“The bill that passed did not fix the hole in the roof. It just cleaned up the water. We do not know if it will work,” Noriega said separately to The Mirror.
“Over the years, my opponent has taken $4,000,000 in contributions from Wall Street firms, and now he votes to bail them out,” the candidate told the assembled Democrats.
“The proposal is not fixing the problems for the home owners in Texas,” Noriega said as he explained his opposition. “They voted the funds when there is no plan as to how the money is to be used.”
The rally allowed Democratic Party candidates with Republican opponents in November to eat a traditional dinner of beans and cornbread before discussing their stands in the Upshur County races. Noriega was the one state-wide Democratic Party candidate to address the group of almost 200.
“Texans should be rightfully outraged at what has happened,” Noriega continued. “The junior Senator from Texas should have stood up.
“We need a new breed of statesman to fix government. I too am as fed up as any other Texan,” continued the lieutenant colonel from Houston who spent 2004-2005 in Afghanistan with the Texas National Guard. “I have commanded your sons and daughters in places of danger and places not so dangerous.
“We have had someone [in Cornyn] who has consistently stood up for Washington, D.C.,” Noriega added. “Now we need someone who will standup for the people of Texas.”
During his remarks, Noriega pointed out that he had worked with the Texas National Guard to help people at the George Brown Convention Center in Houston after Hurricane Katrina.
He thanked the people in the audience for the support they had shown for their fellow Texans after the recent visit of Hurricane Ike, adding that as a resident of the Gulf Coast he knows how much any assistance they had given was appreciated.
Noriega was representing Houston in the Texas Legislature when he was called up to go to Afghanistan. Under special provisions, his wife, Melissa, filled in for him in Austin while he served as garrison commander in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Noriega continued by pointing out programs which Cornyn has opposed which would have benefited many in Texas, including voting against health care for children six times even though Texas has more children without insurance than any other state.
Cornyn has also voted against allowing Medicare to negotiate with insurance companies for lower prescription drug costs.
“During the time Cornyn has been in the Senate, gas prices have gone from $1.35 a gallon to $4,” the Democrat pointed out.
“We cannot keep doing the same old things and expect different outcomes,” Noriega summarized. “We need to change in order to pass on a better Texas to our children.
“I am proud of how you and other Texans have helped us in the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Ike,” Noriega continued. “It shows what we are capable of doing when we pull together for the common good.”
Accompanying Noriega to the rally was Max Sandlin, the former U.S. Representative of Texas District 1.
Among the local candidates speaking at the rally were Sheriff Anthony Betterton, Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Smith, Curtis Hollis, candidate for County Commissioner Pct. 1; Michelle Griffith, candidate for Justice of Peace, Pct. 1; and Chris McCauley, candidate for Constable, Pct. 4.
Before dismissing the group, Democratic Party Chairman Jim Eitel pointed out to the audience that early voting starts Oct. 20.
Mike Smith added that Oct. 26 is the last day to request a mail-in ballot, and that ballot must be mailed in, not hand delivered, to count.