Archive for January 23rd, 2014


Commentary learned of the following late last week. It is interesting in that the GOP likes to tout so called ballot integrity and the following happened in their own front yard. I have been told that they were alerted to the shenanigans and they did nothing – nada – zilch. I was told that the fake names were straight off of voter lists in street and alphabetical order. Now that’s real smart.

Props go to my pal Judge Risner and his sleuths. Here is the full Chron story that is must read if you like your campaigns honest:

The Harris County Attorney’s Office says it is reviewing documents filed by all local judicial candidates, Republican and Democrat, after learning that a candidate for justice of the peace may have used forged signatures in her application to get on the March 4 GOP primary ballot.

The allegation first was raised by longtime Precinct 2 Place 2 Justice of the Peace George Risner, who is suing the Harris County Republican Party, claiming it violated state election law by placing candidate Leonila Olivares-Salazar on its party ballot even after being told her application included hundreds of falsified petition signatures.

A hearing in state district court has been set for Thursday.

Risner’s petition asks that Olivares-Salazar, his presumed general election challenger, be removed from the ballot, and includes sworn affidavits from several people she hired to gather signatures saying they did not obtain most of the signatures themselves or witness or speak to the voters whose names are on the petitions.

Olivares-Salazar “has publicly admitted to hiring a company to collect the required number of valid signatures (250) to qualify her for the ballot,” the petition states. “There were at least four circulators that gathered signatures for Olivares-Salazar who were employed by the company Olivares-Salazar hired, who falsified signatures on Olivares-Salazar’s petitions.”

Risner, a Democrat first elected to his post in 1987, and Olivares-Salazar are running unopposed in their parties’ respective primaries, meaning they would face each other in the November general election.

Risner said he was suspicious about the validity of the 456 signatures his opponent submitted after some of his “friends and campaign workers looked them over,” and decided to go door-to-door to see whether people whose names appeared on the petitions actually had signed them.

“Ninety-nine point nine percent of them told me no,” he said. The petition claims 380 signatures were falsified.

‘Took no action’

Risner said his lawyer contacted Olivares-Salazar and Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill about the issue shortly after the Dec. 9 filing deadline, but “they took no action.”

“This could have been handled from the start,” he said.

Woodfill said he received no complaint from Risner in the five days after the filing deadline the party has to review applications, saying that “In this particular case, there was no formal challenge that was made.”

He said it will be up to a judge to determine whether the Olivares-Salazar’s name should be pulled from the ballot.

In response to a request for comment, Olivarez-Salazar stated in an email, “There is an investigation in process for which I have fully and completely cooperated.” She said she promised her lawyers she would not comment further until the matter was resolved.

Terry O’Rourke, special assistant to County Attorney Vince Ryan, said one of the sworn affidavits included in Risner’s petition indicates that more than one judicial candidate may have hired the same company to collect signatures. That prompted the office last week to begin looking into all judicial candidate applications. He said the Harris County District Attorney’s public integrity unit also is investigating, but a spokesman for that office would not confirm or deny that.

“It’s a serious issue and we simply have to look at it,” O’Rourke said.

The investigation could wrap up by the end of next week.

‘Found nothing’

Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lane Lewis said he reviewed all his party’s petitions after learning of Risner’s allegations and “found nothing.”

“We didn’t believe we would find anything because we check ours on the front end as they come in, to the best of our ability,” Lewis said, noting that the party has tried unsuccessfully to obtain original copies of Olivares-Salazar’s petitions. He said the county attorney is reviewing the petitions of Democratic judicial candidates next week.

Both Woodfill and Lewis said it is not uncommon for judicial candidates to hire third parties to gather petition signatures.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, the overseer of local elections, said he hopes that if a judge decides Olivares-Salazar should be removed from the ballot, that it will be the November ballot rather than the March primary. He said the office already has printed and mailed about 12,000 absentee ballots for the spring primary election, and that a do-over would be costly.

“If you’re going to go down this path, you should have done it weeks ago,” Stanart said. “It would be very disruptive for us at this point in time.”

The ‘Stros Skipper had a brief MLB playing career that lasted 89 games over a three year period from 1999 – 2001. How many different team uniforms did he wear?

There is a lot of chatter out there about the Texans’ QB position. One thing is for sure, the new QB should not wear the numero 8. In fact, the team should trash that numero for a while.

Bo Porter of course played for the Cubbies, A’s, and Rangers.

The team did some more flag planting yesterday.

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