Harris County Republican Party Chair Jared Woodfill and County Judge Ed Emmett and the party's leadership showed incredible courage Sunday when they called for Chuck Rosenthal to withdraw from the March 4 2008 Republican primary.
Instead of the typical blind allegiance to officeholders, these leaders recognized that the self-inflicted wounds of Rosenthal are inexcusable, and should not be allowed to hurt the GOP ticket and lose the DA's office to the Democrats.
Rosenthal demonstrated his dissatisfaction with the party by refusing to withdraw and saying "What part of 'no' do you not understand?" Of course, Rosenthal could always run as an independent if his disdain for the GOP and its leadership is so great.
Texas Primaries May Actually Be Important
In Selecting President
Who would have thought that not moving the Texas primary forward would end up being a plus? After having zero expectations that the presidential nominations would be in doubt by March it now looks like they could be.
It is possible that a two or three way race will be on when March hits Texas.
So, for a change we will see candidates not just seeking donations, but actually campaigning here.
So what do conservatives have to look forward to? Having a major say in who will be the GOP nominee, that's what.
Harris County District Attorney In Crisis, What Is The Possible Political Impact For Conservatives?
In what is now a national story (N.Y. Times 12/29/07 A-10) the Harris County DA's crisis continues. Around December 27, 2007 a Federal Court slipup exposed extensive office email exchanges between the DA and his executive secretary. Chuck Rosenthal, the embattled DA, to his credit apologized on Friday and said the disclosure "was a wake up call to me to get my house in order..."
TCR wonders why he needed a wake up call?
But the horse is out of the barn. When a public official's private conduct becomes the story it is a huge political problem.
Now we all know Republicans are held to higher standards than Democrats. If Rosenthal was in the other party, they would feel his pain and stand with him as the media makes excuses for his conduct, but we're not and we don't want to be.
Sources "claim" additional explosive e-mails are forthcoming, dealing with other very sensitive subjects. TCR hopes this is not so, but clearly Chuck Rosenthal knows if the other shoe is about to drop. One thing is clear, the lack of judgment from a powerful officeholder is very troubling.
TCR's major concern however is the GOP ticket in 2008, specifically in Harris County and what effect this scandal will have? If other revelations are coming, then Rosenthal needs to resign now. Regardless, he should not be on the Republican ticket, where his ethical shortcomings are a harmful diversion to our electoral aims.
This is already a challenging year for the GOP, see December 30, 2007 Houston Chronicle for "Democrats Optimistic in Judicial Races" and review the closing of the gap between the two parties, which puts scores of GOP judges in danger. Also in 2008 there are competitive races for County Judge (Ed Emmett or Charles Bacarisse), Sheriff (Tommy Thomas), and County Attorney (Mike Stafford), where any significant downside pull could result in GOP losses.
TCR believes political success for conservatives county-wide in Harris County and around the state is vital in 2008. It is difficult to move a ship forward when there is an anchor holding it back and in 2008 the anchor's name is Chuck Rosenthal. Cut the anchor now and by November this will be forgotten.
Conservative Stalwart Cathie Adams
Recovery From Horrific Auto Accident
Cathie Adams, long time conservative leader and head of Texas Eagle Forum was recently in a terrible accident (hit by a driver going over 100 mph). She is recovering but is in serious condition at Dallas' Presbyterian Hospital.
TCR joins her thousands of friends and admirers in prayer for her rapid and complete recovery.
COMING January 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm on Channel 8 PBS in Houston, Texas - The Connection - Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones with Congressman (and former Judge) Ted Poe.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who recently completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his tenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last six years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.