Debra Burlingame

Cruz for President Announces Women for Cruz Coalition

I am so honored to be one of the national co-chairs of Women for Ted Cruz.

Women for Cruz

HOUSTON, Texas — Today, Presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced the formation of “Women for Cruz” – a coalition of more than 23,000 members and led by accomplished, distinguished women from a variety of backgrounds. Women for Cruz will work to spread the campaign’s message throughout the country highlighting how Cruz’s policies will benefit women. National Co-Chairs include Cecilia Abbott, Becky Bontrager, Debra Burlingame, Kaye T. Goolsby, Jewels Green, Rebecca Hagelin, Commander Theresa Hubbard, Katie Kieffer, Melissa Klein, Rachel Little, Jenny Beth Martin, Mica Mosbacher, Ann Marie Murrell, Betty Poe, Sandy Rios, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, and Julianne Thompson.

“I am humbled and honored to have the support of these strong, capable, talented women who represent the strength and leadership of women across the country,” said Cruz. “Bold and courageous, these women come from diverse walks of life, all fighting to bring our country back from the precipice. The energy and commitment of these women, in particular, make me more dedicated to restore and reignite the promise of America.”

On the heels of the endorsement by Texas governor Greg Abbott, Ted was delighted when the First Lady of the Lone Star State agreed to help lead Women for Cruz. “Ted is a courageous, common-sense conservative with the right values and principles to lead our country into a bigger and brighter future,” said Cecilia Abbott. “America needs a strong, fearless leader, and that leader is Ted. I am honored to support him for President of the United States.”

Cecilia Abbott has devoted her life to serving others. She was a teacher, vice-principal and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas. She then went on to work as the managing director of community relations for a company specializing in senior adult health care facilities and services. Cecilia believes in giving back to our communities. She serves on the board of several organizations and educational institutions, and is a member of numerous philanthropic groups. Most importantly, Cecilia is a proud mother to her daughter, Audrey, and a devoted wife to her husband of 34 years, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. With her husband’s election as Governor, Cecilia made history by becoming the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas.

Constitutional conservatism is the bedrock of the Cruz campaign and Ted is grateful to have the support of powerful constitutional conservatives including Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, a longtime activist for conservative causes. She has worked as a top congressional advisor, a senior political appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor, and a senior executive with The Heritage Foundation. Her popular video series at the Daily Caller News Foundation focuses on conservative leaders who are breaking through in today’s politics. For many years she has been an advocate for conservatives and is a conservative media talent in her own right.

Ted Cruz has a long-standing record of defending life, marriage, the family and religious liberty. He is proud to align himself with women who share his commitment. Rebecca Hagelin is a bestselling author and pro-life speaker who has advocated pro-life, family, faith, and freedom policy for over 25 years. A former vice president of The Heritage Foundation, Rebecca is a columnist, public speaker, and author of Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That’s Gone Stark Raving Mad and 30 Ways in 30 Days to Protect Your Family. Rebecca was named one of the nation’s Top 10 Evangelical Women by Concerned Women for America in 2006. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk and is the secretary and an executive committee member of the Council for National Policy.

Jenny Beth Martin serves as the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman and is one of the founders of the modern Tea Party movement. Under her leadership, Tea Party Patriots has grown to be the largest and most effective national umbrella group within the Tea Party movement. She reaches millions of Americans every week with education and updates about fiscal responsibility, free market principles, and constitutionally limited government. In 2010 Time Magazine listed Jenny Beth Martin as one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in the World.

Melissa Klein owns the Oregon cake shop, Sweet Cakes by Melissa. She was persecuted for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding because of her religious beliefs. Melissa was forced to close her business and continue her work at home.

Jewels Green is a former abortion clinic worker who was pressured into an abortion as a teenager and survived a subsequent suicide attempt. She is a mother, writer, public speaker, volunteer, and tireless advocate for the right to life from conception to natural death. Jewels is featured in the documentary film 40 and her candid articles have been published online and in print. Jewels Green was a featured speaker this year at the March for Life in Washington D.C.

Becky Bontrager, her husband Marlin, and their 10 homeschool educated children reside on a dairy, grain, and hog farm in Kalona, IA. The whole family loves working together as a team both on the farm and in their travels throughout the country with their family ministry and band, the Bontrager Family Singers. Becky and her family are also involved in their church and local community and host several family encouragement events that draw well over a thousand each year.

The Women for Cruz coalition is comprised of many gifted communicators and women who use their media platforms to advance the conservative cause. Among them is Ann-Marie Murrell, the publisher and editor of She is the co-author of the bestselling book, “What Women (Really) Want.” Ann-Marie is a frequent political commentator on television and radio including Fox & Friends, Hannity, the Dr. Phil Show, CNN, C-SPAN and more. Ann-Marie is a native Texan and a direct descendent of Captain John Yeary, who arrived in the Republic of Texas 3 years after the Battle of the Alamo. She has become e a symbol of the effort to restore religious liberty in the U.S.

Sandy Rios is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association, one of America’s largest, pro-family grassroots organizations, and host of “Sandy Rios in the Morning” on AFR Talk which can be heard on nearly 200 stations through the American Family Radio Network.

Katie Kieffer is an entrepreneur, author, commentator, public speaker, and weekly national columnist. Random House recently published her first book titled Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope. Katie chaired a National NAIOP Young Professionals Forum of rising stars in commercial real estate. She was also named one of “Twin Cities 25 Youngest Professionals.”

Ted Cruz recognizes the threats to our national security and is committed to keeping Americans safe. He is honored to have National Co-Chairs of Women for Cruz who are leaders in the national security space. Commander Theresa Hubbard first entered the service by enlisting in the United States Coast Guard Reserve in 1989. She was commissioned in the United States Coast Guard Reserve in 1998 in Yorktown, Virginia and has served in a variety of administrative and operational billets throughout her career. She spent seven years on active duty as a Reserve Program Administrator from 2002 to 2008. Commander Hubbard has received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal with gold star and the “O” device, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal with gold star, Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Port Security Unit insignia.

Debra Burlingame is the sister of Captain Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Ms. Burlingame is the co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America. A former attorney, Ms. Burlingame was a producer at Court TV where she covered dozens of civil and criminal legal proceedings ranging from the OJ Simpson trial and the Clinton impeachment hearings to the Microsoft anti-trust case. She has written numerous feature articles for the Wall Street Journal and other national publications on terrorism and national security issues.

The Cruz campaign is a grassroots effort that has been successful due to the commitment of political leaders across the country. Women for Cruz National Co-Chair Kaye T. Goolsby is a former Texas Federation of Republican Women officer, a former Board Member of National Federation of Republican Women and was honored as one of the 10 Outstanding Republican Women in Texas. She currently serves as the National Grassroots Chairwoman for the Cruz campaign.

Mica Mosbacher is the author of the memoir, Racing Forward, a philanthropist, and advocate on social issues prompting legislation such as funding for sexual assault victims. She has co-chaired two presidential campaigns, John McCain and Rick Perry, and served as Inaugural Chair for Governor Perry. Mica is a frequent contributor to Fox News and Fox Business. She is the widow of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Bob Mosbacher.

Rachel Little is Georgia Co-Chair for the Cruz for President campaign and the immediate past Chairman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party. She recently received the Georgia Republican Party Chairman of the Year Award. She was recognized as the Woman of the Year by the Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta and served as Mitt Romney’s and Herman Cain’s Georgia state co-chair in 2012.

Julianne Thompson is one of Georgia’s most active Republican leaders and serves as Georgia Co-Chair for the Cruz for President campaign. She is the former co-chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party and co-founder of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders, Georgia’s largest political coalition, and a former press secretary of the Georgia Republican Party.

Betty Poe, a retired insurance executive, is the immediate past 1st Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Women, an organization with over 60,000 members nationwide. She has served previously in numerous political roles including State President of the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women and the Greenville County Republican Party Chairman. Mrs. Poe is an avid Clemson Tiger fan, and has helped to raise millions of dollars for the university.


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Debra Burlingame to Paul Ryan: Why are you paling around with FALN terror apologist Luis Gutierrez?

Office of Cong. Paul Ryan
FAX: (202) 225-3393

April 23, 2013

Dear Congressman Ryan,

This message is to let you know how disappointing it was to see the news story dismissing the Boston bombings relevance to an effort to push through immigration reform without due consideration of the contents of the legislation. This dismissal was especially chilling given the fact that your immigration reform partner, Luis Gutierrez, was the chief spokesman for the political wing of the FALN terrorist organization, which carried out 146 bombings in a 25 year period, killing nine people and injuring and maiming dozens. [Ed. —See pdf file listing attacks, injuries, and damages.]

As I outlined in a lengthy piece for the Wall Street Journal, [Ed. — No pay wall.] Rep. Gutierrez was the chief advocate for the pardoning of 16 convicted FALN members, whose sentences ranged up to 90 years. These men and women were so dangerous, they were shackled for their trial and the presiding judge wore a gun under his robes because they had threatened to kill him in open court.

Rep. Gutierrez, against all evidence (including FBI undercover videotape of these people making bombs), called them “political prisoners” and threatened to marshal the Puerto Rican community against the Clintons, and Vice President Al Gore, then preparing a presidential run.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Mr. Gutierrez would not be alarmed by the fact that a wannabe terrorist under scrutiny by the FBI would be a candidate for U.S. citizenship. Terrorists have a history of defrauding the U.S. immigration system, gaming the political asylum process, and using the guest worker program to gain temporary access to the U.S., only to disappear into the population. Our overburdened system doesn’t bother to look for them. Several of the 1993 bombers came in through the Ag Jobs program. The 9/11 hijackers overstayed tourist visas. The Millennium bomber gamed the immigration system in Canada, and tried to enter the U.S. through Port Washington. He was only stopped because of an astute border agent.

Please be warned that Luis Gutierrez is NOT a good faith partner in this effort, and his history with the FALN is proof of that. The record is replete with his letters, and threats. I am including the piece I wrote for the Journal. All of my source documents were found in the Congressional investigation that took place in the wake of these pardons. Among the people I interviewed was the chief FBI agent, Rick Hahn, who hunted the FALN for years, as well as the NYC bomb squad officers who were permanently disabled in the bombings.

I have informed Joseph Connor, whose father was killed in the FALN Fraunces Tavern bombing in New York City, of your partnership with Mr. Gutierrez and your joint affirmation that the Boston bombings have no relevance to immigration legislation.

Very truly yours,

Debra Burlingame
Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America

9/11 Families: Thomson Prison Purchase First Step to Bring Gitmo Detainees to U.S. Soil (Updated with DOJ filing)

Updated 6:05 PM EDT, Oct 2, 2012: The Department of Justice filed a notice of condemnation in U.S. District Court today to take possession of Thomson Prison. In part, the purpose of the acquisition reads as follows:

“… as well as to provide humane and secure confinement of individuals held under authority of any Act of Congress, and such other persons as in the opinion of the Attorney General of the United States are proper subjects for confinement in such institutions.”

The detainees at Guantanamo are being held under an Act of Congress, the Authorization to Use Military Force of 2001.

9/11 Families: Thomson Prison Purchase First Step to Bring Gitmo Detainees to U.S. Soil

Oct. 2, 2012
9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America
Debra Burlingame

New York, NY, October, 2, 2012 — 9/11 families strongly object to the Obama administration’s plan to purchase Thomson Correctional Facility in Thomson, Illinois without Congressional approval. As stated in our July 27 letter, signed by more than 100 family members, to House Speaker John Boehner, 9/11 families believe this purchase is a back door effort to circumvent Congress and the will of the American people. Though Senator Dick Durbin and Attorney General Eric Holder have denied that the prison would be retrofitted to receive Guantanamo detainees, this would not be the first time the Department of Justice defied Congress in an effort to bring terrorists inside the Homeland.

Recent news that the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was led by a former Guantanamo detainee has underscored the dangerous profile of current detainees. They continue to pose a serious national security threat to the U.S., and should not be viewed as political pawns which can be moved from a safe, secure off-shore military installation to the heart of America in order to satisfy a small, left-wing political constituency. This is the same constituency that agitated for the release of prior detainees who have returned to the battlefield and who engage in anti-U.S. propaganda and terrorist recruiting.

Mr. Durbin admitted in today’s announcement that the purchase, made in open defiance of the House subcommittee which overseas federal prisons, was unprecedented. Coupled with President Obama’s 2011 signing statement on legislation barring funds to transfer Gitmo detainees to the U.S. — calling the legislation “an extreme and risky encroachment on the authority of the executive branch” — we have no confidence that the Obama administration will defer to the wishes of the American people and their elected representatives on the matter of Guantanamo.

This misappropriation of funds and flouting of Congressional authority goes to the very heart of the public’s distrust of the Obama administration and the ever-widening gap between what it says and what it does.