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May 26, 2014

Before You Vote In The GOP Runoff, Read This

Texans, you have been lied to by Senator Dan Patrick about his medical history -- and likely about his current mental state as well. If you have not voted yet, it is important that you read this before voting tomorrow.

We all know that some of Dan Patrick's mental health records -- public records as exhibits in a lawsuit -- have recently been brought to light. Patrick's campaign has claimed that he was depressed and exhausted -- but there was much more.

David Jennings over at Big Jolly Politics blows the roof off the story.

Here is what Dan’s campaign said about the two hospitalizations that he had in the 1980′s.

Nearly 30 years ago, Senator Patrick sought medical attention to help him cope with mild depression and exhaustion. Under the care of a medical doctor, he voluntarily admitted himself for treatment and spent a short time in the hospital. He has not required additional treatment or medication for nearly 30 years. – See more at: http://www.danpatrick.org/news/#sthash.SOVEF3vY.dpuf

Obviously, that is a lie. We now know that Dan twice attempted suicide – that is far more than “mild depression and exhaustion”. We know that in his 1982 stay at Memorial City, he attempted suicide after entering the hospital, he attempted to slice his wrists, was found with razor blades and a dinner knife, jumped out of a window, and required a 24 hour a day sitter. The medical record of this stay is troubling because Dr. Kramer’s consult was written on the day of discharge – obviously a consult must be done on entry to the hospital in order to determine a course of treatment. His original diagnosis of “acute exhaustion” was scratched out (there is no diagnosis of acute exhaustion) and replaced by “acute anxiety disorder” (suicide is not typically a symptom of anxiety). Kramer’s daily notes say that the patient was doing well but the daily records indicate that Patrick was being treated as a severely depressed patient and was being given doses of medicine twice the normal prescription levels. And exactly how can a patient that did all of these things while in the hospital be described as “doing well”?

In his 1986 stay and a second suicide attempt, Dr. Kramer’s consult was once again on the day of discharge. Worse, Dr. Kramer listed this as a single episode of depression when in fact he knew it wasn’t. Why was Kramer being so protective of this patient? Was it Patrick’s celebrity status in Houston at the time? It is also important to note that Patrick checked out early and was not cooperative with the attending physician and therapist.

And once again, Dan lied by saying that he was only coping with mild depression and exhaustion.

What's more, it appears that the diagnosis of depression and exhaustion are incorrect -- that more likely Patrick suffers from bipolar disorder. Jennings and the doctors with whom he consulted note these incidents from Dan's years in the state senate, not just decades' old incidents like were found in the old records.

Here is a short list of episodes that have happened while Dan was in the Senate:

  • During the 2011 session Patrick was carrying the sonogram bill and got into argument with House Sonogram sponsor Sid Miller. Patrick blew his cork one day and walked over to House where he threatened, in front of House members, to beat up Sid Miller. The House then got mad at Patrick; he went to see Straus and they had an argument and Straus told Patrick to stay away from the House.
  • On the night of the vote on TSA groping bill, Patrick said he had the votes. Patrick was recognized by Dewhurst to bring up the bill based on his telling Dewhurst he had 21 votes, but immediately senators started complaining he didn’t have the votes, and Patrick pulled down the bill, then started yelling crazily at the Senators and Dewhurst and ran off Senate floor.
  • Another episode Was the this year’s education bill. Patrick agreed to an amendment dealing with requiring Algebra II, in front of the entire Senate caucus…then in characteristic style came out on the floor and announced “he’d changed his mind” during the debate (unheard of in the Senate). Sen Tommy Williams carried the amendment to require Algebra II, which passed.
  • During the 2013 session Patrick always had to look good and would not accept challenges to his authority. His behavior as Chair of Public Education was embarrassing, yelling at witnesses and always having to be right. Houston education advocates Don Adams and Jim Windham complained Patrick continually told them he was going to do one thing, but did another.
  • There is another well documented event where Tommy Williams was furious at Patrick over the budget that Patrick helped write and later voted against for “political grandstanding” purposes.

There are, of course, many other recent examples – I didn’t even bring up John Carona.

Yeah, that Carona thing from two years ago was quite interesting -- and not atypical of the conduct of someone suffering from uncontrolled bipolar disorder.

Now is this about stigmatizing mental illness? No, it isn't. I've had more than one individual in my life who has struggled with mental illness. Left untreated, they can wreak havoc in personal and professional settings.

Rather than the second highest office in the state, Dan Patrick appears to need treatment. If he does not get it, he will spiral out of control in the high-stress position of lieutenant governor.

Assuming, or course, that the people of Texas don't decide to vote for Democrat Letitia Van de Putte in November.

Of course, this whole matter leads to a different question. Where has the media been on this one. Texas Tribune? Texas Monthly? Any one of the major newspapers in the state, starting with Dan Patrick's hometown paper, the Houston Chronicle? They should have uncovered and reported on the public records about Dan Patrick months ago, rather than allowing Jerry Patterson to dump it in the final days of the runoff and then leaving a local blogger to put the pieces together in the final days of the runoff. That is journalistic negligence -- or part of a scheme to influence the outcome of the race by disclosing the information closer to the general election.

And as an aside, doesn't this late-breaking story raise questions about the practice of early voting, which allows at least half the voters to cast their ballot before all information about the candidates is out?





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