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!