A Laredo-based bank is pushing back against criticism of its CEO's involvement in a fundraiser for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, arguing that the CEO, Dennis Nixon, will stand up to Trump like he has to fellow Texas Republicans over the years.
"Donald Trump is no different and will receive no special treatment," Eddie Aldrete, senior vice president of IBC Bank, wrote in a letter dated Wednesday. "That’s because Mr. Nixon does believe Mr. Trump is misinformed on border security and immigration reform. But unlike others who stand quietly, Dennis Nixon will make his voice heard, but he will do it from a position of strength."
Aldrete's letter came in response to a missive from the Texas House Border Caucus, led by Democratic Rep. César Blanco of El Paso, pressuring the bank over Nixon's role in Trump's campaign in Texas. Nixon is among the hosts of a fundraiser for Trump on Friday afternoon in San Antonio.
In the letter, Aldrete emphasized that Nixon's support for Trump is a "personal choice" and that the bank does not make political endorsements. Aldrete took issue with the lawmakers' statement that Nixon is aligning himself with "Donald Trump's bigotry," saying Nixon does not support any bigotry but is simply following through on his pledge to support the Republican nominee.
Aldrete also provided a detailed account of how Nixon has worked over the years in opposition to one of Trump's signature proposals: building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal immigration.
"Regarding the border wall, you will not find a stronger opponent of the border wall on Texas soil," Aldrete wrote.
Also in the letter, Aldrete challenged Blanco to speak out against his own party's nominee, Hillary Clinton. Aldrete said Clinton wrongly supports, among other things, the continuation of Dodd-Frank financial regulations, which have "put us on the path of losing a community bank every day."
Trump's fundraiser Friday afternoon in San Antonio is part of a two-day swing through Texas that is set to end this evening in the Houston area with another fundraiser and a rally. He marked the one-year anniversary of his campaign Thursday at a rally in Dallas.
Disclosure: Dennis Nixon, the International Bank of Commerce and Eddie Aldrete have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.