Abbott to assail safety of Texas’ ‘sanctuary’ cities

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Pier 14 is a festive weekend destination with a holiday atmosphere

San Francisco – City dads and booster columnists used to call the Embarcadero the “Chinese wall” that kept the city from enjoying its picturesque waterfront.

Rows of high security open cargo piers with towering facades blocked spectacular views; a double layer skyway created a pre-cast concrete barrier that spewed toxic plumes of diesel smoke from short-haul trucks dropping and picking up freight.

But over a period of four decades, all that changed with the addition of a sports stadium, a revival of electric trolleys, open air produce and flower markets, and the revival of ferry service to the tony bayside cities of Sausalito and Tiburon.

There is a festive, holiday atmosphere that draws pretty women and their kids, families out for a stroll, to this spectacular urban venue.

Like the handgun that sent a .40 caliber slug downrange from the barrel of a double-single action Sig Sauer P226 of the model favored by the Navy’s SEAL teams, a semiautomatic that was stolen from a federal agent of the Bureau of Land Management, Pier 14 should be as safe as can be. That is, as safe as a smoking gun favored by commandos, or a wild west waterfront with a reputation built on a gold rush.

The 226 features a de-cocking lever that will safely return the hammer to a neutral position to lessen the likelihood of an accidental discharge, while a very stiff double action will readily fire a powerful round favored by police worldwide and used exclusively by the Department of Homeland Security from a condition that is least likely to be subject to the kind of negligent discharge that ended the life of Kathryn Steinle, an attractive Bay Area native in her early thirties who was strolling with her father on July 1, 2015.

It’s totally illegal to have a handgun inside the borders of this compact, highly urban consolidated city and county, much less carry it around amongst its population . The city by the Bay is known for its peaceful ways.

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Besides, its designation as a “sanctuary city” conjures up images of a saint with pigeons flocking to his hands, a benevolent pastor tending his sheep, a shining city on the hill offering safety and serenity.

Francisco Sanchez admits he fired the bullet that ricocheted off the sidewalk before it struck Ms. Steinle. He has told reporters it was an accidental discharge. But the evidence is sufficient to bind him over for a trial for murder, according to a municipal judge who heard the pre-trial information and arraignment.

His credibility is tarnished by the fact that he is a convicted felon who has served time in federal lockups, and he has been deported from the U.S. five times in his life. His choice of weapon and the caliber of rounds it fires is, however, highly symbolic.

When federal immigration officials requested the Sheriff of San Francisco to detain him in the County Jail following his release from a federal lockup in Victorville, California, he refused because of the City’s policy as a sanctuary city.

The detainer was for a 20-year-old warrant for marijuana offenses.

“We don’t even prosecute that here,” said the lawman.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says not here, not in Texas, and not now that a legislative session is in the opening stages with bills tumbling into the hopper, both left and right.

In the coming legislative session, he aims to do something about that kind of thing, as practiced in the Texas sanctuary cities of Dallas, Austin,  and Houston, the legendary sanctuary city status being largely symbolic due to a refusal to enforce laws already on the books.

He says he’s already cut funding to those cities, and policy wonks both left and right say it’s just a bunch of hot air.

But, wait, there’s more.

Abbott’s legislative program sounds as if it all part of the laws on the books that certain municipalities, their prosecutors and judges, refuse to enforce:

  • Outlaw any policy or action that promotes sanctuary to people in this state illegally;

  • Make it illegal for a Sheriff’s Department to refuse to honor a federal immigration detainer request;

  • Ensure that localities are fully financially responsible for the actions of any illegal immigrants who are released because the county’s sheriff failed to honor an ICE detainer request.

That’s not all, though.  Apparently, in the Governor’s eye, the election isn’t really over – until all the money is gone.

Abbott sees a coming battle with “every notorious liberal you can think of – from ultra-liberal billionaire George Soros, to media demagogues, to left-wing federal judges…”

Hillary Clinton’s network of campaign offices and supporters will use their resources to oppose him,  Abbott warns. He’s looking to beat a December 10 campaign funding deadline that he says the liberals don’t really have to honor.

As W.C. Fields once said, “What the country needs is money.”

“For daring to take on the status quo, I’ve become a target for Democrats and their left-wing pals in D.C…If we lose this fight, we lose Texas.

“Believe me, George Soros and his pals aren’t going to miss this opportunity to expand Democrats’ reach in Texas. He dumped half-a-million dollars into one Texas county alone this year.”

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The .40 cal. Smith & Wesson round is favored by ICE agents

The federal government dumped a lot of money into the ammunition lockers of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division.

Starting in 2003, orders of 50 million and 225 million .40 S&W hollow point ammunition totaling 275 million rounds were purchased. After the expiration of the five year contracts in 2008, ICE purchased an additional 575 million rounds of .40 S&W hollow point ammunition with two separate orders (200 million and 375 million). Now, with the expiration of the 2008 contract, ICE has ordered a maximum of 450 million rounds over the next five years.

But accountants using the buttoned down technique of spread sheet analysis and laptop computers proved in the turning point year of 2010 that it doesn’t take ninja-suited commandos or high-powered hollow point bullets to enforce the law.

In an examination of the books at area poultry farms, inspectors forced the layoff of dozens of workers in the U.S. illegally and told operators such as the international agribusiness giant Cargill’s that they could employ the illegals as long as they wanted while facing very expensive monthly consent orders.

With no jobs available, the undocumented aliens drifted away, presumably to points either side of the border.

Gladiator not charged in jail ‘official oppression’

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Six Shooter – Official records show an inmate of the Jack Harwell Correctional Facility is not charged with assaulting a fellow inmate at the request of a former correctional officer.

Cory Berry is a black male jailed since March on second and third degree felony assault charges in family violence complaints, as well as burglary of a building, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and criminal mischief. He allegedly assaulted Breon Deante Nelson because Nelson was “picking on” Wesley Gillispie, a white 18-year-old correctional officer who was at that time employed by LaSalle Corrections. Booking records indicate Gillispie is now a vacuum operator at Genie Car Wash on Valley Mills Dr.

According to a complaint filed by McLennan County Investigator Kimberly King, Gillispie ”under color of his office” on November 5 moved Berry from his assigned housing unit at the privately operated jail to the one where his intended victim was locked up to “intentionally subject another to mistreatment.”

He is charged with the Class A misdemeanor of Official Oppression, a crime punishable by as much as a $4,000 fine and two years in the county jail following his arrest on November 22.

Investigator King did not return phone calls inquiring if Berry will share criminal culpability in the alleged act of official oppression of Breon Dante Nelson. He is charged with robbery following his arrest in September. It is not known if there exists video surveillance depiction of the alleged assault to be used in evidence.

Investigators have leveled charges of inappropriate sexual relations, smuggling contraband into the facility, and the falsification of inmate records in a case of a suicide watch gone wrong since the company took over operations of the jail.

Police Seek black man in Wal-Mart assault video

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Bellmead – A black man who grabbed a woman in an inappropriately intimate manner as he fled the Wal-Mart Super Center is depicted on surveillance video, according to a report.

Officer Steve W. Schmidt responded to a disturbance call in the 1500 block of IH 35 Access Road at 11:30 on Tuesday, Nov. 29 in which “Caller reported a black male made lewd remarks to her, then pushed an older man down on his way out of the store…”

He then spent 43 minutes searching the area after witnesses said the suspect fled on foot in the direction of American Bank, dressed in blue jeans and a white t-shirt.

A close family member in remarks on social media said the man grabbed the woman in the area of her groin and also made sexually inappropriate remarks to a 14 year-old child as he fled.

Police were unavailable for comment on whether or when they will release photos of the suspect.

Activist’s fearful holiday

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A court of record within its jurisdiction has power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. – Chapter 37, Texas Civil Remedies and Practices Code

Hempstead – In Texas, when they start to argue about the legality of guns – who can have them, where and when they can carry them, and how – the knives come out. Sometimes, they use them to draw a line in the sand.

Waiting for a ruling from District Judge Albert McCaig is a double or nothing study in anxiety which – if the other shoe drops – “…it’s this times $350 per hour,” said Texas Carry Director Pastor Terry Holcomb, Sr., an open firearms carry activist who admitted from the witness stand his initial reaction was fear when he learned he’d been sued in this dispute over guns.

Judge McCaig ruled a week ago last Friday that he will have to pay reasonable attorney’s fees because he refused to dismiss a pre-emptive lawsuit filed against him by the District Attorney of Waller County. That leaves he and his family open to similar rulings in jurisdictions all across the state, his attorney T. Edwin Walker explained.

Holcomb sent complaints to 76 jurisdictions in Texas protesting their display of signs that prohibit visitors to public buildings from carrying firearms or other weapons, a practice he says is in defiance of an Attorney General’s opinion that under a law enacted by the Legislature in 2015 it’s okay to carry the items of personal defense or something as simple as a nail clippers or a small pocket knife with which to open the mail – as long as one sticks to areas that do not house courtrooms of the clerk’s offices that service them.

Holcomb received only the one reply, the lawsuit from Waller County. Quite simply, he cannot afford to answer an additional 75 lawsuits in district courts, where a defendant is prohibited from appearing without adequate legal counsel – that is, expensive legal counsel.

But there is another element to the hearing in which Judge McCaig reserved his judgment on a matter of equal importance, that of the requested relief of declaratory judgment, a uniform provision of civil law that “…is remedial; its purpose is to settle and to afford relief from uncertainty and insecurity with respect to rights, status, and other legal uncertainty and insecurity with respect to rights, status, and other legal relations; and it is to be liberally construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it and to harmonize, as far as possible, with federal laws and regulations on the subject of declaratory judgments and decrees…”

Because the law in question is to be interpreted by the Attorney General, Holcomb’s attorney argued, the court in this rural city on the coastal plain has no true jurisdiction.

He also argued that the Court has no jurisdiction in which to issue declaratory relief. That’s because only a Court in Travis County where the Attorney General representing an injured party, the people of the State of Texas, could receive binding declaratory judgment that would offer the protection of “collateral estoppel.”

That concept protects a litigant from repeated causes of civil action that could bleed his coffers dry over a relatively short period of time, as he answers suits in multiple courts equally without jurisdiction to put a final hammer on the allegation of complaint – once and for all.

In his motion, Holcomb requested the dismissal of the suit under Chapter 27 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, in which he cited the lawsuit not only lacked proper jurisdiction in the District Court at Waller County, but sought to deny him “the right to free speech; the right to petition, and the right of association” guaranteed by the First Amendment.

In his concluding remarks, Walker told Judge McCaig, “Terry Holcomb does not have the ability to injure Waller County,” and that therefore, “a court does not have the jurisdiction to issue a declaratory judgment if it will not completely eliminate a controversy…”

If Holcomb is forced to appeal the secondary issue of declaratory judgment, he fears he will be facing attorney’s fees double those he now faces.

To add insult to the injury, any attorney representing any of an additional 75 political subdivisions throughout Texas could seek similar declaratory judgment, forcing additional legal expenses in hearings, depositions, and the legal writings of learned counsel necessary to answer petitions of suit in civil courts where Holcomb issued written complaints.

He’s sweating it out during a less than cheerful holiday season while the busy 506th District Court hears two extended criminal trials and tends to its dockets. The judge must rule within a certain amount of time.

The meaning of ‘premises’

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Hempstead – Within moments after court adjourned, spectators and advocates flooded the corridors of the Waller County Courthouse asking, “What’s the difference?”

The inquiry – echoed on social media throughout the state within the hour – refers to a ruling by District Judge Albert McCaig, who held in a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed preemptively against Texas Carry Director Terry Holcomb, Sr. that there is a difference in making a complaint, and demanding an action on the part of a government.

The decision came on the heels of an impassioned plea by Holcomb’s attorney T. Edwin Walker, who drew polite, but nervous laughter when he told the Court, “Americans love to complain.”

In the lawsuit, he argued against the policy of prohibiting guns, pocket knives and others items by seeking declaratory judgment against the actions of Open Carry in 76 jurisdictions to require the Attorney General to pursue a complaint that citizens are being denied the right guaranteed by a 2015 law to go armed in public buildings, except in areas occupied by courts or the administrative offices of courts.

During witness examination of Holcomb, Walker was repeatedly interrupted by objections by Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Dorsey, who complained that the questions he asked  called for an expert interpretation of the law by a person with no legal training or certification.

Judge McCaig allowed the questions to go forth if they were intended to develop how and why Holcomb came to take the actions he did.

The defense alleged in its answer that Holcomb’s zeal to exercise his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association, and petition for redress of grievances has been “chilled” by the prospect of long and drawn-out litigation requiring legal fees, attorney’s pay.

Holcomb said “I have refused to file any further notices” with local officials throughout Texas. “We certainly can’t fight 76 lawsuits at one time.”

Asked about his initial reaction to the lawsuit, which was filed in August, he replied “It was actually one of fear. That was my initial reaction. He has been billed attorney’s fees of $350 per hour for Walker’s services and $200 per hour for those of his assistant.

In further testimony, when asked if he was aware of any statements made by any Waller County officials about his project, personally, the Judge overruled an objection when Walker argued, “I think it goes to the state of mind of County officials.”

Holcomb said he had seen a quote in a social media item, that “I stuck my nose in Waller County business.”

In another incident, he recalled, “The other was by the County Judge (Trey Duhon). He told me I was his huckleberry.” The packed courtroom erupted in titters on hearing the famous line from the motion picture, “Tombstone,” in which Doc Holliday challenges Johnny Ringo to a fatal gunfight in the denouement to the drama of the OK Corral.

Said Walker, “We believe this lawsuit was filed against Terry Holcomb purely because he filed a complaint against him.”

When Judge McCaig ruled, he said, “I acknowledge the right to complain…It’s a demand to take action. Therefore, I will deny your motion to dismiss.”

The Judge has taken under advisement a motion to dismiss declaratory motion on behalf of Waller County.

Attorneys for the State asserted that the law, an amendment to the Local Government Code linked to a subsection of the Penal Code, refers to an entire building where courts are in session or do business, while Open Carry share the opinion issued by the Attorney Genera. AG Ken Paxton takes a plain language approach to the interpretation.

It means only the portions where courts are in session or the clerical offices attached to them, he said in a recent opinion.

Walker argued that the District Court has no jurisdiction to issue declaratory judgment because “A Court does not have the jurisdiction to issue a declaratory judgment if it will not completely eliminate a controversy…there is no injury here…Terry Holcomb does not have the ability to injure Waller County…It does not affect anyone else in the State of Texas. This case is moot, and the Court doesn’t have jurisdiction to rule in a case that is moot.”

 

Money guru: Fed to launch new ‘virtual’ currency – FedCoin

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Federal Reserve Will Likely Eliminate the Dollar – according to a financial services expert named Bob Irish, a classmate of former President Bill Clinton.

A dollar is worth 93 percent less than what it was prior to the formation of the private banking cartel that bosses the U.S. Treasury. As other nations dump dollars worth “I.O.U. Nothing” on the U.S. market, according to Irish, inflation will skyrocket and people will lose their savings.

In meetings with the Fed, he has learned their solution is to create a new virtual currency called FedCoin, which will “chip” a person’s entire financial profile on a device such as a SmartPhone, tablet, laptop, server, or chip…

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Pistol-packing preacher to confront hard-nose County Judge in Waller

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‘Tyrannical’ County Judge Trey Duhon filed suit against Pastor Terry Holcomb, Sr. over carrying guns inside the courthouse

Hemptstead – An aggressive open carry activist is looking to pack a Waller County District courtroom on Friday morning to test a 2015 law the Texas Attorney General says allows concealed carry licensees to carry handguns inside courthouses and city halls where judges hear cases.

Said Pastor Terry Holcombe, Sr., of the Waller County Judge, “He has attempted to bully and intimidate Texas citizens using the force of government to scare them into never complaining about their policies again. King Duhon sued me for exercising my right under the Texas Constitution by sending a letter redressing grievances of their no gun policy…If such behavior is allowed to go unchallenged, we as Texans will cease to have the right of redress of grievances of our own government due to fearing that very government will sue us.”

Equally aggressive Judge King Duhon pre-emptively filed suit on Pastor Holcombe  of Texas Concealed Carry when he challenged the policy of not allowing handgun licensees to carry their weapons in parts of the building other than where court is held or court clerks keep their records.

The District Court will hear a motion at 10:30 to dismiss the suit brought by Pastor Holcombe – among others – based on the allegation that Waller County has no standing to bring suit as a civil matter.

The law in question, according to Holcombe and his attorney, is a Penal Code provision prescribing punishment for a third degree felony for anyone who violates it by carrying a firearm inside the court or its administrative offices.

The County Judge and attorneys for Waller County have countered by filing suit for declaratory relief and reasonable attorney fees by seeking a holding that the law as passed by the Legislature is intended to ban firearms from buildings where courts hold sessions entirely, not just in parts of the building where there are no courtrooms or court clerk offices.

At the heart of the dispute is a recent opinion of Attorney General Ken Paxton which interprets the new law as having teeth sharp enough to make Waller County face a “fine of up to $1,500 a day for the first violation and $10,500 a day for the second or subsequent violations. Further, sovereign immunity for this conduct by this state agency or political subdivision has been abolished by Texas Government Code Subsection 411.209(h), subjecting it to possible litigation to collect any assessed fines, court costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, investigative costs, witness fees, and deposition costs,” according to a letter Holcombe sent Judge Duhon that touched the dispute off back in August.

Aroma of an OPERATION

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Man, with gun – over there – corner of New Rd. at Valley Mills, Waco

Six Shooter Junction – Didn’t get the interview, but that’s no surprise. Got blacklisted a long time ago.

Besides, it was Scandinavian Day at the corner of Valley Mills and New Road, out front of Pep Boys, where the open carry types parade infrequently with their assault rifles on Sunday afternoons.

First, Swedish Television Channel 4 had a crack at the flack, an Army-looking dude with the regulation Open Carry Texas polo shirt and an AR-15 on a two-point sling. The blonde with the microphone asked pretty good questions, but when they got to the part about automatic, the flack got all erudite and started with the lingo and all that jive.

The camera man listened for awhile, then he admonished him, at arm’s length, dude to dude, soldier to soldier. He said all that was unnecessary, just tell the girl whether the rifle – the firing piece – the weapon – is capable of full automatic fire.

No.

They agreed to call it a semi-automatic, something the guy behind the camera said is pretty much understood worldwide, at least, by now – and the flack said he would try to be more brief.

Sound byte city.

Later, she wanted to know who I am and who I work for, so I said, “I don’t think it’s any of your business, sister.” She said it didn’t hurt her feelings. Mine either. I’m used to derision.

That’s when the Danish National Radio outfit pulled up in a posh Mercedes Benz 12 passenger van, what they call a crummy in the lettuce fields of the valley and the conifer forests of the northwest. The buttoned-down, tuetonic version of the church bus.

You could see it wasn’t their first rodeo. They were out to get the goods, and they don’t take prisoners. Election time in flip city, the O-man’s “swamp of crazy,” Texas. Yowza!

The dude who drives the deal on the Danish bus, he snapped his head around and gave it the old raised eyebrow. Obviously, he’s seen it all before. Militia. Civil disobedience. An air of impending violence. NATO. UN. Occupation. Yeah. He’s been there. World-weary bureaucrat of the government airwaves. Hello.

Can’t help it. That’s what they told me four decades ago. Try to get the way it felt to be there, the expressions on people’s faces, the way it smelled in there.

It’s an op, and this First Shirt who shipped home from Iraq after he ran an intelligence cluster classifying, correlating and enumerating detainees for several tours with an – ah, well, attitude.

First Sgt. C.J. Grisham started blogging – somewhere, some time. He pulled bodacious numbers. It ran into trouble. Isn’t done. Military doesn’t inflict their written observations on the civilian world. Unprofessional. All that.

He got shipped around. Transferred. But he kept doing it. He’s good at it. Sees it for what it is.

Then he came home to Temple, Texas, his hometown, after the Army transferred him to The Hood – that great place. That’s where he confronted the Mayor and City Council, the police, and then he got busted for carrying his AR-15 and his 1911 model down a country road near the home place, some pretty cotton land out by the airport. Had his high school age son with him. Got turned in by a Child Protective Services social worker on a drive-by do-good mission from hell. They found him guilty, never gave back his weapons. But he’s got his kids. Squeaky clean. Family values. 

Good for him. Hate to see them take a man’s kids. Hard on mama.

That was then. Now it’s one little hassle after the next. This one is about how local officials are bound and determined to defy the Legislature’s insistence that it’s okay for law-abiding citizens with a license to carry a handgun concealed are equally authorized to carry it in the open – even unto the halls of justice – just so long as they don’t go into the courtrooms.

The local judges and judges all across the Lone Star State, what do they say?

We’ll see you in court.”

What else would they say? Gimme a break. That’s the office, where they do business. Just like Ft. Worth, where the west, it begins? 

Said an innocent bystander carrying an M1 carbine, an officer’s rifle from the World War Two and Korean eras, “It’s an exercise to see who will get on the train and who will be a problem, who has control issues, and who has to go through the metal detectors.”

The First Shirt? He had a confrontation with a particularly pesky little dude who works the security booth at the McLennan County Courthouse, downtown – one way in and one way out. It was about carrying his pocket knife into the rodeo, where the children come to play.

Said the head cowboy hat, “A decision has been made.” That’s all he would say. But he said it so belligerently, even the Duke himself, Rooster Cogburn – John Freakin’ Wayne – would have been proud of him, his stolid stance, his resolute inflection. Just like that Texas toilet paper. Ain’t takin’ any off anybody. Pilgrim!

Said our friend, yours and mine, “They keep making it about Charlie Manson and Charles Whitman and all the other killers. But that’s not who I am. I’m a law-abiding citizen.”

Yeah, a law-abiding citizen who is getting ready for – well, we won’t go there. The deal is, anyone else running around with all that load on the shoulder would be in the far back ward of the bide-a-wee, no cigarettes, no TV, and-definitely-no poker-with-the-boys-Cuckoo’s Nest. The nut house for – well, you know – observation and, ah, well, adjustment of the old medication.

Here’s looking at you, kid. See you in court.

Okay, the First Shirt, he went to see the Constable Walt Strickland, boss man of the belligerent little cat who has this thing about pocket knives and then lets the lawyers walk right through, by-passing the metal detectors, many of them carrying their concealed handguns.

Said he, Constable Strickland, when quizzed about the boys with briefcases wearing suits, the ones who don’t even slow down at the express lane by-pass of the metal detectors, “I guess they actually work there.”

We’ll see you in court.

Where else?

What was said in this epic meeting? The First Shirt asked Strickland why he couldn’t carry his pocket knife into the rodeo, or the courthouse, and Strickland said: “We aren’t going to go there.”

That’s the First Shirt. I’d hate to meet the whiskey-drinking, cigar-chewing, golf-playing, skirt-chasing General who really drives the deal. No telling what kind of cute little interior curves he’s got in his head. Swedish head? Danish head? German head? NATO head? UN head? Whatever.

It’s going to get real up in here. We are definitely expecting rain.

So mote it be.

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Retired First Sgt. C.J. Grisham, top kick who drives the deal…

Judge knows records “Don’t belong to me…”

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66th Judicial District Judge Lee Harris will take the bench for a recount

Hillsboro –  An unusual moment of great symbolic importance will occur on November 9 at 10 am in the well of the District Courtroom in this pioneer prairie city.

Technicians from ESS, the electronic voting machine provider, will be on hand to conduct a recount of the March Primary voting results.

Judge Lee Harris will take the bench, the Court Reporter will be on hand to take down what is said, and summonses for the former Elections Coordinator and all election officials who served on election day have been served. The entire procedure will be recorded by both video and audio equipment.

An unusual if not unprecedented happening, the entire affair will be open to the public and copies will be made for the District Clerk, the Judge, the Secretary of State and Attorney General, and for any interested member of the public who cares to compare the new count with the former.

Said the Judge, “I know the records don’t belong to me…” His phrase hung in the air. The truth is, court records of the State of Texas belong to We The People, and because a Political Action Committee named Empower Texas caught the fact that the total number of ballots cast were exactly three times the tally of paper records made by election clerks and judges, the Secretary of State asked the Office of the Attorney General to do a full investigation.

Public officials are the Custodians of Record of all records pertaining to the business of The People Of The State Of Texas, according to the Texas Constitution, the Codes of Civil and Criminal Procedure, and the Texas Public Information Act.

Sgt. Boone Caldwell of the AG’s office discovered in his inquiry that the machines are prone to starting their count over only if the operator tells them to, according to Judge Harris.

The technician from the electronics company did not begin the count over, and so “Apparently those votes were counted three times,” said Judge Harris. “It looked like we had a whole lot of folks come to vote.” That makes sense, because there was a record turnout.

It wasn’t caught for some time.” Nevertheless, “We commenced a Court of Inquiry then and there,” he said, beginning with his order to impound all the election results, the machines, and the issuance of summonses for all parties involved. 

Will the results change the outcome of the Primary, and thus the General election?

I don’t know how much it will change things; some things will change. That much I do know,” said Judge Lee Harris.

Though the Attorney General’s Office has made a determination that the inquiry is not really of a criminal nature, extra care is being taken due to the unusual circumstances.

It’s so unusual both fellows with the AG’s Office told me they’ve never been involved with this before.” The same goes for the folks from ESS. There is one hand who works for the outfit who will be on hand because he has been present at just such a clam bake in the past.

It’s the symbolic importance of the public’s faith in the election process that is at stake, said the Judge.

There is nothing more important I know of.”

So mote it be.

– The Legendary

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The view from the nickel seats in Bond’s Alley, and words to that effect

‘It’s over!’ majority vote kills Valley Mills land buy

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Mayor Ray Bickerstaff announces, “It’s over!” after crucial vote…

Valley Mills – A hush fell over the council chamber following the roll call vote. People were confused by the semantics of the proposition. The majority voted “Yes,” which in the context of the question, meant no.

“What’s that mean?” several people asked in obvious confusion.

Mayor Ray Bickerstaff said, “It’s over!”

With that, the proposal for Valley Mills to acquire 259 acres of the Robert Hall estate at $3,500 per acre bit the dust.

Asked why the decision was made in executive session, behind closed doors, not to go through with the purchase, Bickerstaff said, “We intended to purchase the land, but the people who intended to develop the property would not make a commitment to buy it right away…We couldn’t go through with it.”

He explained that there would have been added costs to pipe water to the pasture land on the edge of town, or the expense of drilling a well, adding streets and lights, and it was just not feasible. People in the crowd standing outside during the half-hour the City Council and Mayor pondered the question pointed out that there is a rock quarry on the property, but no natural springs or artesian formations.

Asked the identity of the developers who wanted to make the second hand purchase, but only after the city administration bought the property, Bickerstaff responded by saying, “What difference does it make?”

We responded, saying, “It makes no difference.”

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Mister Lion told the Signifying’ Monkey, “You better do what she say.”