February/March 2012 Issue - Chicano Channel Magazine
Ezra Johnson told us he interned for the late, great Henry B. Gonzalez, while he not only held the District 20 seat, but used it as his bully pulpit to fight for people, and as Mr. Johnson put it, “sometimes he would even fight for one person at a time”. Being from New Braunfels, Texas I could identify with Mr. Johnson’s words, that is after all where Henry B., as he was usually referred to, was not allowed to enter a public park because he was Mexican-American. That was the beginning of the end of that city’s official racial practices, for the most part. Ezra describes his experience interning with Henry B. as “one of those life-changing moments”, which I did not have to ask him to divulge on simply based on having lived through Henry B.’s reign. Mr. Johnson confirmed what we already suspected, that Henry B. was not there to simply cast votes, even if good ones, but to maximize his presence to fight for everyday Americans everywhere, but especially his District.
Mr. Johnson supports a Federal Dream Act for children, who through no fault of their own were brought illegally to the United States by parents or other relatives, from whom “the best and brightest should be allowed to study and then be given a path to citizenship, which should also include those willing to serve in the military”, Johnson continued. On the subject of Voter I.D. laws, which are springing up in State after State and which most thinkers agree are aimed or at the very least as Mr. Johnson put it, “have a disproportionate effect on certain groups of voters, namely minorities and the elderly”. The pretext for the laws being initiated in the first place was alleged voter fraud, which study after study found was either non-existent or not worthy of any attention whatsoever. Mr. Johnson puts it best, “it’s like using a nuclear weapon on a roach problem in your house.”
Chicano Channel Magazine asked Mr. Johnson if he would back a compulsory voting law in order to combat the assault on the numbers of persons allowed to vote around the Nation, much like it is compulsory to attend the jury selection process, he said, “It’s something I hadn’t given much thought to, but could consider. However, I think it would be better to adopt the voting system used in the State of Oregon, which has worked to increase the number of people participating with a completely mail- in ballot process.” Increased numbers of voters usually work to the Democrats advantage because you include the involvement of people who may have never participated before and who are normally in lower economic strata and tend to vote Democrat.
Asked to distinguish himself from his chief rival in the Primary, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Mr. Johnson said that Mr. Castro has taken donations from Republicans, something he would not accept himself. “I will not be swayed by special interests.” He also said he brings special experience in the Energy Sector that he could take to Washington with him, experience that Joaquin Castro doesn’t have. He gained that experience as an attorney specializing in the Energy Industry. Asked what he would consider job-one in Washington D.C., Mr. Johnson said that although there was much to do, “I consider job-one to be the introduction of a bill to overturn the Citizens United decision of the United States Supreme Court”, which basically opened the door to not only unlimited amounts of money into the political process, but allows that money to be anonymous. “The biggest problem in politics was that there was already too much money in the system. Citizens United poured gasoline on the fire.” We could not agree more.