Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big Jolly and Me

Before I get into explaining how very wrong my friend, Dave Jennings AKA Big Jolly, is about some of the things he has posted over on his blog, I want to make something very clear.

David Jennings is a good man who is doing more than 99.999% of the population when it comes to educating himself on who he votes for and whom he recommends that others vote for.  I may not always agree with his decisions [see below], but I respect him and the rules that he plays by.  In a comment on my last post, he pointed out that he hated personal attacks on candidates and he had done more than the readers know to stop Terry Lowry's personal attacks on Kelly Siegler.  That is the truth, folks.

And just because I disagree with him doesn't change that.

Now, let me tell you [and him] how wrong he is.

1.  To start out with, Dave, you need to work a little bit on not being so sensitive.  When I posted this article about the Other 95%, I was trying to point out the simple fact that those of us who worked around the CJC have a better working knowledge of Pat Lykos than those who meet her at political functions.  In response, you seem to think I called you an "ignoramus" according to this post and that you were suffering my "wrath" for disagreeing with me.  Give me a break.

Would you select a heart surgeon for yourself or your loved one because you met a doctor at a cocktail party and thought they had good social graces?  Of course not.  You would want to talk to people that knew the job required of a heart surgeon and had actual experience with dealing with them.  Let's say that you narrowed the choice down to two potential surgeons.  One of them was reviled as being a terrible surgeon by all the medical personnel who knew her.  The other was highly respected by all the medical personnel.  Who would you pick?  That was all that I was trying to point out in that article.

2.  You call Don Hooper a "friend"?  Really?  Well, I gotta give you credit for making a public announcement on something really unpopular.

Ever since Hooper latched onto Rachel Palmer, he has done nothing but court controversy with his juvenile (and occasionally borderline criminal) antics.  Did you ever go back to the comments section of this post from the 2010 election?  That's your "friend" Hooper typing under my name.  I suppose if I had his life, I would want to adopt other identities as well.

He still does it on the Chronicle comments section and on your blog, as well.  It is one thing to post anonymously, but something else to claim to be another person.  Nobody was complaining that he revealed the name of the Grand Jury foreperson on the Chronicle site.  What was in bad taste was making posts as if he were her.

I share your distaste for Terry Lowry and his methods of campaigning, but Hooper makes him look like an Amish Buddhist Monk that has taken a vow of silence by comparison.  Talk to Edward Porter about Hooper confronting him at a polling location and then telling people that Porter had a gun (he didn't).

Couple that with the "badging" scandal that arose when he borrowed his then-fiancee's badge to go harass some neighbors.  Pat Lykos never looked into the possibility that he might have committed a criminal offense like Impersonating a Public Servant.  Rather, she vigorously hunted down any Assistant District Attorney who might have run the HPD offense report to learn what happened.

I guess everybody needs a friend, Dave, but damn.

3.  Let's get back on pace and talk about your "puff piece" on Lykos.  Yes, you have a valid point when you say that you wrote a similarly easy-going article on Mike Anderson with this article, but dude, after accusing him of being a liar and a conspirator in the 185th Grand Jury, you kind of owed the man.  Seriously.

My issue with the piece you did on Lykos was that it seemed to be devoid of the critical thinking that you normally possess when you write.  I don't know whether it was a favor to your former colleague from Lone Star Times, David Benzion, or what, but didn't you think that it was just the slightest bit suspicious that Lykos had been hiding from mainstream media all month, yet comes out of her spider hole to do an interview with a blogger?  I'm stunned that she didn't call me!

How did that phone call go exactly?  Something like this?

   BENZION:  Hey Dave!  Long time, no see!  Did you see that I gave you a shout out on www.lonestartimes.com when I shut it down?
   BIG JOLLY:  I sure did.  Thanks for that!  Where are you working now?
   BENZION:  Well, I just started this week doing PR for the Pat Lykos Administration.
   BIG JOLLY:  Ouch.
   BENZION:  Ouch is right.  All these damn reporter types like that asshole Ted Oberg are trying to act like she and her upper Administration are a bunch of crooks.
   BIG JOLLY:  Yikes.  What do they want you to do about it?
   BENZION:  I'm trying to find a news agency that will give her a positive story.
   BIG JOLLY:  Did you try the Chronicle?  They love her over there.
   BENZION:  Yeah, but even Lisa Falkenberg took a chunk out of our ass with her column on Palmer.
   BIG JOLLY:  That's rough, man.
   BENZION:  Yeah, and I can't find anyone else between here and Sioux City, Iowa that will do something positive on Lykos.  Even the Greensheets wouldn't let me ghostwrite a story!
   BIG JOLLY:  That's terrible.
   BENZION:  Any way that I could talk you into doing a nice piece on her?
   BIG JOLLY:  Well, I don't know . . .
   BENZION:  Dave, I hate to call in favors, but she has a gun to my head right now and she's threatening to use it if I don't come through for her.
   BIG JOLLY:  Ha ha.
   BENZION:  I'm not kidding.
   PAT LYKOS (IN BACKGROUND):  Do I sound like I'm f*cking kidding around here, Mr. Jennings?
   BIG JOLLY:  Okay!  Okay!  I'll do the piece!  Just don't kill him, Pat!

4.  As to the contents of the piece itself, where do I begin?  First of all, let's start with Roger Bridgwater's assertion that Pat Lykos has never screamed or cursed at anyone.  Um, yeah.  First of all, this is Roger Bridgwater asserting that.  The guy who lost his cool so badly with Donna Goode in a staff meeting that he had to run her out of the Office.  That he would throw down the gauntlet for people to step up and name an incident is silly.

Do you really think that the people under her are going to stand up and talk to you and then lose their jobs?  Come on, Dave.  The Lykos Administration has been nothing if not retaliatory.  Want some examples of her publicly gutting somebody?  Ask Rifi Newaz and Mark Donnelly.  I know of another prosecutor that she told he was "abjectly incompetent," but it isn't my place to tell his story.  Nobody, generally, really likes to piss off the elected District Attorney.

Regarding her "accomplishments," I've addressed them all time and again.  I've given her credit when I thought credit was due, but so often she just renamed a Division and called it her own.  When you questioned her on that, she pretty much said "nuh uh" and you let it go at that.  I told you already about the fugitive squad suggested by Bill Exley in this post.

Cleaning up Haverstock Hills is a lovely accomplishment until you realize that a person gets prosecuted disproportionately if they commit a crime there than anywhere else in the County.  They have this neat little thing in the Constitution called "Equal Protection" and it sure as hell seems to me that she is violating it when a person is treated more harshly than another person under the law by virtue of where they were when arrested.

I do like what she's done with the Juvenile Diversion system and I like that she's been working with a mental health court.  I don't think there was anything particularly novel about her doing that, but I will still applaud her for doing it.

Let's see, what else did you talk about?  That she drove herself to your meeting?  Joe Strange wasn't escorting her in an Escalade?  And this is something we should applaud her for?  She took a break from acting like the Queen of England to go meet with somebody who would be friendly to her?  That's just her not being an absolute idiot.  Or perhaps Joe Strange was busy doing something else.

Either way, Dave, I couldn't disagree with you more on this issue of Lykos.  She is terrible.  She has always been terrible.  Just because she is on the outs with Lowry doesn't make her less terrible.  I tried to call you last week and talk to you about this before I wrote the Other 95% post, but your voicemail was full.  I texted you too, but never heard back from you.  I've got somebody I would like for you to meet.

Anyway, I'm sorry if you thought I was calling you an ignoramus in the earlier post.  It wasn't my intent.

This blog has documented with facts her Reign of Terror within that Office over the past three years, and will continue to do so.  I'm sorry to see you let yourself get snowed by her.

I still respect you and consider you a friend.

Even if you are being an ignoramus.

Happy New Year!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but How do you really feel about it?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jennings,

Take some time and talk to some of the former employees. All her grand things and ideas were done by other people. She just took credit for it. I'd say talk to the current employees, but they are afraid to say anything. Obviously, you never worked for her because you'd hate her because she'd use and abuse you.

Anonymous said...

To the guy posting from a county computer:

You have to be one of the 10 people in the DA's Office that support her because no one would even look at Murray's blog, much less post from a Harris County computer. You even do it from Intake. I guess if a ADA can take the the Fifth, then you can do ever what you want to do.

Hope you'll be looking for a job on 1/01/2113 because you're not doing a very good job. Actually, you should have never been hired.

Sorry, get back to writing on this blog on county time. You don't even do that well, much less your job.

Anonymous said...

Dave - What has Hooper told you he does (or has done) as a job or a profession? CHECK REFERENCES - THEY DON'T EXIST Where did Hooper tell you he went to school / graduated? - CHECK SCHOOL RECORDS AND YOU'LL FIND OUT HE DIDN'T! What has he told you his net worth is? IT IS ZERO! Talk to his rage victims - THEY EXIST (the incident with Edward Porter is mild)! Yeah - he's friendly to you now...just wait.

Anonymous said...

"The farther backward we look the farther forward we are likely to see": Start with "Judge" Lykos.

You've heard so many stories about her closing herself off. She did the same thing as a judge. NO ONE was allowed inside the inner sanctum of what is now commonly referred to as "the hall" nor got even close to 20 ft. from her Chamber doors;

On one specific occasion she left a jury and parties waiting for at least 2 hours during a lunch break - then when she came back openly and publically blamed it on one or both of the lawyers;

Nothing could be handed to her personally. It had to first be given to the clerk who was the only person who would then hand the document to the judge;

She was just mean, rude and did NOT abide by the Golden Rule. The late Mike Shelby - former Chief Prosecutor for the Southern District of Texas wore a tux to her court (when he had been assigned there as a green #3) on his last day!

Her Ego is larger than Texas. Who would truly think they could leave a Harris County District Court bench and win Attorney General of Texas? She did and she didn't win;

Now Ms. Pat Lykos as a prosecutor:

(nothing)

Politician: Kelly beat her in the general. She is NOT that awe mighty powerful; Do not fall into the trap of thinking all the ladies groups are in her camp. You will be surprised how many have lined up to support Mike - in spite of the near-to-be-personally-fiscally-not-conservative-and-damn-near-bankrupt-County Chair's open support in violation of party Rules. He is hoping Talton gets Co. Atty. and HE can be First Asst. There is still time to file for Co. Atty. As an R folks, unless of course Talton wants to publically say he will never hire Jared if elected!
Now Mike - Compare: he was a damn good prosecutor, damn good Judge, and IS a damn good communicator and politician.
Holmes campaign motto was “I play no favorites". Do any of you even know (and I mean this in the most respectful way) that early on in his career as the elected D.A. Mr. Holmes own mother got stopped for a DWI. The police gave Johnny a courtesy call. He (no doubt painfully) told them to do their job and let he would bond her out as quickly as he could if a case was made. It was.

THIS is the standard Mike is used to working with. This is HIS measurement of what is and is NOT the right thing to do. If Holmes’ would do this we all knew we would get no slack if we: Took the 5th, nor would he humiliate us in the news for a few more drops of vanity ink.
You want a Real Prosecutor - Mike Anderson has been there – and is the clear logical true choice – on all fronts!
You want a narcissist politician - keep the mess you have who is more into publicity – unless it is negative towards her.
Mr. Jolly, dead serious here and GOD FORBID – say your closest family member or friend is (AGAIN GOD FORBID AND I’M SERIOUS HERE WHEN I USE THIS PHRASE – GOD FORBID) is somehow the victim of a horrible crime. Who do you want to see walk into that courtroom and try the case? You sat there with them both. Be honest with yourself. A true prosecutor / leader LEADS – NOT HIDE – like she did talking to you. Come on “Judge Lykos” you are the District Attorney. Why do you require people to call you Judge? Mike was a Judge – He will just be called Mike or Mr. Anderson. D.A’s are more than figure heads. They are a tried and true TRIAL LAWYER!

So looking back - has she changed that much old timers? Her temperment? Personality? Reclusiveness? narcissistic personality? NOPE!

It's up to each of you to get out the vote - Like Winston Churchill said during the Blitz: " Never Give up, Never give up, never Give up!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling it like it is Murray. Anyone who thinks she's great never worked or know or her. Look up her name in thr dictionary and it says "evil."

Anonymous said...

Hooper got his records expunged for the agg. assault w/ deadly weapon and lesser...... What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

For the few years that Pat Lykos was a Houston Police Officer in the early 1970's, she took a promotional exam and made the promotion list. Then Police Chief, legendary Herman Short, refused to promote her and let her "die" on the list which was only good for one year. Lykos likes to claim Chief Short did this because she was a female. The real reason was because Short realized that she had all the same characteristic then that she has today and had no business being given more authority. Brilliant man.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Well said Murray.

Anonymous said...

Big Jolly - in your post, you make reference to Lykos denying that she yells or curses at her staff. I have personally been in staff meetings with her where she cursed at her staff. There have been meetings where she made inappropriate "jokes" about a bureau chief being able to use her phone as a vibrator. As with most politicians, she has many faces. I would be quite surprised if she made "vibrator" jokes to the Village Republican Women, or other womens' groups.

Obviously, this is merely an example of her two faced nature. I'm not suggesting that she should be kicked out of office for vibrator humor. There are so many better reasons to kick her to the curb.

Mike (and, honestly. Zach as well) would bring back dignity to the HCDAO, which is what the citizens deserve.

Anonymous said...

Check your history on Herman Short.Many people accused him of being racist. Look what all happened in Houston during his term.Ask some older black americans about Herman Short.

Anonymous said...

Big Jolly - I think you tend to do a good job in vetting the candidates. But I honestly think you're off on Lykos. There are TWO grand juries investigating her office. Two. The conspiracy theorists can go on and on about the man on the grassy nole orshestrating this vast conspiracy against her, but that just isn't true. Her management has disgraced this office.

Anonymous said...

I read Big Jolly's post on Lykos and it made me sick to my stomach. He should change his name to Big Dolly, cuz the dude needs to grow a pair. I don't care if he's employed by the Sheriffs Department, there is no way that putz is a real cop. If he had to try and file charges these days, he would change his tune. There are a lot of crooks getting a free ride under the Lykos administration. Man up Big Dolly...at least open your eyes!

David Jennings said...

LOL, "Big Dolly" that's a good one! Love it.

Now, about "growing a pair".....how's about you telling me to do that face to face? Hmmm?

I didn't think so. Wimpy ass anonymous blog poster.

Anonymous said...

I met Dave during the last election and generally found him to be as Murray described, thoughtful. Then I read his blog posts. I was surprised and disappointed by both the Anderson read and the Lykos endorsement. I really wish Dave would do a little more investigation and it would not take much to learn the truth about Lykos. She is not qualified to run the DA's office. She has hired so many unqualified persons to supervisors positions. She is not open to input from anyone except her unqualified supervisors. Hooper is not even worth discussing. Dave, maybe I will run into you this election cycle and I hope you will hear me out.

BLACK INK said...

David Jennings and I disagree on Pat Lykos being qualified to be re-elected DA of Harris County.

Jennings is not privy to the inner circle workings of the CJC; but neither are 99.999% of the electorate.

So should our goal be to insult and berate him or to enlighten him?

I would be more than just a little hypocritical to argue that I am not guilty of spewing vitriolic commentary on Lykos and her leadership.

However, the point ought to be to educate folks on who the real Pat Lykos is in a professional manner without resorting to petty name calling and playing the spoiled government worker/victim.
The general public and David Jennings are turned off by that type of behavior and argument.

It is time to change course. Enough self pity.

So let's band together and present a well documented expose of who Pat Lykos is, what she has and hasn't done.......the REAL stats of the office without the childish insults and woe is me attitudes that have done nothing more than bolster Lykos' image outside the CJC world; as ironic as that might seem on the surface.....it is what it is.

Restoring integrity and the pursuit of equal JUSTICE to the HCDAO is the goal.....nothing short of that is acceptable.

BLACK INK said...

David Jennings and I disagree on Pat Lykos being qualified to be re-elected DA of Harris County.

Jennings is not privy to the inner circle workings of the CJC; but neither are 99.999% of the electorate.

So should our goal be to insult and berate him or to enlighten him?

I would be more than just a little hypocritical to argue that I am not guilty of spewing vitriolic commentary on Lykos and her leadership.

However, the point ought to be to educate folks on who the real Pat Lykos is in a professional manner without resorting to petty name calling and playing the spoiled government worker/victim.
The general public and David Jennings are turned off by that type of behavior and argument.

It is time to change course. Enough self pity.

So let's band together and present a well documented expose of who Pat Lykos is, what she has and hasn't done.......the REAL stats of the office without the childish insults and woe is me attitudes that have done nothing more than bolster Lykos' image outside the CJC world; as ironic as that might seem on the surface.....it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

One thing that bothered me about that piece (other than the fact that I don't think Russell Turberville IS running anything at this point considering he retired - not sure if that's a small mistake or Lykos just didn't know) is she says Bridgewater and Leitner answered ALL the Grand Jury's questions. How would she know this? The only reason people knew that Rachel took the Fifth is because there was a Motion to Compel. If they hadn't filed that then no one would have known (or should have that is...). Leitner and Bridgewater could have taken the Fifth and unless a motion was filed we never would've heard about it because Grand Jury proceedings are secret. That is unless someone told Lykos about what happened in Grand Jury...surely not.

Anonymous said...

Black Ink, I agree 100%. At the HCDAO we are advocates. Would we attempt to convice a jury by insulting them? Why don't we just use facts? When Republican precinct chairs or "blue hairs" comment, let's retort with facts instead of insults about people wearing foil hats or reverting to middle school name calling.

Anonymous said...

Jennings - if you want to talk to current employees, I am sure that there are many who will be willing to talk to you. Let us know.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Black Ink

I agree with you in general, that we should educate this "jolly" character about the truth.

HOWEVER, as I understand it, he puts out a blog meant to inform others about Harris County politics. Don't you think its incumbent upon him to learn the truth BEFORE he publishes such nonsense?

I don't know him and I don't know what he does, but it seems to me if he had ANY police experience at all he would have checked his facts...just a little bit.

So, while I agree that its best for us to educate and enlighten him in that regard, I can also understand those who are frustrated when someone who pretends to be in the know...actually knows nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

8:28-
Herman Short was Chief during a period of time when there was a lot of racial unrest and social change going on nationally. Those were times we are all glad to see that change has come for the better. However, Pat Lykos is not Black so racial issues had nothing to do with my comment. My point was, Pat Lykos was bad then and has only changed for the worse since she left HPD. If anyone needs to study their history, it's you. The history you should study is that of Mrs. Lykos.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Black Ink,

"Restoring integrity and the pursuit of equal JUSTICE to the HCDAO is the goal.....nothing short of that is acceptable."

Absolutely!

Anonymous said...

To Black Ink and Anon 7:50pm:

Thank you for making the point very eloquently that the attorneys on this site cannot win over the very people that you all need to convince by constantly insulting them. The analogy about not insulting a jury when you are trying to get them to vote your way is right on. The Republican primary electorate is the jury in this case and the great majority of them are undecided.

You also would not fill your opening and closing statements to a jury with curse words, vulgarities, and name calling. Those things only offend and cause you to lose credibility.

I greatly enjoy reading Murray's posts, and many of the comments are very helpful and informative. However, I never mention this site to my many Republican activist friends (other than a few who already understand the issues in the DA's office). I can't tell the others to read it because they would be turned off by all the insults against them, foul language, and juvenile insults against other commenters. The silly bragging and derision about who knows the law the best is also a turnoff.

Most of the comments are great, but there are plenty that would turn off an outsider. It is a shame because Murray's stated purpose of this blog includes: "This blog is meant to give the Outsider an inside view."

I would love to be able to forward this blog site to hundreds of Republican activists by email and Facebook in order to educate them and try to get them to realize how bad the current DA really is. Unfortunately, I am concerned that reading it would cause more harm than good. The factual, logical arguments of most commenters would get overpowered by the insulting, cursing, juvenile name-calling comments.

If you want to win over the very people who will decide who will be the next DA, I strongly suggest treating them with the same respect you would give to a jury.

I really respect and appreciate what all of you do to see that justice is done. Thanks to all of you who write thoughtful, informative posts and comments.

Signed,
Republican Activist

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr.Stephens, that is a worthy goal. I hope in the upcoming election this goal will be accomplished.

In the meantime Mr. Jennings I really think you should do some more research on PL. After all you are speaking to the masses and have a responsibility to be truthful and knowlegable. I believe you are trying to do a good thing, but, as I said more research is needed. Didn't the fact that she would interview with you for the publicity, but would not come out in support of an employee tell you something. Don't you think the voters have a right to question PL thru the media. In a post someone said to talk to the employees. I doubt many will talk, as they are scared of retaliation. That in itself should speak volumes. Why does it appear as if she is in hiding. hmmm. She needs to answer some tough questions or she loses any credibility she might have had.
Please don't take offense, as none is intended. I vote in HC and want the true facts about all candidates. So far your girl Patsy has did exactly as I thought she would.

Sue Hudson

Scott C. Pope said...

"However, I never mention this site to my many Republican activist friends (other than a few who already understand the issues in the DA's office). I can't tell the others to read it because they would be turned off by all the insults against them, foul language, and juvenile insults against other commenters. The silly bragging and derision about who knows the law the best is also a turnoff."

Gee Republican Activist, what a great friend you are! Heaven forbid you exxpose some people to ideas they might like or find offensive. How did you become the self appointed gate keeper of what's best for your friends to read? Is it a natural love of censorship, or paternalistic superiority?

RhondaO said...

I have never been privy to a staff meeting with Pat Lykos. However, I remember vividly attending the Harris County Prop Rights Assn luncheon featuring her as speaker earlier this year and by the middle of it, men were covering up their testicles. Women were preparing to duck under tables. She was not about to lose control of even a friendly crowd under any circumstances. I even commented to some friends of mine that I felt like I was being talked to like I was a bad child.