Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to speak to Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Tennessee October 22 at Waller Lansden

Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

Headliner for "Hispanic Heritage Month Grand Finale Fiesta"

Gonzales was first Hispanic American and Mexican-American U.S. Attorney General

"I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror"

Honored by United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, League of United Latin American Citizens, Harvard Law School Association Award, Hispanic National Bar Association, United Way, others

Immigration status of three grandparents "unclear"

The Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Tennessee sent out an invitation to its "Hispanic Heritage Month Grand Finale Fiesta" featuring former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The event will take place on October 22, from 11:30 a.m. -1 p.m. at the Waller Lansden law firm downtown. The invitation is available at the end of this post and also at the RNHA of TN's new web address rnhaoftn.org

Washington career and "War on Terror"

Gonzales was sworn in as the nation's 80th Attorney General on February 3, 2005, and was the first Hispanic American and Mexican-American to hold that position. Prior to serving at the Department of Justice, he was commissioned as White House Counsel to President George W. Bush in January of 2001.

As both Attorney General and White House Counsel, Gonzales was a central figure in what the Bush administration described as the "War on Terror." Gonzales authored a controversial memo in January 2002 that explored the application of Article III of the Geneva Convention to Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured in Afghanistan and held in detention facilities around the world. He also authored the Presidential Order which authorized the use of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. He fought with Congress to keep Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy task force documents from being reviewed. Gonzales was also an early advocate of the controversial USA PATRIOT Act.

Gonzales' testimony before Congress about a domestic warrantless wiretap program and a related 2004 hospital visit he made to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was the subject of controversy that immediately preceded his resignation.

Gonzales has characterized his role in Washington as that of a scapegoat:
For some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.

Texas career

Prior to serving in the White House, Gonzales served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. Before his appointment to the Texas Supreme Court in 1999, he served as Texas' 100th Secretary of State from December 2, 1997 to January 10, 1999. Among his many duties as Secretary of State, Gonzales was a senior advisor to then Governor Bush, chief elections officer, and the Governor's lead liaison on Mexico and border issues.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary of State, Gonzales was the General Counsel to Governor Bush for three years. Before joining the Governor's staff, he was a partner with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, Texas. He joined the firm in June 1982. While in private practice, Gonzales also taught law as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center.


Among his many honors, in 2003 Gonzales was inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Alumni Hall of Fame, was honored with the Good Neighbor Award from the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, and received President's Awards from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the League of United Latin American Citizens. In 2002, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Rice University by the Association of Rice Alumni and was honored by the Harvard Law School Association with the Harvard Law School Association Award. Gonzales was recognized as the 1999 Latino Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association, and he received a Presidential Citation from the State Bar of Texas in 1997 for his dedication to addressing basic legal needs of the indigent. He was chosen as one of the Five Outstanding Young Texans by the Texas Jaycees in 1994, and as the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association in 1992. Gonzales was honored by the United Way in 1993 with a Commitment to Leadership Award, and received the Hispanic Salute Award in 1989 from the Houston Metro Ford Dealers for his work in the field of education.

Family, education, military service

Gonzales was born in San Antonio, Texas and raised in a small town outside of Houston. He was the second of eight children born to Maria Gonzales, who had a sixth grade education, and Pablo Gonzales, a construction worker who had a second-grade education. According to Gonzales, it's "unclear" whether his three Mexican-born grandparents entered and resided in the United States legally or illegally.

He is a graduate of Texas public schools, Rice University, and Harvard Law School. Gonzales served in the United States Air Force between 1973 and 1975, and attended the United States Air Force Academy between 1975 and 1977. He and his wife, Rebecca Turner Gonzales, have three sons.

Gonzales currently teaches a political science course at Texas Tech University.


The invitation to the October 22 event is below:

The RNHA Invites You:

To Celebrate,
Hispanic Heritage Month Grand Finale Fiesta

and meet Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

October 22nd
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
at the Law Offices of Waller/Lansden
511 Union St 27th Floor

$35.00 per person
R.S.V.P. by October 20th at

11:15 a.m.
Private Photo Reception at the Hermitage Hotel

If you are interested in attending the Private Photo Reception
with Alberto Gonzales and/or the Lunch Fiesta please call
Juan Borges at (615) 579-5161 or email Raul Lopez at rauljlopez@comcast.net

Lunch Hosts
Mayor Bill Haslam and Congressman Zach Wamp
State Senator Bill Ketron, Jim Tracy, Diane Black and Dolores Gresham
State Representative Beth Harwell and Glen Casada, Steve Lynn, Tera Vazquez, Nelson Remus, Rene Valadez
Tim Skow, Sylvia Marcela Gomez, Attorney of Law Diana Cachaya and Jesus Cachaya, Attorney of Law Larry Crain, Attorney of Law Paul Ney, Wilson County Republican Party

Biographical information courtesy of U.S. government and Wikipedia. U.S. government text is in the public domain. Wikipedia text is under a Creative Commons license; this post may be reproduced under the same terms of that license.

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