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by
Bryan Preston

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January 13, 2014 - 6:06 am

Earlier this month, a Travis County, TX district court heard a lawsuit constructed to toss an incumbent Texas Supreme Court justice off the primary ballot. In Texas, supreme court justices are among the 29 offices elected by voters in statewide elections. In this case, challenger Joe Pool sued the Texas Republican Party to get incumbent Justice Jeff Brown ruled off the ballot.

Brown, a member of the Federalist Society, was appointed to Texas’ top court in September 2013 by Gov. Rick Perry to fill out an unexpired term, and is now running for a full term on the court. Brown is also one of two Texas Supreme Court Justices to have had conservative U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia travel to Texas to administer their oaths of office last year.

Pool’s case hinged on the validity of some signatures in Brown’s application to be on the ballot in the GOP primary. Pool’s attorney, more about him in a moment, challenged the validity of enough signatures on Browns application that, according to Pool’s campaign, if those signatures were invalid, Brown should be ruled ineligible and tossed off the ballot. Had Pool’s lawsuit succeeded, he would have enjoyed an unopposed run in the GOP primary for Supreme Court Place 6.

Pool was originally running for Texas Railroad Commission last year, but switched to Supreme Court race. He also lost a bid for the Texas Supreme Court in 2012.

Shortly before Christmas 2013, Pool demanded that the Texas GOP remove Brown from the ballot. He met with party leadership, who explained to Pool that his request was wrong and would be denied. He proceeded with the lawsuit anyway, and last week, after arguments from both sides in court, he lost in Travis County district court.

Ballot challenges like Pool’s aren’t all that unusual. There tend to be a handful in party primaries around the state in any given decade. Most of the time these challenges fail, but not before distracting the party as a litigant and forcing it to expend staff time and financial resources to deal with it.

Pool’s challenge had one unusual feature. He hired as his legal representative, attorney Buck Wood. There are a lot of lawyers in Texas, but Pool’s attorney, Buck Wood, is known for being a long-time lawyer for Democrat interests. Wood was deputy state comptroller when the Democrats held the state, and was general counsel to Democrat Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock. He has represented the Texas Democratic Party, and Democrats such as state Rep. Donna Howard, in election lawsuits.

Buck Wood was an eyebrow-raising choice to represent a candidate claiming to be a “conservative Republican.”

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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"Buck Wood was an eyebrow-raising choice to represent a candidate claiming to be a “conservative Republican.”

..."Eyebrow-raising" only to people who have been paid by TLR to smear Joe Pool as a Democrat. Other people will realize that the best election lawyer to sue a political party for unequally applying election laws might not be a member of the political party being sued. Such people are known as "adults."

The Republican and Democrat Parties (the incumbent politicians) have made these election laws with the known intention of applying them only against candidates that they don't like. Appointed incumbents like Jeff Brown get a free pass. If you wonder why there are only a handful of Tea Party candidates elected, it's because this corrupt strategy is highly effective.

If only the Tea Party and independent candidates need to follow the election laws, then big money and incumbent government power will never be effectively challenged, because the field is tilted in their favor. This is what Preston is arguing in favor of, knowingly or otherwise.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
7 out of 9 of the current Texas Supreme Court Justices were initially appointed, and given the re-election advantage of incumbency, even though Justices are only supposed to be appointed in "extenuating circumstances." None of the Justices could wait to retire until an election year? PLEASE. I wasn't born yesterday!
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
This commentary seems to make a few good points, but only to people who don't know any better. It's a bought-and-paid-for hitpiece against Joe Pool, the only true conservative in the race, so I guess I'll see if this gets past the site's censors:
1) Joe sued the Texas Republican Party to apply the laws equally to Jeff Brown, the incompetent socialist Rick-Perry appointee who utterly screwed up his nominating petitions. Why did he do this? Because the Republican Party in 2012, for the exact same office (SCOTX Place 6) knocked solid conservative judge Charles Seymore off the ballot. Seymore is an elected Republican judge. (Of course, Seymore isn't controlled by TLR, so the GOP nitpicked his nominating petitions, which, incidentally, had FAR FEWER and FAR LESS SEVERE errors than Brown's.) So, Joe wasn't suing because he is against electoral competition: he was suing to allow to establish exactly what the law requires, since the law can't rightfully only be applied to fair-minded independents and Tea Party candidates.
2) That Jeff Brown can't manage to file nominating petitions and get them stamped with an un-expired notary stamp, he deserves to be thrown off the ballot with the many Tea Party candidates who made the same mistakes. In 2012, Steve Munisteri and the TX GOP commented that those errors were "fatal errors" ...but not when it comes to a Rick Perry appointee who has the endorsement of the socialist PAC "Texans for Lawsuit Reform"
3) This brings me to my last point: TLR is not "conservative," they are anti-jury verdict. Why? Because 12 Texans don't always side with large, multi-national corporations, but TLR does. They also side with incumbent government power, hence the favoring of Jeff Brown, whose incumbent "leg up" on the competition is far less fair than anything Joe Pool is capable of.
4) Preston continues: "Ballot challenges like Pool’s aren’t all that unusual. There tend to be a handful in party primaries around the state in any given decade. Most of the time these challenges fail, but not before distracting the party as a litigant and forcing it to expend staff time and financial resources to deal with it." Typically, candidates that oppose money and incumbent political power are the only ones knocked off the ballot, and they then just slink away in disappointment. Very rarely does a newcomer successfully comply with the ballot access restrictions and hurdles, while the money and power candidate screws up or doesn't take them seriously (as in the case of money and power incumbent Jeff Brown). This is one reason so few honest men run for office: the ballot access obstacles are a significant cost and a large hurdle to jump over. These laws are applied in a grossly unfair way to honest "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" types who underestimate the socialist control of the legal and political system. The honest candidates are knocked off the ballot, and the dishonest ones can break the laws with impunity and pay no price.

Joe Pool was simply filing the suit against the GOP to get them to drop the "...but some animals are more equal than others" agenda they currently serve. They, like the Democrats, serve money and power.

5) Interestingly, the truth is the opposite of what has been written here, since on March 5th, Brown's error-filled, illegally-notarized filing can become fodder for the Democrat challenger, Larry Meyers, who switched parties (at TLR's urging?) to run against Joe Pool. Funny how enough money poured into a political message can turn night into day, and dishonesty into the highest moral standard. ...If you're Bryan Preston.

6) In closing, Mayer N. Rothschild once said "Give me control of a Nation's money, and I care not who writes its laws." This statement implies that the central bankers control the way America's laws are enforced ...unequally. A good corrollary to that statement might be the socialists' attitude toward the legislature: "Give me control of the highest court of appeals, and we care not who writes the laws." Texans spend millions on campaign contributions to legislators like Ted Cruz (a good man, no doubt), while ignoring the battlefield of greatest importance: the Texas Supreme Court.

This hit piece against Joe is unfair, mean-spirited, and anti-freedom, like its shill author, like the shills who bought him off. Too bad such lowbrow tactics actually work on some people. Money talks in Texas politics, and Jeff Brown got $20,000 from TLR. A quick search of TLR shows their true agenda, and anyone can see it at "Stop TLR dot com." I urge them to check out Brown's paymasters.

Hopefully, the Texas Tea Parties will do their own research, and decide for themselves who is right. Ideally, they won't come down on the side of Brown and the incumbent 7-out-of-9-appointed SCOTX that thumbs their noses at due process and the right to a proper civil jury trial.

Wake up, Texas, TLR is paying for the best Supreme Court that money can buy. Will you get fooled agai
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Pool’s attorney, more about him in a moment, challenged the validity of enough signatures on Browns application that, according to Pool’s campaign, if those signatures were invalid, Brown should be ruled ineligible and tossed off the ballot."

Sounds like the tactic of someone who ran for the Illinois Senate. . .
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
This hitpiece makes it sound like Joe supports the ballot access laws. Far from it. However, Joe does oppose unequal enforcement of those ballot access laws, and that's why he filed suit against the corrupted GOP, and the corrupted SCOTX candidate, Jeff Brown. If we allow the laws to only be enforced against Tea Party candidates (the GOP knocked Charles Seymore off the ballot for far fewer and far less severe violations than Brown's in 2012, for the exact same office), then we have become socialist-by-default, with some animals "more equal than others."

Brown's filing was so incompetent it was stamped with an outdated notary. Does anyone here (who knows anything about anything) think that a will stamped with an outdated notary seal would be considered valid? If that was the case, then anything could be notarized with notary seals that had been discarded.

Get back to me on this one, because I know a few notaries who have said they would be willing to give me their expired notary stamps. I've never been a notary before, and would like to go into business of charging people to put useless stamps on important documents.

...Does it sound stupid when I put it like that? If so, you need to drop Brown like a hot potato, because you're currently in the camp of favoring the unequal application of the law.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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