To help inform the voting decisions of saveRGVfromLNG supporters, we emailed Cameron County Primary Election ballot candidates questions concerning LNG, LNG tax abatements, climate change and overall candidate's prioritized issues. We omitted candidates for Judges and Constable positions, because of their non-involvement in policy decisions, and we've notated where a response was not received.
Even with a low response rate (less than 25%), we're anxious to share the information that we've collected. Not surprising, all who responded do not feel that tax abatements should be granted to the LNG companies wanting to do business here. We hope you find the following information useful and that it will help you to "use your vote wisely".
Here's a quick recap:
Joseph Cantu, CCC, Prec. 1 - "I've been against LNG from day one. I'm the only candidate who has actually worked in the petro chem industry"... "The negative effect on Eco tourism ... is unacceptable." "I am categorically and vehemently opposed to tax abatements ..." His list of priorities include diversifying port industries and drainage improvements in Cameron County.
Don De Leon, State Rep., Dist. 37 - "...I would oppose the operation of any terminals here." "I am totally against affording any tax abatements...". His priority issue is "Jobs".
Osbert Rodriguez Haro III, State Sen., Dist. 27 - "I stand firmly with a scientific proof and as a scientist in medical science and agriculture science that I oppose with all due diligence the building of such terminals." "Climate change 1st priority, 2nd health care for all."
Elizabeth "Liz" Garza, CC Judge - "Opposed." "Against tax abatement." She would support "a recycling program in neighborhoods". Her first priority is "Transparency in our government."
Eddie Trevino Jr., CC Judge - "My position is: No tax breaks, no tax incentives and no tax abatements for LNG.” “Commenting further is not within the scope of the decisions made by our Cameron County Commissioners Court...". His top priority is "oversight over the budget" and "The most urgent issue is to always have a plan in place for the future."
Ovidio "Woody" Cisneros, CC Constable, Prec. 1 - Mr. Cisneros reached out to us to be included in the questionnaire. "I completely oppose the placement of LNG Export Terminals along the Brownsville Ship Channel" and "they should pay their fair share of taxes". The most urgent issues are protecting our children[M1] from "prostitution and exploitation", eradicating "dope houses" and littering.
Grady Yarbrough, Railroad Commissioner - "I oppose the building of the terminal." "I oppose the abatement for LNG companies."
Lon Burnam, Railroad Commissioner - *Response not received. During a recent visit to Port Isabel, Mr. Burnam indicated he wants to make “safety and science” the basis for all of the Railroad Commission’s actions. He has served as a Democrat in the TX House of Representatives for 18 years, he's been openly critical of the Railroad Commission, and has been endorsed by Clean Water Action and the Sierra Club.
Remember, early voting is Feb. 16th - 26th and Election Day is March 1st. We must elect leaders who can and will implement our vision for the future. Happy voting!