Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Celebrations and Sadness

Ah, Election Night.

I love it almost as much as I hate it.  Watching months (if not years) of hard work come to a final conclusion in the course of an evening can be as jubilant as it can be devastating.  That the work of motivated, intelligent, and hard-working candidates gets decided by the largely uninformed masses is just a frightening fact of life.

I'm not going to really talk about the Presidential election.  My voice here is about as influential in that arena as when I'm screaming what play should be run at a Texans game.  I will say that I never thought Obama was going to be defeated.  I didn't think Romney would even get close.  I thought differently for a while after that first debate, but in the end, there was no way Romney could prevail.

I never had any doubt after the primaries that Judge Anderson would win the election in November.  He is too good of a candidate and Lloyd Oliver was too much of a joke.  Quite frankly, it stuns me that Lloyd got any votes, let alone 47.66% of them.  I remarked to one person last night that Lloyd was such a terrible candidate that I was surprised he even voted for himself.

Thankfully, Judge Anderson won handily, but the fact that there were 537,667 votes actually cast for a previously-indicted moron like Lloyd Oliver is frightening.

In the Sheriff's race, despite Big Jolly's musings earlier in the week, Louis Guthrie never got close to Sheriff Adrian Garcia.  Garcia won by a huge margin.

I was surprised to see how easily Vince Ryan won re-election.  I have been watching Wayne Dolcefino's pieces about Ryan and I thought they would hurt his candidacy worse than they did.  Most Assistant District Attorneys that I've spoken to have expressed that they are secretly happy that Robert Talton was defeated, since he was the rumored safe-haven for Lykos Administration refugees like Rachel Palmer and Leon Wilson.

The Judicial Elections (as of this writing) are still up in the air.

Right now (7:40 a.m.), www.harrisvotes.com is showing 99.15% of the vote is counted.  My understanding is that there are still 9 precincts that haven't reported yet, in addition to 8000 provisional ballots.  They have 7 days to count those, and in some of the Judicial Races, they may actually make a difference in some cases.

In the 174th race, Ruben Guerrero defeated Robert Summerlin by a little less than 9000 votes.

In the 176th, Stacey Bond defeated Shawna Reagin by slightly over 4000 votes.

In the 177th, Ryan Patrick defeated Vivian King by about 8500 votes.

In the 178th, David Mendoza beat Roger Bridgwater by a stunning 25,398 votes.  On a side note, Judge Joan Campbell of the 248th District Court is retiring at the end of this year, which will necessitate Governor Perry appointing a replacement.  Earlier rumors had been that Bridgwater would be a strong consideration for that appointment, but after that resounding of a defeat, I think that would be pretty foolish of Perry.  Why appoint someone that seems so unelectable?

In the 179th, Kristin Guiney beat Randy Roll by well over 4000 votes.

In the 337th, Rene Magee won over Herb Ritchie by over 12000 votes.

In the 338th, Brock Thomas regained his bench from Hazel Jones with just under 5000 votes.

In the 351st, Mark Kent Ellis (the lone Criminal District Court survivor of 2008) handily won over Garland "Mac" McInnis by over 20,000 votes.

The evening's only true shocker came in the 339th District Court race with Maria Jackson defeating Brad Hart for Judge by over 13,000 votes.

Those of us who know Brad are as stunned as we are saddened.  Nothing against Judge Jackson, but Brad Hart is one of the most highly respected prosecutors that the Harris County District Attorney's Office has to offer.

He is loved by both the prosecution and the defense as a man of integrity, fairness, and the highest character.  He was the first candidate to announce he was running in 2012 and he worked tirelessly for the past two years on the campaign.

As happy as we all are about the other elections, the sadness for Brad overshadows it.

What happened in the 339th race is why I absolute despise the fact that Judicial races are determined by partisan elections.  Brad Hart would have been one of the greatest judges Harris County had ever seen. His compassion and commitment to Justice far exceeds that of the average lawyer.  He's the kind of friend who will drop everything in the middle of the night to help somebody who needs him.

As I told him last night, he is literally one of the best people I know.

There is a silver lining to Brad not winning the bench, however.

Mike Anderson has got a tremendous amount of work to do in rebuilding the D.A.'s Office from the Lykos wreckage.  He's going to need prosecutors that lead by example with integrity, diligence, and compassion.

He couldn't ask for a better example of that than Brad Hart.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lets start lobbying for Brad Hart to be appointed to a bench by Gov Perry. Let's equally lobby the Gov NOT to appoint Bridgwater to anything!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more with you. The good news is it's over and the focus can shift to the tasks that lie ahead. All said, Haris County faired a lot better than the national landscape.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I could have sworn when I went to bed last night that the numbers favored Brad. Reading this article hit me like a punch in the gut. Brad is a great guy and obviously has another, better purpose than being elected judge. As for the rest, I agree with Anon 8:33. Harris County did fair a lot better than the nation.

Now, Mike Anderson can get to work reparing the damage caused by the current Lykos bunch. He has a tough job ahead. But, he will prevail.

Anonymous said...

What happens now Murray? Has Mike indicated a First Assistant? Does Kelly come back? Does MURRAY COME BACK?! I know it's too soon but might well start that train rollin'.

Happy

Anonymous said...

Um, it is 10 a.m., and the Chron is reporting that Brad Hart has 50.75% of the vote (523522) over MJack's 49.25% of the vote(507994). That was a beautiful tribute to Brad, Murray, but it ain't over til it's over.

I do agree with you that it is mortifying how many people voted for Lloyd Oliver. I believe that was the result of straight ticket Democrat votes, as no one in his or her right mind would vote for that fool, knowing his criminal history and supreme lack of judgment. We do have a democracy, the best system in the world, but it is disheartening how many people will just push the button without actually considering the merits of the candidates.
I respect the system, but not all the idiots who use it.

Anonymous said...

Why is Campbell leaving early? That's a surprise.

Anonymous said...

Brad is a great guy and obviously has another, better purpose than being elected judge.

So you think God made him lose? So God must have endorsed Obama, right? RIGHT?

I believe that was the result of straight ticket Democrat votes

Yet you don't complain about straight-ticket Republican votes. They--primarily Tea Partiers who will only vote straight-ticket--are the reason why Republican judges held on better this time than they did in 2008.

Rage

Anonymous said...

So if you worked with the Woodfill Law Firm you lost. If you truly hitched your wagon to Pat, you lost.

Wow, let's hear it for Karma.

Bye bye Rachel, bye bye Leon, and the list goes on.

Anonymous said...

According to the Harris County Clerk's web page approximately 1.2 million Harris County residents voted in this election. Of those voters about 810,000 voted straight ticket - about 403,000 as Republicans and about 406,000 as Democrats. In other words it is highly probable that almost 70% of the voters had absolutely no idea as to whom they were voting except arguably for the Presidential candidates (although in my opinion based upon the results that conclusion is also probable for that top race as well). In any event several very good judges or candidates from both parties lost or were turned out of office. The election of judges by political parties is clearly not the best way to insure a competent judiciary. It is idealistic to say, but judges should interpret the law based upon statutory guidelines, prior case law, common sense, and not mirror the tenets of a particular political party. Moreover,in the instant election for District Attorney, election by party affiliation is similarly troubling - that is when a candidate considered unqualified even by his own party could receive over 500,000 votes (406,000 straight ticket and 136,000 voters apparently in a daze, quite possibly induced by some unknown stimulant). Congratulations to Mike!!!
Calvin A. Hartmann

Tom Moran said...

Murray: I don't know Brad Hart nearly as well as you do but I have to disagree with you about the election results. Judge Jackson is a very good judge who has the potential to be a great judge.
We want to encourage people like her to run for judge and stay on the bench. In 2008, she beat an excellent judge in a partisan landslide. Many of us were worried about whether she would measure up. She has. She reads what she is given, she asks questions if she has any and she treats everyone -- including defendants -- like human beings. She tries hard to follow the law.
It is important that we keep good judges on the bench. Unlike the legislature, the judiciary should be a career for judges who do good jobs. It once was the tradition here that good judges didn't get opponents. That tradition has ended. Now, we should look at the individual judge and decide whether he or she merits keeping the bench.
There was one ray of sunshine in the election returns this year as it applies to judicial elections. The mindless straight ticket votes about cancelled themselves out. And in each of the judicial elections, there were 60,000-70,000 "undervotes," meaning that people didn't vote in those races because they didn't know who to vote for. I didn't vote in several civil district judge races because frankly, I didn't know the candidates.
The long and short of it is that this year, unlike many sweeps in past years, enough voters actually looked at the incumbents and decided individually whether they needed to stay or to go. That's a good thing.
As for Brad, I wish him all the luck in the world. Maybe the governor will appoint him the the 248th. But the result of the election is that a good judge was retained in office.
That is good for the justice system.

Anonymous said...

Rage,

Must you always be a douche?

Anonymous said...

The 136,000 that voted for Oliver walk among us. The other people that voted a straight ticket also walk among us. I don't think they could be that sharp if they didn't even research the candidates and pick the right one for the job. No excuses for stupid I guess. By the way Murray thanks so much for the voter guide you wrote. It helped more than you can know. I don't think you really realize how much your blog has helped the candidates. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool.
I can assure you, should the need arise, I will be willing to do anything to keep Bridgwater from being appointed to anything as your first poster suggested.

Anonymous said...

If by 'douche" you mean 'point out the hypocrites around here,' then yes. I must.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Murrary, you must be pleased to have your own personal Donald Trump posting to this blog. Let's face it, shameless self promotion through outrageous statements and made up facts. That sure sounds like Rage.

There were a number of courthouse races that I was so concerned with and worked on, the most important being the DA race and the 178th District Court. Thank goodness Mike Anderson won and Roger Bridgewater lost. Justice prevails.

Anonymous said...

Reagin and Bridgewater together again living off court appointments

Anonymous said...

nothing from hooper today...probably out looking for a job (not!).
i was curious how he'd spin things but, alas, he's completely irrelevent and officially a scourge to every campaign he's "worked on". yea!

Anonymous said...

Rumors flying here.Murray several people have told us you are coming back as chief and that many here are leaving.Many getting copy of their file.Whats the deal?

Anonymous said...

New Law Firm to be called Reagin,Ritchie,and Bridgewater.

Anonymous said...

"Earlier rumors had been that Bridgwater would be a strong consideration for that appointment, but after that resounding of a defeat, I think that would be pretty foolish of Perry. Why appoint someone that seems so unelectable?"
---------------
Um, it is Rick Perry. Nothing that idiot could do would surprise me.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Joe the Investigator(Photographer)?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am a citizen reading all these blogs on the court system in the past few weeks for voting - I read the Big Jolly one, this one, and the fact checking one. Who writes the fact checking Murray Newman one - there is no author listed? Or is it anonymous? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Brad Hart is a stand up guy who would make a phenomenal judge. I'm disappointed he didn't win.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 6:05 p.m.,
Rumors flying around an office about to experience an administration change are to be expected. People can always get a copy of their personnel file if they want to. I did when I was leaving the office. But Mike Anderson isn't Pat Lykos. He's not coming into office to terrify and terrorize everyone.

As far as rumors of me going back to the Office, that would be news to me. And probably news to Judge Anderson, as well.

Anon 7:34,

The other blog is run by Don Hooper, who is Rachel Palmer's husband. He created it to create the impression that it was my blog. He's not a fan.

John Stanman said...

The election of judges by political parties is clearly not the best way to insure a competent judiciary. It is idealistic to say, but judges should interpret the law based upon statutory guidelines, prior case law, common sense, and not mirror the tenets of a particular political party. Judges can get out of hand sometimes you can see one here: http://www.youtube.com/watch??v=B4LrHJCLs3Q

Anonymous said...

So - What is the explanation for who won and who lost by a couple of thousand votes either way?

Effective campaign tactics?

Or just a couple of thousand informed voters like all of us who actually knew something about these candidates and expressed an independent opinion?

I kind of hope the latter....

Anonymous said...

@Rage,

No, by "douche" I mean 'someone with an extraordinarily fragile ego who must constantly look for ways to step on others in a vain attempt to compensate for all the times he's been stepped on'.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Don either has a ghost writer or he's spontaneously developed the ability to put together a complete sentence. His latest blog posts reflect the schizophrenic posts of an old man clinging to the last threads of relevancy he once enjoyed as a member of Pat's "inner circle". I realize that when you have failed at so many things in life (parenting, 1st grade English, marrying a meal ticket), yet another failure is like grinding salt into the wound. Hopefully, Don can occupy his time with something that brings him joy. I hear Wal-mart needs greeters.

Anonymous said...

11:03-
Maybe WalMart will hire a husband and wife team...

Anonymous said...

The Hoop's latest Ghost Written post screams of a man (and his wife) who have accepted thier fate as no longer relevant and no longer able to bully. For that we are, & should be, very grateful

Perhaps he will have more time to relect on what is important in his life and repair the damage he has done to his family before starting another one...

May God bless the DA Office and those who look forward to the restoration of respect and integrity to this beloved institution.

Roger Chappell said...

Rage, no where in the comment did I read anything about God when reading the posts about Brad Hart's loss. That is pure speculation on your part in an effort to attempt to stir up some kind of controversy.

Secondly, you paint a very broad brush as far as the Tea Partiers all voting straight Republican ticket. That's plain foolish and hypocritcal on your part.

Calvin, one thing that I learned recently was that when a person votes traight ticket, they can go back and change some or all of the candidates they voted for and cross over. The ballot they cast will still be shown as a straight ticket vote. So, I think some of those numbers are misleading.

Anonymous said...

Roger is exactly right. Before I hit the send button, I looked my ballot over. At the top it showed it was a straight Republican vote, however, it showed the two Dems I changed my votes for.

Anonymous said...

Well, there's that 47% again. Going for Lloyd.
.
It sure looks like the titty bar vote didn't help Guthrie either. That is good. Sleaze, pure sleaze.

Anonymous said...

I do feel for Bridgwater, who was never anything but respectful, professional, and hardworking around me in this hot mess of an administration. The rest of them can go down with Patsy's ship for all I care, but I have no negative first-hand experience with Bridgwater.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Roger is a real prince. Not! He's a jackass in every sense of the word. He didn't know what the hell he was doing but, of course, you couldn't tell him anything. He just KNEW he was smarter than everyone in the room. And what he did to Donna was unconscionable. Some call it karma and some call it divine retribution. I'm just glad he got what he deserved...NOTHING! Sucks for you, Rog, you jack wagon!

Anonymous said...

6:59-
Ditto and double that! He's a first class prick and a huge hypocrite at that. He and Leitner deserve everything they're getting. They were Lykos' wrecking crew in that office.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:03
The grammar on Hoop's post is still atrocious - I think he just learned how to use spell check. We also learned many new things about the Hoop - he single handedly brought down the Rosenthal era, he "gathers" his thoughts before speaking and he has an "office." By the way Hoop, I'd stop the false allegations against your ex-wife as the only charges ever made against her were by you! You'll lose your second son too, if you don't can it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chappell:
Apparently there is not a way to determine which "straight tickets" were actually "straight" from the clerk's web page, so the assumption had to be made that "straight" meant "straight." I have no reason to doubt, however, that your "straight ticket voting" findings are incorrect - it makes perfect sense for government to report voting as "straight ticket" when in fact it was not - from my viewpoint such a practice or policy is in perfect harmony with the way the federal government has functioned over the last four years and will continue to do so for at least four more - obfuscation, deceit, fabrication, hyperbole, etc. - why should we expect anything less of local government as well?
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

No, by "douche" I mean 'someone with an extraordinarily fragile ego who must constantly look for ways to step on others in a vain attempt to compensate for all the times he's been stepped on'.

Oh. Well, in that case, no.

Rage, no where in the comment did I read anything about God when reading the posts about Brad Hart's loss. That is pure speculation on your part in an effort to attempt to stir up some kind of controversy.

Really? What does "another better purpose" mean to you? Sounds like divine intervention, to me.

Secondly, you paint a very broad brush as far as the Tea Partiers all voting straight Republican ticket. That's plain foolish and hypocritcal on your part.

How is that hypocritical? I didn't vote straight ticket. And I painted tea partiers with the appropriate brush. They're people who think that many Republican candidates are not conservative enough. You think that sounds like a Democrat?

Your political knowledge seems limited. If you're smarter than you sound, then your opinions are just outright dishonest.

from my viewpoint such a practice or policy is in perfect harmony with the way the federal government has functioned over the last four years and will continue to do so for at least four more

Somebody's a poor loser...

Rage

Roger Chappell said...

Rage,

You should be ashamed of yourself. You call me stupid or a liar. Neither of which accurately depict my charecter in any way. And, for your information, I will not let you get by with hiding behind a sudonymn and attacking me when it's clearly unestablished that we know one another. You can pass that kind of judgement on me when you reveal yourself and we sit down and have a beer together and discuss our differences like real men. Not they way you constantly and consistently berate others that post here, or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Anon10:48. You struck a nerve with Po widdle Donnie! He is having a shit fit on over on his blog ( which he created out of some sort of twisted penis envy). Cannot wait to see what he posts after a weekend of drinking stewing.

Anonymous said...

Spell Check: pseudonym, character

Anonymous said...

Spell check: judgment

Anonymous said...

Actually, either spelling of judgment is correct. Judgment is considered the Americanized spelling and judgement is generally considered the British spelling although present day British writers seem split on the spelling. Does the writer use"whilst" instead of "while"? Maybe it is a British voice coming forward.
Shirley Cornelius

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, Shirley, we're in America.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm not defending either spelling of the word. I'm just pointing out that it is possible that because both variations of the word are correct spell check might not pick up judgement as misspelled.
Shirley Cornelius

Anonymous said...

I'm actually enjoying going to work each day now. Getting to watch the Witch and her Flying Monkeys melt is so much fun!

Anonymous said...

I read the laments for Roger Bridgewater with real disgust. I worked the primary polls for Anderson and really did not change voters' minds as much as listened to voters saying they knew. They had friends, relatives and neighbors who told them about her mismanagement. Others had personal contact with Lykos and they were voting Anderson.

During the election, I worked reminding voters to vote for Anderson and trying to educate others about Oliver. In addition, I urged voters to vote for Mendoza. I found the same was true as in the primary. Voters indicated they had friends, relatives and neighbors who told them about Bridgewater.

So Roger, when you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and see the face of your defeat. You brought about your defeat. When you could have stood up to Lykos and acted as a leader, you chose to join in, acting petty and self centered. You sacrificed those you supervised for your own personal interest. When you get to work, look around, you will be looking at the friends, relatives and neighbors who told voters about you.

Leitner scurried out under cover of dark. I expect you will do the the same but not soon enough for me.