Friday, May 18, 2012

The Lykos-Benzion-Big Jolly Triangle

It seems like only yesterday that I wrote this article on the blog, pointing out my personal opinion that David "Big Jolly" Jennings had become a shill for Pat Lykos at the behest of his friend and former cohort at Lone Star Times, David Benzion.  Man, that article ticked off a lot of Big Jolly's friends.

Of course Dave denied it.  His drastic and sudden support of Pat Lykos had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Benzion had just become the Office's newest employee.  The fact that Dave scored an interview with Lykos at the same time she was dodging every major news network in the city was completely coincidental.  The fact that she then used all of the great things he said about her was also coincidental.  He was completely neutral, he protested.

When he posted his picture with her at one of the debates, Dave wrote with the enthusiasm of a 12-year-old girl who had just met Beyonce.  He was so very excited, even though Lykos didn't know who he was (according to him).  He was still neutral, of course.  A political blogger suddenly having such favored access from the person who would be at the head of the local Republican ticket would never sway someone with such journalistic integrity, right?

He was completely detached and neutral.

Yeah, right.

Perhaps you received Pat Lykos' negative slam piece on Mike Anderson this week.  Did you notice the picture of Judge Anderson arguing during the debate?  Lykos wants to call him "angry" and I suppose given the expression on his face, maybe he appears to be.  Let's keep in mind that he was in the middle of a heated debate, however.  He wasn't screaming at Girl Scouts or anything.

That picture was taken by Big Jolly.  Good ole' completely neutral Big Jolly.  He had posted it on his website at the time it was taken (along with that picture of himself and Lykos).  He also had been letting that bastion-of-credibility, Don Hooper, use it on his blog (the one slandering Judges and his wife's fellow prosecutors, and stating how many people he was going to get fired soon).  You might also note that all of the good quotes slamming Judge Anderson on that mail-out also come from Dave, as well.

Having worked with and around the races affecting the CJC over the past few years, I've come to terms with the fact that not everyone agrees with me.  It isn't personal, and I can still be friends with someone no matter how deranged their political ideals are.

But Big Jolly is different.

He holds himself out as just a spectator and interested, avid viewer of Republican Politics, but he's acting as a campaign agent for one of the candidates.  At some point, that would be like Betty Crocker judging a cooking contest that she was competing in.

It is perfectly fine to advocate for one candidate over another, but don't do so while pretending that you are just merely doing an analysis.

As we get closer to the election, Big Jolly is getting testier and more out of bounds with what he is saying about Judge Anderson and prosecutors that used to work for the D.A.'s Office before Lykos came to town.  Recently in a blog post (that I won't dignify by linking to), he referred to anyone who wanted to go back to the way it was before Lykos:

"Perhaps this is part of the good ol' days that he [Anderson] keeps referring to.  You know, the days when you hung 'em high in the morning, then got high in the afternoon?  Dang, that almost sounds like a country song."
To which I reply to Dave: You've lost touch with reality.  Now you are insinuating drug use at the D.A.'s Office before Lykos?  You've got to be freaking kidding me.  Not even Lykos has said that.  She's not really in a place to throw stones at the moment, though.  There are some personal behavior scandals within her office as we speak that she is doing everything in her power to keep a tight lid on.

As a former prosecutor who has never gotten high in his life, I take offense.  I take BIG offense.

Dave follows up with perhaps an additional reason to dislike Mike Anderson in a strange reply to me on his blog.

"And I gotta tell ya, this one [winning the election for Lykos] will be easy.  So be sure and tell that jerk of a consultant that your guy hired that I said Cheers."
Funny.  You know who else likes to tell his enemies "Cheers?"  David Benzion.  So, apparently Big Jolly doesn't like Judge Anderson's campaign consultant.  Okay.

Anyway, to say that I'm disappointed in Big Jolly is an understatement.  I stand by my earlier accusation that he has been (and still is) working as a shill for Pat Lykos and David Benzion.

By the way, a quick glance at the Texas Tribune website doesn't indicate David Benzion works for the Harris County District Attorney's Office.  That makes me wonder why he is taking up office space over there.  Perhaps he is just writing all those grants that he got hired to write for free.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Questions of the day:
For Lykos that hopefully should have been posed by the black activists at their meeting today:
1) Why did the District Attorney's Office litigate the Blomberg case first when, based on the brief time he was allegedly involved, it would be the most difficult to prove;
2) What effort was made to "save" some of the twelve black venirepersons apparently struck for cause;
3) Did the State attempt to Batson the defense for striking the remaining two black venirepersons;
4) When was last time that Greenwood prosecuted a case for your office;
5) Since original jurisdiction for offenses involving "official misconduct" resides in the district court should the jury have been composed of twelve instead of six jurors(compare and attempt to harmonize 4.05, 4.17, 33.01, 37.02 C.C.P.);
6) When are you going to publicly proclaim the Blomberg prosecutors as incompetent?
A question for Lykos vis-a-vis the race:
Although you are currently District Attorney, by what authority can you apparently access the personnel file of a former employee, namely your opponent, from a prior administration - is an open records request necessary or at least some "official" documentation that the file has been accessed for solely political purposes?
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

I just want to say "thank you" to all of you out there pestering your neighbors, friends, and co-workers about voting for Anderson. We need rescued and I really, really appreciate your efforts.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hartmann, if the answer to any of those questions regarding the way voir dire was conducted does not meet with your approval, would you call them incompetent?

Matt Bramanti said...

Betty Crocker wasn't real.

SPOILER ALERT: Neither are Mr. Clean, Count Chocula or the Keebler Elves.

Anonymous said...

Reminder -- working to make a money bomb today and donations to Mike's Campaign are getting matched -- see the 10:11pm post last night on the "No Apathy Zone" thread for more details.

Anonymous said...

Already made my donnation. I will pass on starbucks for more than just a day to see the change needed in Harris County!

Anonymous said...

I'm a former ADA. I attended an event recently with friends who were hired when I was, all but one of whom had left the office. It was an event that had nothing to do with work. But the current state of the DA's office came up. The person who still works there said Pat Lykos, in the last debate, said false, nasty things about former DAs. Pat said before she was elected, the office was like a frat house. The DAs had sex in their offices, watched porn on their computers, and came to work drunk. Those of us who missed this debate had to pick our jaws up off the floor when we heard about it. It's really easy for someone to say those kinds of things when former ADAs are likely not present.

I worked as an ADA for nearly 8 years. I never watched porn, came to work drunk, never had sex with ANYONE in the office. In the 8 years I worked there and out of the hundreds of people I worked with (at least 500 attorneys), I know of only one person who meets any of these criteria and he was promptly fired. I am outraged at Lykos, Big Jolly, and whoever the hell else spreads these lies about people they don't even know. If you want the plain and simple truth, there was 200 times more professionalism in the office pre-Lykos than post-Lykos.

One of these people at the event I attended bemoaned the fact that when she enters a courtroom to work as a defense attorney, there is a "you're-on-your-own mentality" in the courtroom. But what else would you expect with Pat at the helm? When your boss doesn't have your back, is out to get you, can't be trusted, spends money on herself while others suffer, that could easily affect the entire mood of everyone else. You learn from the boss. So what has Lykos taught everyone? To lie, to scratch someone else's back who might be tapped for a political favor in the future, to throw people under the bus if it helps, and to support scummy people within the office that everyone else hates. I am in no way implying her employees do as she does. What I am saying is that when the leaders in the office are supportive, train you professionally, teach you the law, and make sure everyone in the courtroom and office is supportive of eachother (e.g., by helping to take pleas, or by making sure you work as a team), the whole office is more professional.

I take these lies as desperation, which may be a good sign. If you have to lie to keep your job, you know you're in trouble. I hope that Pat is in serious trouble and all those backs she scratched won't be enough to dig her out of the hole she's dug herself into.

Anonymous said...

Can someone confirm that donations <$50.00 do not have to show contributor's name on Mike's campaign finance reports or what are the rules for staying under Lykos radar?

Anonymous said...

A current ada here. Just donated to the moneybomb...$49.99. I don't think under $50 gets reported, but if it does, oh well. I get violently ill thinking about spending another 4 years working for that woman anyway. Vote!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hartman,

One other question the activists should be asking is: Ms. Lykos, isn't it true that the lead prosecutor in the case defended accused police officers for the unions prior to coming to the DAO?

If that wasn't a set-up then I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

@ Calvin. Greenwood and public integrity actually have a decent-sized docket all over the building. They're in court quite a lot.

If Patsy were going to throw Greenwood under the bus, she would have already done it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:08,

You hens crack me up!!!

Anonymous said...

The calculus for competency is more often than not rather amorphous depending on "whose ox is being gored." Unfortunately the calculus applied to criminal defense lawyers unfairly appears to be that if one's client is convicted the lawyer has in some wise been incompetent and thus giving rise to claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Lykos' standard appears to be, however, that if it will endear her to the Chronicle and/or gain her some votes she will throw prosecutors under the bus as previously demonstrated several years ago. That historial fact was the basis for the competency issue (#6). Apparently she believes that she will get no votes from the black ministers and activists so the trial prosecutors are presumably safe from public criticism. I will neither speculate on the competency of these prosecutors nor is my approval or disapproval of the voir dire relevant. I think that the questions which I suggested are fair questions though to ask of Lykos. Undoubtedly Lykos' patronizing dribble as to what the law is to these black activists and ministers will not answer any of these questions.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

Politics may be politics. But the most disgusting aspect of this obvious Jennings' smear campaign against Anderson is that it comes under the blessing of the Houston Chronicle's website.
Merely passing this off as an opinion blog would be fine if it was posted independently on the 'net. But that "Chron.com" designation gives it a false aura of credibility that ought to be condemned by all. For gawd's sakes, where is the gatekeeper at the Chron? Shouldn't there be some semblance of accountability for his foolish/inane babblings?
It is long past time for a campaign to get this clown off their supposed "commentary" page.
Alas....

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Any ADA who wants to give money to the Anderson campaign can do so up to $49.99 without it being reported on the contributions list.

It would be nice to see a lot of $49.99 donations added just as a sign to Lykos and Leitner.

Anonymous said...

From a pure communication & marketing viewpoint...Big Jolly loses the message in his 12paragraph rant. In fact, my first impression was positive after seeing Anderson with his crown. (I don't think that was Big Jolly's intent) Similarly, the other Lykos' campaign literature that I have seen is too long and confusing. I was unable to focus long enough to absorb the message. Alternatively, Mike's messages are short and precise. The reader / viewer gets the message whether they like it or not. Anderson's campaign staff definitely wins the marketing advantage.

Anonymous said...

Is it not funny how the biggest hypocrites always have the most outlandish slogans on their website/blog which is polar opposite of what/who they truly are?

He needs to change his slogan to:

...because truth never matters...

He censors his comments when the comment shows and proves him to be a total hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

A Lykos yard sign popped up on my way to work and almost made me lose my breakfast. I immediately looked up who this rocket scientist was.

The identity was, well, curious. I am thinking about confronting this person, as I am sure Murray would do if this were his street. How about outing all of these signs? You deserve to be ridiculed if you put up a yard sign in public without running a freaking internet search.

David Jennings said...

Anon 6:38,

I don't mind criticism and don't whine about it like some, ahem, others. But this statement:

He censors his comments when the comment shows and proves him to be a total hypocrite.

is a flat out lie. I don't censor anything.

Why are you focused on, as someone here said earlier in the campaign, a tiny, irrelevant blog that no one reads. You should be out blockwalking or donating to your guy.

I'll see you at the polls. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am that angry man, angry at Pat Lykos for what she had done to the HCDAO and for the lies she has spread about some the finest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with and know.

I just donated $500.00 to Mike. I have worked polls three days and will work almost every day until the election. Give some more money to Mike and then vote, take your neighbors to vote, take your friends to vote. Get those voters to the polls.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jennings - I have posted (only) 3 comments in the past 6 months on your site - even exposing my true identity. Twice you shut down comments within an hour after I left my comment. The other time, you did not post my comment. Nothing vulgar or inappropriate, just pure facts that contradict your post. You, sir, are the liar when you say you don't censor. Thank you Murray for posting Mr. Jennings comment and not censoring him.

Anonymous said...

TopGun said,

David Jennings 6:58 PM

You sir are a flat out liar, because you have censored me personally on your Chronicle blog before, as well as your Bigjolly's SpinMachine blog when the postings had no vulgar remarks, just facts.

That new church you go to sure is teaching you how to be a standup [cough cough] Christian isn't it.

Maybe you should spend more time reading the word than shilling for democrat politicians, you know, like the state-wide RRC race where you pushed for a democrat in 2010.

LMAO, and you think people are dumb enough to believe you are a Republican after you have posted enough on your BIGLIES SpinMachine to prove I am right.

TopGun

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the marketing analysis.

I've always preached that when your message is clear, your message is short.

Another reason the Chron's endorsement cracked me up: when you make the right decision, you don't have to do that much explaining!

Anonymous said...

David,
Since you are reading this blog, this comment is directly for you. You want to support Lykos, go ahead. You think she has done a fine job, that's your opinion. You want to take something like a misdemeanor probation the THE DA's OFFICE requested and mislead people by saying it is Anderson's fault, then that lie is on you. "Truth matters" HA! My problem with you has become your joyful willingness to latch on to her "frat house" line. Really? Hang them high then get high? You are insulting every prosecutor who worked there and those still working there. Yes, there are people still there who worked under Holmes and Rosenthal. If it were not for THOSE people all those capital convictions Her Highness is singing about now in her ads would not have happened. Every time she says it, it is offensive. Every time you gleefully repeat it you are insulting everyone there who has for years gone to work everyday, worked hard, and tried to do their part to protect and serve. You want to endorse her, go ahead. You want to slam Anderson and his supporters, knock yourself out. You don't like Blakemore, join the club. But you should be ashamed of yourself for your statements about the prosecutors that have served and are still serving at that office. I know you have called them names in the past, so, I guess I should not be surprised. I am surprised that you have turned out to be exactly like Bill Kneer and Richard Dillon and Gary Polland for that matter. At least you have not sunk to the Hooper level. I truly hope you don't go that far. Wait, is he your source of information? That would explain a lot.

Anonymous said...

David,

It pains me greatly to say this, but, your actions, well, they are on par with other leaders in our community, like, Quanell X, Jolanda Jones, and every other race baiter who refuses to acknowledge truth when promoting their false narratives. You should apply to be the Editor of the fish rap downtown. You have honed your skills to their level.

Cheers,

TopGun

Anonymous said...

A $49.99 donation will be used by the candidate and the name of the donator will not be reported. $50.00 and up will have to be reported. Keep'm coming.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and David,

Rule #1 in not making a fool out of yourself on the internet is to not label one a liar when there is the possibility others could step out from behind the curtain to support the author’s accusations, you know, like what just happened. Having a habit of censoring people’s posts when they show you attempting to re-write the facts can bite you.

Hmm, I wonder who else tries to re-write history/facts. Oh yes, democrats. The political party the Communist Party backs now. You should change your avatar to a picture of Marx. You have the same physical attributes as well as ideology obviously. Lie until they believe it, and then lie some more to confirm the lie.

Just a little bit of advice to a starving democrat blogger.

TopGun

Mark W. Stephens said...

Now WAIT JUST A MINUTE!

Big Jolly has...."friends"???

Anonymous said...

$49.99!

Mark W. Stephens said...

Pat Lykos v. Activists

I think the activists should get together and DEMAND that Pat Lykos try the other officers herself :)

Anonymous said...

It's a long drive in to the poll I am working but come on down and vote, say hello to the Anderson workers working various polls and good bye to Lykos when you cast your vote.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting at a poll with an Anderson sign - only 1 voter has shown up since 7. Come on in and vote - no lines

Anonymous said...

For information only; not posted to be advice or a recommendation - TEX.ELECTION CODE 254.031(1) provides that:
[E]ach report filed under this chapter must include:
(1) the amount of the political contribution from each person that in the aggregate exceed $50 and that are accepted during the reporting period by the person or committee required to file a report under this chapter, the full name and address of the person making the contribution and the dates of the contributions.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Murray. I don't have any problem supporting one candidate over another, or arguing one point over another.

But, THIS. This is awful. Over the past 3 1/2 years, we have wanted to build bridges. Judge Lykos is wrong - many of us have sincerely wanted to "make it work."

I had a feeling we could work it out until Donna Goode was treated so horribly. From that moment on, I could not reconcile what happened to her with building an honest and valid working relationship with our leadership team. That was a pivotal moment for me.

I give Joni Vollman credit for giving a sincere effort to build bridges. I think she is a good person who has good intentions.

Judge Lykos is my boss. The people she put in charge are my bosses - I accept that. I am not a petulant child who will undermine them at every turn. That would be silly, petty, and a waste of my time and energy.

Of course I'm going to do what they say in terms of directing my work.

Despite what propaganda is out there - we DO respect their positions. However, respecting some of them as people is another matter.

Because of the way Judge Lykos has portrayed us (drunks, frat-boys, dishonest, incompetent, whoring, etc) and treated us - I do not think I could ever trust or respect her as a PERSON. I am sorely disappointed and despite her bad press, I had hoped it would not be THAT BAD.

At the end of the day, my work has not changed. I do my job. I earn my pay. I picked this work because I wanted to help people. And - I am and will continue to do so.

Anonymous said...

Never gotten high Murray? never even one hit off a joint? You Mormon or something?

Anonymous said...

David,

The dump that I took this morning has more integrity than you, Don Hooper and Pat Lykos combined.

Anonymous said...

Hey Don Hooper,

God is good! Did you send in your child support payment this month?

Anonymous said...

Calvin,

In the Code, there is a provision where the defense for co-defendants can agree which case is tried first. That's what happened here. Dick was smart (no surprise there) and wanted his client to be tried first.

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous! Pat stopped being a slam piece 50 years ago.

Anonymous said...

It is correct that co-defendants can agree on the order of trial, but I believe that in order to do so the trial court must have granted a severance; otherwise it is within the discretion of the trial court as to whether two or more defendants jointly or separately indicted for the same offense are to be tried separately or jointly. The earlier posting in support of HCDAO, does not indicate whether it was the discretion of the trial court to try Blomberg first or whether there was a severance request by Blomberg and granted by the trial court. Since I assume Lykos will never be asked the question I guess in hindsight none of this really matters.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

Not a Lykos supporter at all, just saying the defendants elected for Blomberg to go first. Severance was granted. Clint Greenwood did not want to try Blomberg first. It was thought that Joe Ownby's client would be tried first.

Anonymous said...

Calvin you are the expert and I wondered the same question until I remember the following:

Art. 36.09. [650] [726] [706] SEVERANCE ON SEPARATE
INDICTMENTS. Two or more defendants who are jointly or separately
indicted or complained against for the same offense or any offense
growing out of the same transaction may be, in the discretion of the
court, tried jointly or separately as to one or more defendants;
provided that in any event either defendant may testify for the
other or on behalf of the state; and provided further, that in
cases in which, upon timely motion to sever, and evidence
introduced thereon, it is made known to the court that there is a
previous admissible conviction against one defendant or that a
joint trial would be prejudicial to any defendant, the court shall
order a severance as to the defendant whose joint trial would
prejudice the other defendant or defendants.

Art. 36.10. [652] [728] [708] ORDER OF TRIAL. If a severance
is granted, the defendants may agree upon the order in which they
are to be tried, but if they fail to agree, the court shall direct
the order of the trial.

In this instance - even though all of houston thinks that the cop that did the kickng was found not guilty - apparently the fact that the defense got to choose which case to go on since there apparently is a motion to sever on file and obviously they picked the weakest case for the state.

Regardless, why would the prosecutor (not Greenwood) make his final arguments to the jury (not that it would have made a difference based on the evidence but poor form in any case) with his frickin glasses on the top of his head? A little too casual for the occation.