Tonight, Republican Representative Quico Canseco of Texas's 23rd Congressional district will be giving the Republicans' Spanish language response to the State of the Union address. Immediately following Canseco's speech, Mitt Romney will ask him to deport himself. Just kidding. But really, how many Republicans are going to listen to Canseco give a speech in Spanish? Alienating Latinos is practically a plank in the Republican party platform at this point. By the time he's done, Sheriff Joe Arpaio might be waiting on Canseco's doorstep with a shotgun to try and intimidate him into not voting.
If you're unfamiliar with the West Texas representative, here's a chance to learn more about Francisco “Quico” Canseco: tax cheat, firefighter defunder, crazy right-winger, and soon-to-be-former Congressman.
7 Things To Know About Republican Congressman Quico Canseco:
- Despite record wildfires in Texas, Quico Canseco voted against increased funding for firefighters and first responders. He attacked Obama for not providing funding for Texas wildfires (which Obama did, in fact, provide) and then voted against increasing funding for FEMA firefighter assistance grants by $510 million. The new total funding would have given $390 million for firefighter assistance grants and $420 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants. Canseco was one of only 113 members of Congress to vote against SAFER. Source: Burnt Orange Report
- Canseco is funded by Wall Street, and now serves on the House Financial Services Committee. The bulk of Canseco's fundraising comes from the financial industry, which kicked in over $100,000 to his election effort. Now, he's supposed to be writing the rules to help rein in the worst Wall Street abuses. Source: Sunlight Foundation
- Canseco has reportedly had $715,000 worth of federal, state, and mechanics liens levied against him in the last three decades. The liens are to recover unpaid payroll taxes and contracting fees since the early 1980s. Source: Burnt Orange Report
- Canseco is supported by the American Action Network, a right-wing organization that recently sent misleading mail to senior citizens about Democrats' efforts to protect Medicare Part D and save the government $112 million dollars. Source: ThinkProgress
- During redistricting, Republicans in the legislature specifically looked to draw low-performing Hispanic precincts into the 23rd district to help “shore up” Canseco's re-election chances. By including low-turnout precincts and drawing out high-turnout precincts, Republicans made district look more Latino on paper based on Hispanic surname voter registration than it is based on voting performance. Source: txredistricting.org
- During his campaign in 2010, Canseco was endorsed by Michele “Crazy Eyes” Bachmann and followed the Minnesota Republican's then-practice of refusing to debate, declining to meet with the San Antonio Express News' editorial board. Source: ThinkProgress
- Canseco has avoided taking questions and talking directly with citizens during town halls. Maybe he's afraid to talk to senior citizens directly about why he supports cutting their Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Source: San Antonio Express-News
Here's the best news about Quico Canseco: he has a great Democratic challenger in State Representative Pete Gallego. Gallego was elected to the State Legislature in 1990 at age 28, and has spent his entire adult life fighting for the people of West Texas. His gigantic legislative district closely overlaps with CD-23, the district in which he's now running for Congress. Gallego is a great champion of the people. As a legislator, he has crafted and passed legislation to invest billions of dollars in public schools, secure our border, reform our criminal justice system, and support Texas veterans.
Gallego also on the DCCC's targeted Red to Blue fundraising list, which looks for the best pick-up opportunities as we fight to take back the House of Representatives. If you like Pete Gallego or you really don't like Quico Canseco, consider dropping Pete some coin here.
Republican Congressman Quico Canseco is failing the people of Texas. He votes against first responders, and wants to weaken medical coverage for senior citizens. He's a tool of the financial industry and backed by right-wingers determined to shred what's left of our social safety net. Let's hope voters sending him packing this November. Then Republicans will need to find another Spanish-speaking patsy to respond to Obama after the next State of the Union.