State University at Los Angeles; A.A. (Sociology) Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA; Diploma 3rd Infantry Division NCO Academy; Diploma (National Security) National Defense University, DC; Diploma (Distinguished Graduate) US Naval War College, Rhode Island
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Member, Pecan Springs Neighborhood Network; ember, 3rd Infantry Division Society Scholarship Board; Member, Local Boy Scout Troop Committee; Member/Chair of various military organizations at the local, state and national level; US Delegate and Co-President with Argentina, Pan-American Union of Reserve Officers of the Armed Forces.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? I served in the US Army (E-1 to E-6)/Reserve (0-1 to 0-2) and the US Public Health Service (0-4 to 0-6) retiring as a Captain. I helped developed an army division-wide Preventive Psychiatry program, managed the FDA National Adverse Drug Reaction Report System data input, managed the scientific review for federal funding of Substance Abuse and Prevention and Quality of Health Care programs, addressed pesticides, water and environmental issues, and served as Personnel Officer with the federal USPHS Hurricane Andrew Task Force providing 24-7 emergency medical centers. I was appointed by the Surgeon General of the United States to assist in developing Service-wide PHS standardized billets for over 6,000 commissioned officers. At the request of the Chairman, House Appropriations Committee, I served a six-month assignment with the US House of Representatives.
I served as the Assistant Commissioner for Health Affairs of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board reporting to the Texas Commissioner of Higher Education. I was responsible for coordinating health professions education in Texas public universities and health science centers and funding the Texas Primary Care Physician and Public Health Residency programs. My greatest challenge was to apply the US 5th Circuit Court Hopwood Decision in an equitable manner regarding Pharmacy education in Texas.
After a recall to active duty, I served as a Program Director at Texas State University promoting on a regional basis Hispanic college attendance, completion, and graduate school enrollment with a focus on the health professions. I am proud of my contribution to the university achieving federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution.
Most recently I have been self-employed in the Austin area and have worked on projects focused on the use by Texas veterans of the GI Bill, improving community college student transfers to the university, development of a Medical Records IT Specialist education program, and completion of a database of Korean War Hispanics Killed-In-Action.
My unique and diverse experiences as a leader, from testifying at the Texas Legislature, preparing Legislature reports, meeting health care provider demands to managing multi-million dollar budgets and finding budget reductions, have prepared me to serve my fellow citizens in a bi-partisan spirit reflecting my partnership and coalition successes.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? The priority issues are: Jobs, the Economy, Health Care, Immigration, and the Environment:
1. Increase the Federal minimum wage to reduce government costs of unemployment programs and promote a living wage to stimulate local economies and jobs.
2. Provide uniformed personnel a living wage to reduce the government costs of food stamp programs as part of our commitment for a strong National Defense starting with a debt-free soldier and maintain the Nation's promises for retirement, health, and education support.
3. Allow federally approved hospital facilities to draw, for charity care of Medicaid-eligible patients, from Medicaid Expansion funds within the Centers for Medical Services.
4. Provide for the continued funding of the Affordable Care Act with permission for insurers to incorporate a dental component.
5. Allow any high school graduate who has lived in the United States for at least the last high school year, without a felon crime record, to earn legal status by serving a three year commitment in the regular, reserve or guard components of the Armed Forces, OR, become a baccalaureate STEM graduate in four years.
6. Support the Paycheck Fairness Act to end race and gender-based and sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.
7. Improve rural broadband access in support of education, economic development, and small-business growth to promote American participation in the global market.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I believe the office of US Representative should have two limitations: Residency Requirements and Term Limits. It is illogical to believe a person that does not work, live and vote with his neighbors, not sharing the same living and economic conditions, can represent them in Congress. If a vote in Congress has consequences, our present arrangement has resulted in taxation without representation given the incumbent's business interest are focused where he lives in Parker County and his CD12 Representative - a US Representative should be a resident and citizen of the district represented. With our current representative dividing time between running his dealership, serving as a national finance campaign chair, and trying to represent our district, I do believe the office of US Representative should have a full-time, two-term voluntary term limit. I will limit myself to two-terms and would serve an involuntary third-term only if no other candidate opted to run - a US Representative should serve no more than two voluntary terms in office.
U.S. representative, District 26
Michael Burgess (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Member of the United States House of Representatives, 26th Texas Congressional District
Campaign phone number: 940-320-5020
Campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: www.burgessforcongress.com
Education background, including all degrees: I graduated with both an undergraduate and a master’s degree from North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas. I received my M.D. from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and completed my residency programs at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. I also received a master’s degree in Medical Management from the University of Texas at Dallas in May of 2000. In May of 2009 I was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: After spending nearly three decades practicing medicine in North Texas I have served the constituents of the 26th District since 2003 in the United States House of Representatives.
Issues and qualifications: Because of my medical background, I have been a strong advocate for health care legislation aimed at reducing health care costs, improving choices, reforming liability laws to put the needs of patients first, and ensuring there are enough doctors in the public and private sector to care for America’s patients and veterans. I have played an important role in bipartisan efforts to ensure the safety of food, drugs, and consumer products, and have introduced legislation to strengthen our ability to stop dangerous products from coming into the country.
As a Member of Congress representing one of the fastest growing areas of the country, transportation is also a top priority. In 2005, I successfully amended the Highway Bill to include development credits, design-build, and environmental streamlining. During my time on Capitol Hill, I have worked to build, maintain, and improve the safety of our roads, bridges, air service, and transit in the North Texas region.
A fiscal conservative, I believe Americans deserve a federal government that is more efficient, effective, less costly, and always transparent. I follow a strict adherence to the Constitution, and oppose unnecessary expansion of the federal government’s control over Americans’ personal freedoms. Instead, I believe in giving people more control over their lives and their money.
I currently serve on the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the 113th Congress, 2013 and 2014, will serve as the Vice Chairman of both the Subcommittee on Health and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and as a member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee. In addition, I am a member of the Rules Committee and the Helsinki Commission. In 2009, I founded, and currently serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Health Caucus.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? First, I have lived in the district my entire life. I have raised a family here and I ran a medical practice here for 25 years. I have seen the effects of policy, both good and bad, on my friends and neighbors and carrying that experience with me to the United States Congress has been valuable.
Secondly, there is value in experience. I have served for the past 11 years and I have a record of keeping the care and concerns of my constituents, friends and neighbors in the front of my mind as any legislation comes through the Congress.
Thirdly, because there is such an emphasis on health care with the President’s nationalization of American medicine, I am able to speak on this subject with authority to conquer some of the more dangerous and destructive effects of the President’s programs.
What are the highest priorities issues that you plan to address? One of my main priorities is fighting for a pro-growth, pro-job creation agenda. Creating jobs and getting Americans back to work is a vital necessity. In order to be successful, we must address the Federal Government’s out of control spending. We need a government that is efficient, less expensive, and more responsive. Not a government that continues to overspend and places burdensome regulations on small businesses. I will continue to work hard to promote a pro-growth, pro-job creation agenda which will put people back to work, cut the national debt and get the economy growing again.
Paying for care, keeping coverage, or being able to see the doctor you choose are major concerns for many Americans. The massive government overhaul of our health care system has created more taxes, increased our costs and has massively expanded our government. As a physician, health care is my passion and I will continue to battle the problems of Obamacare. I will fight for the reforms in health care that will make it more affordable and accessible, and against those ideas which would simply turn over our health care decisions to the federal government.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that the House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people. Every two years, voters have the choice to re-elect their Member of Congress or vote them out of office. I believe in our electoral process and I have confidence that the great folks of Texas are capable of electing or re-electing public servants that share their same ideas and values.
Joel A. Krause
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Small Business Owner
City: Highland Village
Campaign phone number: 214-789-0740
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.krauseforhouse.com
Education background, including all degrees: BS in Engineering from Iowa State University
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: I have been a small business owner for the last 28 years in North Texas. I ran for the Ames Iowa City Council in College. I am a member of the Methodist Church
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? In Texas I have worked for two large companies and have had my own business for 28 years where I am a Manager, salesman, negotiator and problem solver. I plan to take my experience in the real world to Washington to bring about change. I am not a career politician and I think that is a good thing. We have a lot of career politicians in Washington. Maybe that’s why Congresses approval rating is at 13%.• I am concerned with our economy and our growing deficit.
• I am concerned that we are no longer being governed by or for the people.
• The incumbent will have served 12 years after this term. I don’t think he has been effective and I think we should have term limits in Congress.
• I believe we can do more to defend the Constitution and restore the Republic.
• I have vast experience in problem solving, salesmanship and management skills that will help me to make a positive difference and I know I will be successful.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My Priorities are: Tackle our Debt and improve the economy, and increase the influence of "We the People" all while defending the Constitution and restoring the Republic .
It would take 7 plus years to pay off our 17.3 Trillion dollar debt if all revenue went towards that goal. Health care costs will soon be our number 1 expense.
We also spend more than twice per capita for health care compared to other countries and have the same outcome. Health Care Lobbyists spend more than any other sector; hence Obamacare and higher health costs. The incumbent has collected more than 2.3 Million dollars from Health Care Lobbyists. He is currently ranked #8 in the US House in Health Care lobby donations. I don’t believe these groups are interested in lowering the cost of health care. I will not accept Health Care Lobbyist dollars; I will work for the people in reducing the cost of Health Care.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms you would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I plan to serve no more than 4 terms. I definitely think that there should be term limits in Congress, limited to no more than 4 terms for a member of the US House of Representatives.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Operations Manager
Campaign phone number: 9402273035
Your campaign email address: email@example.com
Web site: drw2014.com
Education background, including all degrees: High school diploma, and read over 10 books in the last 2 years. Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell Atlas Shrugged, ect.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: civil action by open carrying, attending the state and national convention in 2012, and informing the Americas that the govt is fully of tyrants. Tyrants that make laws that are a direct infringement agasint their natural rights and the Constitution.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? Well I have 3 years of operating a small moving service company. I have read over 10 books regarding economics, education, regulations, self justification, and why people do what they do. Our elected officials crate havoc with no regard for the consequence for they have appointed themselves above the law. Whereas me and you have to pay for the actions we do whether good or bad, since I am 26 I still have another 70 more years to deal with the problems the official have created. In my line of work the house bubble destroyed my America Dream and cost me 10s of 1000s of dollars. The Housing bubble was created by the govt and when it went bust the govt bailed out their buddies and lets millions of Americas lose there property, lives, and the most important their America Dream. So I am running to protect the America Dream, natural rights and the Constitution.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? Balance budget spending, ending the federal income tax, and ending the national debt. The house wants 10 years to balance the national budget that's five elections. How can we trust people that don't care about the damage they cause, to have 10 years to do a job that should be done in a week. Think about that, would you seriously go to your bank and inform them that you need unlimited cash for the next 10 years, and if you don't your whine and cry havoc of why the money needs to go your way. Look the govt is using extortion and theft to get why they what instead of using common scene, and respect of the America people.
The federal income tax is in a nut shell theft and partial slavery, if a person refuses to pay income tax the threat is imprisonment or indirect death. With a threat of that level is it no wonder why people are as scared as they are of their govt! People shouldn't fear their govts, govts should fear their people. Americas have become the slave of govt and are scared of what their govt will do to them. This is tyranny, and we are the slaves to the tyrants.
The dollar has loses over 99% of its value in the last 100 years since the federal reserve was establish, the reason is through spending. If you are stranded on a island with a apple, a orange, and a banana. Then those value to your and your friends would be the same or not valued more, but if your friend discover an apple tree with 100s of apples then your apples would go down in value and the orange or banana would be both so much more. Its supply and demand, basic economics, when the govt has a deficit budget they are devaluing the currency.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? The US House term is 2 years it the peoples house, not career politicians, I only wan to serve 1 term. Whether I get what needs to be or not, its the house for the people just like jury. You wouldn't have jury members serving 10 cases at a time, even if they said they knew the law by heart would you?
U.S. representative, District 33
Marc Veasey (i)
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Member, U.S. Congress
City: Fort Worth
Campaign email address: Campaign@marcveasey.com
Web site: www.marcveasey.com
Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication, Texas Wesleyan University
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: Congressional Black Caucus, Multicultural Alliance, Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society, Texas Lyceum Alumni
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? During my first year in Congress, I have fought hard on behalf of the people I represent. I have advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, for universal health care, and for maintaining SNAP funding. I am running for Congress to continue the fight in Washington to support these and other programs that help to create jobs and economic development and to promote policies that ensure strong public education and access to quality healthcare. I will to continue to fight against budget cuts to Medicare and other senior benefits.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? I am working with President Obama to implement the Affordable Care Act so that all CD33 residents have access to affordable quality health care. I’m also fighting for real immigration reform. This must be a top priority, we do not need to wait another year. If Speaker Boehner brought HB 15 to the floor for a vote, I am confident it would pass with bi-partisan support. Last but not least, I’m focused on helping to create good paying jobs in CD 33. I recently held the first annual CD 33 job fair this past January and connected thousands of people with employers.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? I have full faith and confidence in the voters making decisions about their representation. I’m honored that the residents of CD 33 entrusted me with the opportunity and responsibility to be their voice in Congress.
Occupation and/or your main source of income: Licensing Attorney. Self Employed.
Campaign phone number: (817) 887-9192 (Fort Worth); (972) 677-7351 (Dallas)
Campaign email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.tomsanchezforcongress.com
Education background, including all degrees: Bachelor's Degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois
University; Doctorate of Juris Prudence from Chicago Kent College of Law.
Highlights of your current and past civic involvement: (Former) Member, Board of Directors, Dallas Regional Chamber (former) Member, Board of Directors, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer and lead organizer, Jr. Achievement Program, Irving, Independent School District public schools.
What in particular about your background, skills and experience makes you qualified for this office? At a very young age I enlisted in the Marine Corps and have always believed in my country. I believe that that you never compromise your principles and I've learned that our nation's strength is measured by our daily actions. Specifically, in the manner by which we seek to include others, and more importantly how we care for the poor and the voiceless. My professional work experience is in the field of cellular mobile phone technology. I worked in engineering with the space program, in design and production for Motorola and thereafter in licensing intellectual property for Motorola and BlackBerry. I understand from decades of personal business experience what creates jobs and what hinders economic growth. I have directly created jobs and brought hundreds of them to the Metroplex. Congress is filled with career, entrenched politicians that have no concept of job creation, no understanding or experience of meeting a payroll, and as a result have denigrated our manufacturing base and all that grows with it.
The founders of our nation each had their experiences is a vast array of sectors. They brought forward their skills and gave their best to America. We have detracted from that model. Our career politicians will give you prepared answers, they find excuses, they will blame others and fail to take responsibility. I am different. I get the job done. I find solutions. I solve problems. I put service to country above self-interest. My desire to serve my neighbors is truly rooted in the word Representative. An effective voice is lacking in Congress for the people of the 33rd district. My life experiences, my Hispanic heritage, my work ethic, love for country, community, family and strong values, I believe, are strong qualifications and will be an asset to serving my neighbors in Congress.
What are the highest priority issues that you plan to address? My principles are rooted in respect and understanding of the United States Constitution and our Bill of Rights. As a veteran, an engineer and international business lawyer that has worked in the private sector, I understands job creation more than any entrenched, career politician. I am strongly committed to doing what is right, representing all people of the 33rd Congressional District of Texas, and bringing a fresh new voice to Washington.
My priorities are the District's priorities. I will:
*Promote legislation that incentivizes job creation rather than exporting jobs to foreign countries;
*Champion the Bill of Rights in its entirety and oppose any effort to slowly erode the foundations of freedom;
*Support fairness in our Tax Code and other laws;
*Work tirelessly to bring an end to hateful and harmful deportation policies and pass comprehensive immigration reform;
*Advocate strongly for our Veterans; and
*Keep promises to ensure access to health care and the workability of the Affordable Care Act.
Do you plan to limit the number of terms your would serve, and do you believe there should be term limits for the office you seek? Yes. I have no experience or desire in serving as a career, entrenched politician. I will not serve in Congress for more than six years.
Join the Discussion
Fort Worth Star-Telegram is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.