Politics & Government

April 28, 2014

Officials tout F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Japan

Former President George W. Bush this week honors servicemen and women seriously injured in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Warrior 100K, a bike ride.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger recently touted the importance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the V-22 Osprey aircraft — in Japan.

Granger, R-Fort Worth, was part of the congressional delegation that traveled through Asia, meeting with high-level Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera.

“This trip is an opportunity to strengthen the relationships that the U.S. has with our allies and partners in Asia,” said Granger, who heads the House subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. “One of our closest and most important partners in this region is Japan.”

Granger‘s office points out that Japan has bought about 350 Bell helicopters through the years, and officials there have committed to buy 42 Joint Strike Fighters, with the first four scheduled for delivery by late 2016, and are considering buying the V-22 Osprey.

In November, Granger faces two challengers in her re-election bid: Democrat Mark Greene and Libertarian Ed Colliver.

Coming up

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and his GOP primary runoff challenger, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will go head-to-head in a live roundtable discussion at 10:30 a.m. May 7.

The 45-minute debate will be produced at WFAA/Channel 8 TV’s Dallas studio and live-streamed on WFAA.com, star-telegram.com and several other websites.

An abbreviated version of the debate will be broadcast at 9 a.m. May 11 on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics program.

Dewhurst and Patrick are in a runoff for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. The election is May 27. Early voting begins May 19.

Travel advisory

Texas Democrats are launching a 2016 Trip Advisor to update Texans about campaign travel for two potential presidential candidates from Texas — Republicans Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

“Maybe they need some advice on the best restaurant in Des Moines, or a reminder about what is going on at home here in Texas,” according to a news release sent out by the Texas Democratic Party. “We wouldn’t want Rick Perry to forget about any future hearings on his possible indictment.

“It’s going to be quite the heavy lift on our staff, given that these days Perry is in a New York state of mind and seems to prefer Iowa corn over Texas BBQ. But he’s got to keep up though, as Ted Cruz is racking up those Iowa trips, too.”

Emmanuel Garcia, communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, said anyone interested can follow along on Twitter, where updates will be posted @2016TripAdvisor.

Heralding warriors

Later this week, former President George W. Bush will host the fourth annual Warrior 100K — a 100-kilometer mountain bike ride for U.S. servicemen and women who were seriously injured in Afghanistan and Iraq — at his Crawford ranch.

Sixteen military personnel will join Bush on the three-day bike ride that runs Thursday through Saturday, including Chief Warrant Officer Three James R. Williamson of Southlake.

“I’ll be riding across the deserts of Texas with wounded warriors to show the unbelievable character of our men and women in uniform,” Bush said. “It’s a ride to herald people who were dealt a severe blow and said, ‘I’m not going to let it tear me down.’ ”

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