I love election time (especially
when I'm not running). Observations about last Tuesday:
Barry Green is the District Attorney
for the 271st Judicial District.
Last summer, State District Judge
Ed King of Dallas reduced the bail bond amount of alleged murderer Patrick
Richardson to $30,000. But this was no run of the mill murder allegation.
Richardson was accused of killing his Junior League member wife in their
high tone Park Cities home. Since this story involved the three key factors
to garner press coverage: (1) it involved murder, (2) those involved were
rich, and (3) those involved were white, the story was jumped on by every
local TV and newspaper outlet in a New York minute. The result: Don't even
remotely give the impression you are soft on crime - the judge is voted
out of office by a 69% to 31% margin.
Speaking of the power of television,
long time Arlington Police Department spokesperson Dee Anderson received
over 50% of the vote to beat Tarrant County Sheriff David Williams and
five other opponents. No other law enforcement officer has graced our
TV screens as often as Anderson has in the past eight years. The result:
Anderson can be the sheriff of Tarrant County for as long as he wants.
Long time Dallas District Judge
John Marshall got booted from office. Interestingly, in this hard line,
pro-business, conservative climate, it was a rich Plaintiff's lawyer that
mind the judge's demise. You may remember Marshall has having halted
a Carrollton gun club's "pigeon shoot" as well as temporarily stopping
the tree-uprooting-renovation of Tennison golf course.
Two Democratic leaning defense lawyers
ran for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as Republicans: (1) J. Gary
Trichter, who is probably the most famous DWI defense lawyer in the State,
and (2) Pat Barber, who once posted a billboard on I-20 near Abilene that
read "Just say NO to Searches". Both of the men lost the election but I'm
not prepared to say it had anything to do with their philosophy.
The vast majority of people have no idea who to vote for in state wide
judicial elections, and to ask them to research the candidates on their
own is simply unrealistic.
As to the Texas Supreme Court, two
candidates filed as Republicans but the state GOP, believing they were
nothing more than Democrats in sheep's clothing, branded them unworthy.
Both individuals, Valorie Davenport and Rod Gorman, lost. Once again, judicial
philosophy probably had less to do with their defeat than the fact they
had names like "Valorie" and "Rod".
Locally, County Commissioner Jerry
Flusche lost his job in Tuesday's vote. I like Jerry, but no one can hold
the job of commissioner more than six months without becoming a county
whipping boy. It wouldn't matter if the county budget was run as smoothly
as Microsoft, if someone hits a 1" pot hole on their country road, they'll
be writing a letter to the editor calling for the head of their precinct's
The Republican proposition asking
whether student led prayers should be allowed in public school passed with
an overwhelming 97% of the vote. I've always said, would you Baptists and
Methodists be so willing to support the proposal if the Decatur ISD became
51% Hindu tomorrow? The issue is not about Christianity, it's about allowing
the government to sanction a particular religious interest. And once that
student graps a microphone purchased with tax dollars, it becomes a government
issue. (As a side note, the Texas Atheist Newsletter has reported that
of the 18 references
in the Bible of Jesus praying, only one of them, the infamous "My God,
my God. Why hast thou forsaken me?", occurred in public).
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