Friday, November 21, 2014

 
GETTING TO A NEW COUNTY JUDGE
 
BUT FIRST A QUICK WORD ON LINCOLN PARK
 
No one in this town has done more to correct the abuses of the judiciary than I have, and I have been vilified for it.  My work against the judiciary is known statewide.  In the case of Lincoln Park I can find no irregularity in Judge Nelson's ruling.  I think he is wrong - but that does not mean he was not studious.  On a regular basis the U.S. Supreme Court issues 5/4 rulings.  Should the 4 be removed from the Supreme Court because in the eyes of the 5 they are wrong about the law?  It is naïve for the people attacking Judge Nelson to think the law is so simple.

Part of the problem is by law he did not have to write out his reasoning.  You can blame George W. Bush for that.  The Texas Legislature did pass a law which would have required Judge Nelson write an opinion justifying his decision, but then Governor Bush vetoed the law.

THINKING OUT A RULING VERSES WRITING OUT YOUR REASONING

Lawyers who write a lot of briefs know this - when you think it out only in your head your analysis is incomplete.  The second you begin to put your analysis down to paper it begins to change.  You see flaws in your original analysis and then correct them.  This is why the interim appeal is essential to winning this battle

This will be lost on Sossi, but not the AG's office.  The court of appeals and Texas Supreme Court in this case will expect the UT Board of Regents to slow down the process while the interim appeal proceeds.  If afforded a chance by Michael Cowen to just slow the process while the appeal proceeds and the UT Board of Regents refuses, then the court of appeals or Texas Supreme Court would be justified issuing a stay [effectively a TRO] pending the appeal.  Again, what the appellate courts expect of the defendants is understood by the AG's office, but I am certain it is lost on Sossi.

In my view, an interim appeal is a guaranteed win.  The court of appeals once they have to defend in writing why "any other entity defined by Texas law" does not include the entity of the UT Board of Regents, they will follow the proper rules of statutory construction and stop everything by voiding Rose Gowen's vote.  Her vote appears to have been to allow for discussions with UT on the issue - fine - if her vote is voided so too are all discussion with UT on the issue.

UT BOARD OF REGENTS SAVE FACE MOVE

For now they have the win.  They do not want the court of appeals to have to rule on whether they are an entity for conflict of interest purposes.  Such a ruling goes well beyond Brownsville.  The key to this is the interim appeal on that issue.  If Rose Gowen's vote is void then Brownsville officials have no authority to negotiate with the UT Board of Regents.  It is that simple.  But the impact of the ruling will be state wide for the UT system.

THE SAVE FACE MOVE

The UT Board of Regents can walk away from this now simply saying they were mislead about the people's support for the conveyance of Lincoln Park - hell I will be even more generous - they can say they were unaware of the people's opposition.  Officially they have the win from Judge Nelson, while looking like the good guy by stopping their interest in Lincoln Park. 

With an interim appeal knowing a ruling could issue finding universities to be entities for conflict of interests purposes, the UT Board of Regents will walk away from Lincoln Park.

DID SAENZ THROW A CANNON ACROSS THE BOWS OF THE ROSE GOWEN?

From the Herald:

"Saenz said. “At that vote, we hope only those who are qualified to vote — who have no conflicts — will vote.”

Be careful my dear Rosie - all Luis Saenz has to do is inform the court he is conflicted out and that the court needs to appoint a prosecutor to go after you for voting, and your career as a doctor, city commissioner, and at UT is over.

I want to be clear - I do not speak for Saenz and cannot say for sure what he meant by the statement - but a rational person would take it as a warning.

OKAY - SELECTING A NEW COUNTY JUDGE

I was in East Texas when I read Montoya stated that because I interviewed Dan Sanchez and reported what he told me no one would ever vote for him because I am toxic for anyone I speak positively for.  Yes, Montoya knows about toxic - Oscar Garcia, Shirley Bowen, Luci Longoria, and some Lopez guy all lost on election night.  All of them paid Montoya to defame their opponents and lost.  Elizondo only won because in the end he got on his knees begging people to forgive him for speaking with Cata and promising to have knowing to do with her. 

Unlike Montoya I do not think Sofia Benavides and Alex Dominguez are so vindictive and destructive of their political ambitions to vote against Dan Sanchez merely because Dan gave me an interview and I posted it with a clear statement this is who we need in a county judge.

The decision should be based on what is best for the county.  I absolutely oppose Joe Rivera - the people rejected him and the voice of the people should be respected.

Yes it is true, I do have a pending matter against both Dan Sanchez and Alex Dominguez concerning the violation of State Bar rule.  There is no rule which says as lawyers and commissioners they cannot practice law in Cameron county.  What the rule says is they must secure waivers of conflicts of interest from their clients and the get written permission from the county to practice in Cameron county courts.  My goal is to force them to comply with the rule - a rule I am certain our county attorneys never told them about. 

If we wait for the perfect Mr. Clean as an elected official, we will never stop waiting.  Living your life as vindictive and being unable to move forward makes your life a waste. 
 
MY ISSUE IS - WHO CAN BEST SERVE CAMERON COUNTY? - PERSONALITIES ASIDE

Sofia Benavides I am certain is as happy as can be to be rid of Carlos Cascos.  They have never been friends.  Cascos would call me on a regular basis to find out the status of my ethics complaint against Sofia - he really does not like her.  Alex Dominguez if he plays his cards wisely has a long political career ahead of him.  I do not believe he is as vindictive and self destructive as Montoya claims he is.

Cameron county needs a leader who can explain to all of its mayors why we must work together as a team to make Cameron county into a metroplex. 

Dan Sanchez took the initiative to study the San Antonio/Bexar county model.  He knows how to bring our transportation links, rail, trucking, and port together to attract manufacturing.  He understands such as Mayor Castro said many times, we must invest in ourselves if we are to move forward. This is one reason I am so opposed to all of this money going to UT - it needs to be used to develop Brownsville and Cameron county, and not a university for one of the wealthiest university systems in the world.

Now if someone can name anyone else who has taken the time to go outside the county and meet with the leaders of successful counties to learn how they did it, let me know and I will interview them.

Alex Dominguez knows that if he gets behind a successful new county judge it will insure his reelection and his further aspirations for higher office.  Politics is a social game.  Those who live to settle scores never move forward. 

My focus is, who is best equipped to move the county forward?  I do not have time to worry about personalities or anyone's past - this is an important decision and it needs to be made in the best interest of the county.

Politics being politics I am certain all of the commissioners are asking Dan if he will get behind certain projects for their districts.  This is the nature of the beast.  I am certain each commissioner will make sure the new county judge will work for the best interest of the county and their individual districts.  Not everyone will be happy - but everyone is never happy.

THE VACANCY PROBLEM

Because of the holdover rule, Dan Sanchez would have to resign and Carlos Cascos would have to appoint his replacement.  Dan Sanchez cannot simply resign - his replacement must be in place before Commissioners Court can appoint a new county judge.  This would be a gamble for Dan Sanchez.

Click see page 8 - This summary of the rules from county.org says that if there is no county judge the commissioners court can appoint the new county commissioner, but they reference no law providing for same.  earlier that make clear under Sec. 87.042.  COUNTY COMMISSIONER VACANCY.  If a vacancy occurs in the office of county commissioner, the county judge shall appoint a suitable resident of the precinct in which the vacancy exists to fill the vacancy until the next general election.

In the process of the gamble to avoid the hold over rule and deny Cascos any vote they would have to wait for him to be sworn in as Secretary of State.

I do not believe if a majority of the sitting commissioners committed to Dan Sanchez they would vote for him would change their mind.  They know there will repercussions.  Alex Dominguez if he plays his cards correctly could replace Eddie Lucio III when and if he runs for his father's Senate seat.  But then Jonathan Gracia is also looking to run.  Both are prepared to move into either Oliviera's or Lucios district to make the run possible.

IN THE END

If we cannot put personalities and vendettas aside to do what is best for the county, then we will lose and continue to have bad government.

I am confident Benavides and Dominguez are not  vindictive little children such as Montoya claims.  They are going to think this out in a way which is best for their district and their careers - all personalities aside.

We need a leader who has studied county government and how to turn the county into a metroplex.  We need someone who can bring the different cities together for the better of the county.  It is really that simple.  Personalities and conflicts need to be left at the door when the vote is made.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have absolutely no way to know if Arturo Nelson was studious or not. You, and the rest of us, only know his opinion, not how he arrived at it. And, the length of time it took has no bearing whatsoever.

BobbyWC said...

At some level I can not refute what you are saying - but the lawyers who were in the courtroom told me he asked probing questions and by all accounts was convinced Gowen had a conflict of interest.

Now I agree I cannot say what was in his head - maybe it was all show and games.

But I also know Judge Nelson has indicated he will not be running in 4 years. He is on his last term. So I do not expect there to be any surprising donations to his campaign.

I also know several county court at law judges are already vying for his position with other lawyers looking to run for the opening which will occur at the county court at law level.

We shall see.

All I have to go on is what seasoned attorneys told me they saw while in the courtroom.

But trust me I agree - it would not be the first time a judge pulled a dog and pony show on the attorneys

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

Oh, thanks for extending the discussion in a rational way

Bobby WC