Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Race for County Court at Law # 13 (Republican)

Unquestionably the most heated primary race this Spring is the Republican Primary in County Court at Law # 13 to replace Judge Mark Atkinson, who is not running for re-election. Before the field was even finalized, there was mass confusion as Felony Division Chief Denise Bradley (who was originally in the CCL # 13 race) switched to the 262nd race, leaving controversial Deputy Misdemeanor Chief Rachel Palmer seemingly unopposed in the primary.

That changed on December 23rd, when Division Chief Don Smyth announced his candidacy. Don's decision to run was a principled and gutsy call considering the fact that Palmer had about a year headstart on him in campaigning. Nevertheless, Don and his supporters were able to raise over 700 signatures in slightly over a week (when only 250 were required) and Don is now at the top of the ballot.

The differences between the two candidates could not be more pronounced.

Rachel has been practicing law less than 7 years. Don has been doing criminal law for over 32.

Rachel hasn't risen to the level of Felony Chief in the Office, although she claims (in an extremely misleading manner) to be the Deputy Chief of the Office. Don is a Division Chief and Former Bureau Chief.

Don has tried every type of case that the District Attorney's Office has handled, while Rachel seems to be cooling her heels as a Lykos loyalist in Misdemeanor.

Don is loved by the prosecutors working under him, while Rachel's misdemeanor prosecutors have complained about feeling pressured to support her when they have found her campaign literature placed on their desks. Don is also known for backing up his people when they need it, while Palmer is more known for her willingness to tattle to Lykos.

Rachel's knowledge of the law has been questionable as her judgment during her history with the Office. During an Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child case, she caused a mistrial by asking the police officer whether or not the defendant had refused to take a polygraph exam -- a very basic question that even a regular viewer of Law and Order would recognize as inadmissible. Because the mistrial had been based on the prosecution's question, the Defense argued the case was barred from retrial due to prosecutorial misconduct. Fortunately, the Court ultimately ruled against prosecutorial misconduct and the case was allowed to proceed. Prosecutor Brent Mayr ultimately retried it and the Defendant went to prison. (NOTE: For more information, check out State of Texas v. Daniel Lee Sandifer.)

In addition, Rachel's attitude both in and away from the Office has been very off-putting for many. She is clearly a Lykos Insider who enjoys her position of power, but word of her exerting her influence as Deputy Dawg of Misdemeanor and a prosecutor, in general, are concerning. She is known as a bully to those people that aren't in HER inner circle.

Don, on the other hand, has never been accused of playing favorites. He is, quite literally, a Boy Scout -- having been active in the Organization since 1986 as a Scout Master and Scout Master Emeritus. He served for years and years as the Division Chief of the Civil Rights Division before becoming the Bureau Chief of the Governmental Affairs Bureau (which encompassed the Civil Rights and Public Integrity Divisions). He had to take the unpopular job of being the prosecutor that investigated police officers accused of wrong-doing. It may not have made him entirely popular with some police officers, but it takes a man of high integrity to hold the position for as long as he did.

He held the position of Bureau Chief until the Lykos Circus came to town and demoted him to Division Chief (because apparently in a Lykos world, they need more Rachel Palmers and less Don Smyths -- go figure.)

Don is unquestionably more qualified and would be the better judge, but he has an uphill battle due to Rachel's head start. She has the support of wealthy benefactor Carolyn Farb (has she ever even been to the CJC?) and Pat Lykos. Don's campaign is more of a Grassroots Movement from people who know the difference between a good candidate and a bad one. He needs all the help he can to win this campaign.

That being said, there is a Fundraiser for Don Smyth tomorrow (Wednesday, February 3rd) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Armadillo Palace on Kirby in the Rice Village Area.

For those of us interested in good government, it's a "Can't Miss" Event.

Don Smyth is far and away the best candidate in this race.

51 comments:

BLACK INK said...

This is the Scott Brown race of Harris County.
Murray, I am 100% on board and hope to see you tomorrow afternoon.

jigmeister said...

Aggie Precinct Chairman, take note this is the right call.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Don Smyth most of my career with the District Attorney's Office and support him completely. A few things about Don--integrity, honesty, knowledge of the law, temperament, civic involvement and devotion to family. He is an outstanding candidate and I, like Black Ink, will be there tomorrow to photograph the event. Let's make it a good one.

Edward D. Porter

Anonymous said...

Hopefully whoever wins, will keep Mary. She is one of the rare pleasant coordiantors in that building. I'm campaigning against some judges because the coordinators are down right rude and mean.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a story a while back about Rachel letting her boyfriend use her HCDA badge to push some people around?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:24,
I bet you work for or with APC don't you?

Anonymous said...

Mary will be history. She has been rude to the wrong people. It is a long list.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Palmer?

The ineptitude of the Republican party continues to amaze me.

Rage

Aggie Pct Chair said...

I met a good friend of Don Smyth and am sold. I am concerned my endorsement on this blog will hurt him but I can guarantee my endorsement in my precinct will not.

I also received information from somebody connected to those close to the Palmer campaign who confirmed what I read on this blog and also described an incident that has not yet been disclosed. If true, shame on Lykos and shame on Palmer. The impression I was left with is that those working closely with Palmer campaign aren't real proud to be doing so.

Anonymous said...

APC, come to the kick off party tomorrow night and meet the man himself. I think you will be even more impressed.

Aggie Pct Chair said...

Thanks for the invite but I will not be able to attend. I spend my Wednesday evenings at Church. Don has my vote and endorsement for good or worse. I would love to have someone like rage worship with me one day. I believe he could use a little faith.

Anonymous said...

Aggie Pct Chair, people were "attacking" you because a lot of people who read this blog know what is going on in the CJC, know the people involved in these races and care about what happens in the building we spend most of our days. People, correctly I am afraid, are upset that an uneducated, as it relates to the CJC, public continues to hurt the CJC with their votes out of party loyalty. That is what you appeared to be doing with your support of Wood, Palmer, Dexter. But, if you are really doing your homework then I applaud you. Can't speak for everyone of course but most people on this site agree that Cary Hart and Don Smyth are the best candidates for Ct 3 and Ct 13. You said you found Black Ink to be on the money and the most credible. Black Ink posted that Murray was spot on with his endorsements so far. Murray has not made it to the 180th but I bet it is Marc Brown and again I would agree. If you are going to give your endorsements to those in your pct., please continue to do your homework for the sake of putting up the best qualified people. Go meet the candidates and talk to them one on one. You are a precinct chair. I am sure they would love to talk to you in person. If you see Marc, Don or Cary at one of these events, go up to them and tell them you are "THE" Aggie Precinct Chair, they will know about you I am sure, or don't if you would prefer, but TALK to them. All 3 of them are good, honest, hard working people and will not be fake with you. You will see what Murray and others have said about Cary and Don ( and I am sure Marc when the time comes) to be true and they are the best, most experienced and qualified candidates for the Republican Party to put up in November.

Anonymous said...

APC,

I assume you are referring to the event at Palmer's house back in October / November when her finace' got drunk and threatened to arrest their neighbors using Palmer's DA badge...

The story goes on, but to suffice to say, there WAS a cover up of sorts at intake and events of that night (and the phone call from responding officers to intake) were not to be discussed, presumably because it would harm Palmer's campagin if it got out. WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT!! NO SENSE OF BEATING AROUND THE BUSH WITH THE FACTS!!!

It's in an official HPD offense report that is making it's way around the office here. I have read it and the above facts are all inside. It's been on the down low as everyone fears what would happen if we were caught with it.

What a great place to work, huh?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:04 AM:

Absolutely right on!! I've been around for years and have never seen anything so dismal as the atmosphere that exits today at the CJC. There are a ton of good people working there whose jobs are compounded by the suck ups created by Lykos' osmosis.

Is the investigation regarding Palmer's boyfriend complete? How has the DA handled the matter? Will the matter be accurately reflected in Palmer's official file?

As was said earlier in this thread..."this is the Scott Brown race of Harris County" and well said at that! I'll probably be at Don's fundraiser tonight, but then again, ya'll won't know me. DON SMYTH has my vote and support!!

Anonymous said...

Please someone post the incident number or his address........................

Awesome RACHEL!!!! GOOD JOB!!!!

Poetic Justice said...

Anon 7:04,
If what you say is true, it is easy enough to make an open records request to confirm the allegations.
However, it would be hard to imagine that the media has not yet done that to rule such a significant rumor in or out?
More importantly, if they have made such a request and are shielding this type of gross misconduct they would be complicit in the conspiracy and suffer irreparable credibility.
Therefore, the veracity of your statement is highly suspect...but If true, Lykos and Palmer should both get their walking papers as this would dwarf the "Culture of Corruption" Rosenthal scandal.
Chuck Rosenthal's aberrant behavior implied that he had the proclivity to engage in official oppression and abuse of process; this alleged activity by Lykos, if true, demonstrates the actual commission of such activity.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:38,9:03,The Houston Comical, Ted Oberg, et al,

If you all want to get your very own OR, check Rachael Palmer's campaign financial report and you will find her beau's (Donald Hooper) physical address.
I think I hear the proverbial "Fat Lady" clearing her throat!

Twilight Zoned said...

The Wicked Witch of the West;
Told APC that Patsy was the best.

"I'll get you, my pretty... and your little dog too!"
So said Patsy....and her Little Jimmy Poo.

The CJC will never be the same;
Most ADAs are now so lame.

Just like the groundhog afraid of his shadow;
We cower in a corner fearing tomorrow.

If Rachael's boyfriend broke the law;
What shall we say that we all saw?

The tiny pebble in our shoe;
Often confuses us at what to do.

Integrity, character and standing strong;
Is that just bullshit and really wrong?

If it's true, we to do our job because it's right;
Then how is it, we're ever able to sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

I am voting for Don. So should you!

Anonymous said...

So who is going to post the offense report? I'll bet Texas Monthly will write a piece on this corruption. Hey Brian Rogers: Is anybody home?

Anonymous said...

Let me know what church APC, and I'll see you there.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Rage,
If APC attends Catholic Mass watch out for the Holy Water....it'll burn your dumb ass like battery acid.

Anonymous said...

I plan on ultimately voting for Dennis Slate. I will admit that I don't know Don Smyth but I am familiar with Slate's character. He is hard working, fair minded and patriotic.

I don't think we need anymore prosecutors heading straight to the bench. Cary Hart has been on both sides and is very even tempered so I will agree with Murray on that one. I will vote in the Republican primaries to help keep Palmer out of the race though.

Anonymous said...

Anon 354--why would you vote in the repub primary if you are voting for Slate?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:05,
You must be Rage's older sister and wife or someone in his branch-less tree.
What don't you get?

Anonymous said...

A report doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

The report does exist. #135653109

Anonymous said...

Twightlight Zoned,

Don't give up your day job!!!

Twilight Zoned said...

Anon 8:35,
Ooh ahh you lost your bra;
I bet you left it in Jimmy's car.

Pat woke up and wants a smoke;
So bring it to her with a Jack & Coke.

Chop chop little pissant;
Stop whining that you can't.

You're not a big bad ADA;
You're just a really sad DOA.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Palmer is listing everybody who is going to vote for her Palmer supporter?

Anonymous said...

There it is! Somebody inform us. Report No. 135653109

Anonymous said...

No one is going to run the report who works at the office. They are all too scared that Patsy will have HPD track down who printed it then fire for them for it. I also would expect her to have made the call to HPD and got them to code it confidential.

Murray - sounds like someone needs to do an open records request.....

Anonymous said...

anon 8:52 the Chronicle will do just that....but after the primary,not before. ain't politics grand?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Rachel Palmer reverted back to her ol' bully self recently at an event where some of the candidates had gathered. When she found out one of the attendees was supporting another candidate, she ripped her push card from the attendees hand and told her she should have left it for someone who wanted it. This is second hand information but it sounds just like the pre campaign Rachel we had grown accustomed to.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:12

The story is true. It happened at a Pasadena Chamber of Commerce event. She ripped her push card out of Dennis Slate's mother's hands. Dennis Slate later told the audience that they should endorse Don Smyth in the primary. The Chamber agreed and Don got their endorsement, not Rachel.

Aggie Pct Chair said...

If the people working for Rachel find her to be insincere and vindictive what does that tell you? Those are the "people" paid to promote her.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is consulting for Rachel Palmer on her FIRST campaign? Does she really think one push card picked up by someone that may not be supporting her is a crime--CALL Patsy- press charges. Good grief! And this is the temperment of someone that should serve the citizens of Harris County?? God help us one and all.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:45

Couple fixes from the way i was told it happened. It was the Pasadena Bar Association, and his mom and another lady that had seen or heard it told the Bar, Dennis wasn't allowed to be there when his race was discussed.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the details of this event, this is the type of catty behavior rumored to have been witnessed by many at the CJC. I can't imagine what this woman would act like with a black robe and a gavel. If the word does not get out or if there is voter apathy this year, we are in BIG trouble!

Anonymous said...

If Slate is making endorsements in other races that is an ethical violation.

Anonymous said...

If Slate is making endorsements in other races that is an ethical violation.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:30,
What part of "Slate was not in the room" didn't you see? No one got up and endorsed anyone, didn't need to after we heard about this incident. In fact the candidates that are members were not even allowed to vote.

Anonymous said...

2:49
Guess I was a little hung up on the "Slate told the audience" part. But don't know why....posters on this blog go off half cocked frequently.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:55 - "Who the hell is consulting for Rachel Palmer on her FIRST campaign?" Rachel is torn between two advisors - Brewer vs. Badger; those close to her understand she will dump Badger March 3rd. It is sad she won't tell him to get lost now. Note - she speaks her mind to some old woman about a push card, but hesitates dumping the beau she can't stand. Obviously, she likes his money. How does she expect to control a court room?

Aggie Pct Chair said...

The last thing the party needs is another Rosenthalesque black eye. I passed the information to those in control and we fully expect Lykos to do something about this incident. She campaigned on transparency and that is why we were behind her. I expect to see Rachel bowing out of this race.

Anonymous said...

APC,

You will not see Palmer bow out of this race based on a phone call from you or anyone else. There is too much potential campaign money on the line from the creature's fiance to be kicking her to the curb. The best thing you can do in your position is educate your precinct.

Anonymous said...

APC, if you have that much influence with Lykos, then suggest she resign and allow the Governor to appoint a real prosecutor as DA. Who do you think buried the incident? Nothing will be done. A review of the incident will find not enough evidence to support a criminal charge. Sound familiar? Read the article about the VAT reviews.

Anonymous said...

I think this blog is for idiots. i heard about this crap you freaks keep posting and it disgusts me. i am running for office in a non-judicial race and i can't believe you idots sit around and talk smack about candidates. i dont have a problem with you debating actual facts and professional record, but you freakazoids are engaging in nothing but rumors and half truths and second hand info. i pray that one day you will see what it feels like to have this garbage spewed about you. what goes aroung comes around. bad things happen to bad people. the guy that used to blog about me is now dead. and no i did not kill him. he just died, like i said, bad things happen to bad people.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 4:17 p.m.,
I'm trying to figure out what the most moronic part of your post is and not having much luck.
However, I think it is completely awesome that you would announce you are a candidate, denounce the blog, let me know that I'm probably going to die because I'm a bad person, and then you don't have the balls to sign your name.

Yep, you're a politician alright.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:17 is an idiot. She is likely a Judicial candidate but doesn't want to say. If there is something factually incorrect then clear it up for us. Otherwise, take your sorry ass packing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:17: I read this blog to learn about the facts and professional record of the candidates - can you correct any rumors, half truths or second hand information (or direct me where I can get accurate information)? I am very interested in learning more about the candidates. So far, this website is one place that gives me a view beyond the candidates own egocentric view of themselves - but I am willing to seek the truth elsewhere or read other views herein.