Did you ever own your own business or know someone who did, and they always hired that person to work for them that you just couldn't figure out why? Like maybe they were a useless brother-in-law or something, and they just couldn't hold down a job that they earned on their own merits? All the other employees couldn't stand that guy because he didn't deserve the job, yet the boss just kept on promoting him?
I'm starting to get the feeling that this is the phenomenon going on between Robert Eckels and Pat Lykos. The former County Judge seems to feel it necessary to do everything in his power to keep the well-past retirement age Pat Lykos as part of the active Work Force.
After her controversial tenure on the bench during the 1980s and very early 1990s, she ran for the AG's Office in a nasty nasty race (anybody seeing the pattern here? We call that foreshadowing.)
And Eckels, for some reason, decided to hire her on as some sort of special project manager within the Harris County Judge's Office. He also allowed her to maintain her "Judicial status" by taking off one day a month to go do her visiting judge gig.
Once all of the Harris County Criminal and District Court Judges stopped allowing Lykos to sit on their benches as a substitute (due to her lack of ability to get along with any of the lawyers or the staff), Eckels allowed her to travel to other counties to cover their dockets. Apparently, once you get out of the county for a few hundred miles, people don't know your reputation.
When Eckels stepped down from the County Judge's position, he made Ed Emmett promise not to terminate her employment once he left. I can't help but wonder if Lykos has been as loyal of an employee to Emmett as Eckels was to Lykos.
And when Lykos decided to run for something for the umpteenth time, Eckels was the first guy there with a $25,000 check (from people who thought that they were paying for his election campaign, by the way).
In Alan Bernstein's article today, he points out that Eckels has turned himself into a one-man crusade to Keep Pat Lykos Employed! As pointed out by Alan, and detailed below, his latest is a $17,500 donation to send out a slam-piece against Kelly Siegler on Lykos' behalf by the Harris County GOP Political Action Committee.
Seriously, Eckels, do you really think that Pat needs any help when it comes to mud-slinging? I mean, she like wrote the book on mud-slinging.
The thing that confuses me is why is Eckels playing deer-in-the-headlights about being caught doing the piece? Is it allowed for anonymous benefactors like Eckels to give that kind of money to a group that "has received no other money this year and endorsed no one for other offices."
In addition, the Harris County GOP Political Action Committee (Alan points out) "has been criticized by Republican Party officials for using the name while lacking any official connection to the party.
Yet Eckels becomes their one and only donor of the year for the sole purpose of doing a slam-piece for Lykos.
Is this sounding dirty to anybody yet?
I'm not well-versed at all when it comes to Election Law, but is this something that Lykos has to report on her finance reports? If so, did she? I'm thinking I already know the answer to that particular question.
And it is sure sounding dirty to me.