You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Texas’ tag.
Monday was the first day of early voting in Dallas. Dallas voters smashed previous records, with 58,213 people voting on Monday alone.The previous record in Dallas County was set in 2008, when 34,415 people cast ballots on the first day of early voting.
Election administrators in Tarrant County(Ft. Worth) reported a first-day turnout of about 43,000 voters, also a record. Collin County(North ofDallas) smashed its previous record for the first day of early voting, as 30,288 people cast ballots Monday, nearly twice the previous record of just over 16,000 in 2012.
I thought I was being clever to wait till today to vote early. My reasoning for going today was to avoid the people anxious to vote for the first woman to be President. I went at 2:00 pm to avoid the crowds associated the people on their way to work, people on lunch break, people picking up kids from school, and people getting off work. Despite my strategic planning, the line to vote in Dallas county was 30 minutes long. I had the misfortune of waiting in line next to two men who were outspoken Donald Trump supporters. One spoke with a thick east Texas accent and was missing at least two teeth. The toothless man was commiserating with another Trump supporter who had such an over sized gut that his belt could not be visualized as a result of the massive girth of his abdomen that covered the entire belt. As I sat on my walker, listening to the conversation, it was as if I wasn’t there. These two Texas men were unconcerned that I might have a different opinion. They obviously assumed that any women voting for Hillary were simply a nuisance. When the election is over, I wonder if they will pay more attention?
Some people wondered why Trump went out of his way to disparage Latinos. Not only are they rapists,
but they are “bad hombres.”
Now, for the first time, a member of the GOP has explained why Trump was unafraid to disparage Latinos. They don’t vote! Trump recently visited San Antonio, a Texas city that is predominantly Hispanic or Latino. Maybe he is worried that Texas is about to turn blue. Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott is worried. Texas has 38 electoral votes. It is second only to California. Perhaps Abbott should be worried. More than 89 percent of polled Latino registered voters stated they would more than likely cast ballots this year. Even in 2008 81.7 percent of Hispanic registered voters cast ballots in 2012, the year Democratic President Barack Obama ran successfully against Republican Mitt Romney. In 2016, Texas has 7 percent of the 538 electoral votes up for grabs and 14 percent of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the general election. Between 1900 and 2012, Texas cast votes for the winning presidential candidate 65.52 percent of the time. Texas allocates all its electoral votes to the winner. Thus, if Trump loses the majority of voters in Texas, he loses all the Texas delegates. Perhaps Jan Brewer and Donald Trump should be worried that the state of Texas is starting to look more and more blue.
If that happens we’ll all be laughing with George Lopez!
Jessica Jin at the University of Texas at Austin took matters into her own hands when she learned that gun owners in Texas are now allowed to carry concealed firearms into classes. Jessica knew it would be hard to make an impression on the Texas Legislature. She knew that it might be hard to get public attention for this offensive law. She realized that she could be sitting next to a student in class with a glock in his pants. Thus the logical response was to begin a campaign focusing on something that would get people’s attention. She calls her campaign “Cocks Not Glocks,”
Leave it to the great people of the state of Texas to rise to the occasion and make donations to this amazing campaign. Jessica has received 3,000 non-phallic dildos from Smile Makers. Shane’s World (NSFW) sent 300 more dildos. A local sculptor gave over 100 handmade penises, plus she’s heard about amateur sculpture groups making more. …only in Texas!
For weeks “dave p” has tried to obtain information regarding the citizenship status of Ted Cruz. He filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking relevant information regarding the citizenship status of Ted’s father who is accompanying his son on the campaign trail. As I noted yesterday, in my own FOIA suit, the Federal Government, the least transparent in history, is so backlogged, that their attorney asserts they need at least TWO MORE YEARS TO COMPLY with the request, even though the original request was filed four years ago, and suit was filed one year ago, and even though the Judge ordered them to produce documents in 60 days.
Today dave p has included this comment, confirming that the Government is beginning the process of refusing to produce relevant information about a person running for the highest office in the country, the Presidency. When we elect a President, we put that single person in a position to do devastating harm to the entire country and to the entire world. Our President:
- is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He or she has the power to call into service the state units of the National Guard, and in times of emergency may be given the power by Congress to manage national security or the economy.
- has the power make treaties with Senate approval. He or she can also receive ambassadors and work with leaders of other nations.
- is responsible for nominating the heads of governmental departments, which the Senate must then approve. In addition, the president nominates judges to federal courts and justices to the United States Supreme Court.
- can issue executive orders, which have the force of law but do not have to be approved by congress.
- can issue pardons for federal offenses.
- can convene Congress for special sessions.
- can veto legislation approved by Congress. However, the veto is limited. It is not a line-item veto, meaning that he or she cannot veto only specific parts of legislation, and it can be overridden by a two-thirds vote by Congress.
- delivers a State of the Union address annually to a joint session of Congress.
- is responsible for nominating candidates for positions in government, including cabinet positions, Federal Circuit Court judges and Supreme Court justices.
- send troops to battle without an official war declaration (ex. Vietnam, Korea).
- if there is an emergency, the president can override congress and issue executive orders with almost limitless power. Abraham Lincoln used an executive order in order to fight the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson issued one in order to arm the United States just before it entered World War I, and Franklin Roosevelt approved Japanese internment camps during World War II with an executive order.
- has almost limitless power to grant pardons to those convicted of federal crimes.
We have NO process in place to ensure that a candidate for President is qualified under the US Constitution to run for President. When a citizen, like dave, tries to get information that is important to every American, and for the future of our country, he is met with complete denial and delay. It was Ted Cruz who said that Obama’s mother’s citizenship was irrelevant because Obama was not born in the U.S. Ted was wrong. Obama was born in Hawaii, and his birth certificate has been produced. Ironically it is Ted Cruz who was not born in the United States. So the question now is whether Ted is qualified under the Constitution of the United States to be our President. There is no “public interest” more compelling than this question. If the Freedom of Information Act should EVER be a tool for citizens to obtain information, it is NOW.
This is the comment from “dave p”. Thank you dave for fighting this fight on our behalf.
this appeal to the uscis rejection of my foia/pa request is going out priority mail saturday morning.
April 22, 2016
USCIS FOIA/PA Appeals Office
Re: Freedom of Information Act Appeal – Case Number NRC2016041721
To Whom It May Concern:
On April 15, 2016, I received a letter from a Ms. Jill A. Eggleston, Director, FOIA Operations. She said that after carefully considering my request, that it was being denied in its entirety pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Section 552(b) (6) (Exemption 6). She continued by stating that in order to obtain these records, that my request must demonstrate one or more of the following criteria:
Written authorization from the individual(s) permitting disclosure of the records to me.
As I clearly stated in the opening paragraph of my original request:
I am requesting information as a private citizen under the Freedom of Information Act. I am not the Subject of Records being requested and I am not representing the Subject of Records. However, I do assert the disclosure of the Subject of Record’s information would further a public interest recognizable under the FOIA.
It was rather apparent that I did not file a FOIA/PA Request with a Subject of Records’ consent. What Ms. Eggleston didn’t say was that under the FOIA/PA, that if one does not or is unable to provide authorization that a request would still be processed, but release of records would be severely restricted to protect the privacy of another individual.
The second point she raised was unnecessary since I had also provided the following background information on the Subject of Records in my original request.
Rafael Bienvenido Cruz was born in Matanzas, Cuba on March 22, 1939.
The Subject of Records was 77 years old and clearly not a minor at the time of my request.
The third point raised the issue of proof of guardianship. I would allege that anyone who has paid attention to the current political campaign for president of the United States has heard, if not seen, the Subject of Records. He is put forth regularly as a spokesperson for his son, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, in Ted Cruz’s run to become his party’s nominee for president of the United States. While I am not alone
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in thinking that some of the ideas put forth by the Subject of Records are crazy, I do not believe it has been suggested by anyone that he is feeble enough of mind or body to be in need of a guardian.
The fourth point dealt with providing proof that the Subject of Records was deceased. Regarding that point, see my comment immediately above.
The last point indicated that there had to be a clear demonstration that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the personal privacy interest(s) of the individual(s) and that significant public benefit would result from the disclosure of the requested records.
I suppose if one were living under a rock for the last two years that it might be possible to have missed the discussion going on dealing with the citizenship status of Ted Cruz and whether or not he is a natural born citizen and thus meets the most restrictive constitutional qualification placed on an individual who seeks the office of president of the United States.
This is not only a topic of national, but international interest as well. It is a hugely historic issue which has never been addressed by the Supreme Court. There have been a number of lawsuits challenging whether or not the name of Ted Cruz should appear on various state primary and caucus ballots all of which have all been thrown out over technical issues. The substance of the natural born citizenship issue has never been addressed.
The records which have been requested would help to address those issues in a number of ways. The most important records would be those associated with the time spent by the Subject of Records when he left the United States in or around 1967/1968 to move to Canada and the period of time following his departure from Canada to return to the United States. Additionally, as noted in my original request, information contained in Form N-400 which the Subject of Records submitted to the USCIS would have information critical to the determination of the citizenship status of his son and thus have a critical impact on the presidential election this current cycle.
The Subject of Records, by his own admission, became a Canadian citizen. This, by various reports, happened between 1970-1973. Serious questions have been raised concerning his foreshortened timeframe for acquiring citizenship. Documents which have been requested would permit the construction of an accurate timeline for the Subject of Records’ movements back and forth between the United States and Canada. Entry and exit documents have no information, the release of which could reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
Ms. Eggleston kind of summed up the rejection of my FOIA/PA request when she wrote:
Where a FOIA requester seeks information about individuals in personnel, medical, and similar files FOIA Exemption 6 protects from disclosure information that, if released, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
However, as I pointed out in my request, it is important to remember that the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has declared that “under Exemption 6, the presumption in favor of disclosure is as strong as can be found anywhere in the Act”.
So, let’s cut to the chase about what the FOIA act does and doesn’t provide.
When she made her decision, she apparently overlooked that The Privacy Act of 1974 was enacted on December 31, 1974 and was not retroactive in respect of most of the documents which I am seeking.
Furthermore, when Ms. Eggleston so carefully pointed out there are concerns with protecting the privacy of another individual, she apparently overlooked the following:
The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Section 552 (a) Definitions) states as follows:
For purposes of this section—
(2) the term “individual” means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
As described in my request, the Subject of Records, for most of the records which I am seeking, was neither a U.S. citizen nor an alien admitted for permanent residence. Therefore, any special protections, including the refusal to provide ANY documents, under the FOIA/PA simply do not apply since the Subject of Records didn’t have the required status under the FOIA/PA.
The Subject of Records was admitted into the United States via Key West, FL in 1957 on a Student F-1 Visa (see attached Port of Entry document). As you are aware, an F-1 Visa does not grant permanent residence status. In fact, great pains are taken by the consular officer conducting the interview to make sure the applicant is not using the Student Visa as a way of obtaining Permanent Resident status. When the Subject of Records made his application for a Student F-1 Visa, he had been accepted to the University of Texas, Austin to study for a four year program and was then to return to his native country, Cuba. The Subject of Records graduated from the University of Texas, Austin on June 3, 1961 and earned a BA in mathematics.
While at the University of Texas, Austin, the Subject of Records met and married Julia Anne Garza, a United States citizen who was born in McAllen, TX on April 5, 1959. They travelled to Cuba in the Summer of 1959, returning to the U.S. in September 1959 (see attached entry documents). They had two children the first of whom was born in November 1961 and the second in November 1962.
By his own admission, the Subject of Records has publicly stated that he applied for and was granted asylum after his graduation in 1961. Asylum however does not come with a grant of permanent residence. So, none of the documents in the Subject of Records A-File which I requested commencing with the year of entry into the United States on his Student F-1 Visa in 1957 up until the time the Subject of Records was granted Permanent Resident status sometime between the years 1962-1967 would not be documents given any special protection under the FOIA/PA because the Subject of Records was neither a United States citizen nor a permanent resident. As such, these records should be released with minimal redaction.
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Sometime in the 1967/1968 timeframe, the Subject of Records moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his girlfriend, Eleanor Darragh Wilson, a divorcee who had married Alan Boon Wilson in the United States in 1956 and together they moved to London, England in 1960. Alan Wilson has publicly reported their marriage ended in divorce in 1963. Eleanor had borne a child in London in 1966 who died in December 1966 (I have attached a copy of what is purportedly a consular form reporting the death of her child).
It was sometime after Eleanor returned to the United States and settled in New Orleans in 1967 that she met the Subject of Records (see attached Selective Service System Registration card) who had separated from his wife and children in favor of Eleanor (see attached Petition For Separation From Bed and Board filed by Julia Garza, wife of Rafael B. Cruz vs Rafael B Cruz). The Subject of Records failed to file an answer to Julia’s petition and a default judgment was entered in favor of Julia and against The Subject of Records who was ordered to pay alimony in support of their two children. Julia was granted permission by the court to return to Texas to continue her education and remove the children from the jurisdiction of Louisiana.
Thirteen months later, Julia filed a Petition for Absolute Divorce (see attached documents) which was granted. Again, the Subject of Records failed to answer the Petition and a default judgment was entered against the Subject of Records and in favor of Julia Garza (Cruz) with a continued obligation on the part of the Subject of Records to pay alimony in support of their two children.
It is believed the Subject of Records and Eleanor Darragh Wilson left the United States to go to Canada prior to the above referenced divorce (and possibly before the judgment for separation was granted) to start a new business, R B Cruz and Associates, and a new life together. At that time, the Subject of Records effectively had forfeited any status he had in the United States. The Subject of Records married Eleanor in March 1969 and has self-reported that he obtained Canadian citizenship. Their names appeared on a Canadian general election list of eligible voters for the 1974 election (see attached document).
They had a child, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on December 22, 1970. By all accounts, no Consular Report of Birth Abroad was filed for Ted Cruz at the time of his birth or, for that matter, at any time while he resided in Canada. It has been publicly reported and Ted Cruz has admitted that he had Canadian citizenship which he renounced in May 2014 (see attached document). The Subject of Records continued to live in Canada until 1973/1974 when he abandoned his family and reentered the United States and went to Houston, found Jesus, then returned to Canada.
These actions raised a number of questions which I had hoped the requested documents would answer in whole or in part. So, from the time the Subject of Records moved to Canada and forfeited any status he might have had as an alien residing in the United States until the time he moved back to the United States and presumably reapplied for Permanent Resident status (minimally from 1968-1976), the Subject of Records was neither a United States citizen nor a Permanent Resident and as such his records would not receive any special protection under the FOIA/PA and should be released with minimal redaction. It is also possible that the Subject of Records might have claimed status through his wife, Eleanor, who claimed she was a U.S. citizen, although her actions while living in London and Canada may have negated that.
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The document which I requested be released first was the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and I do not know if the Subject of Records was a Permanent Resident at the time he submitted this form. However, as pointed out above, even without the consent of the Subject of Records these records could still be released (though severely restricted) to protect the privacy of the Subject of Records (again, assuming that he was a Permanent Resident at the time he filed this form.
Following is a detailed look at the Form N-400 (see attached document which in its current state consists of 18 parts over 21 pages) with a discussion regarding what might be considered to be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy in the event information in it were to be released.
Part 1. Information About Your Eligibility (only one box to be selected)
Since the Subject of Records was divorced from his thought-to-be second spouse, Eleanor Darragh Wilson Cruz in 1997 (see attached documents) choices (B) and (C) would not apply since he was not married for the requisite amount of time immediately preceding his Application for Naturalization. Choice (D) would also not apply since the Subject of Records fled to Canada on the heels of his Selective Service registration on July 26, 1967. The date he chose to file with the Selective Service Administration (see attached registration card which was obtained about 5 years after he was legally required to file) is probably not an accident and should also be viewed as a thumbing of his nose to the United States. The 26th of July Movement (Spanish: Movimiento 26 de Julio; M-26-7) was a vanguard revolutionary organization led by Fidel Castro that in 1959 overthrew the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in Cuba.
Therefore, that leaves the choices (A) Have been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least 5 years, or (E) Other (Explain).
In either case, showing which box was checked would not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Part 2. Information About You (person applying for naturalization)
Questions 1, 2 and 3 ask the Subject of Records to list the various names he has used. Since the Subject of Records tells everyone his name, the release of his name would not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (see attachment).
Question 4 pertains to whether or not the Subject of Records would like to legally change his name. Since he still goes by and uses the name Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, it would seem this box was checked “no”. Releasing this information would not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 5 asks for his social security number. This would be personally identifiable information the release of which would clearly constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and would be expected to be redacted.
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Question 6 asks for the USCIS online Account Number (if any) and would probably also be considered as personally identifiable information and redacted as an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 7 asks for Gender of the Subject of Records. Unless he is a transgender and has not come out of the closet, the release of this information would not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 8 asks for Date of Birth. Since this information is already in the public domain, the release would not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 9 asks for the date the Subject of Records Became a Lawful Permanent Resident. The release of this information could not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 10 ask for Country of Birth. Since the Subject of Records readily discusses this and his son, Ted, also published it in his book which was questionably titled “A Time For Truth”, the release of this information could not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 11 asks for his Country of Citizenship or Nationality. The Subject of Records, by his own admission, and as addressed in his son’s book, has made this a part of the public record and therefore the release of this information could not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 12 asks whether or not the Subject of Records has a physical or developmental disability which would prevent him from demonstrating his knowledge and understanding of the English language and/or civics requirements for naturalization. Since the Subject of Records had been living in English speaking environments for about 48 years at the time he answered this question, and since the Subject of Records has publicly stated that he had memorized the bible so that he could quote it from memory during his speaking engagements, it is highly doubtful he would have checked anything but “no”. However, if by some chance he checked “yes”, then the Medical Certification, Form N-648, for Disability Exceptions would be withheld as a document that would reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Question 13 asks question designed to determine if the Subject of Records should be exempted from the English Language Test. These questions are centered on identifying the number of years the Subject of Records has lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. The answer to this question could not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Part 3. Accommodations for Individuals With Disabilities and/or Impairments
Again, anyone who has seen the Subject of Records travelling around the country giving stump speeches for his son or in any of his evangelical events would clearly see that he is not deaf, blind, hard of hearing, and doesn’t use a wheel chair to get around and function. Therefore, it would be expected this box would have been checked “no” and the release of this information could not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
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Part 4. Information to Contact You
Part 5. Information About Your Residence
Parts 6 and 7 deal with information about the parents of the Subject of Records and with Biographic Information about the Subject of Records
Part 8 deals with Information About Employment and Schools Attended
Part 9 deals with Time Outside the United States during the 5 years immediately preceding his Application for Naturalization
Whether or not the Subject of Records enjoyed a Permanent Resident status or not, the release of this information could not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Part 10 deals with Information About Marital History
Part 11 deals with Information About Children
Part 12 deals with Additional Informaton About the Subject of Records
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contradict the story which the Subject of Records or his son have told or written about his life, they would not reasonably be considered to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
Part 13. Applicant’s Statement, Certification, and Signature
Part 14. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
Part 15. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing This Application, if Other Than the Applicant.
Parts 16., 17., and 18 were completed in the presence of the USCIS Officer conducting the interview.
To summarize, your position is to evaluate any right to privacy the Subject of Records may have against the overriding public interest if this information were released. In this case, the Subject of Records has thrust himself into the public spotlight. As a condition to accepting the benefits that accompany public recognition, the law requires that such individuals accept a diminished level of protection of their privacy interests. Because the First Amendment confers less protection on public persons than it does on private individuals, the Constitution encourages the media to freely disseminate information about candidates for office, government officials, and other figures who influence or shape the course of events.
If the Subject of Records had merely filtered out embarrassing or harmful facts in order to influence opinion that might be one argument against releasing documents. However, in this case, both the Subject of Records and his son, who is seeking election to the highest office in the land, have actually created a narrative and I would argue that it is virtually impossible to argue for any privacy
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interests (excepting personally identifiable information which is not already in the public domain) that would even begin to outweigh the public interest in having access to these records.
As I proposed In my original request, everything which I have asked to be produced is of historic value and is in the public interest and deserves to get the widest coverage possible, I suggested that it be placed on your online library of documents which either have been or are expected to be frequently requested for access.
In closing, the overriding issue is that most of the documents which I have requested do not fall under any protection provisions of the FOIA/PA since the Subject of Records was neither a citizen of the United States nor an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of the documents which have been requested. Since the FOIA/PA was enacted on December 31, 1974 and was not retroactive, the Subject of Records has very little protection under the Act. Denial of these records in their entirety by citing the POIA/PA is an exercise merely designed to frustrate access to those records which are specifically provided under the Act.
Thank you for your anticipated immediate attention to this appeal.
cc: Rand Paul, United States Senator for Kentucky
Attachments: Passenger list, Key West, FL showing initial entry by Subject of Records at line 17