Monday, June 27, 2005

Radnofsky takes on Hutchison

27 June 2005
Tel: 713 858 8509

Senate Candidate responds to Hutchison's Announcement

San Antonio, Tx - San Antonio voters instructed by Republican leaders to expect a Tim Duncan-style slam dunk in the Senate race with Kay Bailey Hutchison's announcement to seek re-election got a taste of the all-out battle that's brewing when Democratic Senate candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky addressed local groups on veterans, health-care, and education issues, on the eve of Kay Bailey Hutchison's announcement she'd run again for Senate.

Responding to statements by Hutchison and Karl Rove questioning the patriotism of Democrats, Radnofsky said, "Karl Rove and Kay Bailey Hutchison must not have gotten that 'I'm a uniter, not a divider' memo. My father won a Purple Heart helping save the world from fascism in World War II, and he was a Democrat all his life."

Radnofsky spoke twice to the Tejano Democrat Convention, and at a luncheon on June 25 accepted a "Moral Courage Award" from the group's Chairman, Texas State Rep Aaron Peña for her "service to the Tejano Democrats and for 'stepping forward.'"

Radnofsky, a mother of three, wife, volunteer teacher, mediator, and 26-year lawyer, filed in January for the Senate seat which many predicted would be open. Senator Hutchison, who pledged she would limit herself to two full terms, was expected to announce for governor, but has instead recently announced she would announce she'd run for a third term.

Radnofsky, who also addressed the statewide Tejano Democrat Convention in Corpus Christi last year, was lauded by the Chairman of the Convention at its evening opening event as a long time friend of Tejano Democrats. She told the crowd: "Texans need representatives in Washington who are beholden to the interests of their constituents rather than a senator who rubberstamps the administration."

Pointing out that vital Texas needs have gone unmet, Radnofsky emphasized that Texas leads the nation in uninsured adults and children. "I've traveled the state for a year and a half, and health care is on everyone's mind. You have familes where husband and wife work hard, and they still can't afford insurance. They are naked out there, with no preventive care, increasing the risks of diabetes, cancer and heart disease."

She emphasized education as an issue, criticized cutbacks in Pell Grants and advocated programs designed to prevent high school children from dropping out: "I teach in the 'Upward Bound' Program, designed to help high school children whose parents never made it to college. The administration proposed to eliminate that program, which in Alvin, Texas had a 100 percent success rate in kids advancing to college."

And, she advocated placing mediation programs in the schools, to address violence, bullying and giving children the life skills they need to succeed, describing those programs she's been leading for more than a decade in Texas schools.

Later in the day, Radnofsky spoke to the American GI Forum and emphasized the critical need for a Veterans Administration hospital south of San Antonio. "We are here at 'la frontera'", she said. "There is no Veterans Hospital south of San Antonio. Our veterans deserve better. They deserve to be treated with the respect and honor they have earned." The denial of benefits to veterans, and the additional human and economic costs imposed on those who would have to pay an access fee or have to travel long distances to access health care represent major campaign issues that Radnofsky believes will bring voters from across the spectrum into her camp.

"These are not Republican or Democrat issues; these are not liberal or conservative issues; these are moral issues. How can we ask people to put their lives on the line for our liberty, and then deny them access to care for the injuries and illnesses they've sustained as a result of that sacrifice? The veterans from all wars are aging, and their needs for medical care will only increase over time."


Radnofsky is well on the way to wrapping up the Democratic nomination, an unusual situation 9 months in advance of the primary. "It's a great gestation period," she smiled, "and I'll have another 9 months after that, too. I've had three babies, so I know I can go the distance."

Despite Radnofsky's two years of careful preparation for the race, many expected her to focus on a different race once Hutchison announced. Far from it. "While I'm honored to accept the 'moral courage award'" she said, "this isn't moral courage to step forward. I honor the 'moral courage' of those who risk their lives to step forward. When my father was in POW camp, and the Nazis came at morning muster and said 'all the Jews will step forward,' my father told the story, late in his life, that each and every man stepped forward that morning, saving his life. "

"That's courage in stepping forward," she quietly explained. As far as the race, "I intend to win it," says the Houston lawyer. "We'll continue to work on getting out our positive message of moderation versus extremism, concern for individuals rather than bureaucrats, and a focus on Texans rather than Washington."

Barbara Ann Radnofsky
Candidate, U.S. Senate 2006


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