Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might consume.
As a member of the House Committee on Government Reform I rise in support of H.R. 4717, legislation naming a post office after Jim Fonteno. H.R. 4717, which was introduced by the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Bentsen) on May 14, 2002, has met the committee policy and enjoys the support and cosponsorship of the entire Texas delegation.
Jim Fonteno is a county commissioner in East Harris County, Texas; and for over 28 years, Commissioner Fonteno has worked to deliver services to senior citizens and the young people of his community. He has improved local recreation facilities, established camps and after-school programs for at-risk youth and created senior centers for the elderly.
Commissioner Jim Fonteno is known throughout the county for his dedication to public service, and I am pleased to join with my colleagues in seeking to honor such a man.
Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield such time as he might consume to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Bentsen).
(Mr. BENTSEN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. COX. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from California for yielding me the time.
I, too, rise in support of the legislation, H.R. 4794, just considered by the House of Representatives, to designate the Ron Packard post office in Oceanside. I am proud to join with the gentleman from California (Mr. Hunter), the gentleman from California (Mr. Ose), and others in the California delegation for this purpose, because it was my privilege to serve alongside Ron Packard, physically alongside him, here in the Congress, geographically in southern California for 12
years; and it was my privilege in that process to come to know this extraordinary man.
When I first came to Congress, I served with Ron on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation where he was, as he now is, an expert on aviation, serving on that as well as other subcommittees in the Congress. He continued to have even greater influence in that area during his service on the Committee on Appropriations where he was a cardinal, a term of reverence, well-deserved in his case, for someone who wields the extraordinary power of the purse in our constitutional system.
It is interesting to think, as we completed debate during this Congress on campaign finance reform and all of our expressions of concern about the influences in the political system, about what this means in Ron's case. Ron Packard did not get here because of the help of special interests. He was not even a nominee of a major party. He had to run against the Democratic nominee. He had to run against the Republican nominee. He ran as an individual, as Ron Packard; and in an extraordinary fashion,
his constituents wrote in his name in the general election, and he defeated the Republican and Democrat nominee, and that is how he came to Congress here. He was Ron Packard first and became his party's standard bearer only thereafter because the people voted him in.
He was the embodiment of a citizen politician. He was everything a Member of Congress should be and everything a national leader should be.
I am submitting a much more lengthy tribute for the RECORD, because I think it is quite possible to go on about Ron Packard without stopping; and I know we have other business to do here.
I very much appreciate the time that the gentleman from California yielded to me.