Tuesday, August 7, 2012


AS PROMISED - A RESPONSE FROM MICHAEL COWEN

FROM MICHAEL COWEN:

"I cannot accuse Roger Ortiz of stonewalling my request for information. I requested documents last Thursday. While I do not have any documents yet, an attorney with the County's Civil Division has been professional, cooperative, and cordial, and I expect to receive documents tomorrow. Thus far, I have no criticisms of the way that Mr. Ortiz or the Civil Division has treated me.

That being said, the Elections Office has failed to provide requested documents to CAVA on a timely basis. I do not know whether the delay is the fault of Mr. Ortiz, or of an employee not communicating requests to Mr. Ortiz. However, I do not represent CAVA; I just represent Mrs. Begum.

I do not control what bloggers or activists say, nor do I wish to do so. If I am going to accuse someone of something, it will come from me rather than a surrogate. If you search the archives of El Rrun Rrun, you can see that Mr. Montoya has been less than kind to my father in the past. Even though I disagreed with his criticism of my father, and disagree with some of your criticism of my client and myself, I respect your right to blog as you see fit. As you can see, I do read your blog (and the other blogs), I am not easily offended, and I will take your points into consideration. That doesn't mean that you will be happy with everything I say or do, or believe that I have good motives, but I am really trying to do a good thing in this case."

EDITOR'S NOTE:

I actually forgot to put in the last post my question about what kind of man would provide information to a person he knows has trashed his own father? By doing this either directly or indirectly Cowen validated Montoya as trust worthy, thereby making Montoya's comments against his father credible. 

Is Michael Cowen saying Montoya is or is not trustworthy?

Here is the problem, Michael Cowen wants it both ways - he refuses to denounce the lies and deception of Montoya and Barton, while his client  continues to feed them the information.   He either needs to be a man and take responsibility for his client, or drop her.  The other option is to try and control her.  The latter will never happen.

When I confronted Yolanda Begum about taking down Erin Garcia's sign she was very clear - she knew Barton and Montoya were liars and not trustworthy, but she needed a forum.  She kept on repeating this like a broken record.  She kept on saying "what was I to do? Erin has Cheezmeh and I needed a forum."

When we discussed Ruben Peña she clearly stated she knew he was incompetent and would be hiring her son for the election contest.  She was very clear that unlike Ruben Peña her son knew what he was doing. - Hardley

This woman is so two faced it boggles my mind.  I undertand sometimes you need to represent a two-faced lying client for a greater good.  I did  exactly this when I  defended and won an election contest.

He cannot complain these twits are causing a lot of disinformation in the community while it is his client feeding them.  Control your client Michael or live with the consequences.

I will cover the trial and hearings.  I  can assure everyone - neither side will like what I report.  I will protect the voters and the sanctity of the ballot and let the bodies fall where they fall.  Ruben Peña did not get his witnesses to court because he was incompetent.  Any competent attorney would have taken the judge on mandamus over the witnesses, and cutting off the trial.  Ruben Peña simply had no understanding of the election code or the special rights of the parties to mandamus review.  Even after Ruben lost the election I sent him the law which showed the court of appeals used old law by shutting down the appeal.  The law had changed.  There was no Republican running in November so no ballot under Texas law was needed.  With no ballot needed, then the courts no longer needed to finish the appeal before the printing of the ballots.  Under Texas law unopposed candidates are deemed the winner as a matter of law.  This simple new law was well beyond the legal skills of Ruben Peña.

THE SOLUTION

This case cannot be won.  It's sole purpose is to  continue the abuse of the voters as a necessary evil to opposing and exposing the Hernandez  family.  Now I do believe in competent hands criminal charges can be brought against both campaigns.  If the Carlos Medrano case is any indication, a criminal case could result in Erin Garcia never being allowed to take the bench, or being removed after taking the bench.  Justice is an option without abusing the voters, again.

What needs to get done is an honest analysis of the problem, document it, and then demand that Eddie Lucio the III introduce new legislation to fix  the problem.

The US Supreme court has upheld limitations on certain forms of campaigning close to the election.  We need a law which bars  all compaigning in or on the property of any form of senior center within 3 days of early voting. 

We need to bar any advertising or campaigning in or around any van which transports anyone to a poll which may include the person voting in the van.  We need strict compliance with the law as to who can and cannot vote from a van.  Strict compliance must include signed statements from the voting official providing the ballots and the voters requesting to vote from the vans indicating strict compliance with the law.  An election judge must be present to insure there is no campaign information in or around the van.  It has to be illegal for anyone to provide these voters push cards within 100 feet of the van when they get into the van.  With a bar to campaigning in or around these centers starting 3 days before early voting, any push cards will have to be something the residents received 3 days before being offered a  ride to the polls.

We need to make it a crime for campaigns or supporters of campaigns to aid in the completion of the mail ballots.  The courts will never allow for a bar on campaigns organizing a mail ballot compaign. But, given the unique nature of mail ballots and potential for abuse the courts will allow for a bar on campaigns working the mail ballots once they are sent out.  This bar would not include resident associations from endorsing candidates.  To accomplish this Eddie Lucio III would have to put into the legislative record the Peña/Hernandez trial record.  Without proof of a problem the courts would be less inclined to uphold these reforms as constitutional.

The above is just a handful of ideas I can  think of and am certain would be constitutional.

If you want to fix this problem and stop the abuse, you do not further abuse the voters, such as Yolanda Begum seeks to do.  You lobby Eddie Lucio III to write the legislation needed to fix the problem.  If Eddie Lucio III will not do it, then you go to a Republican and allow a Republican to embarass Eddie Lucio III.  I personally believe if presented in a professional manner Eddie Lucio III will do what needs to get done.  He wants to be part of the new Democratic Party of Julian Castro.

My concern is, with all of the lies and deception Begum and her cyberpolitqueros are putting out our legislature will not believe it is a problem.  Educated people know the con job writing of con artists.  It will not move them to rewrite key parts of the election code.

I do not  doubt both the Begum and Garcia campaigns committed  crimes.  The problem is the constitution, and rightfully so, make proving many of the crimes difficult.  The sanctity of the ballot makes it unconstitutional for the  courts to compel anyone to explain their vote.  Begum's continued allegation about mentally incompetent voters is outrageous.  Michael Cowen cannot represent this evil woman and then claim he is not involved in this most heinous allegation.  He knows at the time he alleged it in the lawsuit he had zero evidence by name of anyone who voted who had been deemed mentally incompetent by a court.  It was done for shock value.  It was done to bias the people of Cameron county against Erin Garcia. 

Were the voters served in this election? No -   Will the voters be served by this election contest?  No. Seniors will be abused again - and  for what? 

In 1996, I took on the defense in an election contest.  I took the case pro bono because the other side was alleging everyone who lives in nursing homes is mentally ill, and that if you do not count their votes then the plaintiff would win.  What I did not know until I got into the case was campaign operatives for my client did cheat.  It turned my stomach.  What I also learned was I could easily void over 100 votes for the plaintiff if I was willing to abuse the senior citizens who voted for him.   I was called to the law offices of another attorney to interview witnesses.  When I asked what was going on and saw all of those people there - seniors with canes, walkers, oxygen tanks, I nearly puked.  I told my client I would not do it and walked out.  There is nothing more important in our Democracy than the sanctity of the ballot.  By delving into the mind of someone who cannot remember yesterday you are not defending the sanctity of the ballot, you are abusing the voter.  Given the fact most people do not make informed decisions when they vote, it is dishonest to judge seniors any differently.

I WILL WORK WITH ANY GROUP TRULY INTERESTED IN REFORM

But no one associated with either campaign or CAVA is interested in reform.  A vendetta against the Hernandez family is not reform.  Reform is looking objectively to all the abuses by all candidates and then fashioning reforms which Eddie Lucio III can take to Austin.

We need laws which make it a state jail felony for an opponent to mess with the otherside's campaign sign.  We need for it to be a state jail felony to illegally threaten to investigate voters who exercise their constitutional right to publish and distribute anonymous flyers.  We need to make it a state jail felony  for poll watchers to release information related to vote counts.  In each of these cases Yolanda Begum, her son or operatives would go to jail.  We all know, CAVA would never support any of these reforms.  But they are still needed. 

We need to make it a 3rd degree felony for a candidate to pay money to anyone to violate any part of the election code.


We need to make it a state jail felony for anyone to campaign in or around vans in violation of the law.

So as to remove any doubt from the appellate courts, we need to mandate that the appellate courts resolve all questions of law though mandamus review so that when an appeal does occur the only issue is the sufficiency of the evidence of lack of evidence.

These are reforms which will work.  Each and everyone of them is needed now. 

If asked I would certainly work with Eddie Lucio III's office to insure these reforms are pushed for come January 2013.  The time to get the reforms written and placed on the legislative agenda is actually very short at this point.  Time is of the essence.

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