AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Democrat Rick Noriega portrays Republican
U.S. Senate incumbent John Cornyn as no friend to Texas military
Noriega's a Houston state representative and an Army National
Guard officer who wants to win over fellow military voters in his
bid for the U.S. Senate seat now held by the Texas Republican
He's chastised Cornyn for not initially supporting legislation
to double college aid for recent military members and allow their
education benefits to be transferred to a spouse or children.
But Cornyn rejects the label of anti-vet that Noriega's trying
to hang on him. He cites his Senate votes and constituent work that
he says prove his commitment to help past and present military
members. And, Cornyn notes, his own father served in the Air Force
for 31 years.
The brewing dispute between Cornyn and Noriega over veterans
issues escalated amid debate over the expanded GI Bill passed by
Congress and signed by President Bush last Monday.
Noriega's supporters delivered petitions to Cornyn's Texas
offices demanding that he get behind it. Cornyn later voted for a
different version of the bill. He said he wanted a version that
allowed the transfer of education benefits, something he said would
help with retention in the all-volunteer military.
Cornyn's father went to college on the original GI Bill after
World War II. Cornyn's first vote against the new bill didn't sit
well with some in the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars, whose members
talked about it at their state convention last week.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)