Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Your Friendly Neighborhood Office Lobbyist

While Pat Lykos and her Gang seem to have been incapable of approaching the County Commissioner's Court to try and drum up a little money to pay their pre-commits, she seems to have had no problem in approaching the Court for money for an Office Lobbyist.

Historically, the District Attorney's Office has sent a legislative liaison of some sort to Austin when Congress was in session to work with the Representatives and Senators on upcoming criminal law bills. This has generally drawn a disgusted eye roll from members of the Defense Bar, who assume that this was an example of a Police State trying to come up with more laws to imprison the poor citizen. However, the liaisons in the past have often worked along with TDCAA in trying to help the legislators keep from putting laws into effect just because they seemed politically popular. (EXAMPLE: Harris County actually tried to talk Legislators out of expanding the death penalty to non-Capital murder situations like sexual assault a few years back).

However, prior to the Lykos Administration, the liason was a prosecutor who worked in a regular assignment until the Session was on the horizon. They then would spend the Session in Austin, meeting with the Legislators. Different prosecutors were often called to Austin to testify in support (or opposition) to a Bill on different topics, but only one person was there full time. In the past, that position has gone to senior prosecutors like Troy Cotton, Chuck Noll, and most recently, Kevin Petroff.

That all changed when the Free Spending Pat Lykos came to town and began treating her D.A. budget with all the restraint of Paris Hilton on Rodeo Drive with a new platinum card.

In her view, the Office Legislative Liason would certainly need some professional help -- especially, if they were going to get laws passed of such public criminal justice importance as the Press Shield Law!

So, Lykos decided to seek the help of professional lobbyist Hank Mitchell, who was already doing a little lobbying for a group called the Retired Senior and Visiting Judges (a group that Lykos served for three terms as president of, I might add). On February 24, 2009, Lykos and the Gang asked the Commissioners Court for approval of $17,500 for Mr. Mitchell to serve as a liaison from February 24 through June 1, 2009.

The move got some attention in Dallas (but not Houston).

Okay, so fine. Lykos doesn't think that her own inside people can do an effective job of lobbying in Austin during the Session. I guess she can sort of justify getting a professional lobbyist. (NOTE: Not really.)

But let's now jump forward to the June 9, 2009 Commissioner's Court Agenda to see what the Gang has on their wish list . . .

Well, goodness gracious, there's old Hank Mitchell's name again. It looks like Hank did such a good job for them when Congress was in Session that they thought they would bring him on for a longer period of time.

This time, Lykos requested $58,000 to employ Hank from June 9, 2009 through January 10, 2011. Yep, $58,000 for a time period where there is no legislative session going on.

This, folks, is bureaucracy at its finest.

We can get $58,000 for one guy to sit around during the off-season like a red shirted golfer, but we can't drum up the money to pay 12 pre-commits for the month of November?

Now, I'm sure that Lykos will defend herself by saying these funds were out of the discretionary account, which are not legally allowed to be used to pay prosecutorial salaries. To my understanding, that's true.

However, what that argument does not defend is why in the hell wasn't she spending as much time in front of the Commissioner's Court trying to get money authorized for her Pre-Commits as she was for Hank Mitchell?


Anonymous said...

She should get Jim to do that. He isn't doing anything else.

Retired Seniors? Isn't that what the 6th floor is called now?

Anonymous said...

Murray, if you can't make friends, hire friends.

Xi said...

And there we fucking have it!

Instead of spending her time securing funds for the future prosecutors of the HCDAO; Lykos instead chooses to fund an old buddy and lobbyist's down time and promote her personal snitch, Rachel Palmer, to the blue hair circuit to bullshit a judgeship out of a sow's ear.

When the Houston Chronicle and other media outlets expressed their outrage at Rosenthal's good old boy corruption while praising Lykos' potential to clean house.....what exactly did they have in mind?

Anonymous said...

Eh, most lobbyist work is done in the off season. Kind of like making tartar sauce.

It does seem that lobbying should be done through TDCAA and similar groups, though. Unless there's some specific criminal statutes that Harris County alone needs, and therefore would shoulder the expense for. Which of course is not the case.


Anonymous said...

Wake up boy. The Media's agenda is being fulfilled through Lykos.

Anonymous said...

There is more on the horizon. Just wait and see. This cast of characters are doing things that even the Chronicle can't ignore.

Anonymous said...

Lykos and Company are above the "Rule of Law" so go f*ck yourself anon 2:06.
Besides, the Chronicle reporters are as cowardly as the remaining ADAs.

Anonymous said...

I think the Chuckster hired Patsy as his personal PR lobbyist.....she sure is making Chuckie look good in comparison.

Who'd have thunk it?

Ain't politics grand?

Anonymous said...

Being a kooky judge with a handful of disgruntled employees is bad, no doubt; but too many lives are in the balance now.

Crazy Patsy was elected a year ago today. I'm amazed any real prosecutor has withstood her arbitrary dominatrix show this long? What's the line on who will last the longest and how long will it be before the last real ADA says AMF?

Anonymous said...

ANON 4:57:
1 November 2010, will be the last day of active service for a real ADA in Harris County, Texas.
The last REAL ADA standing will be MB, DB or RW.

Happy Trails

Jack & Coke said...

Does this mean that the Annual DA Christmas Party for 2009 is going to be canceled?
What a bummer, I was hoping to catch the troll or her new protege under the mistletoe.

Anonymous said...

What disgust me is that her minions are constantly fawning all over her to make her feel like things are okay. For those of you who have left the office it will be hard for you to understand. People like Joni are constantly trying to "sooth" the Judge.

Anonymous said...

People like Joni are constantly trying to "sooth" the Judge.

Yeah, I hate fortune tellers too.


Anonymous said...

7:08 you're just jealous.Judge Pat is a little hottie.I'm with Jack and the amped up Coke--Rachel is just a younger version of Judge Pat.If Xmas party is cancelled I'm bringing mistltoe to the office to steal a kiss from each of them so eat your heart out.
Go Judge Pat and Go Judge Rachel!!!

Anonymous said...

The Karma bus will pull into town and unload on Rachel Palmer's front door step. The scorched earth policy will HAUNT her campaign for CCT 13

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:10:
If Judge Pat could get elected DA how difficult could it be for Rachel Palmer to get elected judge?
It's not like Rachel has an exclusive on very bad behavior.

Judge Pat is the perfect mentor for the future Judge Rachel. Remember, politics is all about smoke and mirrors, not who is most qualified for the position.

Don't forget for a minute that ADAs are primarily a bunch of whiny azz complainers that will, for the most part, simply sit on their butts and not risk a damn thing. Please! They hardly take the time to even vote.

Anonymous said...

The hostility for Rachel Palmer is a bit much.

Anonymous said...

I think its important for each of us who is concerned about these elections to make sure the general public knows what we know. I encourage each of you to remember to comment in the Chronicle and other media read by the general public. Send an email to everyone in your email address book who lives in Harris County educating them about the candidates.

Prepare a list of the opponent in the Judicial races with info on each and perhaps include who your pick will be and why.

Most people who don't have any information will either vote based on party or name. The best man doesn't always win because the mass majority of voters are uninformed. We could fix that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:34,
Your friend Rachel hasn't seen anything yet. She's got Troll shit and personal shit all over her and no real qualifications to wash off the stench. Hope she's got some thick skin. LOL

Anon 12:42
Shame on us if we allow Lykos to bullshit the voters with her clone.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, while you guys are busy attacking Rachel, she is creating a base of support that Denise Bradley will not be able to compete. You all may win the blogging battle but she is going to win the election war.

Try and attack her qualifications but the fact remains that she has been running the misdemeanor for the past year.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:54 which misdemeanor has Palmer been running for the last year, POM, Assault, DWI, DWLS. I was just wondering.

As to the lobbyist, I heard during the legislative session he was as hard to find as Brady is in a child abuse case.

Xi said...

Anon 5:20,
Lykos bullshitted the voters pretty well for herself why do you think it will be any different for someone else totally unqualified to be elected Judge Palmer?

Anonymous said...

You're not fooling anyone, RP.....

Anonymous said...

I must be out of the loop. What is so bad about Rachel Palmer? Did she get her degree online or something? What makes her unqualified exactly?

Anonymous said...

anon 10:01,
Rachal Palmer is as qualified to be a judge as Pat Lykos is to be DA.....NOT.
Palmer has met the minimum requirement to run for the bench in that she has been licensed to practice law in the state of Texas for at least five (5) years (she is in her 6th year).
Meeting the bare requirements and being well qualified are not the same thing.
Her court room knowledge and ability is very marginal at best. Her selection of Lykos as a professional mentor is disturbing to say the least.
Palmer's reputation among her peers is inappropriate and unfavorable.
Rachel Palmer has no redeeming qualities that I am aware of and I hope that her sham bid for judge is exposed for what it is.....a joke.

Anonymous said...

ANON 9:23:
The joke's on you fool.
Judge Pat will crank up the base and Miss Palmer will trounce Ms. Bradley and any others that challenge Judge Pat.
Judge Pat takes care of her own and we will take care of her.
Go Pat!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Murray, I think you may be misinformed on this one. Kevin Petroff was the workaday lobbyist for Lykos this session, just as he was for Rosenthal in the last one. (I negotiated with him at length on a couple of bills this year as a representative of the Innocence Project of Texas - particularly one on habeas writs.) Also, FWIW, HCDA legislative stances didn't change an iota with the transition in administrations, as near as I could tell.

You might call Kevin and doublecheck your facts.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Hey Scott,
I wasn't saying that the new lobbyist was there instead of Kevin, I was saying that he was there in addition to him(which seemed a little unneccesary to me).
And I'm sure that when it came to the agenda being pursued that it probably wasn't different at all with the major exception of the press shield law.

Anonymous said...

I'm switching to hash-browns...just sayin'