Advocate, Border Expert, Journalist, Reformer, Survivor

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Andrew M. 'Andy' Ramirez

Andy's Press (Newspaper) Clips

AndyRamirez.com is pleased to provide both press clippings from 1993-2005 and links to news coverage from 2005 to the present. These stories cover from my candidacies for the California State Legislature, proposed State Constitution overhaul, the 2005 San Diego Border Watch, appearances before Congress as an expert witness, and my law enforcement advocacy. You'll see articles from around the nation, as well as some of the biggest major daily newspapers, including: the LA Times, Washington Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, El Paso Times, Congressional Quarterly, and others. To read the news articles I authored, my Congressional testimony, and other reports visit my Documents Section.

Click HERE to watch the TV news coverage

 

2014 - TNA: Former Border Patrol Agents - Illegal Immigration Crisis 'Contrived' - NEW

2014 - TNA: DHS & Congress in Collusion for Amnesty - NEW

2013 - TNA: Conservative U.S. Hispanics Aim to Stop Amnesty and Big Government

2013 - Nat'l Review Online: At D.C. March and Beyond, the Tea Party Unveils Anti-Amnesty Efforts

2013 - TNA: Homeland Security Demands “Obedience” in Message to Agents

2013 - TNA: Clinton Testimony on Benghazi Leaves Real Questions Unanswered

2012 - WND: Appeals court continues border agent's 'Twilight Zone'

2012 - TNA: With Judge’s Comments, Calls to Free Jailed Border Agent Grow

2012 - WND: Judge on border agent: Looks like misdemeanor

2012 - Riverside Press-Enterprise: Border Patrol to close Riverside Office

2011 - WND: Lawmakers grill Obama over Border agent trial

2011 - WND: Court-sealed Diaz case documents posted online

2011 - WND: Court asked to gag WND in Diaz case

2011 - WND: Political frameup? How jailed border agent got shafted

2011 - TNA: Feds Prosecuted U.S. Border Agent for Mexico

2011 - WND: Door slammed on documents in border agent's disputed case

2009 - Riverside Press-Enterprise: Reactions to Obama shelving Amnesty

2009 - El Paso Times: Questions asked in House of Death case; call for special prosecutor continues

2009 - La Opinion: House of Death article

2009 - Daily Bulletin: Border fence crawls to end; Cost, design issues vex construction

2009 - Daily Bulletin: Immigration Report/Pardon sought for BP agents

2009 - Wall Street Journal/Daily Bulletin: Border Patrol agents sentences commuted

2009 - Dallas Morning News: Bush commutes sentence of BP agents

2008 - WND: DEA agent accuses Sutton of cover-up in drug murders

2008 - El Paso Times: Congressman Reyes subject of ethics complaint

2008 - Press Republican: Racism identified by officers at border crossing

2007 - WND: Border Agent says Red China ordered prosecution of Niagara Falls incident

2007 - Congressional Quarterly: BP Agents need more decision making authority, advocacy group says

2007 - Daily Bulletin: BP agents counsels claim missing memo prevented proper defense

2006 - Daily Bulletin: White House rescinds Ramirez post-hearing invite to Cheney briefing

2006 - Daily Bulletin: Smuggling, drug-running, violence defines Mexican border testimony

2006 - Daily Bulletin: Border security hearings to begin

2006 - Daily Bulletin: Border Patrol tips Mexico on civilian border watch

2006 - Bordering on a War Zone, An Interview with Andy Ramirez
Ramirez describes the perilous situation along the Mexican border, and discusses Mexican Military Incursions Published by The New American Magazine

2005 - Riverside Press-Enterprise: Ex-goalie's border watch draws critics

2005 - Alpine Sun: Border Watch project to rely on local guidance

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Previous articles from 1993 - 2005

Daily Bulletin

Chino man to lead Friends to border

By Brenda Gazzar, Daily Bulletin (07-19-05)

Andy Ramirez of Chino is getting ready for the biggest battle of his professional life.

Ramirez is paving the way for hundreds of volunteers to monitor the California-Mexico border for illegal crossings in mid-September. Like the media-frenzied Minuteman Project in April at the Arizona border, Friends of the Border Patrol Border Watch is one of several recently organized civilian patrol groups whose members are dissatisfied with the federal government's handling of illegal immigration.

"With my disability, I've never been able to join the military ... Well, I've found another way to defend our nation as I see it," said Ramirez, 37, a stout, verbose man who suffers from multiple sclerosis. "President Bush, after 9/11, wanted Americans to step forward in service to this nation. That's exactly what Border Watch is."

Ramirez says nearly 800 people, mainly from California, have signed up for the operation scheduled to start Sept. 16. Ramirez, who has not announced how long the operation will last, declined to make the registration records public.

This past weekend, another civilian border watch group convened to monitor illegal crossings near El Campo, east of San Diego. The Minuteman Project is also expected to start patrolling the border of California, along with all other Southern states, for one month in October.

Border Watch, with an expected operating budget of roughly $20,000, has recently consumed the life of Ramirez, a grandson and great grandson of Latino immigrants.

The public relations-savvy Ramirez, who studied radio at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, has toured the northern and southern borders, discussed the operation with law enforcement officials and met with politicians to drum up support in Washington, D.C., including House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

He has also made guest appearances on high-profile shows such as CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" and "Fox & Friends" his first national exposure interview.

"I had to be up at 2 a.m. to be on camera at 4:15. That was hell," said Ramirez of his roughly five-minute segment on Fox & Friends. "I didn't mind, and I greatly enjoyed it, but that hour's ungodly when you are on the West Coast."

Ramirez seems to thrive on all of the attention to his cause, but the spotlight also has him and his Border Watch command team, made up of retired military officers, on guard.

"That's the biggest change," Ramirez said, explaining that the group will have a security team headed by a retired Los Angeles Police Department veteran. "Beforehand, you could operate under the radar; they heard your voice but did not see your face. Now that my face is all over because of television appearances, that's changed."

Such operations also have Border Patrol officials wary, and warning their agents not to assist Ramirez's operation for liability reasons, said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council. The border, particularly in Arizona and increasingly in California, is becoming a dangerous place, with assaults on Border Patrol officials occurring on a daily basis, he said.

"We greatly appreciate the attention they are bringing to the problem," Bonner said, adding that he understands the frustration citizens feel about their insecure borders. "We just worry that someone is going to get hurt."

Unlike the Minuteman Project in Arizona, only law enforcement officials, even in unincorporated areas, will be allowed to carry guns, Ramirez said.

In another difference, many Border Watch participants will be camping out in tents on site rather than in dormitories, since lodging facilities aren't near patrol sites. The exact stretches of border to be patrolled have yet to be announced.

"If anybody is expecting the Waldorf (hotel), think again," Ramirez said.

Ramirez is no stranger to the political spotlight. He ran unsuccessfully for the 60th District Assembly seat a decade ago, and again six months later in a 1995 recall for the same seat. In Los Angeles County, he helped change a policy to help patients with multiple sclerosis get their injectable medications without months of delay.

He has also worked behind the scenes with Ron Prince, who spearheaded Prop. 187, to halt the granting of public benefits and driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

Ramirez, who maintains an active Web site for his organization, founded Friends of the Border Patrol last summer following the Temecula Border Patrol station's arrests of hundreds of illegal residents in the streets of inland areas, including Ontario and Corona.

The roving patrol group's actions were halted after federal officials said the group overstepped its authority.

The Border Watch project by far is the largest project in which Ramirez has been involved.

"We are empowering local residents to do what it takes by peaceful and legal means to secure their portion of the border, and hopefully improve their quality of life," said Ramirez, who is married and has an 18-month-old daughter.

"Right now, most of them have to sleep with guns on their pillows. Our government does not control the borders, the smugglers do."

SGV Tribune

Finding a new arena

Editor's note: It's Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of area politics and city government. It was nine years ago and Andrew Ramirez, then of West Covina, was right in the middle of the May 1995 recall race that put the San Gabriel Valley on the statewide map.

Ramirez, now 36 and living in Chino, was running as a Democrat against then-Assemblyman Paul Horcher, R-Diamond Bar, who Republicans were trying to recall because of his vote for Democrat Assemblyman Willie Brown as speaker.

What Ramirez never told people at the time was that he had multiple sclerosis that had been diagnosed in 1990.

"I thought at the time that that it was my personal business,' Ramirez said. "I made an error. I could have done so much for the disabled community.'

Ramirez said he could have educated the public.

"This is an illness, but it doesn't mean you have to stop living,' he said.

Ramirez, who grew up in Baldwin Park, said his multiple sclerosis was a definite presence for him in the campaign.

"I had to work hard so it wouldn't be noticeable to people,' he said. The recall election was Ramirez's second run against Horcher; he had lost to him in the November 1994 general election.

Brown tried to dissuade Ramirez from running, but he refused.

Eventually Horcher was recalled and Republican Gary Miller was elected to replace him. Ramirez left the Democratic Party, re-registered as a Republican, and became an activist for multiple sclerosis care.

In 2000, while a patient at Los Angeles County Medical Center, he lobbied the county to allow patients to use medication needed to treat multiple sclerosis.

"In my case it's Copaxone, which costs about $10,000 a year,' he said. "I discovered the medication wasn't available through the county. A doctor could prescribe it, but you had to get a grant from the company to pay for it.'

Ramirez contacted Supervisor Mike Antonovich's office and eventually the county began carrying the drug and sought reimbursement from the state.

It's one of the things Ramirez is most proud of.

The other good news for him is that the medication he did get allowed him to begin walking again. At the time, he was using a wheelchair.

His multiple sclerosis is remitting, he said. That means he has an attack and then goes into remission.

"When my multiple sclerosis is active, my vision becomes blurry and I have a higher fatigue factor.'

Ramirez has remained active in politics as the media director for the Save Our State Initiative, a constitutional amendment to ban undocumented immigrants from getting a drivers' license.

He's also now a father - daughter Grace was born Dec. 16.

-Mike Sprague, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, March 13, 2004

Andy4Assembly Sign
Graphic replica of Andy's 1994/95 Campaign Sign

The Register

CIBPAC sought spoiler before
by Daniel M. Weintraub

The Orange County Register, March 28, 1996, News Section, Page 22

The California Independent Business PAC (Political Action Committee) - linked in grand jury transcripts to the recruitment of a Democatic spoiler in the Doris Allen recall election - according to a Democrat turned Republican from Los Angeles County.

Andy Ramirez of Pomona (West Covina), then a Democrat, ran in the race to succeed Assemblyman Paul Horcher when Horcher was recalled a year ago by GOP forces angry at him for voting to retain Democrat Willie Brown as Assembly Speaker.

Ramirez who has since become a Republican, told the Orange County Register that Catherine Rayner from CIBPAC called him while he was pondering his run. Rayner, Ramirez said, offered to reimburse him for the $720 it would cost to file his nominating papers.

Ramirez says he told Rayner he wouldn't mind getting some help. (Actually, I said if they sent money, I wanted the actual contributions donated to be $99 dollars per donation, as $100 triggers the reporting threshold, unlike $99 which is just below the disclosure amount.) A few days later a (single) check arrived (for the amount of $720) from a conservative group based in Sacramento. The candidate held the check for awhile before returning it, he said, because he feared that the connection with Republican would taint his campaign among Democratic voters.

"I just kept asking myself,'Does this look like a bribe to get into the race?'" Ramirez recalled in an interview. "In the end, I decided to refuse it." Rayner could not be reached for comment.

Recruiting candidates from the opposition party is not against the law.In the Orange County case, the district attorney has alleged that those involved broke the law because they gathered sigatures to qualify Democrat Laurie Campbell for the ballot and then conspired with Campbell to hide the fact that Republicans had circulated her petitions.

Daily Bulletin

"Horcher foe goes to GOP - Losing candidate rips former party"

"Ramirez, 27, flanked by Rep. David Dreier, R-28th District, and Charles House, executive director of the L.A. County Republican Party, said he no longer thinks the Democratic Party is the "party of the people. There is not a place for conservatives in the Democratic Party with Willie Brown around."

Ramirez lost to Horcher last November. Less than a month later, Horcher left the GOP and cast the deciding vote to keep Brown as Speaker even though Republicans won a majority of seats in the State Assembly. Outraged, Horcher's constituents and the Republican Party launched a recall against him. When the measure qualified for the ballot, Ramirez offered himself as the Democratic alternative in the event Horcher was recalled. Democrats urged him not to run, arguing his presence could help the recall and force the party out of power in Sacramento.

Dreier, whom Ramirez briefly ran against last year before deciding to run for the Assembly, said Ramirez's switch is a symptom of problems with the Democratic Party and its message. Ramirez was also compared to Democratic Members of Congress who have recently defected to the GOP.

"If you look across the country, there's a trend toward Democrats becoming Republicans. That's because the Democrats are bankrupt of ideas, California Republican Party spokesman Phil Paule stated."

*Note: Horcher was recalled & hired by Willie Brown to work in the San Francsico Waste Management Department.

-David Wert, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, May 31, 1995

San Diego Union-Tribune

"Democrat vying for Horcher seat must skate past Willie Brown, too"

"Ramirez is the lone Democrat on the ballot May 16 in a Republican-leaning suburban Los Angeles district, where the GOP will try to recall its archdefector, Assemblyman Paul Horcher of Whittier.

Horcher (after being re-elected) switched from Republican to Decline to State last December and cast the vote that continued the 14-year reign of Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, D-San Francisco. Now angry Republicans say it's payback time and more.

If Horcher is replaced with a Republican, the GOP should have the votes needed to break a deadlock and oust Brown, either immediately or later in the year as vacant seats are filled.

In the quirky world of politics here is where things get interesting. Ramirez said Brown and his lieutenants spent three months trying to talk him out of running, even dangling a job and hints of future help.

Why? Because Brown promised to defend Horcher. If there is a Democrat on the ballot, hard-core Democratic voters might reject the independent Horcher (a former Republican they voted against for years) and support a member of their own party.

"You have never known me to be guided by prudence," Brown said last week. "Loyalty is more important."

Campaign contribution reports for the first three months of the year showed that Democrats helped raise $435,000 for Horcher. He used $115,000 to pay off part of a campaign debt he has been carrying since 1990.

There is still time for Democrats, with or without Brown's blessing, to aid Ramirez. But Ramirez is vowing not to vote for Brown as Speaker.

In fact, Ramirez has asked prosecutors to look at harassment he allegedly suffered while filing at the last minute. He said Brown's aides, who had the registrar's office staked out, handed him a cellular phone for one final plea from a Brown lieutenant.

'I dont worry about safety," Ramirez said of the confrontation. I can take care of myself. I'm an ex-hockey player.'"

-Ed Mendel, San Diego Union Tribune, April 24, 1995

Daily Bulletin

The recall effort against one of those members, Inland Valley Assemblyman Paul V. Horcher, Decline to State-60th District, who voted for Brown and bolted the Republican Party Monday, is picking steam locally.

Meanwhile, Horcher's Democratic opponent in November's Assembly election, Andrew Ramirez, said Thursday an aide to Speaker Brown advised him to "stay away " from the recall effort.

Ramirez also said Democratic Assemblyman Louis Caldera D-Los Angeles asked him, "What can we do to save Horcher?" "I certainly did not encourage him," (Ramirez), said Caldera, who strongly backed a move to remove another Republican from the Assembly, which would have paved the way for a Brown victory.

He deserves it," Ramirez said of the recall. "He ran as something he wasn't and eroded the faith of his constituents." Ramirez said he wouldn't have voted for Brown "because he didn't do anything to help me achieve my goal of winning this district."

*Note: The recall occurred as California elected 41 Republicans to the State Assembly and Horcher changed his registration and voted for Willie Brown as Assembly Speaker. Brown, as Senior Member would be Speaker in a tie vote. Brown was later elected as Mayor of the City of San Francisco. Louis Caldera was appointed by President Clinton as Secretary of the Army in 1998."

-David Wert, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, December 9, 1994

Daily Bulletin

"Ontario - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Election Grid Campaign Reform-"

Andrew Ramirez: "Introduce legislative accountability act making politicians live by the same laws that we do. Enact spending limits. Prosecute candidates (and officeholders) who disregard pledges (and oaths) under penalty of perjury."

-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, April 23, 1995

Claremont Courier

"Ramirez readies election drive"

"He says that the main issue of 1994 will be jobs, particularly Mr. Dreier's support of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr. Ramirez argued that the treaty may bring 65,000 jobs in Mexico, but will provide no new jobs in the United States. "I think that one should be more interested in creating 65,000 jobs within the United States." NAFTA, Mr. Ramirez went on, will force the US to make concessions.

He also described himself as an advocate for children and the homeless. "I think we are spending too much money overseas and not enough money at home", he said.

*Note: Rep. David Dreier now serves as the Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

-Claremont Courier, July 28, 1993

Daily Bulletin

SGV Tribune

"A West Covina college student elected Chairman of a local Democratic Party central committee will announce today he plans to run against Republican U.S. Representative David Dreier next year.

Andrew Ramirez, 25, who has been attending Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, is one of the party's youngest officials. Ramirez then joined with other members of the California College Democrats to win key central committee seats and gain more influence for the party's youngest constituency.

Andrew Ramirez described himself as a conservative Democrat who grew up liking the Reagan administration's policies during the 1980s."

-Steven Tamaya, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, July 17, 1993

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