Sunday, February 28, 2010


"A judge sentenced former Dallas mayor pro-tem Don Hill to 18 years in prison Friday for bribery, extortion and money laundering charges in the largest public corruption probe in North Texas history."

http://cbs11tv.com/local/Don.Hill.Sentencing.2.1522341.html

Is Brownsville next, one can hope - What I can say with 100% certainty is FBI Director Mueller has now personally reviewed the deal Villalobos cut with Dannenbaum and Judge Manual Bañales cover-up of the deal by signing off on it before the BND was given notice of same.

SAN ANTONIO'S MAYOR - A STEP ABOVE THE REST


I have lived all over the U.S. and have never seen a town, like Brownsville, so psychotically driven towards its own failure. Here is a great article about the Mayor of San Antonio. San Antonio is a big city with a very diverse population. Yes it has many problems, but it also has leadership.

“My interest in education actually comes from my own personal experience in this city,” Castro said. “If they see someone who came from the same schools, the same neighborhoods, that they do, maybe they'll believe they can achieve their dreams, too.”

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/Castro_Its_about_school_kids.html

Pat Almighty’s speech would be: “Maybe if they could see you can lie about not knowing there is no money in the budget to pay for all of your campaign promises, depositing a check in your business account which belongs to someone else and get away with it because Brownsville juries are contemptuous of the law, and get in petty fights over nothing on a regular basis, the children of Brownsville will see that a poorly educated, dishonest lying sack of shit can still get elected mayor. Now, isn’t that what we should be teaching our children?”

Saturday, February 27, 2010


WHY I DID NOT GO SEE "THE CRAZIES"
What I do not have enough of this in Brownsville politics? Now that would be a movie which would make millions.
The critics overall are giving this movie good reviews. It is a genre movie. There will always be an audience for these type movies, but for me - I am so done with zombie movies.
When "Night of the Living Dead" - the original - first came out it fascinated people because it was different. We were the generation use to our astronauts being picked up in the middle of the ocean and put in containment facilities to insure they did not bring anything back from space.
At that time the movie had an interesting twist to it - could something from out of space be brought back by the astronauts or on a satellite returning to Earth.
While I accept this is a genre movie which will always have a key audience of under 30, Hollywood better rethink its creativity soon or it will loose the over 30 crowd.

Friday, February 26, 2010

PERRY LEADS HUTCHISON 48 TO 27%

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_governor_elections/texas/election_2010_texas_republican_primary_for_governor

If enough Medina supportors pull for Perry at the last minute he may win this election without a run-off. The bigger news is - at the State level Texas Republicans are not happy with Hutchison. This could mean a true Independent could beat Hutchison in 2012, in her reelection bid for the US Senate. The polling seems to suggest, Republicans are not happy with the people who represent them in Washington. This little fact could impact the national elections come November. It seems there is not just an anti-Democratic mood, but an anti-Washington mood.
UPDATE: BHA AND THE ANTONIO JUAREZ MESS

This is an update from this morning’s post. My regular readers know that I have no problem challenging the legal community by calling out a judge or a lawyer. In fact off hand I cannot think of anything nice I have said about any judge or lawyer - BUT WAIT

Texas Legal Aid is what law is suppose to be about. I showed up with documents, government regulations and key case law in hand. It took the paralegal about 1 minute to convince me he needed no guidance from me. I had most of the key documents he needed. But he had all of the knowledge about how BHA has violated this woman’s rights on the tip of his tongue. To say the least he blew me away with the extent of his knowledge.

In fact because of his knowledge it occurred to me we failed to bring a key piece of evidence with us. The family receives help in the form of a Lone Star card. The paperwork states who in the family receives the help. The child who is at the center of the controversy is not listed with Lone Star as someone for whom the mother receives assistance. This is yet further proof the child is not claimed by the mother in any way shape or form. It also shows no intent to defraud anyone.

This paralegal told us exactly what to do to preserve the mother’s rights. He also made clear they have these same battles with BHA on a regular basis. This is sad. Why is taxpayers money being wasted on BHA undergoing endless investigations by organizations like Legal Aid? Would it not be easier for the BHA to just hire a competent director? Well no, this is Brownsville where everything is governed by dirty politics.

The tragedy here is this family desperate needs to get to San Antonio for the mental health well-being of their child. The pediatric psychiatric hospital is prepared to receive the child for day time school. Northside school district is prepared to get the child enrolled in their program for mentally ill children. The father’s employer has offered him a transfer. San Antonio Housing Authority is prepared to work with the family under the portability program. I am sure as day BISD and BHA would be more than clad to be rid of this family.

But wait, the BHA has made a decision - this mother did not agree to be bullied with lies and mistreatment and now this entire family needs to be punished. If they would simply follow the law and provide this mother with the information requested by the San Antonio Housing Authority this family can move almost immediately to San Antonio and get their son the help he needs - but this will not happen anytime soon. The evil which is Brownsville will keep this family here. Why? settling a score and keeping people from leaving this hell hole seems to be all the BHA has to offer the people of Brownsville.
WHAT IS IT WITH ART RENDON AND THIS FAMILY - HERE WE GO AGAIN - FIRST THEY GET FINDINGS AGAINST BISD BECAUSE OF HIS CONDUCT, AND NOW IT APPEARS THIS SAME FAMILY WILL BE SUING BHA OVER THE INCOMPETENCE OF ANTONIO JUAREZ - AS HIRED BY ART RENDON

If the case of Art Rendon by BISD ever goes forward the father in this case with BHA will in all likelihood be a witness against Art Rendon. He is the father who Rendon demanded drop the complaint against BISD. The father refused and the findings against BISD issued. This same father was responsible for the e-mails to Gonzalez which showed he ignored complaints against Art Rendon. They were evidence against Gonzalez and used by the TEA for additional findings against BISD.

The child in the second TEA complaint is the same child now caught up in the BHA mess. Antonio Juarez told the family he was not qualified to deal with the issues and he had to depend on the advice of the case workers. On what planet does the Director look to case workers and assistants for guidance as to the law? The planet of Brownsville where an indicted mayor gets to appoint former discredited BISD Board Members and discredited former BISD employees to the BHA Board. Needless to say Rendon and Lehmann voted to hire Antonio Juarez who by his own admission is not qualified to do the job.

This morning I am taking the mother to meet with lawyers who are experienced in getting TRO’s against the BHA authority. Fortunately the law is actually pretty clear on this issue. The US Supreme Court has found a private cause of action by the beneficiary to exist, and the Fifth Circuit which oversees Texas has found the right specifically exists for beneficiaries under the voucher program.

“We are unconvinced, however, that respondent has overcome its burden of showing that
the remedial devices provided in [the Housing Act] are sufficiently comprehensive . . . to demonstrate congressional intent to preclude the remedy of suits under § 1983.”

Wright v. City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 479 U.S. 418, 424 (1987); accord Johnson v. Housing Authority of Jefferson Parish 442 F.3rd 356 (5th Cir.2006) (as to voucher program)

“In sum, we conclude that nothing in the Housing Act or the Brooke Amendment evidences that Congress intended to preclude petitioners' § 1983 claim against respondent.”

Wright v. City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority, 479 U.S. 418, 429 (1987)

This family will be seeking only a court order that the BHA is charging the family rent at a rate higher than 30% of their income.

I am not going to turn this into a long legal brief - but the case is simple. BHA is now claiming that even though the evidence shows 100% of the SSI payments made to the father for the disabled child are used by the father for the child, the BHA has the right to claim the SSI payments as income for the mother because the mother has visitation rights over the child. Social Security expressly bars use of the SSI money by a parent who is not a dependent of the child. HUD federal regulations expressly prohibit calculating as income money received from any federal or state program which bars use of the money for the parent.

The other problem with the BHA argument is, the SSI changes from month to month. Over the last year the monthly payment has ranged from $0 to $674.00 (which is the max). The payment is based on the father’s income. The father lives apart from the mother and pays rent for himself and his son. Social Security has approved every penny the father uses for the son.

BHA claims that it does not matter the mother receives not one penny, but because under the custody order the mother has visitation, then SSI paid for the benefit of the child is used to calculate her income. The fact she never sees a penny of the money means nothing to BHA. Well it means everything to the law.

The mother appealed the decision within 10 days. Lina Mendez, who was the then Interim Director, refused to acknowledge the appeal and provide the woman a hearing. DOJ, HUD lawyers in Washington and San Antonio have told me BHA is dead wrong and that I need to march this woman into legal aid because apparently a court order is the only thing they will understand. I am telling you the HUD lawyer in San Antonio repeatedly told me I needed to take the woman to legal aid immediately as the only way to protect her interests.

Lina Mendez has a chip on her shoulder - on Thursday she outright refused to provide this family information related to moving to San Antonio. This was the second written request provided to Ms. Mendez. The only reason I know about this program is because a DOJ lawyer in Washington who represents HUD told me about it. Lina Mendez has been sitting on the written request since February 5, 2010. Had she simply done her job on February 5th, the San Antonio office would already be issuing the voucher to allow the family to relocate to San Antonio.

On Wednesday the San Antonio Housing Authority asked that I have the mother in this case provide BHA a written request for the name, phone number, and address of whomever handles what is known as Port Outs and that San Antonio would then handle everything. A written request was given the Lina Mendez on Thursday - she refused the request stating she wants it in writing - apparently in writing typed out on a piece of paper being handed to her is not in writing.

The same written request included a request for information on how to proceed with an accommodation request. The subject child damaged a door in the apartment. He was immediately taken to San Antonio and admitted to the hospital for his mental health problems. Because the damage was a manifestation of his disability, the Villita Apartments have to accommodate the child, so long as the family pays for the damages. The family paid for the damages. The lawyer for HUD in San Antonio told me to have the mother ask BHA how to do an accommodation request. Lina Mendez outright refused to help the family. The request for help was in writing.

All of this will be taken into federal court.

A complaint is before the BHA Board. Art Rendon will find his life a living hell if he does not recuse himself from the complaint. The father is a material witness against Rendon in the BISD mess. Only a fool would not recuse themselves at this point.

WHY DOES THE FAMILY WANT TO MOVE TO SA?

The father’s employer has offered him a transfer so his son can get the treatment he needs in SA. The problem is the mother is needed to care for the son while the father is at work. The mother tired of BISD neglecting her children and wants to move to SA. As soon as San Antonio accepts the family they will move. Art Rendon will finally be done with the family.

And before the moron comments about why the father does not get a better job - really in this economy - but wait - the father was working on his certification as a radiology tech when because of his son’s mental health disability he had to drop out of school. This child is no longer in school, not even homebound. He requires 24/7 attention. In San Antonio he will enter school for two weeks at the pediatric psychiatric hospital. He will then be transitioned into a special program within the Northside school district at a campus next door to the pediatric hospital. This will allow the father to return to school.

Within two years he will be earning enough that he will no longer qualify for SSI for his child. Further his child support payments will go up significantly. I will tell you that because he is responsible, about 50% of his take home pay goes to child support. He pays for two children. But as a responsible father rather than take home as much as possible a lot of his income goes for health insurance, disability insurance, and life insurance. If he becomes disabled he will still be able to support his family with child support. If he dies, there will be significant life insurance for the benefit of his children.

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF RENDON AT BISD?

It seems to me BISD has abandon its claim against Rendon. Does anyone know if he is under contract and that maybe rather than spend the attorneys fees trying to fire him, they have agreed to just let his contract run out? I have no idea. But the idea that he is getting a paycheck from BISD for doing nothing is total bullshit. They need to either terminate his butt, or put him back to work.

The thing about Rendon is, the taxpayers will always be caught paying the attorneys fees for his mistakes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SOMETHING ON FREEDOM AND WHY I BELIEVE THERE ARE A GROWING NUMBER OF DISSIDENTS IN THE U.S. - BUT FIRST

Sorry for the late post, but all morning I have been dealing with Antonio Juarez’s lack of knowledge when it comes to the BHA. In the meeting he had with the family he took the position that he knows nothing about the law and is 100% dependent on clerks with no education. The lawyers are now involved - maybe more tomorrow. This is what happens when a politically motived board hires a political hire instead of someone who is qualified.

RUBIO - I now have a better sense of what is happening in the lawsuit against Villalobos - Villalobos sued Commissioners’ Court to take control of the legal representation of Commissioners’ Court. The court of appeals has since reversed the trial court’s original order on the issue - Villalobos lost - for now. A group of lawyers intervened in that lawsuit over the issue of equal funding for the public defenders - so it seems - it may not be so simple. It then appears by his own admission Villalobos created a list of lawyers who are no longer allowed in his offices. It seems the list is comprised of lawyers who signed off on this intervention.

Based on this list created by Villalobos, some of the attorneys have sued Villalobos in federal court. One potential problem is, if Ed Stapleton is on the blacklist created by Villalobos, then Mr. Stapleton needs to file a motion to have Villalobos held in contempt in the Rubio case. We are talking about a case wherein the defendant is facing death. If Mr .Stapleton cannot enter the DA’s office to deal with issues in the case with the DA, then Mr. Rubio cannot receive a fair review of his case. We now have three reasons why any good appellate lawyer will be able to secure a reversal again in the Rubio case.

WHY SO MANY DISSIDENTS AND WHY FIGHT WHEN YOU KNOW YOU WILL PROBABLY LOOSE ANYWAY?

Americans are notoriously ignorant of their own history and purpose. I was watching a movie the other day with Charles Laughton wherein he played an English butler lost in a poker game to a family who lived in the outback of Washington State in the early 1900's. There is a scene in a bar wherein everyone is asking each other what was it Lincoln said and no one knew. Out of no where Charles Laughton recites Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address .

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal"
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow, this ground-- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, to stand here, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A LEGAL HODGEPODGE AND RUBIO UPDATE

I am sorry I have not been able to attend the Rubio trial, but getting out for more than a couple of minutes is really not an option right now.

VILLALOBOS SUED

No shocker here - also no shocker the story is not in the Herald. I have watched the local 10 pm news maybe 5 time in just over 5 years. For unknown reasons I watch it last night. They are reporting that a group of defense lawyers are suing Villalobos for a variety of reasons - the bottom line is about pay and blackballing the lawyers. Like most news being reported on TV today it was mostly an incoherent story.

What I got from it is, Villalobos admitted to the existence of a list of lawyers who are not to be allowed in the DA’s office. This is bad. Defense lawyers routinely need to visit Assistant DA’s to go over evidence and negotiate plea bargains. If you cannot get into the DA’s office you cannot perform your duties as a defense lawyer.

Villalobos’ response was, he has a right to control who can and cannot enter his offices - WRONG - anyone with business with the DA’s office has a right to enter the offices of the DA. Villalobos is very confused - he seems to forget the DA’s office belongs to the people and he is there to do the business of the people and not settle personal scores.

Here is the story on channel 5 along with the video.

http://www.krgv.com/news/local/story/District-Attorney-Accused-Of-Blacklisting-Lawyers/qTbVeDWCREqkR6LwNDmxlg.cspx

http://www.krgv.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=103380@krgv.dayport.com

Something along these lines which needs to be noted is, Judge Lopez and visiting judge Noe Gonzalez have both been accused of trying to intimidate defense counsel on how much is spent on indigent defense. When you couple this with the above story you begin to see a clear pattern - the judges are working with the DA’s to limit the quality of defense indigent defendants can receive.

I know there are those of you who think - they are guilty so screw them - how do you know they are guilty? Dallas County is now paying out millions of dollars in settlements because of the high number of people being released from jail under the Innocence Project. Trust me, it is less costly to get a trial right the first time in a fair and forthright manner, than to have to do endless retrials.

TRIAL JUDGE MAKES MISTAKE ON ADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE IN RUBIO CASE

I have to begin this part with a big caution - my source is the Herald so the basis for this comment could be 100% wrong. The Herald is reporting the DA’s big defense against Rubio being mentally incompetent to stand trial is he has read law books and other inmates on death row have sought his counsel. First and foremost I never trust the testimony of fellow inmates. But here is the evidentiary problem which could cause yet another reversal in this case. In law the admissibility of evidence is based on weighing its probative value versus its prejudicial value.

Unless there was evidence that he understood what he read, the prejudicial value outweighs the probative value. I have worked with an endless number of inmates who have written me letters with page after page of case law. In nearly every case they simply got it wrong. Dicta for example is not law - a summary in the opinion of what one side is arguing is not law - the examples can go and on.

Further, inmates asking Rubio for help is not evidence he actually helped them. Finally the idea of being the chosen one and then going to the law library to look for law which supports your position as the chosen one is very consistent with suffering from delusions of being the chosen one.

If in fact this evidence did get in, and defense counsel objected to the evidence as being more prejudicial than probative or used a host of other objections, then I am certain if the jury finds Rubio to be competent to stand trial, the appellate courts will reverse yet again. If the defesne attorneys did not object, then we have ineffective assistance of counsel.

Here was yesterday’s warning about Noe Gonzalez and his lack of understanding of the law when it comes to testimony.

“When all the evidence is considered, as it must be in a proper legal sufficiency review, we conclude that the data on which Clayton relied does not support his opinions. His opinions are subjective, conclusory, and are not entitled to probative weight. Pollock, 284 S.W.3d at 817. Because his testimony is the only evidence that the alleged design defect—a corrugated lint transport tube—caused the fire, there is no evidence to support the finding that a design defect in the dryer caused the trailer fire.”

Finally, remember what I said about paid for expert testimony. “[O]pinions formed solely for the purpose of testifying are more likely to be biased toward a particular result.”).

Both quotes are from:

Whirlpool v. Camacho, 121109 TXSC, 08-0175 (December 11, 2009) Judge Noe Gonzalez was the trial judge reversed in the Whirlpool case for allowing in inadmissible expert testimony.

What evidence if any was there that Rubio actually understood a word he read in the law books? Without evidence he understood what he was reading, the evidence was more prejudicial than probative. The admission of this evidence will cause for the reversal of this case yet again. The admission of this evidence guarantees that the appellate and federal habeas attorneys will make a pretty penny in this case.

Finally, a story which links both the lawsuit against Villalobos and the Rubio case together. The counselor in the story was blackballed after testifying for the defense. Normally she testified for the prosecution, but decided this one particular case merited her help. She believed the defendant was innocent and the jury agreed. Remember what I said about expert witnesses - this is a clear case wherein the DA retaliated against an expert as punishment for not standing with the DA - can any expert be trusted at this point with the expert now knowing that if they do not play ball with the DA they can have their business destroyed?

http://www.denverpost.com/crime/ci_14350841

Monday, February 22, 2010


JOHN ALLEN RUBIO, COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL, THE CONS, AND HOW DEFENSE ATTORNEYS INTENTIONALLY LEAVE ISSUES ON THE TABLE FOR USE DURING THE HABEAS PERIOD

[Sorry there was no post this morning. The VA is having a hard time finding an specialist for the problems with my mesentery. Some days the pain is just too intense to do anything. About an hour after I got up, I was back in bed for the day. This is Monday's and Tuesday's post)


“Having determined that Robinson's constitutional rights were abridged by his failure to receive an adequate hearing on his competence to stand trial, we direct that the writ of habeas corpus must issue, ... .”

Pate v. Robinson, 383 US 375, 386 (1996)

Because DA Villalobos is reviewing a pending criminal complaint against the trial judge, Noe Gonzalez, it puts every ruling into question. A ruling on a question of law which may not normally cause a reversal in this case, could force a reversal on the appearance Noe Gonzalez made the mistake in an attempt to influence the criminal investigation against himself.

“We also agree with the suggestion of the Solicitor General that it is not enough for the district judge to find that "the defendant [is] oriented to time and place and [has] some recollection of events," but that the "test must be whether he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding -- and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Dusky v. US, 362 U.S. 402, 403 (1960)

The burden is upon the defendant to prove he is incompetent to stand trial. He must do this by the preponderance of the evidence. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 46b.003 here is the entire provision

Art. 46B.003. INCOMPETENCY; PRESUMPTIONS.

(a) A person is incompetent to stand trial if the person does not have:
(1) sufficient present ability to consult with the person's lawyer with a reasonable degree
of rational understanding; or
(2) a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against the person.

(b) A defendant is presumed competent to stand trial and shall be found competent to stand trial
unless proved incompetent by a preponderance of the evidence.

I have no idea what the experts will testify to - but here is the problem in many of these cases. One expert may testify that Rubio does not remember having children. This can actually be a consequence not being able to deal with the crimes he is alleged to have committed. I think reasonable people can agree that many people would blank out about such an event.

Another expert may testify that he knows he is on trial for killing his children. Here is the kicker - if he has no recollection of the alleged act, how can he aid in his own defense. I would submit he cannot.

I have major mixed feelings about the entire field of mental health. As I type the entire mental health profession is debating changes to the next version of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders IV” http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx

If you take the time to read the notes on schizophrenia for example, they are admitting that new research and data are causing them to change how the disease is defined and its subgroups. Should these experts use the standards under DSM IV, or DSM V? According to the notes in DSM V, the profession of psychiatry got it wrong in IV.

Experts are bought left and right by both sides. I will never forget the case wherein the judge found the psychiatrist’s testimony inadmissible because it did not meet professional standards. The psychiatrist was not paid because [1] he was not called as an expert, but as a witness; and [2] I never hired him. I called him as a witness to an event. He tried to make himself into an expert for the other side who had originally hired him. In the end he called the attorneys mentally incompetent and the judge unfit to be a judge, all the while, while demanding he be paid.

In another case, I had a closet gay psychologist testify under oath the alleged AIDS epidemic in Africa was a conspiracy by gays to avoid the claim only gays contract HIV and eventually AIDS. He was hired by the mother in a custody case as a means deny the father visitation of his daughters. We won that case.

In another case I had a court appointed expert testify that she never examined or spoke with the mother because the father (the accused child molester and sociopath as diagnosed by his own doctor) told the court appointed psychologist that the mother was such a manipulator that the psychologist would not be able to resist the mother’s lies.

I actually did work for a pain management clinic (mostly worker’s compensation cases) wherein the psychologist hired to help the patients deal with their pain would miss work because of the bruises left on her by her husband.

My point has been made - these people are not trust worthy. Remember they are being paid to be advocates for one side or another. Do you believe for one second that the DA is going to hire someone with a reputation of finding for the defendant? No - hell no - the same goes for the defense.

This leaves us to the jury - Who do they believe? This is where a good attorney comes into play. I have never met a psychiatrist or psychologist who could withstand cross examination. If you know how the DSM works it is not much of a challenge to get them to admit that their opinion is at best an educated guess. Once you get to this point if properly finessed you can get them to admit the other side’s opinion may also be valid. You then need a rational jury which can understand that if the state’s own expert admits his opinion is at best an educated guess, and he is a paid witness, the testimony is impeached. Conversely the same goes for the expert for the defense.

At this point the jury can only go based on common facts both sides agree on - if any. Is Rubio aware that he is accused of murdering his own children? Is he aware of how the alleged murders occurred? Does he have any memory of the murders. A good defense attorney will paint a Kafkaesque type scenario for the jury and ask them, how would you feel if you were being tried for something you cannot remember? - would you be able to help in your own defense?

THE REVERSAL

Two gubernatorial candidates Medina (Rep) and Shami (Dem) have called for a moratorium on the death penalty. Texas, in particular Dallas, has become the place where you come to die by lethal injection even if you are innocent. The Innocense Project has released more people from jail based on wrongful convictions in Dallas, than any other entire state.

Texas now has life without the possibility of parole. In the case of John Allen Rubio, justice and the taxpayers would be served if the State simply puts life without the possibility of parole on the table. This removes the anti-death penalty advocates from the case and in all likelihood ends the appellate process. The bleeding of taxpayer money will end.

This will not happen. DA’s make headlines on lethal injections. It is about being tough on crime, even when the person is innocent.

Lawyers play games in these type cases which the people rarely understand. Each side must hire an expert which has very specific qualifications. These qualifications are defined by statute. Basically what will happen is the DA will call their witness and get them to say yes to each and every qualification. If they say no to just one, then they are not qualified. Sometimes DA’s will intentionally hire an expert who is not qualified and then blame the judge when their witness is struck. It is their way of conceding the issue of the defendant not being mentally competent without appearing weak on crime.

Sometimes a defense attorney will identify issues which need to be addressed, such as recusing the judge because he is under criminal investigation by the very DA seeking to prosecute the Rubio case. It is a gamble - if at a later date the judge is indicted or reprimanded the appellate attorneys can use it as an issue for purposes of reversal.

The courts have long ago recognized this is a tool used in death penalty cases. The defense attorneys cannot possibly raise every issue. Further, the State Bar does not go after attorneys if they are found to have been ineffective at trial because then no attorney would agree to do the trial work. Every defense attorney in a death penalty case expects to have the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel raised as an issue on appeal. I would go so far that in a case like Rubio’s defense counsel should include a lawyer who is also a PhD psychologist, at a minimum. It is truly an art form to know how to impeach the testimony of a psychiatrist.

Lawyers do not know everything. I will never forget a trial I did where the female jurors looked like they were ready to kill the defense witness. He accused my client of being addicted to painkillers. I did not know, but the female jurors knew it was a prescription drug used for PMS. My client wrote me a note. I asked the defense witness if he knew every woman on the jury probably used the same drug. He tried to claim he made a mistake in his testimony. Yea, did not fly with the jury.

Expert testimony has become a highly complex part of the law. But the one thing the law agrees on is, your expert testimony cannot be based solely on your theory of events. If Judge Noe Gonzalez allows either side to use such testimony, the reversal will be inevitable.

“When all the evidence is considered, as it must be in a proper legal sufficiency review, we conclude that the data on which Clayton relied does not support his opinions. His opinions are subjective, conclusory, and are not entitled to probative weight. Pollock, 284 S.W.3d at 817. Because his testimony is the only evidence that the alleged design defect—a corrugated lint transport tube—caused the fire, there is no evidence to support the finding that a design defect in the dryer caused the trailer fire.”

Finally, remember what I said about paid for expert testimony. “[O]pinions formed solely for the purpose of testifying are more likely to be biased toward a particular result.”).

Both quotes are from:

Whirlpool v. Camacho, 121109 TXSC, 08-0175 (December 11, 2009) Judge Noe Gonzalez was the trial judge reversed in the Whirlpool case for allowing in inadmissible expert testimony.


To all the experts blogging in the Herald - take a pill - you are idiots - you claim to know for sure Bellamy is mentally ill and all he really did was get in a fight with someone at Sam's, but Rubio who is accused of the most heinous crime imaginable, is mentally competent. These two cases are perfect examples of how people shape their opinions to support their preconceived ideas.

Friday, February 19, 2010

SHUTTER ISLAND

If you love psycho-thrillers this is a must see. I will tell you that the first half is real slow. It was necessary to the film. By the first time DiCaprio dreams about his late wife the gig is up about where the film is heading. It does not ruin the film because every turn is a new surprise. In some ways knowing where the film is going actually makes it more interesting.

The film starts with DiCaprio arriving at Shutter Island to investigate what happened to an escaped prisoner/patient. The facility is for the criminally insane. During a good portion of the film he is having flashbacks related to when he helped to liberate Jews in the concentration camps.

I think the thing I loved best about this film is DiCaprio's character realizing salvation only comes when you embrace your demons. I would like to say more on this topic, but I cannot without revealing the ending.

BEXAR COUNTY DOES NOT DO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/JPs_DWI_arrests_come_to_light.html

For the record, in this case I do not believe this judge should be punished for his past problems. 10 years without a drink tells me he learned something. I believe in his case there has been redemption
AN HONEST VOICE FROM A HERALD READER

I really enjoyed reading this comment. It says so much in a meaningful way. For a lessor comment on the state of affairs, my comments for today follow dorkenwackenburg's

dorkenwackenburg wrote:

Actually, all jokes aside for a moment.

I'm not really a homeless person as I pretend to be.

I'm not an ignorant simpleton who only sees things from my own point of view.

I gave up on politics and the belief that government was a good thing when I was still in my teens and those misgivings have remained with me throughout my entire life.

I was born in 1957 in a small town in Maine and grew up listening to my Mom & Dad praise Kennedy one year and then turn around and curse him the next year. They hated Johnson then they loved him when he gave his famous "I shall not seek, nor shall I accept another nomination to be your President!" They hated Nixon. They hated Ford. They hated Jimmy Carter. Reagan pushed the ship back upright for awhile but then Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obamasan have wrecked the ship and sank it to the bottom of the South China Sea.

I hate government at ~almost~ every level due to their meddling in the affairs of the citizens instead of simply setting the rules and enforcing the rules that the citizens should live by. I hate ~almost~ all entitlement programs because my personal belief and experience is that they turn otherwise hardworking intelligent people into lazy, mindless morons with their hands out who think that the government should take care of them.

I'm not running for any type of office. I will not even be voting.

I like to laugh. I like to push buttons and see the responses. In the end, however, I'm exhausted with trying to make something interesting out of something so mundane and boring as life in Brownsville, Texas and the entire Rio Grande Valley.

I understand the pilot of the Piper Cherokee PA28 who set fire to his home, then drove to the airport and climbed into his airplane and flew it into the building in Austin that housed the local I.R.S. division. Life in the United States has turned to pigmanure and unless something dramatic happens soon it will be too late to rectify the situation. We are all in danger. Chaos is closer than you can imagine. A few simple twists and turns in the plot and the US Government will fail and we will have anarchy. Or fascism. Or communism. Some kind of ism. I'm not really a fan of any isms. I digress.

I have come to the end of my ranting and raving and I feel the time has come to bid you all good-bye. No, I'm not heading to the airport to get in my plane. Just going to go fix a margarita for me and my wife and maybe pour some chips and salsa into a bowl and watch a movie before falling asleep.

When I awake tomorrow, maybe the world will have changed. Maybe Obama will have lived up to his promises. Maybe my health insurance company will have changed their mind and decided to pay for my chemo.

Yeah, and maybe monkeys will fly out of my buttt while I'm eating my Cheerios in the morning.
HOW CORRUPT JOURNALISM AND INDIFFERENCE LEAD TO THE AUSTIN IRS ATTACK - STACK’S ACT WAS ONLY A VISUAL OF WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE DOING TO THEMSELVES EVERY DAY

I cannot speak to this gentleman’s personal experience, but I represented a lot of people before the IRS. It was one of the few things I enjoyed as an attorney. I found that if you were honest, even about mistakes, the agents were always professional and easy to work with. Unfortunately some people seem to believe that lying is the only way to go. To be sure, there are some areas of tax law wherein no one, even the agents know the true result. This is where a willingness to compromise and meet in the middle is key to meaningful solution.

Every so often you meet someone in government who cares. More often than not, you meet people who believe their job is to forward the complaint on to someone else in an e-mail, never again to address the problem.

Journalists across the board are lazy and unethical. There are a few who are ethical and care about facts, but most do not. Every story is about an agenda other than the truth. Even getting at the truth is an agenda, but hardly nefarious in its nature. Here is an example of dishonesty

“The district spent nearly $300,000 prosecuting its case against Gonzales.” False, the district paid nearly $300,000 defending against claims by Hector Gonzales. (After the initial investigation and decision to fire Gonzales) Hector Gonzales lost at every level. This is not the first time we saw such dishonest reporting by Juan Montoya - after Robert Sanchez lead the PUB into needless litigation which cost the taxpayers I believe some $30,000, (my recollection - the number is not the issue) Juan Montoya reported the lawyers who successfully sued the PUB were the cause for the taxpayers having to pay out the attorneys fees. No Juan, Robert Sanchez ignoring the law for his own political ends was the reason the taxpayers got hit with the attorneys fees. Hector Gonzales turning a blind eye to the problems in special services is why attorneys fees at BISD skyrocketed under his inept leadership.

For the record here is newsflash, posting to the internet a reminder that Hector Gonzales will sue his employer and cost them $300,000 if they try and fire him for incompetence, only tells prospective employers Gonzales is a hot potato too dangerous to hire. Every time one of his supporters continue with the lies, it makes it ever more difficult for Gonzales to find a job.

VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER

Every lawyer I know on a personal level wants out. They have lost all confidence in the system. The State Bar of Texas and Commission on Judicial Conduct are criminal enterprises determined to keep the corruption going. When I was working on my masters in education, there were numerous lawyers in the program. When we entered the program Texas law made it a lot easier for professionals to become teachers after completing their masters and passing the competency exams. Half way through the program the law changed and most of the lawyers dropped out.

In the federal system, tax lawsuits are initially going to be handled by lawyers who are wannabee judges. Tax court judges are appointed for limited terms subject to reappointment. Who believes these judges will last if they routinely rule against the IRS?

Outside the tax court in regular federal trial courts, magistrate judges are the most corrupt of all. If they are tied to the political party which controls the White House, they will go out of their way to protect the administration in hopes of an opening for a life-time appointment.

A problem with the federal system is, you do not move up unless the Department of Justice approves your advancement. Who believes a magistrate judge who has ruled against the government on a regular basis is going to be recommended for a life-time appointment?

This system of broken journalism and broken courts is leading people to do extreme things which serve no purpose. In 1992, after George Lott changed forever security in Texas court houses, after killing two and wounding others, the corruption in our court houses only got worse.

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/02/us/gunman-kills-2-men-and-injures-3-in-rampage-at-texas-courthouse.html?pagewanted=1

To George Lott’s credit he prevented endless appeals in his case and accepted his punishment. While his actions were wrong, there is very little doubt in my mind the corruption in the court house was real. It was shortly after the shooting when I got involved in a case wherein a family law judge took away a woman’s children and gave them to the paternal grandfather, a friend of the judge. There was not even the semblance of compliance with the law. After I filed the appropriate complaints seeking a criminal investigation, the grandfather dropped the case.

Until we have a press willing to do its job and report the facts and report them accurately, people will give up and do desperate things. Killing innocent people and destroying buildings will never result in a positive result.

We will never restore justice and honest governance until the press returns to doing its job. Publishers all of the US are indignant towards the people for refusing to read their trash. They are indignant to the refusal of the American people to buy into the notion, politically driven newsworthiness is journalism. It is not -

The American people are screwed. Incompetence and laziness are the driven norm in journalism today. Young journalist desperate to have work are all too willing to be the hacks of publishers with nothing but contempt for their readers. Unless some billionaire comes along and starts up a new tv news service and paper with a clear policy that politics will have nothing to do with defining newsworthiness, we are screwed.

I have two friends who recently sold their homes and moved as far out into the country as possible. Both built homes on 10+ acres. They like myself fear the government. The reality is, I fear my fellow citizens more than the government. The people have no interest in facts or reality. They complain about the incompetence of the press, but that is a myth. The problem with the press is, the press is not pushing the agenda they want - even if it based on lies.

This morning I saw a post in the Herald where some moron claims it must have been liberal Democrats who ordered a new trial in the Rubio case. You see, people have no interest in facts or reality. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is 100% Republican. In fact the Chief Justice faces possible removal because of her decision to lock the court house doors to prevent lawyers from filing an Application for Stay in a death penalty case.

When a death penalty case gets reversed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals it is because there were extreme mistakes made in the case. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is consistently reversed by federal judges who find a criminal defendant’s rights were violated. Facts matter - but not to a society driven towards self destruction. Joseph Andrew Stacks III’s act was not isolated. His decision to fly a plane into a building housing the IRS was only a visual example of what the American people are doing to their democracy every day.

The American people have declared extreme violence on themselves, through their demand for ignorance, bigotry, and hate. Outside terrorist organizations know one thing about the American people, with a little prodding they will destroy themselves.

If you want to demonstrate real change and a desire for change, place an empty ballot in the box. Good citizenship does not demand we continue to vote for the man or woman who is less evil. Good citizenship demands we boycott the two party system until they give us a choice between honorable candidates.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I VOTED A BLANK BALLOT - AN UPDATE ON OLIVEIRA

Monday’s post will be on the con which is murder trials, and Noe Gonzalez verified contempt for the law when it comes to expert witnesses. This will impact the Rubio case.

BUT FIRST, DID THE SUPREME COURT GIVE THE DEMOCRATS AN ISSUE

Polling data show the American people overwhelmingly disagree with the US Supreme Court ruling concerning corporations using corporate money to buy campaign adds. I personally think the Court got it right. It is not for the Court to make policy decisions. But here is the thing, these poll numbers allow for the Democrats to call for a constitutional amendment which will drive many Republicans nuts. The Republicans will have no choice but to agree with the Amendment or face the wrath of the electorate. Will the Democrats realize the golden egg gift the Supreme Court put at their footsteps? Do the American people really want more Republican Supreme Court justices? It would seem not.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts1137


BUT SECOND, another interesting omission in the Escobedo Affair - I am convinced the Herald article about his title was 100% junk journalism. It was based on retaliation for Escobedo voting against Gonzales. We saw Cavasos pull the same cry-baby approach with his two OPED’s I previously discussed. It is a very dangerous system when a newspaper routinely covers-up corruption such as the Herald, and then uses the paper as a weapon to try and keep politicos in line with the opinions of the publisher.

From the Herald:

“A spokesman for the American Medical Association said that a doctor with a medical degree from Mexico or another country can call himself, or herself, a doctor or MD in the United States because the degree is an academic degree. But it would have to be a valid degree, with all of the requirements completed”

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/doctor-108470-school-county.html#slComments

You will note, in the article Cavasos' marinera Perez-Treviño, never stated what the AMA defined as “requirements completed” - the mere class work and receiving a diploma, or the post degree work such as a resident etc. This was trash journalism at its best. If the AMA verifies for Escobedo that they told Emma that completion of the course work with a diploma entitles him to the title, then he needs to sue them. It will not be about winning, it will be about sending a message - Brownsville will not be terrorized by a two-bit thug by the name of Daniel Cavasos.

Look, no one has gone after Escobedo more than me - I make it a point at every turn to point out the TEC sanctions against Escobedo - but I hate dirty politics and dirty journalism. I am not going to ignore what I believe to be the truth just because ignoring the truth in once case would serve the truth in another case.

BUT THIRD, CABLER PARK

It appears the park is named after the city manager’s father who donated some 10 acres of the park. My view is simple - I see a lot of people using this park. It is a walk-to community park. The fact Cabler park is only 1 ½ blocks away is important to the question. But the decision as to the future of the park belongs to the people who live there and not a hand full of families. I think the better approach would be for someone from the Parks Department to go into the neighborhood and ask the people to sign a petition of sorts - move the playground equipment or keep it as it is - I say let the people decide.

THE ELECTION

I was at the court house serving a document on Villalobos when I decided to vote. I just could not find a reason to vote for anyone. Why should I vote for someone who will not denounce the corruption of the Cameron County Democratic Party. My vote is probably the most valuable thing I own. I am not going to give it away out of some mythical social obligation. The workers were shocked to hear me say I knew what I was doing. I intended to place an empty ballot in the box.

If we keep on voting for bad people then we will continue to elect bad people. In terms of Cameron County elections 500 blank ballots can turn the election and send a clear message. I invite all of my readers to place a blank ballot in the box. If you can do it at the court house - it will let the workers know something is up. Unless something changes between now and November I will be placing another empty ballot in the box. My vote is to refuse to participate in this fraud on our democracy.

Oh. De Leon and Escobedo chose to use up two parking spots for their campaigns. I am certain the 202 prospective jurors who showed up for the Rubio trial appreciated having to park several blocks away so that De Leon and Escobedo could have their campaign vehicles using up limited parking.

OLIVEIRA

Yesterday was my day to use adult levity, so I will be polite. I have called every source I know of within BISD, and in particular BISD Special Services. Tight lipped is an understatement. The most I could get from my source within special services is, people are in fear for their jobs. Ignorant people want to blame the child involved in the incident. These people are misguided. BISD failed this child and the consequence was injury to another child. I hope both sets of parents sue BISD into bankruptcy. Springston realizes his support for the incompetence within special services is now coming back to haunt him. Unfortunately for the children of BISD, the Board is circling the wagons and will do everything in their power to insure a cover-up.

The parents of the child who is in trouble need to come forward and tell their entire story. I will not print what I have been told because it is not in affidavit form. There are people within BISD gunning for Springston’s head and they cannot be trusted. Until the parent gives me the story in affidavit form I consider the claims to be hearsay designed to settle scores. But I do know this, employees within special services are running scared. They know careers will end if the truth comes out and they have said as much.

To the parents - you can either take the path of hiding the child, or go public. BISD had a duty to protect your child, they did not. If you fail to come forward sooner than later someone else’s child will be victimized. Your silence as parents is not helping your child. It is certainly not helping the other special needs children who continue to be neglected by a BISD Board which could give a rats ass.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A HODGEPODGE ON POLITICS, COB, AND EARLY VOTING

Okay, Wood - His ads fail to reference him as a sitting county commissioner. If you carefully look to his ads they reference his position as a county commissioner and city commissioner with the same language. It is deceptive because no one can clearly claim he is claiming to be a sitting county commissioner. This is important because if his signs outside precinct 2 posted before January 1, 2010, created an automatic resignation from his job as county commissioner, it would be a crime for him to hold himself out as a sitting county commissioner.

I must admit, Wood found himself a good attorney. He is skirting the law with a fine tooth comb. Of course, Carlos Cascos can put on the agenda the need for a replacement for Wood in that his resignation was automatic. Wood of course would claim Cascos is using his office to destroy his opponent. In effect it would be the same as our corrupt DA, Villalobos, raiding Zavaletta’s office before the election. For the record, on that issue, had Zavaletta showed a pair of acuacates and rolled the dice in a fight, I believe he would have won. But as is always the case with Zavaletta his narcism and cowardliness got in the way good judgment. “The Pentagon Papers” case and all the case law which came out of it, protected Zavaletta and the Herald, both criminally, and on the issue of defamation. But as is always the case with Zavaletta, he will lead a lamb into the lions den for personal gain, and then cut and run - I think De Leon will attest to this.

What Carlos Cascos may do is, after the primary if Wood loses is seek a replacement for Wood. This allows him to taint the Democrats as corrupt, while avoiding a claim he is doing it to undermine Wood’s campaign. The reality is Casco is going to be hard to beat. He showed great leadership in cutting the budget. He is pretty much low key without a lot of controversial stuff following him. Everyone has something which can be used against them. But in this the year of the Republicans, Casco’s clearly has the upper hand in this battle.

COB - THE PARK MESS

Sorry Charlie Atkinson says he wants respect - I say for what? While Rick Longoria was doing the prayer Sorry Charlie and Zamora were chatting away. You two idiots need to demonstrate respect before demanding it. It should then be no surprise Sorry Charlie and Zamora united on Pee Wee - a double entendre worth noting. (Look I know some people do not like when I throw in a little levity along these lines - I do not do it often and sometimes it can actually add to the discussion to make people think - and for the record I am a huge supporter of the Pee Wee league - I have a lot of respect for the sponsors of the Pee Wee league. I know growing up I only got to play baseball because some local business sponsored us.)

As is always the case, Sorry Charlie Atkinson had to go personal. This never helps his case. I thought everyone had a good argument one way or the other, including Sorry Charlie. In the end I thought the compromise was a good compromise. Does anyone know if moving the equipment includes moving the basketball courts. It seems to me the courts should stay for now.

In two or three years after they improve Cabler Park it may be easier for people to understand the value in selling the land. The value of the land will be a lot higher. It is not just about green space. It is about quality green space. A gym would be a good thing for the community. If the sale of the land can make that happen, then in a few years the city commission should consider same.

THE ELECTION

I have no idea what I am going to do. Right now I have no desire to vote for anyone. In all likelihood I will go to vote and then place an empty ballot in the box. I am tired of having to choose between two evils or morons. There is a message in placing an empty ballot in the box. If I do vote for anyone it will be Shami for Governor. He has clearly over promised on jobs. But he has also agreed to resign in two years if he cannot keep his promise. Is Hasse willing to do the same if he cannot close down the office of County Treasurer? I doubt it.

We need a new approach to politics. The problems in Brownsville are not unique to Brownsville. The racists want to blame Brownsville’s Mexican heritage. The Latino leadership learned their corrupt ways from their Anglo predecessors. Corruption is the norm in US politics regardless of race or gender. It is up to the people to fight it. We can fight it this time around by simply placing a blank ballot in the box. Pass the word.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

INFLUENCE PEDDLING WITH JUDGES, AND FORFEITURE MONEY - VILLALOBOS

“Prohl's sudden retirement on Sept. 17 resolved three complaints against him at the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, according to the agency, which received complaints in 2008 that Prohl was biased in favor of Sutton due to receiving money from a forfeiture account that the former district attorney controlled. The money was used to buy office equipment and to attend conferences in Hawaii, among other things, according to the complaints.”

“Sutton didn't intend to violate the intent of the state statute that requires seized assets be used for law enforcement purposes, defense attorney Charles Butts said Friday.”

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/Ex-judge_Prohl_accused_of_theft_by_public_servant.html

Now, there is no evidence similar conduct has occurred under our esteemed DA - Villalobos. I have managed to get onto FBI Director Mueller’s desk the story related to his theft of 1 million dollars from the Brownsville Navigation District paid by Dannenbaum in exchange for Villalobos shutting down the investigation against Dannenbaum.

Here is the original settlement agreement.

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/texas-88430-state-dec.html

Key to the settlement is the claim the seized money was contraband. The Texas Penal Code defines contraband as:

(2) "Contraband" means property of any nature, including real, personal, tangible, or intangible, that is:

(A) used in the commission of:

(i) any first or second degree felony under the Penal Code;

The definition goes on, but key to every level is commission of a crime. This money to the extent it was related to a crime involved Dannenbaum stealing it from the people. In all cases I have ever heard of, the money is returned to the victim in the form of restitution. This is not the deal Villalobos cut. The deal he bought required that Dannenbaum give the money to his office so he could use it as he pleases. In my view this was an outright theft of 1 million dollars from the taxpayers who fund the BND. Compare this to how such a matter was handled by the US Attorney.

"United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle (r.) presents a $2 million check to the City of Houston through City Attorney, Arturo Michel. The money represents restitution that Republic Services Inc. has agreed to pay the City of Houston for recycling purposes after entering into an agreement to cooperate with an ongoing criminal investigation"

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txs/

The law, which is relevant provides strict oversight by the judge.

"(l) Proceedings commenced under this chapter may not proceed to hearing unless the judge who is to conduct the hearing is satisfied that this article has been complied with and that the attorney representing the state will introduce into evidence at the hearing any answer received from an inquiry required by Subsections (c)-(h) of this article. "

Judge Banales like every other trained judicial monkey proved he would sign his own death warrant. Judge Banales’ willingness to sign anything without insuring strict compliance with the law is a major cause for the corruption which has Cameron County by the short hairs. It is time Governor Perry rethink Judge Banales’ appointment and demand his resignation. Oh, that is right, Governor Perry is in a permanent state of holding his knees at the command of Dannenbaum.

The law required that the BND be given notice of the lawsuit, and in fact served a copy of the lawsuit.

"Furthermore, Arambula didn't mind that District Attorney Armando Villalobos did not give BND notice of the intended forfeiture of $1 million from Dannenbaum's firm, perhaps stripping BND's right to claim the money for itself."

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/bnd_86143___article.html/board_bridge.html

Given what we know about how some DA’s may be illegally using this forfeiture money to influence the judicial process and Judge Bañales total disregard for the law in how he allowed this to happen, a full audit of how all forfeiture money has been used is in order. People need to remember Bañales not only ran cover for DA Villalobos in the Dannenbaum case, he did the same in the Willacy County indictments. People also need to understand, Bañales is the Regional Administrative Judge over all of south Texas from Corpus Christi southward.

The DA in Corpus Christi has already sought action against Bañales for improper financial relationships with lawyers at the same time they have cases before his court. http://texaslawyer.typepad.com/texas_lawyer_blog/2009/07/judge-manuel-banales-recused-from-mauricio-celis-criminal-case.html

We have a problem in South Texas. These documents are before FBI Director Mueller. I have no idea how he will act. The problem is not complex. FBI Director Mueller became the king marinero for Bush’s criminal enterprise being run through former US Attorney Gonzales. And before I get attacked on blaming Bush, no I do not believe Bush knew what was happening, but he was in charge and chose to turn a blind eye to all of the complaints brought to his attention.

I will give this to Bañales and Villalobos, these two figured out that if you insure both Republicans and Democrats are involved in the corruption, you can pursue the corruption as untouchables.

I do not see how Mueller pursues any investigation of anything in South Texas without exposing the fact he turned a blind eye to everything while Bush was in office. It is no great secret that former US Attorney Gonzales stands accused of using his office to fire anyone in the Department of Justice who dared to open an investigation against a Bush crony, or who did not purse Democrats for political reasons. .

The only hope south Texas has is for President Obama to call for the immediate resignation of Mueller and the appointment of an independent prosecutor to investigate FBI Director Mueller and south Texas.

To move this along I am filing an open records request with DA Villalobos demanding a 5 year accounting of how forfeiture money has been used. He will say no, hell no. He will have to ask for an AG opinion to defend his position. Here is the kicker, it was the Texas Attorney General who pursued the case with which I began this post. By turning the documents over to the AG, Villalobos cold be hanging himself.

Monday, February 15, 2010

THE HERALD AGAIN PROVES THERE IS NO ETHICS IN JOURNALISM - THE ESCOBEDO AFFAIR, AND AN INSIGHT INTO THE JOHN WOOD CAMPAIGN

On January 29, 2010, I posted a comment on Daniel Cavasos being an unethical journalist.

http://brownsvillevoice.blogspot.com/search?q=CAVASOS+

We are now seeing a pattern in the Enrique Escobedo affair. A blogger posting at the Herald raised the question, did Cavasos go with this story because Escobedo voted to uphold the discharge of Hector Gonzales? I think the answer is yes.

My long term readers know I am a strong advocate for separating issues. Do I believe Enrique Escobedo was misleading about his credentials? Yes, but that was not the motivation behind the story. This story is not knew. When I first broke the story about Enrique Escobedo being sanctioned by the Texas Ethics Commission for misuse of BISD campaign money for his County Commission campaign, and lying about it in an ad by having James Hunter lie and state he paid for it, I received an e-mail telling me Escobedo does not have a medical licence.

TEC Sanction: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/sworncomp/2009/290235.pdf

I researched it and in fact found out he did not have a medical license. What I could not do is find any evidence that he ever claimed to have a medical license. At UTEP we had medical students who attended school in Juarez who lived in our dorms. I had some familiarity with the issue. I also know of another UTB anatomy and physiology professor who is an MD in Mexico, but not in the US. I did not have the resources to investigate the issue, so I let it go. The dispute is over a title, and not the practice of medicine. I found zero evidence he was practicing medicine. Further investigation may prove me wrong on this issue.

A lot of hay has been made over Enrique Escobedo teaching at UTB. I do not know what he told the personnel office when he was hired. What I do know is, community colleges allow people with a masters in their teaching field to teach first and second year courses. Four years of medical school, even in Mexico would qualify him to teach at UTB.

If I knew about these claims against Escobedo months ago, I am certain the Herald at least heard rumors of same. In the end for me the discussion was about a title. If the report in the Herald accurately reflects what he told them, then he did not help his case. I do not believe his ad helped one bit. You cannot say the Herald got it wrong, at the same time you refuse to sue them over the issue. It would be defamation per se because it goes to his professional reputation. But here is the kicker, because he is a public figure all the Herald has to prove is they had no actual reckless disregard for the truth. If anyone was reckless with the truth it was Enrique Escobedo.

Remember the issue here is the motivation behind the Herald doing this story now against Escobedo, and not the merits of the story. Until this day the Herald covered up the TEC sanctions against Escobedo. In fact had they included that story in the story about his MD flap it would have added credibility to the claim he intended to mislead people. They did not - They did not because then they would have had to explain their original cover-up of the story.

In the OPED by Cavasos above he left out the accusations by Quintanilla against Zayas and Cortes which form the basis of the defamation per se claims. Why? Because he knew had he included the accusations his entire argument would have looked stupid. This is exactly what he did in his OPED piece on Sunday.

“Next came an in-house superintendent. He was promoted from the ranks, a stable and low-key sort, and BISD won a prestigious national award under his watch. But alas, a new board majority was voted in, and they didn’t like the super they inherited. So, they cooked up some reasons to be rid of him, and then he was gone, too.”

I corrected the spelling on prestigious. Apparently, Cavasos does not have his spell check on.

http://thedailychisme.freedomblogging.com/2010/02/12/bisd-revels-in-stonewalling/799/

The first lie is “under his watch.” Dr. Z set the foundation for the successes. Gonzales’ role at most was closing after a complex operation. In fact it was under Gonzales the relationship between the superintendent and Board fell apart.

Second, “they cooked up some reasons to be rid of him.” Really? It had nothing to do with the endless complaints about the mishandling of special services? I can prove I send the Herald the findings against BISD by the Texas Education Agency as it relates to special services. The Herald under Cavasos decided to run cover for BISD and Gonzales on this issue. One would think these two are secret lovers, but I fear it is more nefarious than that. I think Cavasos understands that when corporations seek to relocate they look at the school districts. He has used the Herald to misrepresent the dismal condition of BISD so that corporations do not refuse to relocate to Brownsville. Remember, it is not just whether or not the corporation will relocate, it is also a question of their employees.

We have seen clear evidence that Cavasos will mislead the readers. He mislead on the truth about why Zayas and Cortez sued Quintanilla, and why Gonzales was let go from BISD, at least officially. He mislead the readers about why Gonzales was let go. This is why Brownsville politics is what it is.

I will get to the Wood campaign tomorrow. I will say this - he knows he is not legally a county commissioner at this time, but continues to accept a paycheck anyway. This is my opinion. Unfortunately, by the time the courts get done with the pending cases ongoing around the state, it will be too late to impact this election cycle. However, if the Texas Supreme Court finds against the other candidates who are facing similar accusations, Wood then could be faced with criminal charges. For now, this is just my opinion and interpretation of the law - nothing more.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


WOLFMAN

SURPRISINGLY AWESOME - I say this because the reviews are mixed. I have given up on understanding critics. Movies are to be reviewed from the perspective of the target audience. One thing I look for in a movie which tells me it has great direction and a great story is when the person not looking for a great story can enjoy the film, and the person who is looking for a great story can enjoy the film. The story line was really good. I am going to have to look for the original version on TCM to see if in fact they added to the story line. I simply do not remember it this way.

Another thing I look for in a great film is the cinematography. The shades and colors in every scene come across as hand painted. This seems to make a film so much more authentic.

The story - upon learning his brother is missing Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns home to learn they have found his brother dead. What makes this version interesting is, only about half-way through the film do you learn the real killer. In pursuit of the real killer Benicio gets bit by the killer. He is now infected.

At this point, instead of being just a blood and gore film, it takes on a philosophical discussion about love, and that fine line between man and monster. What we learn is, it is a lot more complex than appearance.

I hope everyone enjoys this film as much as I did.

Sorry for the late post, but I had to go to the Saturday matinee - I was just too tired on Friday night to make it out the door.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A JOHN WOOD UPDATE: A CALL FOR ADS

In preparing teh complaint to the Texas Ethics Commission against John Wood, I noticed something in the only ad I have seen of his. There is definately an oddity. If anyone has any mailers or flyers on Wood or know of a web page, please let me know.
THE TWIST IN THE CAMERON COUNTY BATTLE WITH VILLALOBOS; ESCOBEDO, AND WOOD

On December 23, 2009, I suggested Cameron County Commissioners Court should file a Petition for Writ of Mandamus against Villalobos. http://brownsvillevoice.blogspot.com/2009/12/its-official-judge-david-sanchez-is.html An issue in the case is whether or not Cameron County is receiving competent counsel in its affairs, so Villalobos alleges. Here are some facts - On January 12th and January 20th Cameron County paid lawyers to file appeals in the case. You can find these under case numbers 13-10-00016-CV and 13-10-00023-CV. They received no relief. On February 10, 2010, they finally filed a Petition for Mandamus and the court granted the stay of the trial court order. So the question becomes, is it in fact true Commissioners Court is receiving inadequate legal counsel? Based on these facts I would say yes. But here is the kicker, inasmuch as Villalobos (which can be loosely translated as the village of wolves) based on the ruling of the court, does not appear to be any more competent in the law than the attorneys representing Commissioners Court, I he qualified to represent Commissioners Court.

ESCOBEDO AFFAIR

I spoke with a lawyer at the Texas Ethics Commission yesterday about Escobedo and Wood. I was told there is in fact no law which bars a candidate from misrepresenting their titles or education in campaign material, for Ethics Commission purposes. Under Texas law I can put out a sign which says, VOTE for GOD, Bobby WC, and it would be perfectly legal. How sad -

THE WOOD AFFAIR

The lawyer with the Texas Ethics Commission stated they have no history of such a complaint so it would be a question of first impression. I hope to have the complaint filed next week. Even if the TEC runs cover for Wood, I would still have the right to do a grand jury referral. My experience teaches me that the corrupt judges of Cameron County and the Village of Wolves will bar the grand jury from considering the complaint. This of course is illegal, but then again, we are in Cameron County.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

ENRIQUE ESCOBEDO’S ETHICAL LAPSES CONTINUE - AND CAMPAIGNS IN GENERAL

http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/sworncomp/2009/290235.pdf

The above is the original findings by the Texas Ethics Commission. As of this moment I cannot find any rules which would cover advertising he is a doctor when he is not. It will be very sad if Texas has no laws concerning ethical campaign disclosures on this issue.

I have been covering the campaign ads because I want people to carefully look at the ads and form opinions about the candidates based on the ads. There is an old adage - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is why I have gone after Hasse - independent of the merits of his desire to abolish the office of county treasurer, what evidence has he brought forth he can accomplish such a promise? Without support from the county commission and our local representatives, both Lucios and Oliveira, it is not going to happen. On this issue his supporters attack like crazed lunatics for even asking the question.

In the context of Escobedo, his first official act was to lie about who paid for his Herald ad concerning the announcement of his campaign for county commissioner. He not only lied about it, he also illegally used funds from his BISD account to pay for the ad. His lawyer friend James Hunter lied in the ad that he paid for the ad. As a reward for James Hunter being willing to lie, about the fraudulent use of BISD campaign money, Escobedo kept him on as his campaign treasurer.

What is amazing about Escobedo is, UTB and no one else ever asked to see his diploma - hell forget about the transcript ask to see the diploma. I would like to say most professionals have their diploma hanging on the wall, but I cannot tell you where any of my diplomas are. For me, covering a wall with your accomplishments is kind of evidence of low self esteem.

In Escobedo’s case, his first official act for seeking the office of county commissioner was to lie about the illegal use of BISD campaign money. This should be all anyone ever needs to know to know they should not vote for Escobedo.

Escobedo needs to resign from the BISD Board and remove himself from the campaign. He will do neither. The BISD Board need to issue a public sanction. If they fail to do this then they are sending a message to the children of BISD that dishonesty pays and pays big.

I think the least of Escobedo’s problems is the campaign. In order for his company to get medicaid and medicare funds they had to apply for same. This means forms - I cannot say if any lies were stated on the forms, but if there were, the company could be sued for recovery of all medicaid and medicare funds paid to the company as a consequence of any fraudulent disclosures.

RioMed 21 needs to immediately hire a lawyer with experience with medicare and medicaid to have all applications to medicaid and medicare reviewed for mistakes, if any.

JOHN WOOD

John Wood is another looser. He put up signs outside his precinct advertising his non-specific campaign. The intent was clear - to skirt the law that he had to resign his seat as county commissioner if he announced his intent to seek the office of country judge with more than one year left on his term. This weekend I hope to complete the Texas Ethics Complaint on the issue. If I were not so tired I would file a declaratory judgment act in district court seeking an order that the county stop paying him. In my mind he is a thieve and dishonest. Again if the first official act of your campaign is an act of deception then you do not deserve to be elected.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TRIAL OF EL PASO JUDGE

The El Paso Times maintains an entire link on public corruption.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/publiccorruption

Imagine if the Brownsville Herald were to maintain such a link. On Friday I will begin my subscription to the San Antonio newspaper. I truly miss having a newspaper in the morning with my coffee. Reading a hard copy is so much better than a computer copy. There are papers which still cover the news. I have no idea if the El Paso Times is making a profit or bleeding out, but I have to believe the people of El Paso enjoy the fact they have one place they can go to read about public corruption.

For anyone interested in the story of the judge, here it is.

"EL PASO -- Stoic and seemingly more concerned about his family than himself, state judge Manuel Barraza politely sat and listened Thursday as jurors found him guilty of devising a scheme to receive sex and money for a judicial ruling.

The only words Barraza spoke were "yes, sir," and they were in response to a series of orders and lectures from U.S. District Court Judge Frank Montalvo.

"Be prepared to go to prison on April 28," Montalvo told Barraza.

"My intention was to remand you to the custody of the U.S. Marshals today," he said. "Your lawyers recommended that I not remand you because of the complexity of the case and because of appeals."

Montalvo paused, then continued with a lecture.

"You will not discuss this case with anyone, not your family, not the press, not anyone. If you do, I will revoke your bond."

Barraza, 54, has been free on bond since FBI agents arrested him in April 2009. A grand jury indicted him on two counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.

The jury of six women and six men convicted Barraza of both counts of wire fraud and lying to a federal officer. They acquitted him of mail fraud. Their deliberations lasted a bit more than five hours over two days.

Barraza faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the fraud convictions, and up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the false statement charge. Montalvo left no doubt that he would sentence Barraza to prison.

During a break that came moments after the verdict was read, Barraza did what he could to comfort his shaken family. Upon adjournment, he left the courthouse by himself. He did not speak to anyone outside.

John Barraza, his brother, said the judge was most concerned about his family.

"He told us not to worry, that everything would be OK, that this was just part of the process," John Barraza said.

His father, Manuel Barraza Sr., would only say that everything was all right. The rest of the Barraza family left the courthouse without talking to outsiders.

Barraza's lawyers did not want to talk about the specifics of the trial.

"Obviously we are disappointed with the verdict," said Ken Del Valle, one of Barraza's lawyers. "That's all I can say."

Mervyn Mosbacker, Barraza's lead attorney, would not say if they would appeal.

"It was a fair process. We can't complain about the process in any way," Mosbacker said.

Barraza's trial took almost three weeks. Prosecutors called 13 witnesses and played 15 audio and video recordings to prove that Barraza tried to influence a drug defendant's case by moving it into his courtroom.

The audio and video recordings shown to the jurors were perhaps the strongest part of the prosecution's case. Two videos showed Barraza accepting more than $5,000 in cash from a woman who visited him in his judicial office early last year.

She was Sarai Valencia, 24, whose sister was in jail on a cocaine charge. Barraza years earlier had represented the sister, Diana Rivas Valencia, in a different drug case. He succeeded then in getting the charges against her dismissed.

Accused of possession of two kilos of cocaine, Rivas Valencia wanted his help again. This time, though, Barraza was a sitting judge who could not legally represent defendants in criminal cases. Rivas Valencia testified that Barraza said he would help her if she paid him and found women willing to have sex with him.

In one of the videos, Sarai Valencia delivered the money to Barraza as though it came from her and her family. The cash payments, for $3,800 and $1,300, actually were provided by the FBI.

Jurors were never told that Sarai Valencia had a prostitution conviction. Montalvo ruled that her past was irrelevant to the case against Barraza.

In his defense, Barraza's attorneys characterized him as an efficient and hard-working judge who had just taken office in January 2009 when the FBI set out to derail his career. "

http://www.elpasotimes.com/publiccorruption/ci_14337458

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE - SHAMI V. WHITE

My readers can watch the debate here. I welcome corrections to my analysis.

http://texasdebates.org/video.php

In simple straight up and simple terms, Shami is clearly the more left wing of the two candidates. Some examples of this would be, Shami favors a moratorium on executions, White opposes same. Shami favors allowing gays and lesbians to marry - he sees it as a freedom issue. White was given a pass on this issue so I do not know his position. Shami favors tearing down the wall and building economic bridges with Mexican border cities. White is a mystery on the issue. I found his answer to be an answer in avoidance. Stating you favor input from the local communities does not solve the border problems. Shami favors a moratorium on more natural gas permits over the issue of benzine, White opposes same.

Shami’s big weakness is his poor command of the English language. A second weakness is he does not seem to be able to explain his desire to run Texas government using a corporate model. The moderators and audience members seemed to look at him dumbfounded. His lack of command of the English language did not make things any better. The reality is school districts and local governments are turning to retired corporate managers to run their school boards and municipal governments. Shami needs to do a better job in making people understand this.

I do not know if it a language issue or over excitement, but Shami is over promising on jobs. You cannot possibly promise everyone a job. If he intended to say this then it is dishonest or incredibly naive. But on this issue, unlike White, he is already taking action on creating jobs. He began by bringing 1200 jobs to the Houston area. Shami stated he is building some type factory in El Paso which will produce green energy. I cannot find a story which substantiates this claim. I think the problem is, it is in the planning stages only.

Both Shami and White are opposed to any form of school voucher. Only Shami called for school reform. Shami also supports free community colleges. Both support tying community college training to local job needs.

Shami favors limiting abortion ot 60 or 90 days after conception. White favors keeping abortion on command. So my readers know my bias, I oppose all abortion unless it necessary to save the life of the mother.

Unless it was a response to a specific question, White never once mentioned the Valley. Shami made the Valley a big part of his responses. White had no response to fact the State of Texas is about to run out of highway funds. Shami favors an increase of 8 cents in gasoline taxes. The money would be used fund new highways. Shami specifically mentioned that the Valley has been cheated on highways and he would try and use some of the money to bring more highways to the Valley.

In the end I think both sides were big on promises without meaningful specifics as to how they will deliver on their promises.

Here is another review of the debate.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/burkablog/?p=6168&click_code=ded7b0d3163e874a83dd76e7bf2b1c12.

Monday, February 8, 2010



A COMPARISON OF TWO POLITICAL ADS - WOOD V. ERNIE

Before the I got ya police post a nasty comment, I know they are not running for the same office. Ahhhhhhhhh, did I ruin your day?

In a previous comment I mentioned that a good ad should identify problems and what the candidate intends to do about those problems. By appearance Ernie’s ad does as I suggested a good ad should. But here is the kicker, it really does not propose anything. All Ernie says is, :”I will access federal government grants to fix everything.” Really? Does this mean the county government is currently not taking advantage of government grants? The thing about Ernie is, deception and lies come too easy to him. His ad reflects his sense of professionalism, or lack there of. When are candidates going to hire consultants who help them identify the issues while proposing real solutions which are not already on the table, such as government grants?

I met Ernie once. He ran for something before mayor. I do not remember what it was. I asked him point blank if he uses politiqueras. Without a flinch of the eye he looked me in the eye and said no. This man has no problem lying as if it is a moral commandment from god.

For those who do not remember had Ernie not hired politiqueras to steal the ballots from senior citizens, and our corrupt DA done his job and prosecuted the politiqueras, Sally Arroyo would probably be mayor. Of course Sally did not care enough to sue Ernie to challenge the results.

Woody Wood Pecker’s ad is just as bad. What does it tell us other than he suffers from extreme narcissism. I hate politicians who claim credit for the hard work of our law enforcement officers. His entire ad is an attempt to hit on issues his consultant told him are important and then tell us how he feels about the issues. No solutions. Just a master manipulator playing on the emotions of an illiterate electorate.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

UTEP ALUMNI MEETS THE CALL FOR DONATIONS

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_14330072

I accidentally found this story because last night I had an exit dream. I have had far too many of these in my life. It means I need to check the obits in the city where the person in my dream lives. Nothing yet - hopefully it was just one of those dreams with old memories.

The most interesting dream I ever had was for my tio Humberto - my grandmother's brother. I was not even dreaming. I was eating dinner at 6:15 one night when I was telling my brother in law about how Humberto was so helpful with mom after dad died. It had been years since I even thought about him.

The next morning my tia Angelita called to tell me Humberto had died the night before at 7:15 NY time.