Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Letter From Judge Eckels in Support of Pat Lykos for D.A.

How will you feel tomorrow?

Friends & Neighbors,

Elections have been likened to a tug of war. Although any individual's effort rarely proves decisive, it still makes a real difference--and is vital to achieving victory overall. By this time tomorrow, we will know who has won.

• Will you have grabbed the rope and pulled with all your might?
• Will you have encouraged others to hold on too, and pull along with you?
• Will you feel pride or sadness, satisfaction or regret?

Election Day matters more than all the days of early voting combined. A window is closing. You need to act now, or your opinions will be just that--thoughts and ideas in your head, without any real impact on the world.

Go vote, make your loved ones vote, urge your neighbors to vote, tell your friends to vote, and encourage your coworkers to vote. And tell them why you are voting for Pat Lykos:
• Why Judge Emmett and I are voting for Pat Lykos;
• Why the National Rifle Association and Houston Chronicle are urging you to vote for Pat Lykos;
• Why grassroots bloggers like David "Big Jolly" Jennings are voting for Pat Lykos;
• Why five former U.S. Attorneys are voting for Pat Lykos.

Like me, they know she's kept her promises. They appreciate that the courthouse is no longer a frat house. They are grateful she has helped lead the successful effort to build an an independent crime lab we can trust. They like that downtown union bosses and bureaucrats can't push her around. They respect she's not afraid to step on some toes to get things done. And just as I do, they know in their minds and hearts that life in Harris County will be diminished terribly if the District Attorney's Office is allowed to slide back into the business as usual of the past.

Today, May 29th, is your last day to vote. Polls are open until 7:00 p.m., and you can click here to find your precinct polling location. Pull hard--you'll feel great tomorrow, I promise.

Thank You and God Bless,
Robert Eckels
Former Harris County Judge

Saturday, May 26, 2012

United Republicans of Harris County - Not Pay for Play Slate

  Confused about the slates arriving in your mailbox touting recommendations from this group or that group as you head to the poll on Election Day? Most are published by groups known to profit from a corrupt practice called "pay for play". That means in order to secure an endorsement from the organization or individual, the candidate must pay money for an ad in the publication. This runs into the thousands of dollars. For first time or less known challengers to incumbents this money is scarce and needed to do the work of actually campaigning, not enriching a handful of men who wish to boost their egos and bank accounts with an illusion of power in the political process.

    Looking for an alternative? One group actually interviews and researches candidates before endorsing in contested races. Here is their slate:

   The Board of Directors of United Republicans of Harris County is pleased to announce their endorsements in contested races in the 2012 Republican Primary. United Republicans is the only organization to interview and research candidates in contested races in the Republican Primary. The Board of Directors is comprised of activists and business and community leaders with extensive involvement in the Republican Party. The candidate selection process is based on excellent qualifications, experience, commitment to the Republican Party and leadership. United Republicans urges your vote for these "MOST QUALIFIED CANDIDATES" in their respective races. Please visit United Republicans of Harris County to find out more about the organization, our events,etc. United Republicans' Endorsements In Contested Races For The 2012 Republican Primary

  Position                                   Candidate

  U. S. Senate                           David Dewhurst

  U. S. House, Dist. 7               John Culberson

  U. S. House, Dist. 8               Kevin Brady

  U. S. House, Dist. 10             Michael McCaul

  U. S. House, Dist. 22            Pete Olson

  U. S. House, Dist.36            Mike Jackson

  Railroad Commissioner       Roland Sledge

  Railroad Commissioner *    Barry Smitherman          * Unexpired Term

  Justice Supreme Court, Pl. 2   Don Willett

  Justice Supreme Court, Pl. 4   David Medina

  Court of Crim. App., Pl. 8    Elsa Alcala

  State Senator, Dist. 4            Tommy Williams

  State Senator, Dist                Dave Norman

  State Representative, Dist.127   Dan Huberty

  State Representative,Dist.129   John E. Davis

  State Representative,Dist.132   Bill Callegari

  State Representative, Dist.133   Jim Murphy

  State Representative, Dist.138   Dwayne Bohac

  State Representative, Dist.149   Jack Lee

   District Judge, Dist. 11             Michael West

   District Judge, Dist. 61              George May

   District Judge, Dist. 127           Russell Lloyd

   District Judge, Dist. 129           Michael Landrum
                                                    Chris Gillett

   District Judge, Dist. 133           Lamar McCorkle

   District Judge, Dist. 151           Leif Olson  

   District Judge, Dist. 152           Allyson Wilkinson
   District Judge, Dist. 164           Sophia Mafrige

   District Judge, Dist. 174           Robert Summerlin

   District Judge, Dist. 177           Ryan Patrick

    District Judge, Dist. 179          Lana Shadwick

    District Judge, Dist. 337           Renee Magee

   District Attorney                       Pat Lykos

   County Court At Law, #2         Donna Detamore
                                                    Theresa Chang

   County Attorney                       Leslie Johnson

   County Sheriff                          Carl Pittman

    County Tax Assess/Collect.    Don Sumners

   County Commissioner Pct. 4 *   R. Jack Cagle           * Unexpired Term

   JP, Pct. 4, Place 1                      J. Kent Adams

   Constable, Pct. 4                       Ron Hickman

   Constable, Pct. 5                       Phil Camus

   Constable, Pct. 8                       Phil Sandlin

   Harris County GOP Chair         Paul Simpson

Thursday, May 24, 2012

HCRP on Taking Back America

The theme of this election cycle put forth by the Harris County Republican Party leadership, and by that I mean Chairman Jared Woodfill, since he is all that is with the office anymore, except the much put upon assistant working there, is Taking Back America By Organizing Your Precinct. Catchy, right? Yeah, not so much. It does state the mission, though.

  I attended an organizational and educational meeting Thursday evening for SD 17, as I am a new member of said state Senate District. With the hodgepodge that is the re-districting mess, my former district was redrawn and, frankly, that's ok with me, given the politician I now have representing me in Austin. Just sayin'.

  Anyhoo. I went for the entertainment potential of the evening. As readers know, I support and endorse Paul F. Simpson for Harris County Republican Party chairman. As I expected, I didn't hear much new in this instructional meeting. I have heard it before at previous meetings that are arranged in election years. There were some good suggestions for house parties within precincts to allow neighbors to meet candidates and if that effort is truly being done on a widespread basis, then maybe voter participation will increase. My only concern was with the notion that the precinct chair is all-knowing about various candidates to dispense voting advice if asked by those in attendance. Maybe so but I would have concern that some precinct chairs may not look at long term benefits of some candidates and go with those figured to be "the next in line" or "entitled" to a seat.

  Woodfill did encourage more people to take advantage of the county party's autodial system to invite people to house parties or neighborhood coffees with candidates. He emphasized that inviting candidates to a function increases attendance and educates voters at the same time.

  It was good to hear that the county party plans to have four brick and mortar HCRP Victory Centers functioning for the November election - the main office headquarters, plus centers in the northwest, east and south locations of Harris County. If we had effective fundraising by the party during steady intervals, HCRP could have these offices as permanent outlets around the county, in my opinion. Party outreach would be so much more effective if it wasn't obvious election year pandering.

    I was encouraged to hear that the party chairman is committed to taking back Tx Dist 149, as I work for one candidate for that office. Currently in Democratic control, the seat is now in a re-districted district that is 50% Republican. Republicans have a real shot to unseat the incumbent if Jack Lee is the winner in his primary race. Current statistics and research show that the other two candidates will not succeed against the incumbent in the November election. His top opponent in the race, however, is one who previously ran for this office and now feels entitled to the seat. The entitlement mentality is not what conservatives should be rewarding in elections.

   Ways to do effective outreach to Independent voters and new voters to the state were discussed. Also, outreach to the senior citizen communities - who are reliable voters and in Texas are generally believed to be conservative voters - was discussed but I was disappointed that no talk was given about outreach to young voters and to the college campuses in the county with Republican student clubs. This is the population that needs to hear the Republican message and recruited as volunteers for the party.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

House Energy Action Team Rolls Across Country

H.E.A.T. - the House Energy Action Team is crossing the country spreading the word of their work in Congress to bring about energy independence for America. For those Texans living in the Permian Basin, the team is coming your way.

Meet 24 Republican Women Serving in Congress

Sunday, May 20, 2012

GOP Voters Beware: Smear Campaign Within HCRP Chairman Race

  Using the cutting edge in technology, Paul Simpson, candidate for Harris County GOP Chairman held an online round table discussion as he welcomed questions from viewers and listeners via Skype, personal computers, phones, Twitter and Facebook. How cool is it to sit in your comfy chair at home and attend a virtual round table discussion? Very. That's how much.

    I have publicly endorsed Paul Simpson in his challenge to the current Harris County GOP Chairman. It is a tough race. A small group of men are enjoying the benefits of the current leadership and will not allow new leadership without a fight. And, by a fight, I mean some really nasty campaigning. Maybe they have forgotten the 11th Commandment of Ronald Reagan - do not speak ill of other Republicans. Financial rewards are powerful incentives to keep the status quo. It is, of course, the county party that suffers in the meantime.  

  Paul Simpson, like me, is from Louisiana. Politics is in our blood in that state. Paul, like me, sites an early interest in politics, as his parents guided his political philosophy development. It was that way in my house, too. Paul Simpson began participating in politics at the age of 13 and by the age of 16, he was State Chair of the Teenage GOP of Louisiana. At Rice University, he was president of Young Republicans. In 1987-88, he was District Chair for Jack Kemp and was a precinct chairman for 20 years.

  To say that Paul Simpson knows grassroots politics and how to organize people is an understatement. This kind of leadership is needed to grow the party and bring about financial stability. Currently, the coffers at HCRP are empty and unless it is for a television appearance, the current chairman is rarely seen. I know he was a no-show for my Republican Womens Club PAC when Paul Simpson and he were issued the invitation to speak at our monthly meeting about the campaign. Simpson was there and the group appreciated his responsiveness to our questions and concerns. Paul Simpson knows the importance of Republican women in the GOP in Texas.

  It is crucial to elect new leadership at the county level. Though solidly Republican since 1994, Harris County is now in danger of losing that control. In 2010, Democrats carried Harris County in the Governor's race and now control Early Voting, too. There are 100 less precinct chairs than Democrats possess in the county. This trend has to be stopped in its tracks.

  In order for the current leadership to maintain its grip on control of the county party, a smear campaign in in progress, just in time to influence Early Voting. Here is a particularly ugly piece on a former HCRP chairman's blog:

  In his TCR blog, Gary Polland attacks Paul Simpson to support the incumbent County Chair. Polland claims he once terminated Simpson from party “leadership” because he would not “uphold the Republican Party platform” on family values and “caved just like a Democrat phony.” This is a false and ironic smear. Polland's claims are false, as online news articles published at the time show (linked in the following): In summer 2000, Gary Polland asked Paul Simpson to draft a letter for Polland to send the court of appeals that had thrown out the Texas sodomy law. After writing the draft letter – which was never sent – Simpson defended it on TV, when Polland would not talk to the reporter. When Polland was later “unavailable for comment” to another reporter, Simpson called a Democrat-controlled State House Committee’s subpoena “a politically inspired attack on free speech.” Simpson emphasized “Other means of political action [would be] more appropriate and effective” because talking to a judge about an ongoing case was not proper. Others agreed, including Paul Bettencourt (“under no circumstances should anybody be lobbying people to reverse their opinions while the case is active”) and consultant Allen Blakemore (“To call on a judge to change his opinion, well, I'm not a lawyer, but that's bad . . . You're not supposed to do that”). Polland and Simpson together testified that fall before that House Committee (Simpson “stood by Polland”), and the Committee backed down.

  Polland fired Simpson from the treasurer post the next year, because Simpson refused to sign a loyalty oath to him, lest Simpson run for County Chair (“When a party subordinate got too ambitious, Gary Polland fired him”).

  The smear campaign centers on using the dog whistle issue of "sodomy" as a divider. And, it is a patently false claim, to boot. Plus, there is the bonus of irony amidst the charge leveled against Paul Simpson - that he doesn't support "family values" when push comes to shove. Perhaps Polland counts on the average voter forgetting his public support of Mayor Annise Parker in the last election. Pot/kettle, Mr. Polland.

  I ask that you join me in voting for Paul F. Simpson for Harris County GOP chairman. Do not reward this kind of political hackery to continue to bring our party down in Harris County.

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Endorses WI Gov Walker

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is not a traditional friend of the GOP, yet here the op-ed is today endorsing the re-election of Gov Walker in his recall election:

We see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election

Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions. It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.

Walker's policies simply haven't been in place long enough to know whether they are to blame. Our view is that global trends, including the turmoil in Europe, have much more to do with whether Wisconsin's companies succeed than the policies of a single politician. We also believe that, at the margins, the yearlong tantrum over Walker has been harmful.

To his credit, Walker has helped to right the state's finances with a minimum of gimmicks - the governor reported recently that the state may be able to book a $154 million surplus next year. This good news has been lost in the clutter surrounding an unnecessary recall election that will cost as much as $18 million just to stage, according to the Government Accountability Board.

The governor also has made a good-faith attempt to shore up the state's economic development efforts through the creation of a public-private entity to head up those efforts, through reform of the state's tort laws, through a series of business tax breaks and by improving Wisconsin's image with business leaders outside the state.

This is a recall without justification. Making tough choices and reining in the beast that is union benefit programs is hard. Gov Walker made the unpopular choices. Union members must make sacrifices along with everyone else when tough times arise.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Judicial Misconduct Complaint Filed Against Judge Mike Anderson

Local conservative activist and Founder of the Houston Tea Party Felicia Cravens stepped up and filed a judicial misconduct complaint against Judge Mike Anderson Wednesday. Anderson, running against current Harris County D.A. Pat Lykos,appears to have used an official, taxpayer-funded county courtroom to film several partisan political campaign commercials.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have a personal friendship with Felicia Cravens and I have publicly endorsed Pat Lykos for Harris County D.A.

Voters deserve immediate, transparent and substantive answers from Mike Anderson regarding the serious legal and ethical concerns raised by his actions.

• Use of a public area in a government building for private purposes requires at least 10 days advance written authorization from the county’s Facilities & Property Management Division, as well as payment of several fees to cover utility, janitorial and security expenses. Did Mike Anderson submit a written request, receive written authorization and pay the proper fees just as anyone else would have to—and if so, will he prove that fact by releasing the necessary records and receipts?

• If Mike Anderson didn’t receive authorization from FPMD to use the 262nd courtroom, who gave him permission to do so? Anyone? Who signed him and his entourage in to the building after-hours? Or does Anderson simply think the courthouse belongs to him, and its courtrooms are his private property to use as he see fit?

• On the evening or weekend Mike Anderson brought his cast and crew into the courthouse, were all individuals, boxes and bags screened through security and properly checked for weapons, as required—or were folks allowed to wander the building unsupervised, possibly leaving items to be recovered later?

• An average citizen, civic group or private business wanting to film an advertisement in a courtroom setting would have to pay a hefty fee to rent a production studio with a mock courtroom. Did Mike Anderson pay the county an equivalent amount for his use of the 262nd—or does he expect taxpayers to provide him with free studio space?

• If no equivalent rental fee was paid, his campaign received something of real value. Will Anderson be reporting this on his official campaign finance report as an in-kind contribution—and if so, what amount, and from whom?

• Most fundamentally—does Mike Anderson simply not understand or respect that the courthouse is a sanctuary in the service of justice, and politics should be kept out of its courtrooms?

This has easily been the nastiest campaign of the GOP primary and maybe Mike Anderson just operates this way. Anderson has made it clear to those listening to his speeches on the campaign trail that he longs for the days of the past - those of the good ole boy network in charge and business as usual.

Some in Harris County are demanding better of the old days - those of scandals and back slapping, wink-wink ways. Pat Lykos has been very effective in her leadership and that doesn't sit too well with the old guard. Not to mention that she's a woman, to boot.

Harris County deserves a real leader in the D.A.'s office. Pat Lykos is that leader.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett Endorses Lykos for D.A.

Tuesday, the endorsement by Harris County Judge, Ed Emmett was announced for current Harris County District Attorney, Pat Lykos in her re-election campaign for District Attorney.

Judge Emmett used these words about Lykos' work as District Attorney:

“As District Attorney, Pat Lykos has taken steps that have vastly improved criminal justice for adults and juveniles. Her actions have eliminated overcrowding in the jail and juvenile detention center. Justice is better served and taxpayers' dollars are better spent.” - Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

On Meeting Charles Krauthammer

There are a handful of people that I aspire to meet or at least be in close proximity to in real life on my bucket list. You know, the list of things to do before we kick the bucket of life. I can now mark off one of those names - that of Charles Krauthammer, syndicated columnist, Fox News Contributor, and super intelligent man. Some days are just really, really good ones. Friday, Institute for Energy Research (IER) held its Third Annual IER Houston Luncheon.
The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society. Founded in 1989 from a predecessor organization, IER is a public foundation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought for or accepted from government sources
I was given the opportunity to volunteer at this event. A Republican woman friend put me on the list and that opportunity also brought lunch and the keynote speech by Dr. Krauthammer. A group of ten women organized and worked the two registration tables and distributed books as gifts for the VIP reception guests. As Dr. Krauthammer entered the reception space, he stopped and chatted to three of us positioned in front of that door. He was gracious and in no hurry to rush on by us. He thanked us for working the event. I was surprised I maintained the ability to speak briefly. I also had the pleasure of getting to know his assistant, a terrific young man who is a student at Georgetown University.
Since its inception in Houston, Tx, in 1989, the Institute for Energy Research has become the premier source for sound energy research. As Washington DC's only free mraket think tank forcsed exclusively on the energy sector, IER concentrates on the threats to personal liberty and economic propertiy that undermine America's global position as a major energy producing nation. W believe that current energy and environmental regulations and laws limit the energy choices available to American consumers and increase costs for everybody.
Krauthammer was welcomed with a long, loud applause from those in attendance, after he was introduced. He stated that he was "happy to be anywhere where Juan Williams can't interrupt me." All of the Fox News Channel viewers enjoyed that remark. Noted in his introduction was the fact that Krauthammer was a speechwriter for Mondale, back in the day. "I was young once", he said in response to that little known fact being mentioned. He is also author of a widely respected study on bi-polar mental health issues. Krauthammer noted that a perfect storm in politics brought in the election of Barack Obama as President in 2008. The financial collapse just before the election, a weak campaign by the McCain camp, and the historic marker of America's first black President all came together for Obama. This election is very much different for him. Now he struggles with a failing agenda and record in office and also an economy that is the slowest to recover from a recession since the Great Depression. He spoke of unprecedented arrogance used by this president. His continual references to anyone of importance in introductions - such as "MY intelligence agency" after the raid on bin Laden, or "MY Secretary of Defense", all point to delusions of grandeur. It began immediately upon Obama clinching the Democratic Party nomination on June 4, 2008, when he stated that "history will remember this night when the earth began to heal and the waters receded." Who thinks like that, much less speaks in such terms about his own achievement to be his party's nominee? Krauthammer says Obama "reigns supreme in self-adoration". Couldn't have said it better myself.

 Others can be excited about meeting rock stars or entertainers. As a political junkie, Charles Krauthammer is at the top of my list of super stars. It is terrific to meet someone so well-respected and find him to be down to earth and friendly and most gracious to those around him.

Friday, May 11, 2012

HCRP Chairman Bloviates on Social Issues

Seriously? This is what brings you out to the media cameras? Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill made the rounds to tout his opposition to President Obama's support of gay marriage. He does enjoy stepping up and speaking if a camera is involved.

This is just another distraction so folks won't focus on 8.1 percent unemployment, gas prices that are close to $4 a gallon, growth that is at two percent and an economy that is just dead on arrival," said Jared Woodfill with the Harris County Republican Party.

At a time when so many GOP candidates have stepped forward and devoted the time out of their ordinary lives to run for office, you would think that the County party chairman would at least support them by showing up for events, much less for debate forums with his challenger for the position, wouldn't you?

I encourage you to look at Paul F. Simpson for Harris County Republican Party Chairman. He will bring enthusiasm, fresh ideas, innovation, modern day technology and grassroots support to the position. Let's not allow the Democrats to take over Harris County.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Santorum Tepidly Endorses Romney

Rick Santorum has endorsed Mitt Romney for President. Kinda. Maybe. Sort of. To say it was a half-hearted and dismissive endorsement is a reasonable assessment. He sent out an email to supporters about 11:00 PM Monday night. He claims he wanted people to see it "first thing in the morning" as they opened email. The endorsement was some 900 plus words into the email. When asked about the placement of the endorsement by tv host Jay Leno, Santorum answered that it was about writing to supporters, not really about Romney.
Because, in essence, the message was about him, not Mr. Romney. “This was a letter to my supporters – who were for me – to say, ‘Well, here’s now why I think we should rally around Mitt Romney and support him,’ " Santorum said.
  In the 12th paragraph of the email, the endorsement appeared:
Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Governor Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.
  Clearly, Santorum is grudgingly providing an endorsement of Romney so that he remains viable for 2016. He no doubt expects prime time air time for a speech at the GOP National Convention this summer in Tampa. I hope he is denied that. Maybe he struck a deal with Romney to retire the financial debt he left the race owing.

  Santorum is not a gracious man and he is not likable. This stunt did nothing to reverse that narrative.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mukasey Says More to Come on Obama's Role in bin Laden Raid

“One definition of a great leader,” Mukasey added later in the interview, “is somebody who takes less credit than he should and takes more blame than he should. And that’s not what we’ve got now.” That is what former U.S. Attorney Michael Mukasey said recently during a television interview about the bin Laden raid. He states that there was a "highly lawyered" memo drafted by Defense Secretary Panetta that would protect President Obama politically and let the blame fall upon Naval Special Operations Commander Adm. Bill McRaven.

When speaking about the politics of the bin Laden raid, Mukasey said that more would come out about it.

Murkasey is not fan of the bragging that Obama was pursued for his re-election campaign purposes.

Consider the events surrounding the operation. A recently disclosed memorandum from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta shows that the president's celebrated derring-do in authorizing the operation included a responsibility-escape clause: "The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out."

Which is to say, if the mission went wrong, the fault would be Adm. McRaven's, not the president's. Moreover, the president does not seem to have addressed at all the possibility of seizing material with intelligence value—which may explain his disclosure immediately following the event not only that bin Laden was killed, but also that a valuable trove of intelligence had been seized, including even the location of al Qaeda safe-houses. That disclosure infuriated the intelligence community because it squandered the opportunity to exploit the intelligence that was the subject of the boast.

Mukasey noted the me, me, me tone of the announcement made by President Obama on the bin Laden raid:

"I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . ."

No one thinks that this decision was easy, peasy but to think that it wouldn't be made in the affirmative to move on the intelligence that bin Laden was in a particular location and that the special ops team could move in and accomplish the kill is to deny a no-brainer. But, to announce the team that accomplished the goal was a disservice to them, in that it put them in danger.

And, the man who criticized President Bush for "politicizing" the 9/11/01 attacks on America sets himself up for the same criticism.

The man from whom President Obama has sought incessantly to distance himself, George W. Bush, also had occasion during his presidency to announce to the nation a triumph of intelligence: the capture of Saddam Hussein. He called that success "a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq." He attributed it to "the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers. . . . Their work continues, and so do the risks."

A real leader steps in and takes blame for failure, not glory for success that is due to the military.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Endorsing Pat Lykos for Harris County D.A.

A forum was held for the Republican candidates running for Harris County D.A. on Thursday night, sponsored by King Street Patriots and Big Jolly Politics. It was billed as "60 Minutes of Straight Talk" and it surpassed expectations.

Current Harris County D.A. Pat Lykos is running for re-election and she is being challenged in the primary by Judge Mike Anderson. To say that this campaign is nasty would be an understatement. Frankly, even those who normally don't pay much attention to local and county politics have noticed. My husband is one of those people. As I was leaving for the event, I reminded him where I would be and he said, "Oh, that's an ugly race". Yes. Yes, it is.

Retired State District Judge Anderson announced his challenge of Lykos and the negative campaign began. He seems to think the compelling issue of the campaign is office morale in the D.A.'s office. This goes back to the good old boys and their desire to reinstate the frat house atmosphere that Lykos cleaned up as she took office. The days of booze and back slapping good old boys are over at the D.A.'s office and for some, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

Lykos is building an independent crime lab, as she pledged to do. For those wanting to profit from a crime lab at an out of county location or with private groups, this means they will not ride the taxpayer's gravy train. That is not going down so well. The crime lab will be located in the Medical Center area and will be utilize state of the art technology. Especially in the area of DNA evidence, the medical community and the judicial community will jointly benefit from Lykos' community commitment. Signed, sealed and delivered.

Follow the money. Police officers who are not booking people for trace amounts of drugs, so scant that no evidence for trial would be remaining after the testing procedure of the alleged drugs, are not using 3 or 4 hours off the beat and racking up taxpayer funded overtime checks.

 Lykos is recognized statewide for her innovative programs and her strong law and order manner. The good old boys must not appreciate a professional in office, demanding that the hours of law enforcement be used responsibly. While her opponent openly mocked Lykos' concern of overcrowded jails, claiming it was fine with him to have them stacked on top of each other, Lykos has allowed the judicial community to concentrate on more serious crimes like robbery, murder and human trafficking.

  Five former U.S. Attorneys have endorsed Pat Lykos for Harris County D.A.

 The "runaway jury" controversy? It was a slanderous and wrong-headed attack on Lykos by her opponents. It was Lykos who invited the federal agents into the situation to investigate, despite what the folks spreading the lies would have you believe. Everything that was alleged by the person investigated in the DWI case was proven false by the federal authorities. The DWI lawyer was shown to be manipulating the jury and denied the D.A.'s office standard access to the jury. As far as taking photos of the jury? If you have ever had the opportunity to serve on a Grand Jury, you know that the first action is to take your picture after you are chosen. It is also used for your id badge.

 Maybe the complainer believes in other tin foil hat conspiracies, too. It is unusual for a Republican vs Republican race to be so ugly. Shame on the other campaign. When you have nothing else to offer the voter, maybe all that can be used is phony and negative attacks on the opponent.

 This office was an embarrassment to the citizens of Harris County before Lykos was elected and instigated the clean up. Maybe her opponent, who boasts of having the support of the very crowd who produced the former atmosphere, would just like to return to the days of not having a strong, competent, innovative, successful woman in charge. No doubt the whining about "low morale" by the liberals and those hoping to go back to the good old boys ways are hoping to defeat Lykos.

  That would not be in the best interests of Harris County.

  As Lykos says, as she points out her office's success in combating human trafficking and the fact that the border is not secured, that there are two specific duties of government: "to maintain law and order internally and to protect our borders.

   I endorse Pat Lykos for Harris County District Attorney.

Roland Sledge for Texas Railroad Commissioner

Frankly, I haven't been paying much attention to the Texas Railroad Commissioner race during this Texas GOP primary season. I have, however, been getting some interesting emails from one candidate all along. That candidate is Roland Sledge. Last night I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Mr. Sledge.

Roland Sledge is running for Texas Railroad Commissioner after a 35 year career as an attorney in the oil and gas industry. He, like me, believes the position requires a person with real life experience in the industry. There is no substitute for common sense and real world experience.

Earlier in the week I listened as a member of his campaign staff spoke on Sledge's behalf at another GOP event. She encouraged everyone to look at the new video put out by the campaign. The video uses a quote from Will Rogers and involves "peeing on an electric fence."

Here is his new video that is getting all the buzz, even with the likes of The New York Times:

We know that there is a real war being waged on the oil and gas industry by the Obama administration. Texas deserves a fighter who will protect jobs and Texas battles with the EPA. America deserves energy independence and common sense solutions.

I support Roland Sledge for Texas Railroad Commissioner.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

RHCIA Straw Poll Meeting Draws Standing Room Only Audience

Tuesday night the Republican Hispanic Citizens In Action held a Straw Poll meeting for contested GOP primary races in Harris County. The overflow crowd heard from a wide variety of candidates and an appearance by Rep Ted Poe to boot. Rep Poe spoke of the need for strong voter turn-out and bringing in hard working conservatives to fight the battles in Washington, D.C.

Harris County has an abundance of strong, qualified Republicans running for office. In the judicial races, in particular, it is crucial for a strong voter turn-out in the primary and then in November to take back the majority of judicial seats swept away in 2008 by the Obama tsunami. Many candidates have compelling personal stories about why they chose to come forward and run for office. Some of these races are downright nasty and that includes Republican against Republican in the primary. What would Ronald Reagan think?

The positive takeaway is that there are fresh faces running for office. No longer satisfied with the "it's my turn" mindset of some, they have taken a deep breath and plunged into the world of county-wide politics. We even heard some speak against the long standing and utterly corrupt pay-for-play endorsement slates sent out by a handful of men reaping the benefits of this system. Ever wonder what in the world is wrong with Harris County Republican politics? The pay-for-play system in place in the primary system is a large part of all that is wrong with Harris County politics. For candidates to begin speaking out against that system, boldly and unafraid, is very encouraging. And, appreciated.

A short list of some impressive candidates: Don Sumners, Tax Assessor-Collector; Sophia Mafrige for Judge, 164th Civil District Court; Leif Olson,for Judge,151st Civil District Court; Kevin Fulton,for Judge Justice of the Peace 5th Precinct- Place 1; Allyson Wilkinson, for Judge 152nd Civil District Court; Al Florido for Harris County Constable Precinct 5; Kristin Guiney, District Judge 179th District; Michael Landrum,District Judge,129th District; Richard Johnson, Harris Co Dept of Ed Brd of Trustees, At-Large Pos. 3; and Bruce Bain,Judge 11th District. I have missed some here but the point is that there are many people working hard to be elected to serve Harris County who are very qualified and will be working hard for the taxpayer.

Full Disclosure: I am serving as Campaign Manager for the Jack Lee for Tx Dist 149 campaign. Jack won the Straw Poll in his District's primary race. He is a hard working campaigner, a lifelong Republican with a record of working as a volunteer in campaigns dating back to his high school days and served as an Intern for former Rep Bill Archer in his younger days.

I support Rep Jim Murphy for State Rep District 133, the district in which I live.

I support the re-election of Harris County D.A. Pat Lykos.

I have endorsed Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate.

I have endorsed Paul Simpson for Harris County Republican Party Chairman.

I encourage you to go to some of these events and get to know the candidates. Hear what they have to say about the offices for which they are running and what they have as a vision of serving in that office.

You are the taxpayer. They work for you. Demand the best.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Ego of Barack Obama on Display on Anniversary of bin Laden's Death

This week marks the one year anniversary of the capture and death of Osama bin Laden. To mark the moment, Team Obama headquartered in Chicago, have put out a video asking if Mitt Romney would have ben courageous enough to make the same call that Barack Obama did in putting his approval on the mission in Pakistan.

The successful Navy SEALs raid on bin Laden in Pakistan is the high point of this Presidency, and his decision to launch it was widely praised on the right and left. We joined the cheers in noting that it was riskier to send in the SEALs than fire a missile from hundreds of miles away. A year later, Mr. Obama is entitled to a victory lap and to tout his record as Commander in Chief, even if the self-praise is a little over the top.

But that's not enough—it never seems to be enough—for Mr. Obama and his crack Chicago campaign team. They can't merely make the case for their boss. They have to assert that if Mitt Romney had heard the same intelligence and received the same security briefings, he would have cowered from sending in the SEALs.

The evidence? Well, in 2007—yes, five years ago—Mr. Romney said about the hunt for bin Laden in the context of the war on terror that "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." Mr. Romney was challenged on the statement by Republicans at the time, and within days he clarified about bin Laden that "He will die."

So, to be clear, to mark the one year anniversary of the killing of the guy who plotted, planned, financed and executed the worst terrorist attack on our soil, the sitting president who ordered the military action to go forward is politicising the action for his re-election campaign. A rare unifying time, the death of bin Laden, Americans breathed a sigh of relief and showed gratitude to the SEALS responsible for executing the mission. Note, too, that the President of the United States should have been more discreet and not announced the Team that took bin Laden out - if for no other reason than their own security - but we have come to expect that inability to use common sense from this president. So, now the president has divided us again.

Leadership comes from the top. Shame on him. Shame on his team in Chicago.

As you might imagine, the military folks are none too happy about the president's showboating. There are reports in the media that the SEALS, in particular, are not feeling the love for Barack Obama today. Michael Mukasey, who served as U.S. attorney general from 2007-09, and as a U.S. district judge from 1988 to 2006, wrote in today's Wall Street Journal:

The man from whom President Obama has sought incessantly to distance himself, George W. Bush, also had occasion during his presidency to announce to the nation a triumph of intelligence: the capture of Saddam Hussein. He called that success "a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq." He attributed it to "the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers. . . . Their work continues, and so do the risks."

He did mention himself at the end: "Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them."

That is not to say that great leaders, including presidents, have not placed themselves at the center of great events. But generally it has been to accept responsibility for failure

Barack Obama has been labeled many things and humility is not one of those labels.

Senator John McCain, a military veteran tortured by the Vietnamese, said Obama is no hero. "Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad," McCain said.

You may remember it was the anti-war left, of whom Barack Obama was a member, who enjoyed bellowing against then President George W. Bush and claiming he was using the 9/11/01 attacks and the capture of Saddam Hussein for the benefit of his re-election in 2004.

That was then. This is now.