Meridian – The Bosque County Court At Law tried a total of seven jury trials in the past 36 months, according to former District Attorney and seasoned trial and real estate lawyer John Hastings.
That’s not at all cost effective.
What’s more, it’s in no way necessary, he holds.
The population of the entire county numbers just slightly more than 18,000. Its largest city, Clifton, has a population of about 3.5 thousand.
There are only a few Texas counties so sparsely populated with County Courts at Law. He ticks them off on the fingers of one hand.
A native of this picturesque Norwegian enclave situated at the “top of the Hill Country,” Mr. Hastings is mounting one of the most unusual judicial campaigns on record. Most judges are appointed to their initial term of office. He is running for election in order to eliminate the Court.
It brings to mind the old Firesign Theater radio routine, in which it was asserted, “In order to save the village, it was first necessary to destroy the village.” And other words to that effect.
As he recalls, “This Court was sold to the public as necessary to make money.”
His smile is rather wan, a little on the thin side.
The function of government is not to make money. Constitutional Republics, he agrees, exist in order to provide services and maintain an orderly society.
In conversation, it is recalled that the noted revolutionary fire brand, B. Franklin, Printer, said it was so, “…if you can keep it.”
It is written and remembered that his colleague, Geo. Washington, said at his retirement that government is nothing more or less than the skillful application of force. Without it, all is chaos.
And so, it with patience that Hastings points out his opponent’s faulty accounting – the claim that the Court returned a net profit of $2,376.25 over the past fiscal year.
Hardly, Mr. Hastings counters.
In terms of true cost accounting, “He didn’t list all the expenses.”
It’s true. A check of budget records shows a sizeable discrepancy of 167,335.69 over his opponent’s figures when you add in costs of court reporting, attorney appointments, litigation, psychiatric expenses, visiting judge salary, transcripts and contingencies for a total #394,392.42.
Is all this a product of neoconservative political philosophy?
“It’s just a matter of saving money.”
The County Constitutional Court, operated by the County Judge, can easily take up the slack and the extra money is always useful to resurface and gravel roads people rely upon to get their agricultural products to market, transport their kids to school in buses, and receive goods and freight at their ranches and homes.
The particulars, itemized, are the subject of an advertisement scheduled to appear in the area’s local newspapers next week.
Hastings served Congressman Poage of Waco as an administrative assistant during his days as chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
He recalls the days when Washington, D.C., was definitely located in a swamp, but a particularly nice one with quick access to lovely golf courses, abundant fishing for both freshwater trout and briny cod, crab, and oysters. There are excellent sea shores, deep dark woods, and snowy peaks to visit and rapid transportation to the rest of an abundant nation.
When boll weevil days came and his boss man lost his chairmanship of that key committee by three votes, he was the one who cast his opponent’s name in nomination for his former chairman’s seat.
It was a more team-spirited atmosphere, as he remembers the political atmosphere of his salad days.
So mote it be.
To eliminate the Court, run for election John Hastings for County Court At Law
Posted by Jim Parks on Friday, October 19, 2018