Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Harris GOP judges circumvent the will of the voters

I'll just emphasize the egregious parts:

Three Republican jurists in Harris County resigned at the end of August, just late enough so that their successors will be chosen by the governor and not the voters.

To Gerry Birnberg, chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party, this means the Republicans don't respect the voters and fear the Democrats in the county's November election.

"This is a signal they are running scared," Birnberg said Tuesday.

But to the three judges who resigned, this is just the way it played out. All three said they knew about the deadline for their vacant seats to make the November ballot.

Resigning in late August were David Bernal, former judge of the civil Harris County 281st District Court; John Wooldridge, ex-judge of the civil Harris County 269th District Court; and Wanda Fowler, who sat on the Houston-based 14th Court of Appeals, which serves 10 counties including Harris.

According to the secretary of state's office, a judicial vacancy had to be effective by Aug. 22, for the voters to have a chance to fill it in November. Bernal and Fowler resigned the Monday after the deadline, and Wooldridge's was effective Sept. 1. The next judicial election is in 2010, so Gov. Rick Perry's appointees won't stand for election until then.

All three ex-judges have gone into private law practice at higher salaries. They had varying reasons for the timing of their resignation, but said it was not inspired by fear of the Democrats. In legal circles there is much conjecture about the possibility, even likelihood, that in November, Democrats will make inroads into the local all-Republican judiciary as has already happened in Dallas.

"The Republican platform says they believe in the right of the voters to elect judges. I'm not saying they did anything illegal, but if they are concerned, why undermine voters' ability to elect judges?" Birnberg said. "The answer is: They are pretty damn afraid of what the Democrats will do in '08."

Birnberg characterized it as a "manipulation of the system." He said he was especially bothered by Fowler's resignation because he heard she was leaving the bench in May.

Fowler said Tuesday that she contemplated leaving the appellate bench in the spring but changed her mind after word got out. She said she was informed by other Republicans that if she stayed until after Aug. 22, the governor could appoint her successor.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

Palintology: A Lie to Nowhere

"Repeat a lie often enough, and eventually enough people will believe it so that it becomes the truth." -- Joseph Goebbels

McPOW is running the teevee ad on CBS's Early Show this morning where Ms. Mooselini contends she passed on the Bridge to Nowhere in Ketchikan. That claim -- unlike Mrs. Palin herself -- has been thoroughly vetted as a falsehood.

So why do they continue to repeat it?

No, really. What is the point of repeating a lie when people know you're lying? Do they really think Americans are this stupid? That's a rhetorical question.

Will enough voters be deluded by these lies for the Republicans to get elected to the White House again? That's an open question.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

There's STILL only one D in SD-17

And that's despite the judge in the case calling Stephanie Elaine Fridia Simmons Cougar Mellencamp a liar about her residency and voting predilections ...

After hearing testimony from Simmons herself that she voted in the wrong county for 14 years, District Judge Scott Jenkins was the picture of disbelief. She explained that she thought it was OK to vote in her parents’ voting precinct in Harris County even though she and her husband lived in Fort Bend County. She said it never crossed her mind that she was doing anything wrong and that no one at a polling place for those 14 years asked her if she resided in the precinct.

“It’s straining my credulity,” Jenkins said in response. He used even stronger language while denying the other Democrat in the race, Chris Bell, an injunction that would have removed Simmons from the ballot. He marveled that an intelligent woman and an “officer of the court” -- Simmons is an attorney-- could have believed that what she was doing was legal.

“It saddens me that I do not believe you,” Jenkins said.

It saddens me even more that you could not figure out how to do the right and legal thing and disqualify her from the ballot, Judge Jenkins. But, as Kuffner notes, "Viva Democracy".

Still, the evidence that Chris Bell remains the only Democratic candidate in the contest is found in the large, deep hooftracks of one Ron "Water Buffalo" Wilson.

I hereby petition Sarah Palin to remove the beasts from the endangered species list.

Ike will miss us, but ...

... may follow the path of Hurricane Dolly, which (who?) hit South Texas two months ago:

This is because a weakness forecast to develop in the high-pressure ridge that's steering Ike westward, which would have allowed a northwestern turn, now may only appear briefly.

If no such weakness develops Ike will continue a largely due west, or just north of west, movement.

Valley residents will quite obviously be happier to welcome another visitor the following week.