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BCRW welcomes Mr. Smith to Bandera

By Linda Palmer Special to the Courier

District 21 United States Rep. Lamar Smith was warmly welcomed by the nearly 70 constituents, who packed the Silver Sage Corral Great Room on Friday, Feb.10, during the monthly meeting of the Bandera County Republican Women.

In his introduction, Bandera County Judge Evans noted Smith's congressman's background as a former Bexar County Commissioner, his conservative voting record and seniority as chairman of the influential House Judiciary Committee.

"No more rules, mandates, or regulations," Evans said, adding, "After the flood of 2002, the Congressman gave me his private cell phone number as a commitment (for assistance to his constituents)."

Expressing fond memories of Bandera County, Smith noted, "This is where the West begins."

Feeling the Obama Administration had "taken the wrong direction," he described the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives as "your firewall." Later in the program, a Bandera County constituent referenced that characterization.

William Baskin, a Korean War veteran, stated, "We are losing control. A firewall means you will be shot at. I know what it feels like."

According to Smith, since the start of the Obama Administration, two million jobs and the deficit has been increased two-fold instead of the deficit reduction promised by President Barack Obama. "Gas prices are up and the indicators are in the wrong direction," Smith said.

As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Smith said he attempts to rein in limit government by bringing more bills to the floor. He has introduced two balanced budget amendments, which the House approved by a bipartisan majority.

"Regulations are strangling the economy," Smith noted, added that 200 have been proposed which would have cost hundreds of millions. He believes any new regulation should be subject to a "cost-benefit analysis" and that regulations which cost over $100 million should have Congressional approval.

Additionally, Smith supports e-verify as a way to track the close to seven million illegal immigrants thought to be currently working in the United States. According to Smith, all workers should possess a legal Social Security number.

Although a strong proponent of local media outlets, he considers "national media bias" as an increasing threat to democracy. To counteract a growing media bias, he has founded a Media Fairness Caucus with awards given to publications and other news outlets that are deemed to be "the most biased."

Smith also lamented that his Online Privacy Policy Bill he sponsored had been misrepresented. "Misinformation was put forth by Google, and the company recently settled a lawsuit over 'infringement'," he said. "if there are no good facts, there can be no good decisions." He believes ,"If no good facts then no good decisions"
To a question from the audience on moral values, Smith touted his "100 percent conservative voting record," adding that "he fought to keep 'God' from being removed from the Visitors' Center in Washington, DC."

Smith ended his presentation by noting that one of his most prized possessions in his Capitol Hill office is an autograph of James Madison in his office. "As the head of the Judiciary Committee, the autograph reminds me I defend The Constitution," he said.

Pictured: Congressman Lamar Smith greeted Bandera County constituent Enid Perez at the Friday, Feb. 10, meeting of the Bandera County Republican Women.