Tag Archives: Van Taylor

Congressman responds … sort of

I got an answer from my congressman, to whom I posed a direct question. His response, I must stipulate, was decidedly less direct.

In a letter I had asked Rep. Van Taylor, a Plano Republican, why after complaining about so-called “secrecy” during the House Intelligence Committee’s closed-door deposition of witnesses during the House inquiry into whether Donald Trump should be impeached, that he voted “no” on a measure to bring it into the open.

Taylor’s response was, shall I say, off the mark. He did thank me for “taking the time to contact me regarding efforts to impeach President Donald Trump. Our representative democracy works best with active participation from the people and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me.”

There you go. That’s the extent of any reference to the question I posed. Except that he didn’t answer it.

He offered the boiler-plate response about not seeing sufficient evidence to merit the president’s impeachment, let alone his conviction in a Senate trial.

I am disappointed, although not surprised. I won’t write him any more letters on this subject. I now know precisely where he stands on whether the president deserves to be impeached. Actually, I knew it long before his letter arrived in the mail today.

I told you I would report to you how Rep. Taylor would respond. I have done so. I was hoping for a direct response. I didn’t get one.

Disappointing in the extreme.

Still waiting to hear from my congressman

Gosh, it’s been about a month since I wrote my congressman a letter. I asked him directly for a response to a question that had been nagging at me. He hasn’t delivered his answer.

Van Taylor is a Plano Republican representing the Third Congressional District of Texas. He’s been in office only since this past January. Maybe he’s been too busy trying to find his way around the massive U.S. Capitol Building.

I asked him why he voted “no” on sending the impeachment inquiry into the public domain. He and other Republican lawmakers had yapped about so-called “secrecy” regarding the closed-door testimony the House Intelligence Committee was receiving from witnesses.

Taylor said “no” to taking it to the public. How come? I want to know.

OK, I’ve been a little busy the past couple of weeks. I still intend to phone his office. I have a couple of business cards from key staffers. I plan to call his Plano district office, the one closest to his constituents. I happen to one of them.

Van Taylor, who I have described as — and still believe him to be — an earnest young man. He’s a Marine Corps veteran who saw duty during the Iraq War. I certainly salute his veteran status.

I do not salute his recalcitrance over this issue of taking the Trump impeachment inquiry into the public. I need to know why he voted against bringing it into the open.

I’m his boss. He answers to me, not to Donald Trump.

Waiting for a response from my congressman

I did it. A little more than two weeks ago I sent a letter to my congressman, Van Taylor, a Plano Republican.

My letter was straightforward. I asked the young freshman lawmaker why he opposed the decision to make the impeachment inquiry public after he and other Republicans had called the private depositions a star chamber inquisition, or words to that effect.

I am sorry to report that I haven’t heard from Rep. Taylor, or anyone from his staff, or even from a gofer who works in his Third Congressional District office in Plano.

You may rest assured, if you’re inclined to be concerned about such things, that I’ll persist in seeking answers. I might write a second letter to Taylor.

Or … I might call his office some time next week. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll call him. I don’t expect to get Van Taylor himself on the phone. I might get a district director or perhaps another staffer who could speak for the congressman, who was elected just this past year.

I’ve said before on this blog that I have met Van Taylor. I like him personally. I admire his military service as a Marine who has seen combat in Iraq; indeed, I am heartened to see more veterans from both political parties entering the halls of Congress.

My admiration for him and the level of personal regard I hold for him, though, does not excuse him — in my mind — from his decision to oppose sending the impeachment inquiry into the public domain.

I am quite certain he will vote “no” on impeachment articles when they are drafted and approved by the House Judiciary Committee and then sent to the full House.

I just want an answer to my question regarding the “no” vote on approving the impeachment inquiry. Hey, it’s a direct question. I expect a direct answer.

This fellow, after all, works for me … and not Donald J. Trump!

Letter to congressman seeking ‘no’ vote answer on its way

Well … I have done it.

I wrote a letter to my congressman and sent it to his district office in Plano. It says, in part:

I have to know: Why did you vote against the measure in the House to approve the formal impeachment inquiry pushed by Speaker Pelosi?

I fail to understand how members of Congress can demand more transparency in these impeachment proceedings, argue with those on the other side who kept the proceedings out of public view, and then vote against a measure that provides the transparency you demanded.

I would appreciate an explanation from you.

Look, I consider you to be an earnest and dedicated young man. I salute your service in the Marine Corps and your service overseas in a time of war. I hope you do a great job in Congress and I am confident you will.

Your “no” vote on the impeachment inquiry puzzles me. I cannot fathom the reasoning behind rejecting a measure that answers the very concern you and others on your side of the aisle had expressed.

Good luck to you. I look forward to hearing from you.

My congressman is Van Taylor, a Republican who has represented
the Third Congressional District of Texas for all of about 10 months. He succeeded longtime Rep. Sam Johnson, a legendary figure in North Texas politics, given his history as a Vietnam War prisoner who endured torture and many years of captivity in the hands of a brutal enemy.

Taylor has been a quiet congressional freshman. he has towed the GOP line since joining their congressional ranks at the start of the year.

My note explains the nature of my concern about the GOP’s stance regarding impeachment. They want it to be made public, then vote against the measure that creates the transparency they demand.

I don’t know if Rep. Taylor will answer my question. If he does, I will be glad to share his response here. I truly would hate to believe he doesn’t care enough to give one of his constituents an explanation of a vote he has cast ostensibly on our behalf.

Why did he vote against this resolution?

I am going to do something I don’t normally do.

I intend to write my congressman a letter. I want to ask him: Why did you vote against a resolution that seeks to do the very thing you and your colleagues demanded?

My congressman is a freshman Republican from Plano, Texas. He is an earnest young man. A Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan. Van Taylor is not a loudmouth. He is a quiet House member. I know him a little bit and hope to get to know him better.

The House approved a resolution that lays down the groundwork for the impeachment inquiry that seeks to learn all the facts about the allegations surounding Donald Trump. Did he break the law by soliciting a foreign government for a personal political favor? I think he did. Congress needs to establish it before filing articles of impeachment, which I believe it will do eventually.

House Republicans accused Democrats of conducting a star chamber inquiry. The resolution aims to take away that complaint.

But every GOP House member who voted this week on the measure voted “no.” How come?

The inquiry will be made public. Trump’s legal team will get to cross-examine witnesses. It could become a terrific made-for-TV spectacle, which is right up Trump’s alley.

I don’t know if Rep. Taylor will answer my letter. I hope he does. His staff might see this blog post, for all I know.

I intend fully to keep  you apprised of what he says.

Or if he remains silent.

Is it OK to ask foreign governments for partisan political help?

This note is directed at you, U.S. Rep. Van Taylor. I have asked your staff for an answer, but haven’t gotten one, so I’m asking you directly, through this blog.

Here is my question: Is it all right for the president of the United States to ask foreign heads of state for help to get him re-elected, and is it all right for POTUS to ask those heads of state for dirt on a potential political foe?

I have looked through your website. I have tried to find a comment from you on the crisis that is metastasizing in the White House. I have come up empty.

I know you’re a freshman member of Congress. I also am acutely aware that you are not a blowhard in the fashion of some of your Democratic colleagues who have found ways to get their names in print and their faces on TV all … the … time! I admire that aspect of your still-brief service on Capitol Hill, congressman.

However, I want to know what you as a dedicated Republican think about what Donald Trump has acknowledged openly has done. He told the world that he is urging China and Ukraine to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

I believe the Constitution is clear that presidents must not use their office for personal gain, or political advantage. I also believe the president has violated that prohibition. He said so himself. We don’t need a “whistleblower” to tell us something the president himself has admitted to doing.

Why, though, do you and your fellow Republicans remain largely silent? This is unacceptable! Members of Congress who aren’t revolted and repulsed by the president’s conduct are derelict in their duty.

I want at the very least for my congressional representative — that would be you, congressman — to at least declare publicly that you will not tolerate any betrayal of a solemn and sacred oath that the president has taken.

I believe the president has betrayed his oath. I also want you to stand up for the principle of defending the Constitution.

Rep. Taylor targets those ‘socialist Democrats’

I keep wanting to give my brand new member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, the benefit of the doubt.

The Plano Republican, though, keeps testing my magnanimous attitude.

He recently released a poll that he said suggests that 65 percent of Democrats think positively of “socialism.” He then goes on to say that Texas Democrats who seek to turn Texas into a battleground state in 2020 need to be stopped. He says Democrats want to create a socialist state, they want to junk the economic system that has given the nation its status as the world’s top economic power.

I think the young congressman is letting his GOP zeal get in the way of his better judgment.

I had heard earlier this year how he had forged good relationships with Democrats with whom he serves in Congress. I appreciate his bipartisan approach to legislating; I do not appreciate his efforts to demonize Democrats who — in my view — love this country just as much as he does.

Then again, that’s just me. He offends my own bias.

It might be too much to hope Rep. Taylor will tone it all down once he gets to know his congressional colleagues a little better.

Then again, my hope springs eternal.

Rep. Taylor is feeling the pain a little more deeply

I spoke by phone today with U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, the newly elected congressman from Texas’s Third Congressional District.

Taylor is a young freshman Republican in the People’s House. He didn’t say so directly, but I am sensing a deep personal pain in the wake of the El Paso massacre that erupted over the weekend, mere hours before another gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine victims. Twenty-two people died at the hands of a lunatic who allegedly traveled more than 600 miles to El Paso to do harm to “as many Mexicans as possible.”

Why is Taylor feeling so much pain? The alleged shooter is a constituent of the congressman.

The alleged gunman graduated from Plano High School. He had lived with his grandparents in Allen, which is right next door to Plano.

Rep. Taylor told me that the act of one individual shouldn’t tar an entire community. He spoke to me today of the standard of living in Plano, how it ranks highly among cities of comparable size in any study one can name. It has a stellar per-capita income, along with the education level of its residents, he said.

One man’s moronic outburst doesn’t tar the community. That’s what I heard Van Taylor say this morning.

He hasn’t visited El Paso in the wake of the massacre. I am not sure when he’ll go. Taylor did tell me he has spoken with El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, with whom he served briefly in the Texas Legislature.

I ended up telling Taylor that I was “in your corner.” I am pulling for him and his colleagues as they seek answers to this dual-track tragedy. I only intend to demand them to explore deeply any possible avenue they can to curb this gun-violence insanity.

Indeed, I believe this young man is hurting.

From our heartbreak, seeing signs of hope

Our hearts are broken across the land as we ponder what happened within hours of each other in two communities, in El Paso and Dayton.

Moronic madmen opened fire on innocent victims. Twenty-two of them died in El Paso, nine in Dayton; dozens more were injured. Police arrested a young man in El Paso and will charge him with multiple counts of capital murder; the cops gunned down the Dayton killer.

We grieve as a nation.

There might be a glimmer of hope arising from our sorrow. How does it present itself?

It might be occurring on the twin-track debate that has commenced.

We’re talking simultaneously about measures we might be able to enact to tighten control of gun purchasing and ownership. No, I’m not talking about watering down the Second Amendment. I stand with those who support the amendment’s guarantee that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

There must be a legislative remedy that withstands constitutional scrutiny. Congress hasn’t acted on it. It refuses. Donald Trump won’t take up that cudgel. The gun lobby continues to throw around its weight in the halls of power.

I am not going to join those who want Congress to return immediately from its recess to enact such legislation. Lawmakers will return and then they get to work. I want them to listen to their constituents’ concerns.

Indeed, just this morning, my congressman, freshman Republican Van Taylor, was visiting with constituents here in Princeton, where I am absolutely certain he heard from those who are concerned about the gun violence that keeps erupting around the country. He needs to keep his ears open as he travels through the Third Congressional District of Texas during his time away from Capitol Hill.

The second track is equally important. It deals with the hateful rhetoric we are hearing from politicians, namely from the top! Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric must end. He won’t acknowledge the role his statements have played in the spasm of violence. The El Paso shooter apparently acted out of hatred for Mexican immigrants. Much of a screed published just minutes before he opened fire at the Wal-Mart complex mirrors the rhetoric that Donald Trump has bellowed at campaign rallies since before he became president.

We must continue to have this debate, too, even as we enter a presidential election year.

Many of us had hoped that the Parkland, Fla., high school massacre would engender a long-standing debate. Many of those students became articulate spokesmen and women for the cause of gun reform. Their voices have faded into the background.

Now comes the latest chorus. The debate runs along dual tracks: gun violence and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

I want the debate to continue for as long as it takes, even as we seek to mend our broken hearts.

New congressman disappoints on racist tweet resolution

I had the pleasure of meeting recently with my new congressman, Van Taylor, a Plano Republican.

I found him to be an earnest young man, a serious legislator, someone keenly interested in building bipartisan relationships with his Democratic colleagues.

That makes it all the more disappointing to know that the freshman lawmaker choked on a resolution condemning Donald Trump for his racist-sounding tweets involving four Democratic congresswomen, all people of color, all U.S. citizens … and all of whom Trump said should go back to their country of origin. Oh, wait! Three of them were born in the United States!

Taylor didn’t join the four Republican House members who decided to put country ahead of the president and his party. I just wish Rep. Taylor had acted more decisively on the danger being posed by a president who says the things he does about House members who disagree with him politically.

Trump’s Twitter tirade against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were clearly in my view dripping with racist intent. The House was correct to condemn the president for issuing them.

I just wanted there to be more of a bipartisan voice in that chorus of condemnation. I especially expected better of my congressman.