“God, Family, Country” may sound like a slogan from a bygone era, but it seems that many voters of all backgrounds still kind of dig it. Perhaps they feel that society’s largest institutions are too often waging war against all three. Like so many of our nation’s most patriotic citizens, the candidate who rode that message to a historic election win on Tuesday was not born here.
Cayla Harris reports in the Houston Chronicle:
Republican Mayra Flores won a special election Tuesday night to represent a Rio Grande Valley congressional district, flipping the longtime Democratic stronghold and soon making her the first congresswoman born in Mexico…
Flores celebrated her win at an Election Night watch party in San Benito. She is the first GOP candidate elected to represent this area of the Rio Grande Valley since 1870.
Tuesday’s win will give Flores just a few months in Congress as she completes the remainder of U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela’s term. Vela, a Brownsville Democrat, stepped down from the seat in March to take a job at a lobbying firm, prompting the special election.
As if the morale of House Democrats wasn’t low enough already, one of their former colleagues didn’t even wait until the end of his term to move downtown. Perhaps he was thinking there would be too much competition from other former Democratic House members if he waited until December to start looking for work on K Street.
As for Tuesday’s winner, plenty of media folk are adding the asterisk that Rep.-elect Flores will have to run again in November for a new full term and, due to redistricting, it will be a much more Democratic seat.
But this moment is still historic and is still more evidence of the ongoing movement of Hispanic voters in south Texas and elsewhere toward the GOP. Ms. Flores voted for
in 2008 before finding a home in the Republican Party.
Ms. Harris adds in a separate story published in the San Antonio Express-News:
Flores, 36, was born in Burgos, Tamaulipas, Mexico. She immigrated to the United States when she was 6 years old and became a citizen at 14. She started working at 13, picking cotton with her parents in the Panhandle town of Memphis, to pay for her own school supplies and clothes.
Now the mother of four young children and the wife of a Border Patrol agent, she often starts her pitch to voters the same way: Soy el sueño americano. I am the American dream.
As such, immigration is a deeply personal issue. She supports heightened border security, immigration reform and a legal path to citizenship.
“If we really care about immigrants and children, we wouldn’t want them to cross that dangerous river,” Flores said in March. “We wouldn’t want them to come across dangerous criminal organizations. If you really care about them, we’re going to have to help them come in through the door.”
Here’s hoping that in a lawful process that door will be opened wide to let in plenty of people looking to live the dream like Ms. Flores. Speaking of immigrants to the U.S., Texas resident Elon Musk tweets:
I voted for Mayra Flores – first time I ever voted Republican.
Massive red wave in 2022.
“Earning Elon Musk’s vote was just the icing on the cake and I can’t wait to work with his team! The American Dream is worth fighting for,” the winner tweets today via her campaign Twitter account.
The President and the Producers
“Biden tells oil refiners: Produce more gas, fewer profits,” is the headline on an Associated Press story today. High profits normally attract competition. But good luck seeking the necessary government approvals to compete in this market. How long has it been since anyone built a large U.S. refinery? The website of the U.S. Energy Information Administration notes:
The newest refinery in the United States is the
Targa Resources Corp
oration’s 35,000 barrels per calendar day (b/cd) condensate splitter in Channelview, Texas, which began operating in 2019…
However, the newest refinery with significant downstream unit capacity is
facility in Garyville, Louisiana. That facility came online in 1977 with an initial atmospheric distillation unit capacity of 200,000 b/cd, and as of January 1, 2021, it had a capacity of 578,000 b/cd.
1977! Over the decades, politicians have ensured that refinery owners spend heavily on environmental measures, and some pols have gone to great lengths to raise awareness of the issue.
“Biden takes his protest to Sunoco,” was the 2002 headline on a Wilmington News Journal story about a senator from Delaware who stood on the sidewalk outside a Pennsylvania refinery and demanded pollution-control upgrades.
James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”
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