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February 25, 2014

Making An Additional Endorsement -- HD 150

I don't usually make endorsements for races I can't vote in, but I'm going to make an exception here and make an endorsement in a race on the other side of Harris County. However, this incident leads me to question the fitness of the incumbent, Debbie Riddle, for any office.

Tuesday took a much different turn however, and when the incumbent both she and I were at the Champion Life Centre at 3031 FM 2920 approached a member of my staff who was placing signs at the location and began yelling at him, I walked over to diffuse the situation.

What ensued sickens me.

I politely said, Mrs. Riddle, to which she replied Dont talk to me, you think youre in the Middle East. You dont put signs up like that in America.

Stunned, although not necessarily surprised, she continued her insensitive remarks, Youre a thief and a crook running for state rep. You need to go back to your country and run a campaign. You cant put signs up like that in America.

Last time I checked, there was no American rule that you can put political signs up on only one side of a driveway -- but if that were the extent of Riddle's attacks on her opponent, I'd let that comment slide as a one-off. Unfortunately, I've since heard from multiple sources that Riddle is spreading false claims about her opponent's religion Noun is a Maronite -- a member of one of the Eastern Rite Catholic churches that are in union with Rome. Riddles has repeatedly insinuated that Noun is a Muslim in an effort to appeal to less than savory sentiments on the part of a segment of the electorate. That violates the spirit (though not the letter) of the Constitution's ban on tests for religious office.

I'm therefore invoking the same principles I did in the 2010 Harris County District Clerk race.

We live in a nation and a state where we forbid religious tests for office. And while any voter may choose to make a candidate's religion a factor in his/her decision to vote for or against that candidate, it is unseemly for any candidate to explicitly appeal to such prejudice. [In 1960, John F. Kennedy] came to Houston and offered a forthright vision of America that stands in sharp contrast to th[is] sort of religious bigotry and division. . . -- "I believe in an America where. . . no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from. . . the people who might elect him."

Debbie Riddle has rejected that principle -- I therefore reject Debbie Riddle, and endorse Tony Noun for Representative in HD150. He is clearly a better American than his opponent -- and Texas needs true patriots who have a deeper understanding and appreciation of what this country is about than Debbie Riddle has. I urge those who have not yet done so to cast their ballot for Tony Noun.





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February 22, 2014

Coming Soon To A Polling Place Near You!

My friend Kelly spotted this near an early voting location here in Harris County.

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Rumor has it they are popping up at other locations as well -- and may appear in a number of precincts on election day itself.

And hopefully you recognize the language at the top of the sign.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party condemns the practice of "pay to play" endorsements, in which supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement;

And that resolution is even posted on the Harris County Republican Party website. So spread the official position of Harris County Republicans to fellow GOP Primary voters:

FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS VOTE CORRUPT PAY-TO-PLAY SLATES!





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Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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February 21, 2014

From The Dumb Nanny State Ideas File

If mom and dad dont take a state mandated set of classes, the kids lose their education after sixth grade?

New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don't go, 6th graders won't move onto 7th grade.

* * *

The bill states one of the courses would be related to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children.

Employers would be required to provide one day a year of paid leave so working parents can attend classes.

Well, it is New York, where they think they can regulate your soda size and treat the RIGHT to keep and bear arms as a privilege. Personally, I think we need to require all new York legislators to complete an annual course on fundamental human rights and the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution.





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But Did He Really Do Anything Different Than Those Who Call Other Republicans RINOs?

No, I dont agree with former Rep. Steven LaTourettes comment about Ted Cruz but is it any more offensive than the statements of some of those who attack John McCain or John Cornyn as Republicans In Name Only because they disagree with Ted Cruz on something, whether that disagreement is over substance or tactics?

Former Rep. Steven LaTourette is a member in the establishment's war on the Tea Party. His deceptively named "Defending Main Street" PAC is being financed primarily by Wall Street and labor unions, which have contributed at least 20% to the group's fundraising haul.

In an appearance on MSNBC's The Last Word on Tuesday, LaTourette said that Cruz was "reprehensible" for forcing Republicans to go on the record to advance a bill to raise the debt ceiling without reducing spending. Cruz forced those like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) to vote to move the bill to the floor. McConnell said he had to act to "protect the country" before then voting against final passage of the bill, which passed with no Republican support.

"I don't think he is a Republican, to tell you the truth," LaTourette said on MSNBC, dividing Republicans on a liberal outlet that has vilified Republicans to the point where RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had previously called for a boycott. "I wish he would stop being a Republican and leave the party. That would be a nice thing."

Now I like Ted Cruz and usually agree with him on substantive things but I do not always agree with him on tactical matters (or at least understand why others might have a different view when I do agree). And sadly, we often find that charge hurled by those whose inability to persuade has made them desperate like this recent email from the Jared Woodfill campaign regarding those who (like me) do not support his reelection as Harris County Republican Chairman.

JaredHotzeRINO.JPG

Of course, such calls go against the message of the man who provides the gold standard for measuring true Republicans and true conservatives Ronald Reagan.

So tell me, when are the my way or the highway Republicans of all stripes -- going to get with the program and listen to the man who was responsible for the renaissance of conservative Republicanism? When will they quit paying lip-service to the man at Lincoln/Reagan Dinners and instead start actually doing the things he said? In others, when will they quit being Reaganite In Name Only?





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Big Dem Donors Indicted In Church Arson

Gotta love the union THUGS.

The federal government on Tuesday indicted multiple union members for burning down a Quaker church in 2012.

Ten members of a Philadelphia ironworkers union face charges of arson and racketeering in connection with a fire against the church, which was employing non-union workers.

Ironworkers Local 401 [was charged] with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to commit criminal acts of extortion, arson, destruction of property, and assault in order to force construction contractors to hire union ironworkers, the FBI said in a press release. Specifically, the indictment charges RICO conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, three counts of arson, two counts of use of fire to commit a felony, and conspiracy to commit arson. Eight of the 10 individuals named in the indictment are charged with conspiring to use Ironworkers Local 401 as an enterprise to commit criminal acts.

The group of self-described THUGSan acronym for Those Helpful Union Guysallegedly burned down the meetinghouse as part of a wider campaign of violence against non-union work sites across the city.

So tell me why do these racketeering organizations get special protection under the law, including the ability to legally extort dues from unwilling workers as a condition of their employment? Oh -- it's the ">campaign donations!





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Will This Make Conservatives Support A Minimum Wage Increase?

From The Hill:


Boehner: Id rather kill myself than raise the minimum wage





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February 20, 2014

Excess Campaign Contribution Kerfluffle Raises A Different Issue Than It First Appears

For those closely following the harris County Republican primary, the issue of campaign donations to Judge M.L. "Meca" Walker has been a tempestuous controversy. For those not following the race, the issue is almost certainly below the radar. So let me toss out the bare-bones facts for you.

Local judicial candidate Meca Walker said she has returned campaign contributions given to her in violation of Texas ethics rules by employees of Houston auto magnate Don McGill, who has a pending divorce case in the Harris County family court over which she is seeking to preside.

Walker currently is the associate judge in that state district court, the 247th. The campaign contributions in question, $5,000 each from four Don McGill Toyota employees and their wives for a total of $40,000, were made in a single day in December.

* * *

State law limits the amount a person or couple can donate to a judicial candidate to $5,000.

Walker said she returned the excess contributions on Tuesday after receiving confirmation from the Texas Ethics Commission that the donations were greater than the limit, something she did not know.

"This is just a huge, innocent mistake that is being blown to epic proportions and it doesn't have to be," she said.

Now I'm not going to get into the matter of what candidate has been pushing this story and what former associate judge and court clerk are hoping to get positions under that candidate in the event Walker is not elected. Frankly, that is not my focus -- though it was a major issue in my decision not to endorse that other candidate and my vow to never endorse that former associate judge for any office in the future.

No, my focus is much different from the petty politics at work here.

It is, in fact, on the Constitution of the United States and how the law that led to the return of the excess donations may itself be an affront to the Constitution.

Consider what the law says -- that a married couple are to be treated as a single unit for making campaign donations to judicial candidates (and only judicial candidates). It halves the level of political contributions that two individuals are allowed to make to the same candidate based upon their exercise of a fundamental human right -- the right to marry. That, my friends, seems to me to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with Equal Protection Clause jurisprudence, you have to realize that the courts use one of three standards when examining a law that treats people differently because of some status or classification. Three are a couple different levels of scrutiny to which such classifications are subject.

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You may ask -- which level of scrutiny applies in this case? Now I'm not a lawyer, but I'd argue a case can be made that strict scrutiny should apply, due to the fact that a fundamental right (participation in the political process) is restricted due to the exercise of another fundamental right (the right to marry). After all, an individual's right to contribute to the candidate of his or her choice is restricted due to marital status -- an unmarried couple living together, even one with commingled assets, would be allowed to contribute twice as much to a particular judicial candidate than to a judicial candidate than a married couple is permitted to donate.

But I'll be honest -- I do not know if the law in question even survives a rational basis review. After all, there really is not a reasonable basis for limiting campaign contributions to to judicial candidates -- and only judicial candidates -- in this way. Every argument that would justify such a limitation would require that the total contributions to a single judicial race be so limited, not merely those to a single candidate in that race. What's more, those same arguments would rationally require that the limit be extended to all contributions to candidates for any political office, not merely judicial candidates. It is therefore fair to say that the disparate treatment of married couples lacks a sound rationale and therefore cannot stand up to under even the deferential standard for examining non-suspect classifications for Equal Protection infirmities.

Of course, our legal system is such that only real cases or controversies are considered by our federal courts. In order for there to be a ruling on the matter, someone would need to bring suit in federal court, alleging an actual harm. That would mean that some couple would have to come forward alleging harm and file suit in federal court -- something I doubt will ever happen because the cost of such a suit would far exceed the benefit of being able to donate an extra $5000 to the judicial campaign of their choice. As such, I hope that the Texas Legislature will take this matter up during its 2015 session and undo this act of discrimination against married couples.





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About Fascism

Just sayin'.

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H/T Doug Ross





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February 18, 2014

A Word From A Sponsor On ADHD

ADHD Test That Can Diagnose the Behavioral Disorder

You probably might have heard this a hundred times, stimulant medicine is one of the most efficient ways to treat youngsters with ADHD but there are lots of side effects that could occur. Every time you are doing hear this, you may be thinking, what are the ADHD meds without negative effects? Well, the solution to that question is none should you be only talking about stimulants along with other medications prescribed by doctors. Looking for stimulants your people often decides to buy Modafinil somewhere online.

Studies have shown that between 5 - 10% of school-aged children develop ADHD. As a parent, you most likely want to know why some kids get ADHD while some don't. If there have been a certain "type" of child who develops ADHD, then it would be a lot better to prevent the disorder from emerging completely. But unfortunately, there isn't any. So is there in any manner for you to determine whether your child are at risk for getting ADHD? Are there known risk factors to developing the disorder?

People with ADHD tend to be very intelligence. Several studies identified a large proportion of people with ADHD also possess above average IQs. This intelligence is not always evident in formal learning environments. Standardized tests are used to test intelligence and learning. People with ADHD are apt to have trouble with standardized tests because we see the question, choose, our answer, and continue. We find checking our techniques to be tedious. However, whenever we learn about an interest, especially one we are very enthusiastic about, we show the opportunity to learn in a short time.

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Sometimes, supplements, diets, and therapy aren't enough to help you a child overcome his or her ADHD symptoms. If you are you trying to find a new ADHD natural treatment, why not include some green time to your child's life? According to current research, playing or exploring natural settings like forests or beaches really are a big help for the kids with ADHD.

There are many doctors now who will be convinced that the drugs are being over prescribed for ADHD. In addition, like that was not enough, ADHD will be over diagnosed.. The Harvard Medical School in a recent paper estimates that as much as 8 to 10% of youngsters may have ADHD. Also there could be around 2.5 million children being treated with these medications.

Medical journals advise that there is a strong link between genetics and ADHD. While scientists never have yet identified a certain gene that carries ADHD, studies do reveal that 75 - 91% of individuals with ADHD will spread the disorder to another two generations. So if your folks or many aunts and uncles exhibited symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, there is a high chance that this disorder could have been handed down for your children. But just for the reason that relationship between genetics and ADHD exists does not mean that genetics will be the only cause. Genetics simply makes someone predisposed to the disorder. ADHD itself will still only start to set in when certain environmental factors talk with the genetic predisposition.

Ways to Succeed With ADHD

Medicine for ADHD is not just a cure for this disease. Most of the time people who have ADHD have problems in forming relations with others. As the medicine is not a cure for ADHD, herbal products can be utilized because people think they are natural and would not leave negative effects. To help people cope up we must make an effort to adopt the behavior they expect from us, and then in that form, we shall help them learn interacting skills and excellent communication skills. We should not stifle available exuberance. Firstly the objective of ADHD drugs are to help people cope up with difficulties they face due to disorder, which can or may not affect the an affiliate a negative way. Most popular approach is to buy Adderall online at pharmacy, there is many of them online.

Modafinil and Adderall informations





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February 17, 2014

Which Party Is Anti-Science?

Hint -- it isn't Republicans.

astro.jpg

No wonder these idiots believe the junk science behind the Climate Change Cult.





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Book Smart, Lacking Common Sense

These kids need to be told not to do this? Really?

At Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, some students unaccustomed to bears have made it a game on campus to "spank" the animals with a pat on the butt, another game to "pet" one. One student resorted to feeding a bear an apple after deciding it was a bad idea to spank him, according to a November report in the student newspaper.

Dear God -- they are freaking BEARS! I know that you used to snuggle up at night with Teddy or Paddington, but these are not stuffed toys. Leave the bears alone!





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A Word About US Senate Candidate Steve Stockman

Since early voting starts tomorrow in Texas, I thought I would offer a reminder to my fellow Texans about one of the candidate in the race for United States Senate.

StockmanForSenate.jpg

He says it is all lies -- but his own words and public records tell us exactly who Steve Stockman is and why he should not be representing us in the US Senate.





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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

The weekly Watcher's Council Forum deals with the issue of whether or not the American republic can be saved. Here was my response.

Do I think the republic can be saved? Yeah, I do. Maybe because I just had a little taste of what a handful of average folks can accomplish if they dont give up and take a stand for removing the corruption from the system. For some time, we have been complaining about a problem down here in Harris County, Texas. The grassroots activists of the Harris County Republican party a motley crew of Tea Partiers, libertarian conservatives, social conservatives, and Reagan conservatives stood up entrenched powers who were more about enriching and empowering themselves and some of the folks they put in place. Not only that, but our little effort has garnered interest from around the state and may result in a change in direction for the Texas GOP as well, since our corner of the state is the biggest source of votes in Texas.

So if you are interested in knowing how this plays out on a national level, it is this We the People can bring about the change if we work to make it happen. Folks like Senator Mike Lee implicitly acknowledge this. Congress and Congressmen dont have the standing to sue Obama in court for his violations of the Constitution, and the Democrats in the Senate have made it clear that they will never vote to remove Obama if the House impeaches him for his high crimes and misdemeanors. That means it is up to us to fix the problem.

What do we need to do? We need to organize and vote following the old Buckley Rule of voting for the most conservative electable candidate. Maybe that candidate isnt my type of conservative but we know that failing to vote for that conservative means empowering Obama and his henchman to continue to abuse their power and destroy the republic. It means that we are going to face more years and decades of the Constitution being trampled by those like Obama and his progressive hordes until our rights are no more respected than were the rights of Soviet citizens under the Soviet Constitution. Indeed, it seems that the goal of Obama and his ilk are to guarantee many of the same rights that were promised to the proletariat by the slavemasters in the Kremlin, but we have already seen that the fulfillment of these promises will be at the same substandard level as in that failed state in which liberty was denied in the name of the common good of the working people.

And let me add to this one other thing we need to do we need to support the proposed Convention of States. The time has come to refresh and reinvigorate our Constitution by passing amendments that address current problems and correct current abuses. Given that the decision of 13 states to not adopt a bad amendment will have the effect of killing it, the danger of harm is minimal while the opportunity to fix our nations problems is great.

I encourage you to read the rest -- my fellow members of the Council have a variety of views.

And since I failed to post the results of the weekly vote over teh weekend, here are those results as well.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners





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February 16, 2014

Since Folks Are Asking Me About It

I really wasn't going to blog on Lisa Falkenberg's Houston Chronicle column from Friday. However, I've gotten multiple requests to comment on it, and so I'll do so.

So let's take a few moments to annotate and expand upon it

Year after year, come election time, Republican precinct chairman Greg Aydt would look around his Seabrook polling place and shake his head at all the primary voters holding political mailers full of somebody else's choices.

"I keep seeing people come in with these pay-to-play mailers and all the slates," says Aydt, who has been a precinct chairman in the area since 2002. "They simply vote down the ballot. Whatever Steve Hotze has to say, whatever Gary Polland has to say, whatever Terry Lowry has to say, they vote that way."

As an east side high school government teacher, it bothered him that many of these voters were entrusting their decisions to a few kingmakers and a paid endorsement process they might know nothing about. But as an election judge, duty-bound to remain neutral at the polls, he kept his mouth shut.

Let me let you in on a little secret here -- the thing I love most about being the precinct chair down here in Seabrook is that I get to be the election judge. I enjoy setting up the polls and running them all day on election day. Some of my fellow precinct chairs of both parties hate that job, but I look forward to it every time we head out to vote in a primary or general election. Indeed, a couple of years back I thought about giving up the position of precinct chair and kept it only because I wanted to continue to be the election judge. It is that important to me.

And yes, I cringe every time I see a voter walk into the building with one of those slates. It isn't that I necessarily disagree with the endorsements made by any of the "Big Three" slatemakers -- I often agree with them on a lot of the races, even if I do not this year. It is just that I've learned over the years about how they operate, and hate to see them go from being slatemakers (heck, I endorse my own slate every election) to kingmakers by leveraging their endorsements into a moneymaker for themselves. And when I hear stories about one of the slatemakers holding endorsement interviews with a political consultant for an opposing candidate at the table next to him, another violating election law by charging different rates for the same sort of ad, and a third telling a candidate seeking an endorsement to "talk to your treasurer", I cannot help but feel that there is a need to speak out against them in as powerful and public a manner as possible.

Then came Hotze's endorsement of embattled family court Judge Denise Pratt this year.

Pratt came under fire last year amid accusations of falsifying court orders to cover up tardy rulings. That led to the resignation of her lead clerk and an investigation by the Harris County District Attorney's Office and a grand jury, which eventually declined to indict her. Pratt later abruptly, bizarrely purged hundreds of cases in her court, apparently without proper notice to attorneys and their clients.

"She's a nice lady, personally, but she's a disaster as a judge. Yet, this pay-to-play slate has endorsed her," Aydt said. "Here is a judge who is not well-respected by the lawyers in her courtroom, not well-respected by the litigants, clearly doing a horrendous judge of running her court, but she's going to be the best candidate running?

"This is someone we need to get rid of and, yet, because of the money going to this slate, there's a chance of her being re-elected and that's really troubling."

Yeah -- I've written about Denise Pratt a couple of times. She needs to go. Read these two posts for details. And yes, I've made my endorsement in the race -- Anthony Magdaleno -- and believe he is exactly the sort of individual we need to elect, but I will endorse anyone who finds themselves in a runoff (or general election) against Pratt

Pratt has one thing going for her that may have influenced Hotze's endorsement: She hired Allen Blakemore, Hotze's own political consultant and friend, who has great sway over the doctor's picks.

"Yes, I get the last word," Blakemore told me, "but that doesn't mean he's going to endorse all my clients. He doesn't."

Yeah, but as I said -- should Blakemore even be in the room and having a voice in the process when Hotze makes endorsements? Isn't that really a conflict of interest?

The "big three" kingmakers in Harris County Republican politics have been criticized through the years for soliciting contributions or "newsletter" ad buys from candidates they endorse. Radio show host Lowry is the most blatant offender of the democratic process: He has acknowledged he runs a "for-profit business," something akin to the Houston Chronicle. Thankfully for the Chronicle, our advertising staff and editorial page editor aren't the same person.

Lack of diversity

The Pratt endorsements only contributed to Aydt's other concerns about the slates, which go beyond money. Aydt, who teaches at an overwhelmingly minority public school, has been worried by the lack of diversity in the kingmaker's slates.

"It appears when given the choice between a white candidate and a non-white candidate they always vote for a whiter shade of pale. That disturbs me greatly," he said. "I see this and think 'will many of my students, who hold values similar to mine, will they ever consider voting that way when they grow up?'"

Want to know what I'm talking about here? I suggest you read this post over at Big Jolly, which documents what I'm talking about (I'd been preparing a similar post when Dave Jennings beat me to it). And sorry that I could not resist the Procul Harum reference -- why don't we take a moment for a musical interlude.

Aydt knew he couldn't stay on the sidelines anymore. And, as a humble teacher and conservative blogger with no political prospects, he didn't really have too much to lose.

Taking a position

"I felt it was time to take a stand," he said.

But wait -- aren't I always taking a stand here at Rhymes With Right? Yeah, I am. But let's be honest -- I've long acknowledged that this is a boutique blog read by a smallish group of regulars and occasional visitors who stumble across my writing. I'm not one of the big-time bloggers, and that's fine with me. Besides, writing on my blog alone wasn't going to address the problem that I have heard so many comment upon over the last few years, and so when presented with the most obvious example of the taint introduced by these slates I decided to do something more -- something that might make a difference.

So he did. A couple of weeks ago, Aydt began circulating language for a proposed party resolution condemning the pay-to-play practice. He says he got a good response from friends and quickly amassed co-sponsors.

Then, Tuesday night, he presented a resolution at the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting. The language specifically states that the party condemns the practice of pay-to-play endorsements, "in which supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement."

I wrote the first draft of the resolution in about an hour on Saturday, February 1, based upon things that had been in my heart for some time. It included support for Voter ID and a much more elaborate conflict of interest clause -- the latter was rewritten and the former dropped. It also did not include any suggestion of posting the resolution or communicating it to candidates. Those changes all came as a response to emails from fellow precinct chairs and a few other activists. Frankly, those editorial suggestions strengthened the resolution, though in retrospect I wish I had left out the clause about giving voters anything of value in return for casting a ballot -- it was a reference to issues elsewhere in the state and prosecutions that are being conducted, not a Harris County problem. So let me say that yes, I am the author of the resolution, but I had assistance and assistants who have been overlooked by others, just as Adams, Franklin, Sherman, and Livingston are overlooked when talking about the Declaration of Independence.

CurrierAndIvesDeclarationCommittee.jpg

Some folks weren't happy. David Jennings, of the BigJolly Politics blog, had a great play-by-play of the inside baseball and parliamentary parlor tricks some employed to stop the resolution. There were early requests to adjourn, random demands for quorum calls, apparent attempts to get people to leave and break quorum.

A rousing success

After a long night, the resolution passed overwhelmingly.

Aydt said he was "absolutely flying."

"I'll be honest, I had an adrenaline rush that night so high, I literally didn't fall into bed until 2:15 and got up at 5:15," Aydt said.

Again, I direct you to Dave over at BJP for the story. That was all after the Lowry filibuster early in the evening that raised more questions in my mind than were answered about the precinct chair recruitment program that he was paid to conduct.

Just how much impact will the resolution have? It's hard to say. Everyone I spoke with who has been beating the ever-louder drum against the pay-to-play system seemed encouraged.

Threatening a lawsuit

"I thought it was wonderful, a good first start," veteran state Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, said. "Even if it doesn't stop them, the more attention we give it to the public, the more opportunity they have to be informed, intelligent voters."

When I reached Lowry on his cellphone, he claimed he was in a meeting. Then he took my number, saying "when I call you back, I'll be recording, I'll do an introduction, and I'll air this on my show Monday. Thanks."

He didn't call back. But late Thursday night, someone slipped me a letter from Lowry's attorney, Ken Shortreed, to Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill. It threatens to sue if the resolution is officially posted, arguing the language is a "broad attack without any benefit to it," that appears to restrict constitutional freedoms.

Yeah, Lowry had his lawyer send a letter threatening a frivolous lawsuit based upon the notion that a non-governmental actor was violating his freedom of speech by engaging in its own freedom of speech to criticize in general terms the sort of stuff he has been doing for years and which nowhere named him. Got a guilty conscience, you old Pharisee? Worried that your days of being a moneychanger in the Temple are threatened?

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Polland said the resolution wouldn't affect him because his endorsements have never been "quid pro quo." The attorney says he backs the best candidates, period, and he doesn't make money off of it: "It's a labor of love."

Blakemore said the resolution wouldn't change a thing for Hotze: "We're certainly not pay-to-play. Never have been." He insisted Hotze asks for money to fund his mailer only after he's decided whom to endorse. That's a claim some have disputed. Harless, for one, says that after interviewing with Hotze several years ago, she was asked for a contribution before she knew if she'd get the endorsement.

They say their endorsements are not for sale. I've had candidates in congressional, statewide, legislative, county, and judicial elections tell me different. I hope this resolution gives some of them courage to tell those stories publicly. If they want the space, I'm more than willing to give them a guest post -- heck, I'll offer the same to the slatemakers, in the interest of fairness.

And Karen Townsend over at Pondering Penguin notes that the attacks on those opposed to the pay to play slates has already begun -- if you are a current or former officeholder or candidate who has ever sought an endorsement, you are just a sour grapes hypocrite, they say. See why this resolution had to come from someone like me, a school teacher and blogger who has absolutely no political ambition beyond precinct chair?

Aydt said Blakemore and the rest "may be surprised" at the effect of the resolution, adding he's gotten interest from party leaders across the state: "I think you're going to find there's a hunger for this sort of stuff on the state level.

"My great hope is that we reach the point with this that the candidates in Harris County don't feel the need that they have to give money to these people in order to get an endorsement."

Republicans believe in clean elections -- we always have. Here's hoping that this is a first step towards cleaning up the dirt in our own house. I've personally gotten one negative bit of feedback about all of this resolution and most of it had less to do with substance than process. And then there are the phone calls and messages from other precinct chairs, activists, candidates, elected officials, county party chairmen and others. The push to reduce the influence of the pay to play slates is not over, both in Harris County and the state of Texas as a whole.

Oh, I'd like to say two other things.

First, my thanks to Lisa Falkenberg for the kindness in her words in her column and her patience as we communicated through a couple of phone calls on a particularly hectic day.

Second, thanks to Todd Spoth who was dispatched to take a photo very late in the afternoon -- it may be the single best picture taken of me in years, and I am ever so appreciative of that.

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And let me respectfully acknowledge that the copyright of the column and photo belong to The Hearst Corporation/Houston Chronicle.





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February 13, 2014

Terry Lowry Threatens Frivolous Litigation In Effort To Quash Anti Pay-To-Play Resolution!

Looks like slatemaker Terry Lowry has more in common with liberal Democrats than he does with constitutional conservatives. After being unable to shut down the Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday night, Lowry tried to use the threat of a baseless lawsuit to silence those of us who reject his way of doing things.

Lisa Falkenberg included this in a column on Tuesday's effort (one that is embarrassingly flattering of me):

But late Thursday night, someone slipped me a letter from Lowry's attorney, Ken Shortreed, to Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill. It threatens to sue if the resolution is officially posted, arguing the language is a "broad attack without any benefit to it," that appears to restrict constitutional freedoms.

This would have shocked me if I had not already been made aware of the letter and the Harris County Republican Party Advisory Committee conference call tonight that considered how to respond to the Shortreed letter. Indeed, I had already read the letter.

Letter_Rcvd_Electoral_Integrity.jpg

Frankly, I was dumbfounded when I read that letter. I can only hope that Shortreed was merely echoing his client Lowry wanted written and that he didn't really believe what he was writing was remotely close to being true. After all, I was very careful to write the resolution in such a way as to guarantee that it would not infringe upon anyone's rights -- and indeed that the only action compelled by the resolution would be its posting and distribution by the Harris County Republican Party.

Let me refresh your memory on what the resolution said.

WHEREAS the Republican Party has long taken the lead in fighting for the integrity of the electoral process, and

WHEREAS the 2012 Republican Party of Texas platform opposes conflicts of interest in the form of attempting to influence votes by appointed or elected officials on behalf of paying clients, and

WHEREAS the 2012 Republican Party Platform calls upon "every citizen. . . to preserve the integrity of the vote", and

WHEREAS we recognize that the appearance of impropriety is itself a form of impropriety, and such appearances in campaign and electoral practices undermine the confidence of voters in the integrity of our electoral system,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party condemns the practice of "pay to play" endorsements, in which supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party opposes the practice of groups, clubs, or organizations requiring candidates for office to pay a sum of money as a condition of being placed on the ballot for any straw poll, whether this is called a fee, contribution, sponsorship, or any other name;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party urges all elected or appointed officials of the Harris County Republican Party, Republican Party of Texas, Republican National Committee and any affiliated or associated club or organization to refrain from offering endorsements of any primary candidate when the candidate is a paying client;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party opposes the practice of providing money to "politiqueras" or other paid agents of campaigns so that they may provide money or any other thing of value to a voter in return for casting a ballot for a candidate;

AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the text of this resolution shall be posted under the "Voter Info" section of the Harris County Republican Party website within 48 hours of its adoption by the Executive Committee. Furthermore, within one week of its adoption a copy of this resolution shall be distributed to all candidates currently seeking a contested or uncontested nomination in the Republican primary and that it shall be distributed to all candidates at the time of filing for office in all future Republican primaries.

Greg Aydt -- Precinct 333
Rudy Balciunas -- Precinct 473
Cyndi Lawrence -- Precinct 804
Dee Carroll -- Precinct 728
Ed Sarlls -- Precinct 644
Jeff Larson -- Precinct 349
David Wilson -- Precinct 923

Now let's look at the verbs in first four "RESOLVED" clauses. They are "condemns", "opposes", "urges", and (again) "opposes". Three of them explicitly express a belief or stance regarding certain practices -- one of opposition and rejection.

The one verb that does anything more -- "urges" -- is one that expresses an opinion and encourages a course of action on the part of certain individuals, but it does not require anyone to do what we are saying we think they should do. In other words, we are advising a certain class of people that we believe they should act in a certain manner in order to avoid a conflict of interests and the appearance of impropriety, but there is no element of compulsion there. As the author of the resolution, I can tell you that this formulation was by design. Besides, it would take a bylaw change to create some enforceable norm -- and the bylaws have not been changed. Thus nobody is restricted by the resolution, and all we are doing is attempting a little moral suasion in the interest of avoiding a conflict of interests.

So because of the fact that there is no attempt to enforce our will by penalizing anyone who goes against it, Shortreed's suggestion that we are somehow tampering with constitutional rights and thereby engaging in illegal activity is absurd. It isn't against the law to say "we don't think you should do this". I can't believe that any competent attorney would believe that there is even the possibility that such language crosses any legal or constitutional line. Again, I hope that Shortreed is simply echoing a Terry Lowry temper tantrum in exchange for his standard fee for writing a letter on behalf of a client.

So as you can see, the bloviation engaged in by Lowry is nothing but an empty threat. If he did file suit, it would be unlikely that any judge would let it get too far. After all, being told "we don't think you should do this" does not rise to the level of a legally actionable harm. I can only deduce that Lowry and Shortreed hoped that a threat would provide a figleaf for leaders who did not like the resolution in the first place. If so, that failed like Lowry's last minute quorum call on Tuesday -- I'm told that there was virtually no support for giving in to the threat, and that Jared Woodfill (and several others) took a truly principled stand from the very beginning by indicating that they believed that the resolution should be published. I also understand that they had multiple written legal opinions that state there was no violation of anyone's rights by the resolution.

But let's be honest -- Terry Lowry showed his true colors today, just as he did at Tuesday's meetings. Having discovered that he could not get his way in a fair vote, he trued to use intimidation tactics to set aside the will of the majority who voted on the resolution. He also threatened to take to the courts if anyone dared to state an opinion that did not agree with his own. In other words, he belongs in the same category with liberals who take to the courts to impose that which they cannot get on its merits.

And you know who Lowry sounds like? He sounds just like Wendy Davis -- and the legal theories underlying this suit would have been no stronger than those of Davis' lawsuit against the newspaper in Fort Worth that criticized her and damaged her tender little psyche. And here we all thought that Terry was made of sterner stuff than that.





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Putting The Pieces Together After The Harrris County GOP Executive Committee Meeting

Over the last month or so, there have been a number of things that have gone on in Republican circles that have not set well with many Harris County (and Texas generally) Republicans. A lot of it has had to do with the pay to play slatemakers and their negative impact the political process here in Harris County. Well, some of the pieces fell into place for me after Tuesday nights meeting of the Harris County Republican Executive Committee, and as I have thought about them over the last couple days, Ive become more troubled and felt a need to share those observations. After talking with a number of individuals I respect within Republican circles in the Houston area and outside of them, it became clear to me that I need to write a post about them.

First, lets set out some of the pieces for you.

  1. Terry Lowry, Precinct Chair for Precinct 485 and host of the Whats Up Radio Program is member of the Harris County GOP Vacancy Committee, appointed to the committee by Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill.
  2. In October of 2013, the Harris County Republican Party paid Lowrys radio program $5000 for precinct chair recruitment.
  3. By everyones accounting, this recruitment effort led to the recruitment of fewer than 50 (perhaps as few as 25) new precinct chairs, which raises the question of its effectiveness.

So, lets fast forward to the quarterly meeting of the Executive Committee on February 11, 2014. There were certainly some strange goings on related to the Vacancy Committee and Lowrys recruitment effort that evening. I only wish that these meetings were recorded and posted on the internet so that I could provide audio and/or video for you to see just how strange.

The Vacancy Committee had no report to make at the meeting hardly surprising, given that appointing new chairs just weeks before the date for electing chairs in the March primary would be absurd. Instead of reporting that there was no report, the committees time was divided up between two speakers. I will not comment on one of them, as it has no real bearing on this piece. But the other speaker was none other than Terry Lowry, who spent at least 20 minutes engaged in a rambling explanation of how he had personally spent his own money to get materials and do research on vacant precincts and where recruitment efforts were needed. Frankly, I would have stood up and applauded Lowrys efforts if I hadnt known that he did get paid for these efforts heck, I would have proposed a resolution naming him volunteer of the year for having done so much work. And then came the bombshell.

Lowry suddenly veered off into how he told Jared Woodfill about his efforts and that soon Jared implicitly just out of the blue sent him a check for $5000 to pay for his efforts. But it wasnt long before Lowry started making it clear that he doesnt do any work on anyones behalf for free and that he expects to be paid for anything he does an interesting stance for someone who is supposedly a volunteer on a committee that is charged with recruiting precinct chairs to fill vacant positions! But in my mind this raises a question if this was Lowry doing work on his own without any sort of contract or agreement with the Harris County GOP, on what basis did Woodfill have the party cut a check to Lowry? Moreover, if this was Lowrys personal effort, why was the money directed to Lowrys business? Is it the practice of the Harris County GOP to make such payments to volunteers for their volunteer work? And on what basis was that nice round figure of $5000 arrived at when the decision was made to write that check to Lowrys company?

Now lets jump a little further ahead in the meeting. A resolution was introduced to have a report on the matter created and put on the party website. Dates were argued over and questions of whether this was a thinly veiled attack on one candidate for party chairman on behalf of another candidate for party chairman were raised. I wont bore you with the inside baseball details they arent necessary to understand what went on. The pertinent aspect was that someone raised the question about whether the records in question how the $5000 was spent, what precincts were targeted, what materials were produced and a transcript of the robocalls were in the hands of the Harris County Republican Party so that a report could be produced and the information posted. The answer? No, the party has none of that. Where are those things? In the hands of Terry Lowry. At which point Lowry stood up and informed the body that he has the material, hes keeping the material, and nobody can make me do jack. In other words, $5000 of our party funds were turned over to Terry Lowry and there is absolutely no accountability or oversight regarding the money and how it was used. At that point the resolution was tabled, because it appeared to be a pointless exercise that was doing nothing but causing division within the Executive Committee.

What followed next was the effort to introduce and pass the resolution that I posted on this website on Tuesday night. Dave Jennings at Big Jolly does a fantastic job of recounting the efforts made by Lowry and others to prevent it from being brought to the floor, much less voted upon, and I encourage you to read it. It is tangentially related to the issue of the $5000 given to Lowry in that it addressed Lowrys efforts to personally profit off of his endorsements. Suffice it to say that Terry Lowry seems to regard the Harris County Republican Party and its primary as his own personal cash cow, and therefore they tried to shut down a resolution designed to take a stand for the integrity of the Republican Primary and elections generally.

All of this leads me to make a couple of points.

First, we need to clean house at party headquarters. As much as I like Jared Woodfill as an individual, he has to go as party chairman. Ive believed this for several years now, and that is why I am again backing Paul Simpson for Harris County Republican Party Chair and encouraging others to do the same. We need new leadership to set the partys financial house in order. We need a full audit of the books, the public disclosure of the results, and new procedures put in place to make sure we dont find ourselves in this state again. Oh, yeah and appropriate action taken against offending parties when and if actual wrongdoing is uncovered.

Secondly, we need to continue to work to reduce the influence of folks like Terry Lowry on the Harris County Republican Party. Im not saying that he is a bad or evil man. I mean, the scribes and Pharisees were certainly upstanding members of their communities, and the moneychangers at the Temple in Jerusalem were just trying to earn enough cash to pay their wives bills. But sometimes radical action needs to happen for the greater good and if that means afflicting the self-righteous and overturning a few tables so as to destroy a business model that profits the Establishment at the expense of the greater good, then so be it because we have a great role model who did the same a couple thousand years ago.

WhatWouldJesusDo[1].jpg

Oh, and there is a third thing as well. We need to start following the advice of Rand Paul that he gave in his speech here in town last weekend. We need to be open to the diverse voices in our communities and our party. That does not mean abandoning principle, but rather presenting those principles in new ways that are welcome instead of barring the door to those who are deemed to be less pure than Ivory Soap. It means that our outreach has to be real and inclusive based upon Ronald Reagans principle that those who are with us 80% of the time are our friends and allies rather than 20% traitors who need to be purged from the GOP and any public office they may hold. If we dont, it means that Texas will soon be like Illinois or California a formerly red state that has moved into the blue column for the foreseeable future.






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Obstruction Of Justice By DOD In The Face Of FOIA Request, Lawsuit

If a request has been made and a lawsuit filed, then destroying or ordering the destruction of the material requested is against the law.

A newly-released document has revealed that after the top secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden the head of U.S. special forces ordered all photos of his body be either turned in or destroyed.

The e-mail was sent by then-Vice Admiral William McRaven two weeks after the secret seek and destroy operation found the Al Qaeda leader.

A conservative campaign group which requested its release has claimed the e-mail, which is almost entirely redacted, 'may have been in violation of the law'.
Dated May 13, 2011, it said: 'One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point -- all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them to the [redacted.]'

CNN reports the e-mail was obtained by Judicial Watch, which has called for the public release of photos of the raid in Pakistan that killed the al Qaeda leader.
The e-mail, which was almost entirely redacted, was released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Days before McRaven's instructions, Judicial Watch had filed a request for such photos, and hours before, they filed a lawsuit, according to the group's president, Tom Fitton.

The orders and any destruction happened pursuant to a publicly announced decision by President Obama to not allow the release of any pictures of the remains of the dead terrorist leader. One has to wonder if the White House knew about the destruction and perhaps ordered it. Just chalk this up as one more scandal in the lawless Obama Administration.





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Is It Time For States And The Federal Government -- To Sue Big Abortion?

We keep seeing efforts by government to sue industries that they view as responsible for various and sundry social problems that lead to government expenses. We saw that with Big Tobacco regarding health-related costs and have heard it suggested with Big Oil over pollution related costs. Now the proposal is out there to go after Big Food because of obesity and diabetes.

But maybe the time has come to go after Big Abortion as a cause of budget shortfalls.

Now you are probably thinking that Im crazy, but consider this since the Supreme Court decision in roe v. Wade in 1973, there have been roughly 55 million abortions. Each abortion represents money not spent to raise that child, consumer goods not produced or purchased, and wages not earned. In other words, we are talking about potentially tens of billions of dollars a year in negative economic impact on state and national economies. Whats more, we are surely talking about tens of billions of dollars in lost tax revenues annually. Social Security would be more stable today if the victims of abortion of working age were in the workforce today, paying into that system. Clearly the impact of Big Abortion on the budgets of the states and the national government has been quite deleterious, and Big Abortion must pay. I realize that there will be objections based upon individual freedom and personal choices, but given that Big Abortion has profited it must pay, just like Big Tobacco and Big Food.

And then, having established the precedent, the suits should begin against Big Birth Control for the damages caused to budgets by their products. . . .





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February 12, 2014

Wendy Davis About That Filibuster: Never Mind

Now Davis is even backtracking on the issue which made her national reputation making it easier to kill the unborn.

Wendy Davis said Tuesday that she would have supported a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, if the law adequately deferred to a woman and her doctor.

Davis, a Fort Worth senator and the likely Democratic nominee for governor, told The Dallas Morning News editorial board that less than one-half of 1 percent of Texas abortions occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most of those were in cases where fetal abnormalities were evident or there were grave risks to the health of the woman.

I would line up with most people in Texas who would prefer that thats not something that happens outside of those two arenas, Davis said.

But the Democrat said the states new abortion law didnt give priority to women in those circumstances. The law allows for exceptions for fetal abnormalities and a threat to the womans life, but Davis said those didnt go far enough.

My concern, even in the way the 20-week ban was written in this particular bill, was that it didnt give enough deference between a woman and her doctor making this difficult decision, and instead tried to legislatively define what it was, Davis said.

If the flaws in the bill were so small, why did Wendy not try to amend it instead of causing a second special session? And will she be paying the state back since she obviously recognizes that there was insufficient reason for the filibuster?





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If This Were Chris Christie It Would Be A Scandal

But since it is the new Socialist Mayor of New York, it is just fine.

A politically connected Brooklyn pastor was arrested for a pair of open warrants but was spared a night in jail after Mayor de Blasio called an NYPD boss to inquire about his close pal .

Hours later, Bishop Orlando Findlayter was yukking it up with Hizzoner at the head table at a Bed-Stuy breakfast Tuesday with guest speaker Rev. Al Sharpton and 200 other pastors.

Findlayter the head of Brooklyns New Hope Christian Church who was instrumental in delivering the black vote to de Blasio was pulled over at 11:21 p.m. Monday in East Flatbush for making a left turn without signaling, police said.

Cops ran his license plate and discovered two outstanding warrants, issued Jan. 16, for failure to appear in court for prior arrests at protests. He was hit with the traffic violation and charged with driving without a license.

Findlayter was looking at a night behind bars because the arrests came too late for him to be arraigned.

So his clergy pals reached out to the mayor and the NYPD.

De Blasio admittedly called a top police spokeswoman, Kim Royster.

The mayor reached out to Deputy Chief Royster to get clarification on word that there had been an arrest of a respected local clergyman, said de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak.

So you can be sure that there will be no investigation or journalistic outrage. After all, reporters play on the same team as DeBlasio and in far left field. So his "let my people go" phone call will be ignored, while something that the governor of the neighboring state apparently did not know about is a scandal.





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Who Are The Racists?

I think that Clarence Thomas makes a great point that todays most vicious bigots are liberals.

Throughout his career, Thomas said, he has experienced more instances of discrimination and poor treatment in the North than the South.

The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated, Thomas said. The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.

And lets be honest what those liberals have in common with the haters in the South of 50 years ago is their affiliation with the Democrat Party. I guess that they and their party have not moved all that far from the ideology of the KKK after all.





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What Other Offensive Displays Have Been Removed?

And would all complaints from offended students be treated equally?

An administrator at the University of Alabama removed the pro-life display of Bama Students for Life last week without notification, claiming that some students found the display offensive.

The display, which featured abortion-related facts, photos of women who died as a result of abortion, and two small pictures of aborted babies, was among numerous other displays by other student organizations.

Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Bama Students for Life, which registered a formal complaint about the incident with the university on Tuesday.

In the letter, the group states that they complied with proper procedures and obtained permission to use the display case. In fact, they say their request was approved without any difficulty. They add:

However, on Thursday morning, we discovered that our display had been removed by university employees. We were directed to Ms. Donna Lakes office, where she explained that she had received complaints about our pro-life display. Ms. Lake claimed that according to policy, displays cannot be offensive or graphic. She said that we were lucky to have been allowed to have it up for as long as we did.

Now I wonder if the offended students had been Christians offended by a display supporting gay rights or abortion, would the university have removed a display? Would a display supporting the anti-Israel Boycott Divest Sanctions movement have been removed if offended Jewish student complained? We need not ask, of course the answer is obvious on todays liberal college campuses.





|| Greg, 06:48 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

The Juvenile Antics Of A Family Court Judge

Dave over at Big Jolly Politics has the story.

The Harris County Republican Party held an Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday evening at Houston Baptist University. Executive committee meetings are where the Precinct Chairs get to, in theory, conduct the business of the party. I arrived around 6:30 pm, about halfway into the 6-7pm social hour the meeting started at 7:00 pm.

While I was walking around getting the lay of the land, I noticed several people passing out flyers about Judge Denise Pratt. In addition to handing them out, they were placing them on tables that were spread across the room so that people could pick them up at their leisure and read about Judge Denise Pratts problems. Many candidates were also putting their push cards on these tables it is standard practice at any political gathering during primary season. Upon inquiring about the Pratt flyers, the people passing them out were either attorneys that practiced in her court or victims of her incompetent brand of justice. One of them told me that he had confronted Judge Denise Pratt after seeing her walking around picking up his flyers she told him that she was picking them up and putting them where they belonged, in the trash. I thought, nah, he must have been mistaken most likely that was one of the hired campaign workers that she has paid to go around commenting on websites and passing out her push cards. So I didnt think much of it. Surely a sitting Family Court Judge wouldnt stoop to that level. Right?

Wrong.

I'll let you read the rest -- Dave is such a wonderful storyteller and I don't want to rip off his entire post. But let's just say that there are pictures, so Denise cannot wriggle her way out of this one.

Oh, and by the way -- the post at Big Jolly also includes copies of all the material that Her Dishonor tried to hide.

And as an aside -- I can attest that I saw Pratt and her minions engaged in the same behavior both before during that 6:00-7:00 social time and during the meeting when I stepped out of the meeting room for personal reasons..

So does anyone wonder why I wrote this a month ago?

And if Denise Pratt makes it through the process as the Republican nominee even after all these revelations? Well, we will then have a first here at Rhymes With Right -- an actual endorsement of a Democrat in a Harris County race rather than no endorsement. It is THAT IMPORTANT that Denise Pratt be ejected from the bench.

But hopefully it won't come to that. I've endorsed Anthony Magdaleno for that bench, and freely acknowledge that any of Judge Pratt's primary challengers would be an upgrade for the people of Harris County.





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A WORD FROM A SPONSOR

Are you a student who procrastinates when it comes to writing your papers? Do you need lots of assistance to meet the deadline? Well, there is an option available for you. You can seek the assistance of a writing service to help you research and prepare your paper.

That is where various sorts of essay writing services, including promptessay.com, come into play. Some are about nothing more than providing you a canned essay to turn in as your own, something that I see as a particularly troubling practice. Others have many freelance writers who will help you at whatever stage of the project you are at. You can go online and find companies for providing their services online, providing the solution to essay projects problems and even research papers. And that is quite important sincebeing able to write a strong paper is important, and many courses now have research writing as part of their syllabus. This is something difficult for a generation reared on television and various forms of musical devices

Do I recommend services that merely sell research papers and essays? No I dont because they are noted for outright plagiarism. But I do recommend you look online for services that can hlp you do the research and polish your writing -- they can really help you grow.





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February 11, 2014

A Resolution By The Harris County Republican Executive Committee Expressing Support For Electoral Integrity

Adopted February 11, 2014, at the Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting, held at Houston Baptist University.

WHEREAS the Republican Party has long taken the lead in fighting for the integrity of the electoral process, and

WHEREAS the 2012 Republican Party of Texas platform opposes conflicts of interest in the form of attempting to influence votes by appointed or elected officials on behalf of paying clients, and

WHEREAS the 2012 Republican Party Platform calls upon "every citizen. . . to preserve the integrity of the vote", and

WHEREAS we recognize that the appearance of impropriety is itself a form of impropriety, and such appearances in campaign and electoral practices undermine the confidence of voters in the integrity of our electoral system,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party condemns the practice of "pay to play" endorsements, in which supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party opposes the practice of groups, clubs, or organizations requiring candidates for office to pay a sum of money as a condition of being placed on the ballot for any straw poll, whether this is called a fee, contribution, sponsorship, or any other name;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party urges all elected or appointed officials of the Harris County Republican Party, Republican Party of Texas, Republican National Committee and any affiliated or associated club or organization to refrain from offering endorsements of any primary candidate when the candidate is a paying client;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Harris County Republican Party opposes the practice of providing money to "politiqueras" or other paid agents of campaigns so that they may provide money or any other thing of value to a voter in return for casting a ballot for a candidate;

AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED THAT the text of this resolution shall be posted under the "Voter Info" section of the Harris County Republican Party website within 48 hours of its adoption by the Executive Committee. Furthermore, within one week of its adoption a copy of this resolution shall be distributed to all candidates currently seeking a contested or uncontested nomination in the Republican primary and that it shall be distributed to all candidates at the time of filing for office in all future Republican primaries.

Greg Aydt -- Precinct 333
Rudy Balciunas -- Precinct 473
Cyndi Lawrence -- Precinct 804
Dee Carroll -- Precinct 728
Ed Sarlls -- Precinct 644
Jeff Larson -- Precinct 349
David Wilson -- Precinct 923

I started drafting this about ten days ago in response to the problem of "pay to play" endorsement slates that have become major influences in the Republican Primary here in Harris County. A not-so-subtle quid-pro-quo exists for certain endorsements. The time had come to say something about it as a party, especially given that certain of these slatemakers have become insiders in the party with an out-sized influence.

I was blessed with a team of able colleagues as I worked on strengthening the resolution, some of whom signed on as co-sponsors with me and others of whom provided important suggestions regarding the structure of the resolution and tactics for getting it passed. The resolution could not have passed without the efforts of the six individuals who signed on as co-sponsors and at least a dozen others who provided drafting suggestions and helped me track down co-sponsors. I also want to thank every single precinct chair who stuck it out tonight and endured a host of parliamentary tactics by the establishment that is beholden to the slatemakers and one of the slatemakers himself as they tried to close down the meeting so that this resolution could not be heard or voted on -- your perseverance allowed us to succeed in getting the grassroots of the party on record as rejecting impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in the conduct of elections.





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Harris County GOP Condemns "Pay To Play" Slates

Details, including the text of the resolution when I get home.





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February 10, 2014

Note To Michael Sam -- I Don't Care

Dear Michael;

I'm a middle-aged white guy. I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican. I'm also a season ticket holder for the Houston Texans, and have been since the team's first season. I'm a teacher with two former students playing in the NFL. So let me be very clear about your announcement regarding your sexual orientation -- I don't care.

Let me repeat -- I DON'T CARE!

Really.

If you are on the roster of an NFL franchise this fall, I'll applaud you. But it won't be because you are gay. It will be for precisely the same reason I applaud those two former students -- it will because you have striven for excellence and achieved it when only a handful of those who play the game do so. And make no mistake about it; I'll be pulling for you every bit as much I have for the couple dozen former students who have played college ball, most of whom didn't make it.

But understand, the reason I will be pulling for you -- it is because I love seeing that dream fulfilled on any given Sunday. It's because I know you have within you the ability to make a difference. Maybe you will be the sort of guy who enters the league with the sort of comment that was made by one of my former students -- Ive never been to an NFL game. The first game will be in uniform. -- and be a shining example to kids who grew up in the direst of circumstances. Maybe you will be like my other student -- whose philanthropic efforts have earned him great praise around the league. Or maybe you will be something else -- I don't know. But what I hope you are not is "the gay football player". Instead, be a football player who just so happens to be gay.

Because let's be honest -- it is your on-field play that matters in terms of your being a player in the NFL, not your off-field play. Fortunately, you've shown that you can live that reality with how you and your teammates handled the issue of your sexual orientation at Mizzou. Please do that in the NFL -- don't feel the need to be the poster boy for "gay" or the in your face activist. Be a player -- be the best player you can be. Let all of us admire you -- straight or gay -- admire you for that.

And by the way -- I'm secretly hoping that you end up being drafted by your hometown team, the Houston Texans. After all, I want to cheer you on in person -- another hometown boy who made good. The rest is completely irrelevant to most of us out here.





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Racist Organization Requires Photo ID To Peaceably Assemble, Petition Government For A Redress Of Grievances In North Carolina

We've been told that requiring photo ID to vote is racist, and an effort by conservatives to prevent the poor, the elderly, and minorities from exercising their constitutional rights. Where are the howls of outrage from liberal groups over this outrage?

Bf9ZsSVIIAAKdJH[1].jpg

See that -- in order to protest against, among other things, the Photo ID requirement in North Carolina, you have to have a valid Photo ID. Don't the race-baiting blowhards of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP realize that they are nothing but reactionary racists and tools of "The Man" if they expect participants in their march to have the very thing that they are marching against.

Of course, perhaps they are just hypocritical tools.

Or maybe we can drop the "perhaps".

H/T Colossus of Rhodey





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February 09, 2014

Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





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February 08, 2014

UPDATED -- Republican Primary Endorsements For The March 4, 2014 Primary

UPDATE: I have now made an endorsement in the race for Judge of the 247th Family Court.

Well, with early voting only 10 days away, it seems like this is an auspicious time to publicize my endorsements in this year's Republican primary here in Harris County, Texas. Please note that I am making endorsements ONLY in contested races where voters in Harris County Precinct 333 will be voting, so if you don't see a contested race that means that my precinct is not in that district.

US Senator -- John Cornyn. John Cornyn is a conservative -- one that I am proud to have representing my state. I may get angry with him from time to time, but, on balance, he has served Texas and the United States well. And if he does not always line up exactly with Ted Cruz, I consider that a plus -- having two conservative senators who represent different facets of conservatism is a good thing in my book. And let's be honest, there really is not a credible challenger in the lot.

Congressional District 36 -- Dave Norman. We have huge field of candidates in this race. My pick is Dave Norman, a man who I personally know to be a strong conservative, a veteran, a respected businessman, Christian with a deep faith, and a solid family man. When Steve Stockman withdrew from the race back in December, the first thing I did was pick up the phone and call Dave in order to persuade him to run for the seat -- and let out an enthusiastic shout when he told me that he had filed the paperwork earlier that day. He is a man who will be ready to hit the ground running on Day 1 next January. And may I urge my fellow voters in CD36 to not be drawn in by the Washington insider or the big name who does not live in the district -- this time we need to elect a representative who actually lives in our district.

Governor -- Greg Abbott. There is no other choice for thinking Texans. You can have a man of great accomplishment or one of the no-names whose resumes are even thinner than that of presumptive Democrat nominee Wendy Davis.

Lieutenant Governor -- Jerry Patterson. Jerry Patterson has devoted his life to the service of the United States and the state of Texas. He is a conservative through-and-through -- and most importantly, he can win in November due to name recognition, an record of accomplishment, and a common-sense view of what this state needs that appeals to grass-roots conservatives and independent voters. Most importantly, Jerry doesn't feel the need to change his message from audience to audience like certain candidates in the race, nor is he looking to use this position as a springboard to higher office.

Attorney General -- Ken Paxton. Paxton is a proven conservative who has not been padding his resume. Neither of his opponents can make both of those claims. That makes him the right choice.

Comptroller -- Glenn Hegar. I found this to be the hardest statewide race to make an endorsement in. There are two quality candidates in the race, and two pretenders. On balance, I like Hegar, though Harvey Hilderbran would also be a good choice.

Land Commissioner -- George P. Bush. He's the better of the options we have.

Agriculture Commissioner -- Eric Opiela. The field here is impressive, but Opeiela is strong on the issues and a broad base of support.

Railroad Commissioner -- Becky Berger. Given the fact that the Railroad Commission deals with energy issues and not transportation, I think it is important that we elect someone who is an expert in the field. Berger is a geologist with many years of work in the energy field and a long record as an active Republican. I like that combination.

Chief Justice Supreme Court -- Nathan Hecht. Hecht has been a solid judicial record. His opponent lacks judicial experience and temperament. No contest.

Justice Supreme Court Place 6 -- Jeff Brown. Another good justice, another challenger who doesn't pass muster in comparison.

Justice Supreme Court Place 8 -- Phil Johnson. Another good justice, another not-quite-ready-for-prime-time challenger.

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3 -- Barbara Walther.

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 4 -- Jani Jo Wood.

Court of Criminal Appeals Place 9 -- David Newell.

Texas House District 129 -- Sheryl Berg. Sheryl is a long-time conservative stalwart in the district. I have been urging her to run for office for years and believe she will be a superb representative for our district.

Justice 1st Court of Appeals Place 3 -- Russell Lloyd.

District Judge 246th District -- Angelina D. A. Gooden.

District Judge 247th District -- No Endorsement. One seems to have campaign finance issues. One is being represented by surrogates as more likely to rule according to the Texas GOP platform than the laws of the state of Texas and United States. The third just doesn't seem like a candidate who is really ready to be a judge. I'm therefore withholding any endorsement at this time, but may reconsider prior to the primary if the campaign finance issues are resolved.

District Judge 247th District -- M.L. "Meca" Walker. As you may notice above, I initially did not endorse in this race. Given that the scurrilous claims against Judge Walker have been retracted by their author, I see no reason to withhold my endorsement from the well-qualified and experienced Associate Judge of this court to take the bench of the 247th Family Court in her own right. She is well-qualified and well-respected by the lawyers who practice before this court, and brings with her the experience as a judge in this court. I'll not disparage either of her opponents, but Judge Walker is clearly the superior choice in this race.

District Judge 263rd District -- Robert Summerlin.

District Judge 269th District -- Dan Hinde.

Family District Judge 311th District -- Anthony Magdaleno.
Magdaleno has 25 years of experience practicing family law. He has also worked harder to earn this nomination than I have ever seen a judicial candidate work to become the GOP's candidate. It is imperative that Republicans unite behind him to remove the incumbent from the bench, for reasons I have commented on elsewhere.

County Criminal Court at Law No. 10 -- Tonya Rolland McLaughlin.

District Clerk -- Chris Daniel. When outsider Chris Daniel beat the establishment candidate to win the nomination four years ago and then defeated the Democrat incumbent, it set in motion an effort by one faction of the local GOP to defeat him. Daniel has performed his job well, and deserves to be our nominee this year and to be reelected in the fall.

County Treasurer -- Orlando Sanchez.

County School Trustee Position 5 At Large -- R.W. Bray.

County School Trustee Position 7 At Large -- Dianne Williams.

Harris Co. Republican Party Chairman -- Paul Simpson.
Paul makes a great case for himself here. No matter how much I may personally like the incumbent, I believe that we need to fix some systemic problems in the Harris County GOP if we are to remain a viable party going forward.





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February 06, 2014

Well, We Know None Of His Music Is On The Radio

Now I liked Clay Aiken on American Idol, think he was robbed by the producers and even enjoyed some of his music during his 15 minute long musical career. But I had to laugh when I saw this intro to an article.

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken has been so busy preparing for his congressional campaign that he doesnt even know what songs are on the radio anymore.

I turned on the radio the other day and didnt recognize anything, Aiken said in an interview, laughing, after being asked what his campaign song would be.

Sorry, Clay, but the reality is that most people would not recognize your music, either.






|| Greg, 04:22 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

It Is Time To Expel Sheila Jackson Lee From Congress

It may be impossible to impeach and remove Obama due to the failure of the Senate Democrat majority to take its role seriously, but House Republicans can expel members who aid and abet Obama in making an end run around the legislative branch.

Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said that the new Congressional Full Employment Caucus will give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign.

Jackson Lee added that writing up executive orders should be our number one agenda.

We will be answering the call of all of America because people need work and were not doing right by them by creating work, the Texas congresswoman said. I believe this caucus will put us on the right path and well give President Obama a number of executive orders that he can sign with pride and strength, Jackson said Jan. 29 at a press conference where she and fellow Democrats launched the Full Employment Caucus.

In fact, I think that should be our number one agenda. Lets write up these executive orders draft them, of course and ask the president to stand with us on full employment, Jackson Lee added.

Obama wants a year of action? Fine lets give him one. Remove every member of the so-called "Full Employment Caucus" for their efforts to undermine the Constitution along with Obama by writing up these executive orders for him. After all, they are assisting in the undermining of the constitutional separation of powers and prerogatives of the legislative branch.





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ObamaCare Leads To Cancer Patient Being Told To Go Away And Die

After all, thats what it means when you have stage-four cancer your doctors and hospital dont take insurance from the program that was supposed to let you keep your doctor if you liked your doctor.

Stage-four cancer patient Bruce Johnston seems to be the latest victim of Obamacares terrible rollout, as his insurance under Obamacare was recently denied at Stony Brook University Hospital.

When told the hospital did not take his insurance, Johnston was shocked. It leaves me high and dry, Johnston said. I mean, this is nothing to fool around with. This is my life.

The hospital said it currently does not accept any of the 8 plans offered by the New York state exchange, citing low reimbursement fees that wouldnt come close to the cost of providing treatment. The hospital has had to negotiate on a case by case basis with the insurance companies to cover patients in predicaments like Johnstons.

Is it any wonder that I keep saying it is better called ObamaDontCare or the Unaffordable DontCare Act?





|| Greg, 04:16 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

February 05, 2014

Too Funny Not To Post -- Swinish Edition

Life is funnier than sitcoms.

CHINA, Maine (AP) Police responding to reports of screaming coming from a home in Maine didn't find a victim of domestic violence as they feared. Instead, they found an amorous pig.

State police say a woman called last week after hearing what she believed to be a fight coming from a neighbor's home in the town of China. The caller said she heard screaming and thought there was a domestic assault.

The Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1jafexV ) reports that four state troopers responded and talked to the neighbor.

The neighbor explained that she raises pigs and the screaming was coming from an overjoyed male pig that had been placed in a pen with five sows in heat.

Police say there was no assault and no disturbance "other than the screaming male pig."

Uhhhh. . . yeah.





|| Greg, 09:08 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Steve Stockman The Wendy Davis Of The GOP

Yep Steve and Wendy have a lot in common.

Both are crazy.

Both are liars.

And both want any criticism of themselves and the stories they have told about themselves to be silenced by the courts.

Consider this email I received from the crazy guy I refused to vote for in the 2012 congressional race in my district and who I will not be voting for in the GOP senatorial primary next month.

Dear fellow Texan,

John Cornyns dirty campaign has sunk to a new low.

Cornyn is now attacking me for spending every penny I had to take care of my Alzheimers-stricken father, a World War II veteran.

Rep. Steve Stockman has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Cornyn spokesperson Drew Brandewie laughed and chuckled in a mocking public statement.

Im stunned.

Thats sick.

You see, I was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2002 after spending everything I had to take care of my ailing and elderly father. Unlike Cornyn, Ive never been wealthy.

And apparently John Cornyn thinks thats funny.

My dad, John Stockman, was a World War II veteran who served our country fighting the Nazis.

Tragically, Dad spent the last eight years of his life fighting another enemy: Alzheimers disease.

I moved Dad into my own home and cared for him at my own expense until we had to move him into a Texas Veteran Administration home.

I took on Dads overwhelming medical bills and lost my small fiber optics business in the process.

Not being wealthy like Cornyn, the expense of taking care of Dad ultimately forced me to declare bankruptcy in 2002.

And John Cornyn thinks thats funny.

But I would do it all over again for Dad.

Im sure you would for your Dad, too.

Dad raised me with the morals and convictions I have today, and Id gladly go bankrupt again to take care him.

Its really a shame John Cornyn is using my personal tragedy for his personal punch line.

I know you dont support Cornyns brand of filthy attacks like this.

Ive already had to sue a Cornyn PAC for running ads against me that are completely false.

Youve probably seen these entirely fake ads.

Court records call the Cornyn PAC ads some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded.

And now John Cornyns campaign is mocking me for taking care of Dad, even when it forced me into bankruptcy?

John Cornyn is desperate because Republicans have rejected him for voting to support Obamacare and amnesty, then lying to you about it.

Polls show he may not win his March 4 Republican primary against me.

So Cornyn has resorted to dirty tricks and outright lies, which court records call some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded.

And now hes publicly mocking me for being willing to bankrupt myself to take care of my Dad.

You deserve to know the truth. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter to you.

Warmest wishes,

Congressman Steve Stockman
Conservative Republican for U.S. Senate

P.S. John Cornyns dirty campaign has sunk to a new low mocking me for taking care of my Alzheimers-stricken, World War II veteran father even when it bankrupted me.

This, after I was forced to sue a Cornyn PAC for running dirty ads that outright lied about me. Court records call the Cornyn PAC ads some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded.

You see, Cornyn is desperate. Republicans have rejected him for voting to support Obamacare and amnesty, then lying to you about it in more dirty ads. Polls show Cornyn may not win his March 4 Republican primary against me.
So Cornyn has resorted to dirty tricks, outrights lies and even mocking me for taking care of my Dad. Texas deserves better.


Now lets be honest here if there were actually statements laughing at Stockman, there might be a problem. The thing is, nobody has laughed at Stockman. Nobody mocked Stockman. Arguably, nobody attacked Stockman. What they did was STATE A FACT ABOUT Stockman. In other words, they told the truth about Steve Stockman and hes mighty pissed off about it.

And why is Stockmans bankruptcy relevant to the campaign? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that Stockman has not filed legally required financial disclosure documents in a timely fashion. It might be that he organized a number of corporations in the wake of that bankruptcy that appear to benefit him personally. It might be the disorganized state of his campaign finances over the year. In other words, it is Stockman is a financial mess and perhaps even corrupt, too. Voters ought to be considering the entirety of Stockmans financial life before voting for him. That Stockman insists that this area of his life is off limits ought to disturb Texas voters even more than Wendy Davis' declarations that her claims about her life are off limits.

And then Stockman is accusing Cornyn supporters of libeling him. Theres only one problem with this claim the group that Stockman is suing is relying on claims made by Steve Stockman himself! Yeah, thats right Stockman has claimed that he has been in jail a few times and faced felony drug charges.

So how is it that Stockman now claims that Court records call the Cornyn PAC ads some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded? Well, this claim is, technically, true but in the sense that Stockman is taking a fact and twisting it in such a way as to convey a falsehood. It is true that there is a court record calling the ads some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded in Harris County -- but one of Stockmans own internet allies spills the beans as to what that court record is.

A copy of the original petition for libel, announced by Stockman Friday evening and provided exclusively to WND, reads, This case involves some of the most outrageous, malicious defamation ever recorded in Harris County.

Yeah, thats right the court record is Stockmans own original filing in the case. In other words, he filed a lawsuit and included that claim in the lawsuit and by filing it the claim became a court record. However, there has never been any adjudication that the statements in question are, in fact, outrageous, malicious, or defamatory.

All of this leads me to the conclusion that Steve Stockman is the Republican equivalent of Wendy Davis. After all, Davis has made certain claims about herself that have been shown to be less than truthful, and then has insisted that anyone talking about her claims is engaging in partisan personal attacks that are unacceptable just like Stockman. Not only that, but Stockmans efforts to use litigation to silence truthful criticism of him that is undeniably protected by the First Amendment is reminiscent of Wendy Davis efforts back in the 1990s to punish the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for engaging in truthful reporting about her during her first city council campaign. What next claims that the PAC ads have harmed his physical and mental health, just like the claims Davis made back in 1997 before the suit was dismissed by multiple courts as utterly without merit?

Sorry, Steve Stockman has proven himself to be a candidate for office who is of limited substance, even more limited integrity, and utterly no worth to any thinking Texan. Just like Wendy Davis.





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February 04, 2014

Belated Watcher's Council Results

Here are this weeks full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!





|| Greg, 07:31 PM || Permalink || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||
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