The Houston Chronicle's editorial board endorsements used to command respect. It used to be the entire high command that met with candidates and the endorsements were taken seriously and were intellectually consistent.
As part of the decline of major daily newspapers cut backs have laid waste to a once quality paper. Editorial columnists have slowly disappeared, the Editorial section is now a tiny part of the paper and the judicial endorsement decisions relegated to tabloid newspaper rejects.
It comes as no surprise that this year judicial endorsements in many instances are a total joke, where qualifications and experience matters little. Now to be fair they got some right, but so can a trained monkey.
One of our highly qualified judges, Rory Olsen, in his blog at: goodwillwinintheend.booklocker.com, highlights the bizarre, twilight zone experience he had:
"We were fifteen minutes into the meeting when Ms. Walters (Olsen opponent) finally arrived. Unlike Ms. Butts, Ms. Manning and me, all of whom were dressed in appropriate business attire, Ms. Walters was dressed in a casual blouse, pants and mules."
"Ours was deadly dull until the end when Ms. Walters countered my statement that the county clerk's records did not show her as an attorney in any probate proceeding in Harris County. According to her, she had been involved in a personal injury case on behalf of a ward in a guardianship. As far as I can tell, this tangential involvement in one probate case in Harris County somehow qualifies her to a probate judge in her mind."
"In the parking garage after my visit with the Chron's editorial board, I came across a Republican candidate for a Family Law bench. Since several days before the Chron's editorial board had endorsed all but two of the Democrats in the Family Court races, I was curious to hear what his experiences had been. He said that the editors had been so obviously biased that they even endorsed a Democrat who hadn't bothered to show up (Lisa Millard's opponent)."
"Abandoning all pretense of objectivity, the editorial board of the Houston Chronicle endorsed all four Democrats seeking probate benches."
"Their one sidedness is but one more example of the well known and well documented left wing bias of the news media, which was shown brilliantly in Bernard Goldberg's book, A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media.
"What makes Chron's bias even more obvious is the fact that two of the three people that we met with are alums of the Houston Press, which is a tabloid that is given away for free at restaurants, bars and other public places."
"Am I angry? No, since they have supported my opponents in the past to no discernible effect. The days of the unwashed masses relying on newspaper editors to tell them what to think are long gone. Newspaper endorsements have been shown to be meaningless in many empirical studies. Indeed, some studies suggest that being endorsed by a newspaper is a negative with a majority of the electorate."
"Am I disappointed? Yes. I expected better of them."
"Am I going to cancel my subscription? Definitely not. We need the Chron to put underneath our cat boxes."
TCR has covered in-depth in our Texas Conservative Review Election Guide mailout and on our website a number of zero candidates running as Democrats; zero qualifications, zero relevant experience, zero relevant jury trials, and flatly not ready for a judgeship. The Chronicle in its many instances ignored the facts.
TCR's suggestion is ignore the Chronicle's endorsement and rely on common sense reliable conservative publications like TCR.
Our Debt & What It Means
By Richard Russell
How about this one? Both the Congressional Office of Management and the Treasury list a total shortfall of $4.5 trillion coming due during the next 12 months. And this shortfall is supposed to be paid off with less than half a trillion dollars.
How will this work? Easy, they'll have to print the money. This will put pressure on our beloved Yankee dollar. As the dollar fades away, it will require an increasing number of dollars to buy an ounce of gold. This, then, is the secret of gold's relentless climb.
It's scandalous, it's ridiculous, so much so that President Obama finally seems to "get it." Which is why Larry Summers is leaving his job as chief White House expert and why we can expect a new team of clueless Keynesian experts to take over in Washington.
The national debt of the US is above $13 trillion, a sum few people can even comprehend. With short rates now at zero, the US is having trouble handling its incredible mountain of debt. But what happens if rates start to climb? We're talking about the national debt compounding and pushing the US towards economic bankruptcy.
What can you and I, citizens of the debt-laden United States do? (1) Vote these gutless know-nothing louts out of Congress, and (2) Protect ourselves by loading up with gold.
Slowly but inevitably, America's voters are grasping the enormity of the ghastly situation that Congress has placed us in. Thus, the rise of the Tea Party and the rise of respect for the Constitution of the United States, and the new respect for Constitutional money.
If the dollar (Federal Reserve notes) had a fixed connection with gold, this mess never could have happened. The limited quantity of gold would have limited the production of dollars, and the Fed's inflation-crazed hands would have been tied.
No wonder the Fed hates and fears gold. If gold continues to climb to new record highs, the great "unwashed" US public will start to become educated and ask questions. They will even ask questions like, "What has the Fed been doing, and why?" And "Is the Fed a menace, and do we even need the Fed?" Also rising gold represents a red flag: it tells American voters and the world that the dollar is losing purchasing power.
But who knows? Maybe Americans will prefer to remain stupid. After all, they've been buying stocks for decades, and all the while the ratio of stocks to gold has been declining. In terms of the true money, gold, stocks have been in a bear market since 1971.
Richard Russell is an investment writer and is reachable at www.dowtheoryletters.com.
Dems' Failed Policies
Will Cause Midterm Massacre
By Denise McNamara
Halloween is approaching, and Democrats should be scared. No amount of trickery, no promise of treats, and no costume will fool the voters on November 2. The 2010 midterm election is nothing like 2006. If you're a Democrat, beware. The media is trying to spin the anti-Democrat trend as an anti-incumbent trend. If you look at the polls, it is clearly anti-Democrat. A red storm full of angry voters and fired up tea partiers is rising to wipe out the blues from the last four years of a Democrat-controlled Congress.
In 2006 the Dallas County voters were apathetic. Some Republican voters did not vote at all, and many did not vote straight ticket. Democrats showed up, voted straight ticket, and swept every single GOP judge, along with the sheriff, the D.A. and the County Judge, out of office. 2008 saw voters showing up again for Barack Obama, and Democrats won Dallas a second time, effectively turning Dallas solidly blue. But after four years of watching the Democrats in action, Dallas Republicans are no longer apathetic. They and their Tea Party compatriots have awakened, and they will turn out in force this time around.
For years Republicans have searched for a candidate to take out Chet Edwards in Congressional District 17. Cut out of a similar cloth as Ralph Hall in CD 4, Edwards has gotten by as a "conservative" Democrat. Voters, and especially Texans, don't much like Congress. This time, although it's still close, Edwards' record of supporting Speaker Nancy Pelosi 96% of the time may just end his congressional career.
This same scenario is playing out all over the state and the country. Regardless of the validity of blaming a judge or a commissioner for actions taken by the President of the United States and Congress, if a candidate is a Democrat they will undoubtedly be associated with Washington, D.C., high unemployment, out-of-control debt, and failed economic policies.
Voters, in poll after poll, feel that America is on the wrong track. The engineers driving the train are all Democrats. And the big bright light at the end of the tunnel is not daylight; it is the GOP bullet train heading to November 2. The question is not whether Republicans will win; the question is, how big will they win? My prediction is that Dallas County and CD 17, along with other blue pockets in Texas, will soon be red.
Denise McNamara is the former Republican National Committeewoman for Texas (2000-2008). She is a small business owner and mother of four who resides in Dallas, Texas.
Proud To Be a Republican
By Dennis Prager
After I became a Republican in the early 1990s -- in a recent column, I explained how emotionally difficult it is for a Democrat to vote Republican, let alone become one -- I concluded that I had left the dangerous party and joined the stupid party.
Of course, as I often noted on my radio show, I prefer the foolish to the destructive. But, still, being a Republican engendered little pride.
That all changed in the past year. President Obama and his left-wing party have given his country three enormous gifts:
First, they created a level of political/moral clarity that it has not had in this baby boomer's lifetime.
Second, they induced a consequent eruption of conservative activism -- i.e., activism on behalf of limited government -- that may be greater than at any time since the founding of the country.
And third, they are producing a Republican Party that actually stands for something other than being an alternative to the Democratic Party.
The latter was demonstrated first and foremost in its unanimity in opposing the Obama-led attempts to, in his words, "fundamentally transform" America. I don't think any political observer would have predicted that not one Republican senator or congressman would vote for the Democrats' 2,000-plus pages of new federal regulations, of controls over Americans' medical decisions and of massive increased debt.
This was an astonishing accomplishment. It was obviously a credit to the Republican leadership. But most of all, it said that every single Republican was prepared to fight the left, whatever the political cost.
Dennis Prager is one of America's most respected radio talk show hosts. His radio show can be heard on 1070 AM in Houston and other Texas outlets. Visit his website at www.dennisprager.com.
TCR Down Ballot Endorsements
Texas Conservative Review traditionally in general elections focuses on the down ballot races. This is for a few reasons: (1) all politics is local and local officials are the closest to our voters in Harris County, (2) with the extremely long ballot this year, it is very difficult and time consuming for voters to obtain information and recommendations in every down ballot race, and (3) this year there is a dramatic difference in the two tickets.
This year TCR recommends a straight Republican pull for the best ticket and to send a message to President Barack Obama how out of touch he is with working Americans.
The election is November 2, but TCR recommends you vote early between October 18 and 29 at locations throughout the county. A list of links to locations is on this page in the left side column.
The largest part of the November ballot is judges. TCR also has some comments on some of the key legislative and judicial races.
State Representative, District 133
Former State Representative who in business and public service shows service, leadership and results. In Austin, he will be a common sense conservative.
State Representative, District 134
She is an accomplished attorney who seeks to go to Austin to secure the border, limit Federal intrusion, and control government spending.
State Representative, District 138
Incumbent life-long resident of district, prior to election, a leader in Save Our Neighborhoods, targeted by Democrats because he is a committed conservative.
State Representative, District 144
Incumbent pro-life, pro-family, business conservative, with the legislature closely divided, his reelection is critical.
State Representative, District 149
Opportunity knocks when the sleazy democratic incumbent slumlord is in trouble. Jack to the rescue, a successful businessman who is focusing on jobs, public safety and more local control of education.
District Judge, 55th Judicial District
Former Judge beaten in Obama sweep is a highly regarded trial attorney who while on the HISD school board led the fight for school reform and tax relief.
District Judge, 157th Judicial District
7 years as a Judge, handled thousands of cases, top-rated Civil Judge per the Houston Bar Association, board certified expert in civil trial law. His opponent is a candidate of special interests.
District Judge, 182nd Judicial District
16 years of service on the bench. Former Chief Prosecutor in Harris County District Attorney's Office. Her opponent is a ZERO-no judicial experience, no prior criminal jury trials whose claim to fame is he works for a liberal state senator.
District Judge, 183rd Judicial District
One of the highest rated criminal judges because of her vast experience on both sides of the docket. She helps preside over the Star Drug Court and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston.
District Judge, 208th Judicial District
18 years of service as a Judge, tried hundreds of cases. Respected as fair and impartial. Former junior high school teacher.
District Judge, 234th Judicial District
Incumbent who had a broad legal practice prior to becoming a Judge. Active in the community, he was named one of five outstanding Young Texans by the Texas Jaycees.
District Judge, 246th Judicial District
Incumbent Judge for 8 years. Board certified expert in civil trial and family law. Prior to being elected Judge, was outstanding Associate Judge for 7 years.
District Judge, 263rd Judicial District
16 years on the bench who is board certified in criminal law as a specialist, a teacher at South Texas College of Law, and co-author of the Criminal Pattern Jury Charges book by the State Bar of Texas.
District Judge, 280th Judicial District
Lynn Bradshaw Hull
14 years on the bench, 10 years private practice in family law and civil litigation. Well respected and hard working.
District Judge, 295th Judicial District
Served 12 years as a Judge, board certified in personal injury trial law who is a graduate of Leadership Houston and serves on the board of many important non-profits.
Family District Judge, 305th Judicial District
Former Assistant District Attorney, long-time family law attorney who has handled every kind of case he'd deal with on the bench.
Family District Judge, 310th Judicial District
15 years as a Judge putting children first - even when she fought and beat breast cancer. She is active in the community and well respected.
Family District Judge, 311th Judicial District
Long time family law practitioner, will have a great judicial temperament. A strong advocate for children.
Family District Judge, 312th Judicial District
Former Judge, former Associate Judge, and Iraq War Veteran - highly respected specialist in family law.
Family District Judge, 313th Judicial District
Has served as a visiting Associate Juvenile Judge, is an "A" Rated Juvenile Attorney, and has 30 years experience in all types of juvenile cases.
Family District Judge, 314th Judicial District
Presiding Juvenile Judge, eight years in office. Runs a fair and efficient court appointment, his opponent's recent experience is child support collection, irrelevant to work of 314th.
Family District Judge, 315th Judicial District
Michael "Mike" Schneider
4 years as a Judge, former Chief Prosecutor in Juvenile Family District Court and General Counsel for the Children's Assessment Center.
Running for re-election on his record of lower taxes, proving county ethics, and his leadership during Hurricane Ike. Do you need anymore?
County Civil Court At Law No. 2
Jacqueline Lucci Smith
Four years on the bench where she is known for her outstanding preparation and judgment. A terrific judge.
County Civil Court At Law No. 4
Highly rated judge and one of the most hard working. Former senior Assistant County Attorney. Unanimously appointed Judge by bi-partisan Harris County Commissioners Court in 2004.
County Criminal Court No. 4
Retired Houston Police Department Detective who became a lawyer in private practice. He will bring his unique life experiences to this court.
County Criminal Court No. 8
7 years as judge, former Assistant District Attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney, with vast experience on both sides of docket. One of the best we have.
County Criminal Court No. 12
27 years working in the criminal courts of Harris County, 15 years as a Judge and is consistently a top-rated judge by her peers.
County Criminal Court No. 15
Jean Spradling Hughes
38 years in the criminal justice system, 15 years as a Judge. A pioneer Judge, she is working with the mentally ill in the criminal justice system.
County Probate Court No. 1
With 25 years of probate law experience he is the change we need in Court No. 1. His opponent when elected in the Obama sweep had little or none.
County Probate Court No. 3
Rory Robert Olsen
30 years probate law experience. 12 years as a judge who created a docket control system for the court, he also teaches other judges from around the country at the National Judicial College.
County Probate Court No. 4
Christine Riddle Butts
Board certified in probate law, author of probate law articles, named a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer and 12 years experience in probate law. She's got what it takes.
An Engineering/Business graduate of the University of Texas, a law graduate of South Texas College of Law, with real world experience in the private sector. Will provide conservative leadership.
An Engineer and GOP activist, well known as a computer expert involved with the International Space Station, will continue the fine work of the retiring Beverly Kaufman.
Well qualified public servant, has streamlined operations and shows the books on the internet, making him a leader in financial transparency.
County Commissioner Pct. 2
The GOP choice for Commissioner, an attorney and life-long resident of the Precinct, he will bring responsible conservative leadership, unlike his left-wing big spending opponent.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue (now Emmy nominated), featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones, Fridays at 7:30 p.m., and replaying Sundays at 5:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 11 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8. Next up is the Harris County Judge Candidates: Harris County Judge Ed Emmett(R) and Gordon Quan (D), Congress 22nd District with Republican Congressman Pete Olson, Democratic Candidate, Kesha Rogers and Libertarian Candidate, Steven Susman. Coming soon: November 2nd Election Review with Republican Chair Jared Woodfill and Democratic Chair Gerald Birnberg. For a new fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who 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 thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last eight years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.