What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?
Enacting the first ethics policy for the Irving City Council was quite a task. In order for me to be elected Mayor of Irving, I had to first defeat an incumbent whose campaign was literally being financed with more than a million dollars by just one person – that person also happened to be getting paid tens of millions of dollars by the city while not doing any real work on a project he had
been contracted to create. Clearly, these kind of payoffs in campaign contributions to city elected officials needed to end and that is why passing the first ethics policy in city history was a key campaign item of mine.
In order to help educate other city council members and earn their support for the ethics policy, I brought in a team from Irving-based Kimberly Clark who had one of the best business ethics policies.
They were able to explain the importance of the creation of such a policy and how each person needed to be part of the development in order for the policy to be meaningful. Understanding that I had some council members who would be opposed to initiating a new policy, I asked a couple of them to chair the development so they would know their contribution was valued and important.
The result was an ethics policy that, for the first time, established term limits for council and Mayor, and prohibited council members from receiving campaign contributions from individuals or businesses doing work with the City as well as established rules of conduct to ensure the people of Irving could feel more confident about the integrity of our elected officials.
Why are you running for this office?
The people of the 24th District deserve to have a representative who is committed to being a strong voice and fierce advocate for them in Washington. While Congress has been focused on nothing but attacking the President, critical issues for the American people are being ignored: lowering the cost of
healthcare, stopping the drug cartels and human traffickers from exploiting loopholes on our southern border, passing a much-needed infrastructure bill, and empowering more growth for our hard-working families. We need a U.S. Representative who is focused on delivering solutions and putting progress for the American people ahead of political theater and more Washington nonsense.
Why should voters choose you over your opponent?
I’m honored to have earned the early support of thousands of grassroots voters, numerous elected officials, and job creators throughout the District. This has been possible because folks know my record of being a tireless public servant who has always focused on reforms that empower growth, opportunity, and people over government. When I served as the Mayor of Irving, we were one of the fastest growing cities in the United States for job creation, one of the safest cities for our families and businesses, and we got rid of the corruption and back room deals that were so embarrassing for our city.
People are sick and tired of Congress playing political games and just focusing on attacking each other. Many folks I have been speaking with are deeply troubled by the rise of Socialism we are seeing in America. I promise to be a voice in Congress that is always focused on getting things done
to help us grow and create more opportunities for our families future generations.
What political leader do you most admire and why?
Since there was no “alive or dead” qualification on this question, I will say Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln faced the most existential threat to our then, still young nation and guided our country through devastating circumstances in order to preserve the union, end the practice of slavery, and set America on a course that would have us emerge as a true super power.
The House voted along party lines to impeach President Donald Trump formally accusing him of abusing his office in a scheme to coerce Ukraine to tarnish a political rival then stonewalling Congress by withholding documents. What’s your position on the impeachment?
By voting to impeach President Trump, Democrat leadership of the House of Representatives completely caved to the extremists in their party, who have openly stated they were looking to impeach President Trump from the day he was elected. Despite the near universal cry from House Democrats that the President posed an immediate threat to the United States, Nancy Pelosi has
refused to send the articles over to the U.S. Senate thereby exposing another sad example of what a farce and fraud this entire process has been. It is time for Congress to start working on the issues the American people actually care about: lowering the cost of healthcare, stopping the drug cartels and
human traffickers from harming more of our citizens, passing an infrastructure bill, and expanding growth so our hard-working families have more job opportunities and higher wages.
A U.S. appeals court recently ruled the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, but said other aspects of the law require further review. What changes, if any, would you make to this law?
The “Affordable Care Act,” more commonly known as Obamacare, was enacted based on lies, kept afloat through misappropriation of funds, and has done profound damage to the healthcare of Americans. We need to get rid of the regulations that are strangling doctor/patient relationships. Regulations are also preventing lower cost health care options with more comprehensive coverage
from being offered to the American people. It is well passed time Congress allowed for Associated Health Care plans where individuals and small businesses can band together in order to have the same purchasing power as corporations and labor unions to select plans that best fit their individual
Additionally, we need to expand the use of health savings accounts, allow people to purchase insurance across state lines, and make healthcare plans portable so they follow the individual. The American people deserve more options, more freedom, and more choice in how they use their
precious dollars to pay for their healthcare needs.
What specific criminal justice reforms would you champion?
President Trump is to be applauded for passing the First Step Act which has freed thousands of people from harsh federal sentences. It was also gratifying to see this important legislation passed on a broad, bi-partisan basis.
The need for criminal justice reform that I am hearing about as I talk with voters, especially in Dallas County, is how District Attorneys and prosecutors are systemically pleading down cases or refusing to prosecute cases because they simply do not want to put criminals in jail. By not prosecuting crimes of
a violent nature or crimes against others, criminals are released back into our neighborhoods where they commit further crimes because the deterrent has been removed.
We especially need the prosecution of violent crimes in order for those convictions to be registered with the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS) and thereby prevent violent offenders from being able to lawfully purchase firearms
Do you support President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on consumer goods American companies buy from China? If you disagree with these or other tariffs what will you do if elected to address it?
What measures, if any, should Congress take to fix asylum laws?
For years, drug cartels and human traffickers have taken advantage of asylum loopholes in order to push masses of illegal immigrants to our Southern Border. These murderous criminal operations market travel to the US and prepare people from El Salvador, Honduras, and other countries with what to say in order to exploit the asylum loopholes.
Along the way, children are kidnapped, girls are sold into sex trafficking, and people are held hostage so the cartels can demand even more payments from the families. This year alone, hundreds of children were identified as being “recycled” as child slaves in order to help adults, to whom they had
no familial relation, cross our border because they were a “family unit”. Rather than allow this utterly destructive criminal operation to continue, we should amend asylum laws to state that people seeking asylum must do so from the nearest safe country from where they are leaving.
The “Remain in Mexico” policy is already helping to stop the surges of illegal immigrants claiming asylum and crossing our borders. Additional adjustments are necessary to prevent the cartels from taking further advantage of people and our own broken system.
How should the next Congress address illegal immigration? Please be specific about the millions of people in this country illegally.
It is critical for the next Congress to take border control seriously and deal with the escalating damage drug cartels and human traffickers are causing in communities and to our families. We must stop these murderous organizations from pushing their poison on our children, enslaving countless numbers of young girls, and committing horrifying acts of violence on our sovereign soil. In addition to closing asylum loopholes the cartels exploit, we need to build walls where the border patrol says they are necessary in order to gain operational control and hire more border agents to not only deal with surges of illegal immigrants pushed by the cartels but also to interdict the drug trafficking. In
order to secure the interior of the United States, we need to step up relationships with ICE and local law enforcement so more criminal aliens are being targeted, apprehended, and deported.
For those in our country who are not committing crimes or have been in the US since they were children, we should create a pathway to legal status (not citizenship) that would require them to pass a criminal background check and remain crime free, pay fines for breaking our immigration laws, and learn English. Those who honorably serve in our military could be allowed a path to citizenship provided they meet a certain number of years of service and are discharged with a clean service record.
Congress writes the budget for the United States. What is one area that Congress should invest much more heavily in, and why? What should we be spending much less on?
As Mayor of Irving, we passed a balanced budget every year and maintained a AAA bond rating, while maintaining city services and paying our public safety officials. We had to prioritize projects and control debt we took on to make sure we had the funds necessary to service the debt. This is the kind of mindset and experience I would take to Congress.
At a time of record tax receipts and a growing economy, Congress must show broad restraint on federal spending in order to bring down the federal deficit and eventually reduce debt. Additionally, we need to continue to reduce federal regulations which only serve to increase the size of government and make the cost of doing business higher.
What action, if any, should Congress take in response to mass killings involving firearms?
Everyone I have ever spoken with about gun-related crimes and especially events with mass casualties are horrified by those events, disgusted with the evil nature of the people who committed those crimes, and desirous of solutions to stop more violence from occurring. Our goal should be to decrease the number of murders committed by firearms by concentrating on criminals who commit those crimes rather than law-abiding citizens. We need more people like Jack Wilson (the hero who put an immediate end to the White Settlement Church shooting) who are trained, armed, and ready to act to protect our neighbors, families, and children.
There is no real secret to preventing more gun crimes: violent criminals need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law to put them in jail and prevent them from making a legal purchase; DAs need to get serious about putting violent offenders away; and all convictions of violent offense must be submitted to the NICS database to ensure these offenders cannot purchase firearms in the future.
Additionally, cities, counties, and states may need to fund additional officers to patrol high crime areas to stop the majority of killings in the United States. I would also support new measures that require felony and violent offenses by minors (aged 15-17) to be reported to NICS so those individuals
would not be able to legally buy a firearm in the future.
The facts are: violent crime overall is down, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed in a very few counties in the United States, and within those counties gun crimes are more prevalent in certain areas. It is no coincidence that Governor Abbott recently ordered a surge of DPS officers into certain
areas of Dallas County and the Mayor of Dallas has created his first task force to deal with gun violence predominating in specific areas.
What is the greatest threat to American security, and how should America respond? What specifically should Congress do to help?
There are two major threats to the United States. Number one is falling behind in advanced technology – whether that is weapons systems, artificial intelligence, Cyber warfare, or in new tactics to wage an asynchronous war against the United States. As such, the greatest threat to the US is
posed by China who has expanded their Navy, illegally claimed more territory and jurisdiction over international waters, and continues to openly oppose freedom of speech, free and fair elections, all while operating slave labor camps where people routinely die from exposure.
Congress needs to ensure we are properly funded and focused on emerging technological advances, how those can be weaponized, how we can defend against them and not allow our nation to fall into a technology gap that has us losing a war because we have no concept of how it is being waged and
how to counter what an adversary may be doing. For this generation, a technological arms race is occurring right now and our nation needs to be at the leading edge of this race.
The second greatest threat to American security comes from the drug cartels who control routes into the United States, have significant relationships with street gangs, are poisoning a generation of Americans, and damaging untold numbers of lives through human slavery and sex trafficking. We must treat the cartels like foreign terrorist operations and bring far more resources to bear on
The House recently passed legislation to restore protections of the Voting Rights Act that were undone when the Supreme Court struck down federal oversight of elections in states with a history of discrimination against minority communities. Do you support this measure? Why or why not?
Since my first election to the Irving city council where I defeated an entrenched and well-funded incumbent, I have always encouraged every citizen to register to vote and exercise that right – their vote is their voice and that vote is a sacred right. I would not be in favor of any House bill that puts the Department of Justice and the bureaucracy of the federal government in charge of Texas
elections. The election results of 2018 should be a very clear indicator that there is no systemic or intended voter suppression occurring in our state.
What is your view on the science of man-made climate change? What solutions, if any, do you support to address climate change?
The fact that our climate is changing is undeniable. Indeed it has been changing since the end of the last Ice Age and on a warming trend since the end of the little ice age hundreds of years ago. As a person who believes in conservation and as a former Mayor who had a principal responsibility to ensure the people of Irving had a reliable and sustainable supply of water, I want our country to
continue making advances in technology that reduce emissions, have a smaller footprint for energy generation, and contribute to cleaner air, water, and soil.
Given the remarkable transformation in technology, especially here in Texas, that has allowed our country to become nearly energy independent and driven the development of more clean burning natural gas power plants, we are enjoying a period where emissions are reducing and air is cleaner. Certainly, we can do more by supporting the further development of more sources of baseload power. I am particularly interested in next generation nuclear reactors that are smaller, safer, can be sited virtually anywhere and create much less waste. They are emission free and provide the kind of reliable baseload power that wind and solar simply cannot do.
Continuing to move our nation toward strong, reliable energy production that produces less emissions would also help show countries like China and India that there are better ways forward for energy development than more coal plants.
What should be done to address the hundreds of thousands of students in deep student loan debt? Should the responsibility of offering federal student loans be removed from the U.S. Department of Education?
As one of many who paid their way through college with loans and part time jobs, I know how difficult it can be and the stress it can cause. I also know how much I valued it, having paid for it. Ten years after graduating magna cum laude from Cornell University, I was finally able to pay off the last of my student loans. I am incredibly sympathetic to today’s students and what they are facing to pay
off the loans they have incurred.
The good news is, we are in one of the best job markets in a very long time for new graduates from high school or college. Which means those with a college degree, especially ones where the degree fits a high demand, will be able to earn higher salaries than students who are unfortunate enough to graduate during a recession or a stagnant growth period. Congress should look to leverage the tight labor market by making changes to tax law that would create Education 401K accounts and encourage employers to use those and match contributions from employees with the purpose of more quickly paying down student debt. Ideally, a tight labor market would then create competition
among employers to offer the best Education 401K matching program so they could draw new graduates to their company.
While I am not a fan of the student loan guarantees from the federal government, at present they are necessary for us to continue developing and helping deserving students have access to higher education. However, I would like to see public universities, especially those with large endowments
(the UT System has an endowment nearly $31 Billion), start programs where they are investing in their own students and serving as the primary lenders. This will ensure the University has “skin in the game” to not only help the student graduate but also be educated in a degree that will help the student financially.
Finally, at the high school level, we need to be encouraging classes in financial literacy so students make better financial choices.