The Campaign For DA

9.22.2021

Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts




That *was* funny. But it's amazing there was actually a presidential debate 10 years ago where Ricky Perry, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain (R.I.P) were all on the same stage. I looked it up and there was also Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Rick Santorum.


  • Today the Messenger published in full Thomas Houchin's resignation statement as president from the Decatur School Board. (There are some very odd and confusing sentences in there.) But the resignation changes nothing. He's still on the board and part of a 4 to 3 voting block. I really don't understand why he did it. 
  • One of the best sentences from the Messenger story begins with "He repeated a claim, without providing evidence, that  . . . ."  That's a phrase we've become very familiar over the past four years. 

  • If it makes Decatur feel any better, there's school board chaos everywhere

  • This case is unusual. If I'm reading it correctly -- and reading between the lines -- it sounds like officers went into a hotel room after claiming there was consent to enter when in actuality they went and got a key from the front desk.   And I call it unusual not because of the officers' conduct, but because of the fact they would actually get in trouble for it. 

  • We can safely speed on Texas highways because all the DPS vehicles have been sent to the border. 

  • Whenever Gov. Abbott callas for the cameras, the head of DPS, who had become Abbott's de facto personal errand boy, is never far behind. It's really incredible how he is always there.

  • According to the Messenger, Texas House Rep. Phil King absolutely expects Wise County to be moved out of his district when the new map is released. (I'm not sure that's a loss.) And he expects us to be grouped with "other rural counties."  If I had to throw out a wild guess, that almost sounds like we would join David Spiller's District 68. His current district is below -- I had my highly compensated graphics department put arrows pointing out Wise County.

  • New Space Force uniforms have been unveiled.  Can we just kill this silly program already?

  • TMZ has video of a fight at the last Cowboys game in LA. Just like I'm not going to Deep Ellum, I'm not real hip on going to an NFL game these days. 

  • I ran across this guy in the middle of the night on TV. Of all the scamming TV evangelists I've seen, he might be the worst.  I was watching the crime of fraud happen right in front of eyes. He was literally promising people their "gift" would multiply in their own bank account. 


  • This is weird. He started four years at Baylor and then decided to transfer. Now he's gone. 

  • Eleven games left, and they are going to have to go 8-3 to avoid 100 losses.  

  • Messenger: Above the Fold



9.21.2021

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts





Ten years ago I wrote (at length) about how the Fort Worth Court of Appeals had just reversed a conviction of a lady who had been sentenced to 35 years for dope in Wise County.  In looking for an update just now, I found that a year later the higher court in Austin reinstated it. In also doing a TDC search, however, it looks like she is no longer in a cage and has been released on parole.  


  • John Walsh, of America's Most Wanted fame, has gone off on Brian Laundrie and his family in interviews last night with Tucker Carlson and again this morning on Good Morning America. I understand completely that he (and most everyone) thinks Laundrie killed Gabby Petito, but tap the brakes a little bit, man. He's making stuff up. ("He beat her to death.")  And someone needs to tell him there is not yet an arrest warrant outstanding for Laundrie since he is urging viewers to give him tips where he is "and we'll pick up the guy."

  • I spoke too soon yesterday. Now there are two lawsuits against the abortion provider who penned an admission in an op-ed in The Washington Post. Both plaintiffs are from out of state and have no connection to the doctor or patient whatsoever. But the law gives the right to sue.
    • The first guy is a disbarred lawyer, a convicted felon, and a nut. Petition here seeking $100,000. And, yes, this is him: 

    • The second guy is a suspended lawyer who just wants to be a test case. But his two page petition here shows why he is probably suspended. He doesn't even ask for the minimim of $10,000 but just simply says the Texas law is "illegal." That's not the way you do it. 
  • Bridgeport needed a new fire station and the one unveiled is nice, but more than one person has asked me how it cost $2.3 million. 

  • There weren't many guys with a home videocam at the ready back then. This is a COVID death, by the way. 

  • When this school counselor in Bedford was arrested in 2018 the lede was a "33-year-old school counselor is accused of having sex with a ninth-grade student nearly a dozen times and even told the student's sister that she would leave her husband for him, according to an arrest affidavit." She is actually going on trial this week in Tarrant County. They couldn't work this out? Defense lawyers are listed as Steve Gebhardt, Andrea Towensend, and Chip Lewis.

  • Your reminder that there are people who actually watch Fox News in the evening. This is what they saw last night: 

  • The Texas AG issued a press release yesterday putting in words just how dumb he is. That statement is fundamentally not true and any high school civics student knows it. 

  • "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

  • Pro golfer John Daly visited the University of Arkansas basketball team yesterday.

  • One of the funniest emails I got compared the Decatur School Board Tapes to the secretly recorded (and expletive filled) car sales meeting of Bart Reagor in Lubbock. 


9.20.2021

Random Monday Morning Thoughts




That really happened.   


  • The Decatur School Board Tapes were a major hit. If you haven't listened to them yet (see Friday's post, below), do it. I promise you that you'll get sucked in.   I couldn't believe what I was listening to.

  • What authorities think is the body of Gabby Petito was found in Wyoming yesterday.  What a crazy case. I don't think her boyfriend is "on the run", but instead is simply laying low.  There's no arrest warrant outstanding, so I'm not sure all of us wouldn't do the same thing. Oh, and here's the route of their cross-country trip:

    • Oh, no. Look who is back to cover the story. 

  • Five years after a district judge in Fort Worth ordered a man electrically shocked in order to keep him quiet, the judge has received a public hand-slap from the Texas Judicial Commission. The story made The Washington Post back in the day

  • If I was young enough to be hanging out in Deep Ellum, I wouldn't be hanging out in Deep Ellum.  Stuff like this happens all the time. 

  • Other than DPS being overtly political in a social media post, my next thought was: What about all those gun boats we bought you?! Were they just for show after all? (Answer: Of course they were.) 

  • Military crashes during training happens way too often. 

  • Texas Senate Redistricting 101: This weekend, the first proposal for redrawing the lines for the Texas Senate was released. Here's what is going on:
    • Wise County would be moved out of District 30 and into District 12 with Denton and north Dallas County. Weird. District 12 has been held forever by Jane Nelson, but she announced in June she won't run again. 
      Proposed Texas Senate Map

    • That means we would lose Drew Springer and get someone to be determined.
    • What's going on is that this is all part of the Republican's plan to redraw District 10, and  Wise County simply got caught up in the sausage making. They want to redraw District 10 to get rid of Democrat Beverly Powell who defeated the nutty Republican Konni Burton in 2018.
    • This is what District 10 looks like now. It mostly made up of southern Tarrant County. It would now be expanded under the new plan (above) to include Johnson and Parker counties which means Powell is a goner.  
      Current District 10 lines in red

    • Is there anything illegal about the Republicans gerrymandering District 10 to get rid of Powell and replace her with a Republican? Nope. The Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 in Shelby County vs. Holder which would have prevented this. 
  • I really don't know why we haven't seen a lawsuit under the Texas $10,000 Abortion Bounty Law yet. A doctor is even baiting people into suing him by writing an op-ed.

    • Other news: Jonathan Mitchell, the architect behind the Texas Bounty Bill, filed a "friend of the court" brief in the Mississippi 15-week ban case pending before the Supreme Court. He's going all out by telling the court that, while they are at it, they should allow states to make it a crime to engage in homosexual conduct or have a same-sex marriage: 

       
  • This was all the news yesterday, but I'm wondering why The Texas Tribune, which would normally be all over a story like this, is silent about it. This might be premature: 

  • Regarding the Cowboys game, if Zuerlein's  had missed the 56 yard field goal and Dallas would have lost in overtime, we would be clamoring for Coach Mike McCarthy's firing this morning for the horrible time management at the end of the game. And his excuse was embarrassingly comical:

  • If you thought it sounded like a lot of Cowboy fans were in the crowd yesterday, just take a look at this video of the concourse of the stadium before the game. That's amazing. 

  • As bizarre (and cool) looking as the Los Angeles$5 billion SoFi Stadium looks, I also think it's neat that one "corner" of it looks like this in the heart of the city.

  • Off beat college football observations:
    • This is the actual way Purdue transported their massive band drum to Notre Dame. In the back of a pick-up.  

    • This is the USC plane loaded with football players after landing for Saturday's game with Washington State. 
  • Did I mention you should listen to the Decatur School Board Tapes?


9.17.2021

It's Friday -- Let's Get Out of Here






Random Friday Morning Thoughts




It was the opening game of 2011, and a 27-24 loss to the Jets. Game summary.




  • This will probably be the last daily update from me unless something changes.  But the hospital in Decatur is overflowing this morning and has 42 COVID patients

  • Boom! The Messenger has obtained some of the phone recordings between former school board President Thomas Houchin and former Superintendent Joseph Coburn, and has printed relevant parts of them today.  They are pretty incredible and give rise to a lot of issues. Go buy a paper. Excerpt below.   

    • Although tiny things like this are buried in there, too. Sheesh. 

    • The Messenger has placed all the recordings online. (There will be some dead spots due to the school's redactions pending an Open Records fight to resolved by the AG.) Man, there are a ton of Decatur names which are thrown around. And the audio is riveting!
      • June 3rd call. (2 hours, 12 minutes) Edit: Holy cow! Wait until you hear who Thomas Houchin has in mind for the new Decatur football coach! 1:50:00 
      • June 8th call. (1 minute, 44 seconds)(Heavily redacted - basically worthless)
      • June 14th call. (2 hours, 3 minutes)(This one is contentious and turns out to be a wild ride )
      • June 17th call. (10 minutes, 15 seconds)
  • Our embattled and indicted Texas AG responded yesterday to having another Republican challenge him for his job by invoking his higher power. Four sentence statement. Three references to Trump.

  • The case of missing Gabby Petito is fascinating. Police in Utah released the full one hour bodycam yesterday of her and her boyfriend's interaction with police.  She's an emotional mess and is dealing with some big issues, but I don't think she was in fear of him at the time.  

    • And, yeah, all fingers point to him as a suspect since he's lawyered up but, if he's guilty of something, any prosecutor has a heck of a problem right now because he was smart enough to simply shut up.

    • Side note: That case would make me nervous as a cop.  Every routine encounter you have with someone is now on video, and you never know when it will be national news. Although this particular cop probably caught hell at home for being recorded as telling the girl, "My wife has really really bad anxiety [too] and she takes medication for it daily. Sometimes, it’s not enough. Sometimes it just builds up. I will say this, when my wife got put on the medication, within a week, I saw a complete turnaround in her attitude. Her demeanor. She wasn’t nearly aggressive, or angry." 
  • In the other high profile national case, the high-tone South Carolina lawyer turned himself in yesterday on attempted insurance fraud charges.  I'm not certain of this, but I've read that the insurance policy did not have a suicide exclusion clause, so the company would pay even if he killed himself or had someone else kill him.   But that gives rise to a legal question: Is it an offense to intend to commit a crime (insurance fraud) and you do an act in furtherance of the intended crime (hire someone to kill you) but your scheme, if it had worked out, wouldn't have been insurance fraud at all? My gut reaction is "no", but this isn't exactly something I deal with every day. 

  • There was a meth bust in Wise County but, unless my math is off, our Sheriff says that meth is going for about $31 a gram. 15 pound seizure = 240 ounces.  240 ounces = 6,720 grams. Value of bust was $210,000 per Sheriff.  $210,000/6,720 = $31.25 a gram. I also thought it interesting he said that, “That’s probably the biggest seizure of methamphetamine we have ever made.”
    Stealing highway signs again. 

  • Dear Kids: Don't be stupid.

  • Every time you hear about county officials being arrested, it seems like it comes out of Starr County. 

  • The silence of TDC is amazing. Thread

  • Good grief, Minnesota DPS. How about not shooting innocent people as an option? It's a traffic stop, not a hostage situation. 

  • I woke up in the middle of the night a couple of days ago and, for some reason, stumbled upon the Wendy Williams show on one of the local channels. I almost made it a bullet point the next day to tell you there's something not right about her because she was acting so odd, but I didn't because I figured no one would care. You still may not care, but this got my attention yesterday. 

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 807 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold