Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Race for District Clerk (With Updated Links)

As election season is rapidly approaching, I realized that there probably wasn't going to be time for me to write the big, comprehensive reviews of candidates like I did in 2008 and in the primaries of this year. I'll put something out eventually, I'm sure. I may even focus on some races in particular, but I just don't have time to write the voluminous stuff I've written in the past for every race.

But, I did want to write something semi-voluminous about the Race for District Clerk, because it is a position that affects both lawyers and citizens across the board.

And for the past year or so, District Clerk Loren Jackson has been doing a freaking amazing job as District Clerk.

Prior to Loren Jackson taking over the Office, you probably would have been fairly hard pressed to come up with the name of the District Clerk of Harris County. Now, Jackson's name is one of the most recognizable for a Public Servant in Harris County.

And with good reason.

Jackson took the helm of the Clerk's office and has taken it into the 21st Century. His efforts to streamline public records in an easily accessible manner on the Internet has been nothing short of monumental.

And he's achieved the goals he set forth.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys marvel at what Loren Jackson has done with the District Clerk's office. As you can imagine, in the legal world, needing documents and records is an extremely frequent occurrence. Getting those documents used to be like pulling teeth. You would have to go to your computer and search for a case number associated with the name you were looking for (and Lord help you if you didn't have the exact right name and spelling during your search). You would have to find the volume and page of where the records could be found. You had to put in a written request to the clerk of your court for those records.

And then you would have to wait for several days for the clerk to pull that information up for you and certify it.

It was not a good system, but at the time, there was nothing better.

Loren Jackson now has alleviated the workload on his clerks by giving attorneys the ability to search for the information online without the assistance of a clerk, and we can now print out copies of those court documents on our own printers in our own offices immediately.

That may seem like a small thing to some people, but it is literally saving hours, days, and weeks worth of legwork that were so commonplace just five or ten years ago. The work he's done to improve his office has been nothing short of Monumental.

In addition to the technology side of what he's done for the Office, he's also brought a level of enthusiasm to his job that makes it so much more than just an elected spot for somebody to hold onto before running for County Commissioner or something. He goes and greets both the morning and the afternoon jury panels that come over daily.

I've never even met Loren Jackson, but I'm a tremendous fan of all that he has done for that office. It is (and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest) absolutely amazing.

Loren Jackson is such an amazing District Clerk that anybody who would want to run against him is actually doing the public a very large disservice.

But, of course, somebody is running against him.

Because Loren Jackson is a Democrat, the Republicans have found a candidate to run against him named Chris Daniel.

And where they got this guy, I'm not real sure. Based on his campaign website, it just appears that his major credentials are being very adept at having his picture taken with famous politicians. I used to want to have my picture with famous NFL athletes when I was a teenager -- and they still didn't let me play in the NFL.

It is also very transparent from Mr. Daniel's resume that he is just looking to use the District Clerk's position as a springboard to higher office.

I've got a big issue with that -- especially since Loren Jackson is kicking butt and taking names with how well he is doing with the Office now.

Only a die-hard Republican who was completely unfamiliar with the job Jackson is doing would think of voting against him.

Voting for anyone other than Loren Jackson for District Clerk of Harris County would not only be foolish, it would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Please tell your Republican family and friends who vote in Harris County to stay away from the straight-ticket vote, and actually pay enough attention to the ballot to vote for the far-and-away best candidate for the job.

Get the word out.

For more input on the Race for District Clerk, check out the Houston Chronicle's article here and Mark Bennett's post on it here.


Anonymous said...

Hard for me to see where Loren Jackson's biography lists any more qualifications or prior experience prior to assuming the job than Chris Daniel's does. No complaints regarding Jackson's performance, just not sure your reasoning is sound or fair.

Anonymous said...

Daniels is an idiot, a climber, and a name dropper with no substance whatsover. He has no plans or ideas for the office.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:40, very good point! I'd like to read Murray's counter-point.

However, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is my motto. I rarely vote for a democrat but I do take my time in voting and vote for each and every candidate that I know something about. I can see myself voting for Mr. Jackson.

Anonymous said...

When I went to search for Chris Daniels Texas bar number, I could not find it. How long exactly has Mr. Daniels been practicing law? Did he graduate form law school yet? What experience does he have with the needs of lawyers and the public who use the District clerk's office everyday?

Anonymous said...

You won't find Chris's Bar number because he's not a lawyer. He made a big hoopla in the Primary about how he was going to be taking the Bar and even posted his Bar admission ticket on his website. Then after the primary he got cold feet and did not take the Bar. He is not a lawyer, has never been a lawyer and he has never spent much of his weekly life at the Clerk's office pulling documents. Loren was a Litigation attorney before running for District Clerk. He's still a licensed attorney but can't practice law as clerk.

Chris has been as Engineer in Training and worked as a law clerk for a few months.

The difference is clear. And from what I've seen, he had his budget cut twice, yet still made his budget and spent less money. Out of curiosity, I looked at the college board that Chris sits on and every year he was in office the board spent millions more money each year and is now in a fiscal crisis.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who doesn't vote for Jackson simply doesn't know how things work in the court house. He is one person that the most vehement prosecutors and defense lawyers can agree upon. He has dragged the county government kicking and screaming into this century. I am one Republican who is going to vote for Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about the jury tote bags that they were getting recently. Seems like a blatant attempt to use taxpayer money to do some "campaigning." What was it, "2nd annual jury appreciation week?" Good grief. Maybe private money was used, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

I think the guy is an opportunistic liar. If you go back, during the campaign he touted his time at West Point, it shows up in some google searches and I recall his saying it at forums. Then that suddenly disappeared from his bios. Its not on his DC bio at all. Its my understanding he was called out on it.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Jackson's pre-election qualifications and Daniel's is pointless. Murray is right - Jackson's performance has been nothing short of amazing. If there's a candidate anywhere on the ballot who deserves re-election more I don't know who it is.

Anonymous said...

I just graduated from South Texas and sat for the Bar this past July. I never had any classes with Mr. Daniels but I do know were both in school at the same time because he tried to add the entire school as a friend on Facebook while running for some political position (Student Government or SBA)--which he lost. Considering the fact that he does not have a Bar number yet, I would assume he he graduated and took the Bar the same time as me.

The guy obviously has big dreams, so I applaud him for that and wish him luck. However, as an aspiring attorney with not even one hour of experience on the job, it scares me to think that someone with the exact same level of legal expertise could hold such an important position in the Harris County criminal system.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like putting Daniels in office would be as big a mistake as the voters made in electing Lykos. Neither has a clue on how to do the job that they're asking the public to entrust them with performing. I just hope the voting public wakes up in the next election cycle.

Anonymous said...

I knew Loren Jackson from law school and shortly after when we both started the practice of law together. I liked and respected Loren from the first time I met him, but even then when he was the candidate for District Clerk I refused to vote for him because he was a democrat. I made a huge error. He campaigned on the issue of modernizing and he has accomplished that.

I will vote for Loren this november. He has earned it and has done an incredible job. He has good ideas and has worked very hard. Shame on my republic party for putting up a joke of a candidate, much like the democratic party of old in the judicial elections.

Anonymous said...

This is a great and accurate endorsement of Mr. Jackson! PLEASE take the time to do the same for the criminal benches (before early voting ends....) so that the civil lurkers around here have a little more information when we vote. Thanks for the good information, and the good entertainment!

Anonymous said...

Had the dubious honor of jury duty last week during jury appreciation week. Before being sent to the civil court house I actually got to meet or at least see Mr. Jackson. On the way in we were given the usual cheep water bottle throwaway item you usually see around campaign time. with a drawing ticket in it. Didn't win the drawing but the man in his speech which according to him he gives twice a day. (both pools) He seemed more like the guys I saw in college running for student gov, than a politician. Which in my case says a lot for him as most of our county's leadership leaves much to be desired. He looks like a smart guy who is friendly with people and probably competent at his job. As a side note I haven't voted for a dem since 1996.


Anonymous said...

I am a Republican who will be voting for Loren Jackson. What he has done so quickly and efficiently is just amazing. Everyone benefits from his efforts.

Anonymous said...

I went to law school with Daniels, but I don't think I had any classes with him. I always thought the kid was a bit creepy because he seemed to know my name and I didn't know him from Adam. I figured he spent his spare time studying the "STCL Stalker" (that would be the student directory for the non-STCL grads).

Anonymous said...

Harris County is just a big money machine that generates money for the lawyers, bondsmen, and anyone else that touches that paperwork.
Try modernizing the JIMS system and and take it out of the '70s.
The District Clerk's Office prevents the justice system from working efficiently and keeps every at each others throats.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Ron Paul Republican, practicing attorney, and active in local politics and the Republican Party; I will be voting for Loren Jackson. I had enough interaction with Chris Daniel in the 2008 presidential election to realize that he is a complete tool.

I did not vote for Jackson in 2008, based on party lines...and was very skeptical of his ability at first...but I've seen first hand that he has been doing a great job.

Stanart & Daniel epitomize all that is wrong with the current Republican Party. What really scares me is that they have a good chance of winning with the deaf, dumb, and blind teabagger surge. God Save the County.

Anonymous said...

Good article in the Chronicle today about this race.

I went to school with Chris Daniel and I can tell you he has NO BUSINESS in that office. He fancies himself in that position as the "quaterback of the courts", but he really has no qualifications to be there. I suggest he go out and do something before he professes to be so proud of himself.

Any Republican who endorses him should be ashamed. Loren Jackson has simply done too much for Harris County not to be re-elected.

Anonymous said...

Quarterback of the courts...that's rich considering Daniel's never even been in the game--that is litigation on any side of the street. He's completely unqualified, completely a tool, and completely clueless.

I worked in the courthouse for years over a decade ago and have been back down there regularly recently and can attest to the massive improvements in professionalism and competence in the district clerks office. It has been a refereshing surprise and I'm voting for Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I love how this idiot Daniels thinks that a "Third World" "terrorist" is more of a threat to my social security number and identity than Trone from the 5th ward is. What an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Has no one put this together yet? Hard to f'ing believe.
Chris Daniel's great great grand daddy was Jack. He served Patsy her first Jack & Coke.
Their motto has always been, "Who needs dem stinkin' qualifications"?
Thus endeth the lesson.
Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

On the plus side for Daniels, he is endorsed by Sam Malone. If there is anyone who knows about the inner workings of the complex machinery of the Harris County court system and what it takes to lead the office into the 21st century, it's a radio DJ.

Anonymous said...

What can I say about Chris Daniel? I know him from law school, and he is perhaps the biggest loser that I have ever met. First of all, he knows nothing about politics, and he doesn't give a rip about the district clerk's actual responsibilities. He's too busy salivating over the idea of a bigger desk and a fancier title. But realistically, he would be incompetent at any political office.

Nobody at the school liked him, and I mean NOBODY. His only alliances lay with Republican classmates, and they were only supportive of his party affiliation and not with him as a person. But we don't just elect the party -- we bring that person into office as well. And this dude is the worst candidate we have seen for any office in ages.

Listen to him talk. It's all about him, never about any other person, and certainly never about his actual strategies and tactics. Why, you might ask? Because his ideas are about as few and far between as his hair. There aren't very many of them, and the few that he does have are stretched thinly to (unsuccessfully) try to cover up his shortcomings.

Aside from the fact that he's incompetent, the dude is a real sleaze. Regardless of how many times I rejected him, he mercilessly made passes at me for years. At school functions, he would wait in the corner for my boyfriend to walk away for a moment, and then he would weasel up and toss out some of the tackiest come-ons. As soon as he saw my boyfriend returning, he would take off faster than a military jet. He's disrespectful and chauvinistic, evident by his actions toward many women.

Democrats -- I'm sure I don't have to convince you why you don't want this tool in office.

Republicans -- don't think of voting for Loren Jackson as voting for a Democrat. Think of it as party-housecleaning. This jerk would give you a BAD name. There is no reason why you would ever want him to represent you.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see the party line crossing. It's sad to see those morons who still won't vote for Jackson just because he's a dem. That is complete ignorance.

I met Daniels at a campaign event. He told me that many of Jackson's improvements were already in the works by Republican predecessors, which I know to be false. Chang's quote in the Chronicle makes that even more clear. He then said the he was going to make it to where we can do things on the clerk's website, like withdraw from a case. It's clear he knows nothing about what it's like to be a lawyer. How can you follow Rule 10 from ytour phone? I was with several Republican judges Who I practice in front of regulalry, or I would have called him out on it right there. The guy is clearly ignorant of a clerk's functions, and even moreso on what it means to be a lawyer.

Also, the radio station Sam Malone is on (his third demotion in radio, by the way), is owned by a Republican politician. Forgot which one, but Google would tell you quickly if you want to fact check me. Sam is also another tool that I have personal experience with. He'd know more about trying to get pre-teens to listen to Britney Spears than who should be district clerk.


Anonymous said...

Loren Jackson had FIVE years of experience as a practicing Lawyer, Chris Daniel zero. Loren Jackson from his legal experience of dealing with the District Clerks Office knew what improvements needed to be made & he made them and he did it in less than 2 years in office. Loren is tech savvy and has put the District Clerks on the map nationally with new technology, Even other District Clerks around Texas sing the praises of Loren Jackson & seek his advice on how to update their offices. The technology Loren created not only saves the DCO office money but also attorneys who can pass that savings on to their clients. For the first time in DCO history Loren held budget meetings with his employees & the county's budget office to explain how the budget works, transparency . In his first year in office Loren raised the base pay of 35 employees from $22,000 to $25,000. This year thanks to Loren the DCO did not suffer layoffs. Despite the budget cut backs the DCO has suffered Loren still managed to come in under budget and Loren still provided Improved services & technological advances for Harris County Taxpayers, the Bar and the Judiciary. Loren has worked hard each and every day by learning many of the duties throughout the DCO and Loren often works side by side with his employees, Loren has raised the morale of the employees which for many years has been very low. Loren has created a partnership with his employees, like Loren says we are all in this together. When Loren took office Jury turnout rate was at 20% and by promoting jury service through his efforts of greeting & thanking the jurors each and every day, creating Juror Appreciation Week, putting WiFi in the jury room that has increased to 25% thus saving even more money, by not having to send out the Failure to Appear Summons to those who did not honor their jury summons. As for free parking for the jurors only Commissioners Court can do that!!
Loren knows what a sacrifice of time & money it can be for prospective jurors, at least he cares enough to appreciate that! Loren Jackson has served the citizens of Harris County with intelligence, efficiency and integrity. Loren Jackson deserves our vote for Re-Election as District Clerk in November...Look at the facts, look at the qualifications, Good Work deserves just reward.

Anonymous said...

Neither knowing nor having dealt with either Loren Jackson or Chris Daniels, I will not level ad hominem attacks or praise at either, although Loren Jackson, based upon blog comments, appears to have the support of the bar. What I do know, however, is that in the 2008 elections several well qualified, experienced, and competent Republican district court judges, both criminal and civil, were defeated for re-election by Democratic opponents, some of whom allegedly were of questionable character and legal ability. It now appears that these incumbent judges were the victims of rampant voter fraud. See:, "Citizens' Group Helps Uncover Alleged Rampant Voter Fraud in Houston", 9/25/10, by Ed Barnes.
Based upon the locations and apparent demographics of the alleged fraud, it also appears that the Democratic candidates were the beneficial recipients of this fraud. Moreover, a day after the Harris County voter registrar, Leo Vasquez, sought an investigation by the Harris County District Attorney of the alleged fraud based upon the citizens' report described above, on August 27,2010, amazingly, and by sheer coincidence (sic) a fire destroyed almost all of the Harris County voting machines, and whatever evidence of the alleged fraud which they may have provided.
Perhaps, if there was less voter fraud in this County, and the country as well, Republicans would be more willing to cross party lines, In any event, one must wonder when was last time the so-called bipartisan (again-sic) Democrats actively crossed party lines to vote for qualified Republican candidates. Clearly, it was not in 2008.

Anonymous said...

It is sad but Jackson will need a miracle to defeat the Tea Party furor that is raging in Harris County.
I was an early primary voter at the West Gray location and asked Daniels how he was going to improve the district clerk's office.....he looked at me and didn't answer.
One of his female friends, who was campaigning with him, told me the Republican party had " chosen Chris to run against Loren Jackson because of the youth thing" ....Those were her words, because Daniels' primary opponent was much older than Chris and she thought the party wanted to balance Daniels' youth against that of Loren's. I remember her because she was wearing a UT shirt.
Wow.....Loren Jackson is going to a younger opponent. Not a better opponent, but a younger one.
The Republicans are on a mission and locally anyone with a D by their name is history.

Anonymous said...

6:21, I think you underestimate White's impact in straight ticket voting inHarris County. The Tea Baggers love to think they're having an impact, but they're causing the Republican Party to feed on itself, more than anything else. A few will win, but not here in Harris County.

Anonymous said...

Daniels fired his campaign Manager Michael Wolfe and "hired" his girlfriend as his campaign manager today!. You think the Chronicle article, this blog and others have gotten to the scared little @#$%.

All persons of any right mind, no matter what party, VOTE for LOREN Jackson and save the District Clerk's Office from this moron. Tonight he added himself into a fundraiser hosted by Paul Bettencourt--the same guy who picked Pat Lykos.

Anonymous said...

The Harris County Republican Party has lost its way.

First they gave us Pat Lykos.

Then they tried to shove Rachal Palmer down our throats.

Danny Dexter was their next favorite son.

And now Chris Daniel is their boy.

So long as petty Party politics is held in higher esteem than appropriate qualifications and experience, the Rupublican Party of Harris County will continue its demise.

Anonymous said...

I have almost always voted GOP but never straight ticket. I know Loren and he is an outstanding Aggie and very professional and technically savvy. If he were an R he would be the new star of the party and a shoe in. However, just as he won with straight ticket voters in 2008, he will likely lose in the same fashion this year. It's a shame but I imagine the county will try to keep him. Perhaps he could head up JIMS and transform the court information system into the best in the Country.

Loren would have a great future in politics if he switched parties. He represents everything that is right about government that the general public doesn't understand.

Oh and the cast of characters running countywide for the GOP except for the incumbents are not the best and brightest. Lets hope Loren can overcome the wave that is coming.

Anonymous said...

Chris Daniel is a figment of his clueless imagination. He has no idea what goes on in the District Clerks office much less is Daniel equipped to run the office. Loren Jackson has done a great job, Loren was able to provide better service and with less money. A vote for Loren Jackson is a vote for the citizens of Harris County who deserve a qualified and proven public servant.
I am a republican and I can see the difference in electing someone who is qualified for a position and someone like Daniel who is NOT, just use your common sense voters, don't play into political scare tactics.

Anonymous said...

Mike Wolfe is still just as involved as ever in the Chris Daniel Campaign. Mike is Chris' right hand guy. Maybe the girlfriend is just jealous of Chris having a best friend like Mike...

Anonymous said...

Just wondering how the Republican party ever let a person like Chris Daniel run for office, he is an embarrassment to the party, even current sitting Republican elected officials have nothing good to say about him. Instead it appears both Republicans and Democrats speak highly of the job Loren Jackson has done as District Clerk. How do you argue with Jackson's record, Mr. Jackson has done some really good things and did it despite budget cut backs, we need more elected officials like Loren. At least Loren Jackson knows the job, I think I will stick with a proven candidate!!

Anonymous said...

So everyone is upset with Washington what else is new?
Locally we need to elect qualified & proven public officials, if they are doing a good job, saving tax dollars and spending wisely, then why would you vote to elect an unknown, non-experienced and very under qualified candidate. Loren Jackson has done a great job as Harris County District Clerk, the updates he has done to the website are fantastic and make my job as a paralegal a lot easier. The District Clerk is an Administrative position and should be non- partisan. Loren you have the Vote of many paralegals!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Chris Daniel is much ado about NOTHING!
No experience practicing law, what engineering firm has he worked for, ??? He says he is a small business owner, what small business??
Loren Jackson, is smart, tech savvy , has FIVE years prior experience as a practicing attorney, Loren has earned the respect of his fellow elected officials on both sides of the party lines and Harris County citizens love the way Loren has updated the office, let's move pass all the bunk and support Loren Jackson for District Clerk, a true public servant!!

Anonymous said...

Jackson raised the Bar in Harris County, he has cut spending, made services more available , he is bringing much needed attention to the problem of folks not reporting for jury service and in doing so has saved taxpayers money. We have men & women risking their lives to serve their country. The least folks can do is report for jury service, it is a right often taken for granted, just like voting...SO VOTE for Loren Jackson,

Anonymous said...

I am happy to see so much support for Loren Jackson. It is amazing what he has done with the court's records. Before he was clerk, I would spend hours at the court house searching for returns of citations or waiting on that piece of mail to let me know when a case was set. Today, I receive email notifications when a document is filed, order is signed, or setting is made for one of my cases. It can't get any better than that. I really hope he pulls through. I think being Democrat really hurt him this election.