Monday, August 20, 2012

Brainy endorsements: Barbara Gardner

Like Nile Copeland, Barbara Gardner is running for the the Texas Court of Appeals, but in the Fourteenth, which also serves Harris and other surrounding counties. She will contend in Place 3 against a fresh-faced and very recent Rick Perry appointee. (The local conservatives seem right proud of him.)

I know Gardner for her work as the president of the Harris County chapter of the Texas Democratic Women, as she invited me and several other local bloggers to participate in a lively panel discussion last year.

Excerpting from the Harris County Democratic Party's profile...

Ms. Gardner is a champion of “persons’ rights.” Growing up in East Texas, early on she was somewhat of a front-runner for women’s rights, which she has always vigorously supported. [...] When she learned that the Harris County chapter of the Texas Democratic Women had fallen into an inactive state, Ms. Gardner single-handedly revived the Harris County chapter of this fine organization. The “TDWHarris” chapter is now thriving under Ms. Gardner’s leadership.

When she learned that there were 10 openings on the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals, and that there is an opportunity in 2012 to have a majority of Democrats on both courts, she decided to run for Hon. John Anderson’s bench, who (retired) from the 14th Court of Appeals. While this is a huge challenge since the race covers 10 counties, most of which are dominated by Republicans, it is the very type of task that motivates Ms. Gardner. There is a great opportunity at stake to create more balance on the courts.

Here's Gardner in her own words.

Gardner takes the "have fun while you kick ass" approach -- in the style of the indomitable Molly Ivins -- as seriously as possible.

"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”

Gardner is hosting a "Fun Fundraiser" on August 31st at the Black Finn; to the left is the flyer with all the details. Earlier this month she hosted a similar event, also with singer/guitarist Clory Martin, at Numbers.

Now how many other judicial candidates can you name that have held campaign events at one of Houston's most famous metal/punk/alternative bars?

That all but itself would be enough to qualify for my endorsement, but Barbara Gardner obviously represents a great deal more than just extraordinary judicial temperament, in the way that progressives might define it.

Go to Gardner's Facebook page to keep up with her campaign, and follow her on Twitter.

The past week's Brainy Endorsements have included...

Nile Copeland for the First Court of Appeals
Alfred and GC Molison for HD 131 and SBOE, respectively
Henry Cooper for HD 148
Keith Hampton for Presiding Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

More to come.

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