A handful of local Fort Worth Hispanic leaders now have a new perspective on the Middle East.
Tarrant County Justice of the Peace Sergio De Leon, Fort Worth school board President Cinto Ramos, Fort Worth City Councilman Sal Espino and Espino’s district director Pilar Candia recently returned from a weeklong trip to Israel with the American Israel Education Foundation.
“It gave us a greater understanding of the threats facing the country of Israel,” De Leon said. “It impacts us, allowing us the opportunity to say, as Americans, that we have a responsibility to speak up on behalf of Israel.
“They are an ally and a friend.”
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It’s probably as close to Heaven as I’ll ever be on this earth.
Tarant County Justice of the Peace Sergio De Leon
The visit left a lasting impression, not only from meeting with officials and residents, but also from touring sites of increasing violence such as the Gaza Strip and seeing places they’ve only read about, such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where they attended mass, and the Sea of Galilee, where they prayed.
“Going to the Sea of Galilee, where Christ walked on water ... it was probably one of the most peaceful and calm places I’ve ever been,” De Leon said. “It’s probably as close to Heaven as I’ll ever be on this earth.”
Armey goes for Kasich
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who represented North Texas in Congress from 1985 to 2003, is stepping back into the political ring by endorsing a non-Texan for president, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
“I don’t consider Kasich a politician. Politicians are rascals. I make a big distinction between politicians and civilized, responsible adults,” said Armey, who is retired and living in Bartonville. “Politicians are the lowest form of human animal.”
He added, “I was never a politician.”
Kasich served in the House with Armey.
To Dick Armey, Kasich is someone who has “public policy ambitions” to improve the country and not personal ambitions, a view that seems to fly in the face of someone who is running for president.
Armey is dismissive of some of the other GOP candidates, “Send in the Clowns,” he said, and referred to billionaire Donald Trump as “that realtor.”
“It’s kind of embarrassing to watch,” he said.
So, why isn’t he supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, or Midland-born former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush? “When Ted Cruz got to Washington, before he unpacked his bags, he was running for president. I don’t think he’s accomplished anything on policy but he’s been pretty disruptive in terms of process,” Armey said.
As for Bush, the former House majority leader said, “I don’t think he’s getting on track and I don’t think he ever will.”
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, is using a time-honored way of making his feelings known about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: speaking out from the well of the U.S. House.
In a so-called “one-minute,” a speech that is one minute long, Veasey unloaded on Abbott last week for a warning the governor made to Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez about deporting immigrants here illegally.
“Sheriff Valdez has a long history of serving her community,” Veasey said. “But recently, she has come under attack for trying to build trusting relationships with the immigrant community.
“Just yesterday, Gov. Abbott sent a threatening letter to Sheriff Valdez questioning her decision to decline certain federal ICE detainers when the immigrant in question is not a public safety risk.”
Maria Recio, 202-383-6103
Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610