Trending
MOST READ
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Lt. Governor Race: the \'Luchadora\' vs. the Tea Party radio host

Lt. Governor Race: the 'Luchadora' vs. the Tea Party radio host

News: A few Saturdays ago, I spent several hours hanging around a Texas Realtors Association conference in San Antonio, trying to catch state Sen. Dan Patrick... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta 9/17/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

The QueQue

Incendiary local Tea Party president George Rodriguez lays out his go-local approach

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

San Antonio Tea Party president George Rodriguez: fiery instigator or quiet lobbyist?


with his deep commitment to free-market capitalism. "At some point, you've got to divorce yourself from the past, from victimhood. … That was my headache, that's what I learned," he said. "I kept hearing liberals and Democrats use the victim card. I kept hearing 'pobrecitos, pobrecitos, pobrecitos' constantly. … That's what changed for me."

After community relations posts in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations within the White House and the Department of Justice, he joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before retiring in 2010 to move back to San Antonio. Now Rodriguez says he's pushing the local Tea Party "to focus on these non-emotional issues. … It's all about economics, we don't really want for things to be so heated."

Yet Rodriguez has stepped up numerous times to push the hard-line Tea Party stance on immigration in decidedly heated ways, most notably when he joined a local panel on immigration reform with Democratic Congressman Charlie Gonzalez and Benita Veliz, a St. Mary's grad brought into the country illegally by her parents at age 8. Rodriguez's message and tone were harsh. "There's a responsibility for the person who has broken the law," he said, looking at Veliz. "I'm tired of hearing how sad it is that this poor young lady is in her situation. … We should be putting the onus on her parents." Later in the fall, at a Texas Public Radio-sponsored debate on immigration, Rodriguez, one of two immigration-hardliners at the dais, drew this response from an angry Kennedy High School teacher: "You could just say what you are — a Nazi."

Rodriguez and the Tea Party haven't steered clear of emotional, moral debates locally either. At last year's budget debate at City Hall, Rodriguez and the Tea Party members helped pack hearing after hearing to decry the city's descent into moral decay — all because of a tiny sliver of the city budget that would grant domestic partner benefits to gay and straight city employees. "There are morals, and there is right and wrong," Rodriguez declared. The measure passed, though critics got three council members to vote no.

Over lunch last week, Rodriguez downplayed the culture-war overtones that racked the debate. "When it came to that issue, I don't really care who you sleep with. What I care about is my taxes being spent on that, especially when people aren't married." But the reason for the policy is primarily because there's no gay marriage in Texas, I respond. "And so our argument is we should wait till there is," he laughed. "Come on, that's a cop out," I remarked. Grinning, he shrugged his shoulders.

Despite a professed fiscal approach, Rodriguez is quick to slam Mayor Julián Castro's "liberal social agenda," professing that "the institution of marriage is very, very important and sacred."

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus