Tuesday, October 24, 2006
"These frivolous affidavits"
Last Wednesday afternoon Robb Zipp and I met David and Rachel Van Os as they were completing a round of radio interviews at KPFT. Art Browning of Greenwatch decided to join us for the train trip in (since this was a Whistlestop Tour we thought it apropos to take the Metro light rail) and so we caravaned down to the Fannin South Park and Ride, met Richard Morrison and boarded the Preston Street Limited for the Old County Courthouse at 301 Franklin.
Richard and David fanned out to each end of the train and spoke to commuters all the way into downtown. At least a couple of hundred voters got to personally meet the next Attorney General of Texas and appeared thrilled at the prospect.
We met John Behrman and some of the early arrivals for the Whistlestop speech and then we all walked over to 201 Caroline and Beverly Kaufman's office so that David could file his affidavit. Robb and I were carrying so much gear that we chose not to run the gauntlet of security at the courthouse, including the airport-style metal detector and baggage screening.
Well, we missed one of the highlights of David's visit to the belly of the Texas Republican beast, because after he completed the paperwork and prepared to pay the fee, a clerk's office employee named Gregory Bousse' (this name is spelled phonetically and thus may not be accurate) indicated that the clerk would not be filing his affidavit, and further added the following editorial comment: "You people come around here every two years and file these frivolous affidavits ..." When David demanded to see the clerk, he was told she was not in the department, and a supervisory person named Ms. Contreras greeted him with the same caustic contempt. When he asked to speak to the person who had made the decision not to enter his affidavit into the public records of the county, Ms. Contreras indicated that it had been the county attorney who had done so. That of course was a lie, as the county attorney could not have been consulted on such a decision given the time frame, and in any event was not present to meet with David either.
So while 253 Texas counties will have these words on file as a public record, Harris County has chosen to deny them. How impressive is that?
About sixty supporters from Houston, Galveston, Wharton and even Angelina counties greeted David back at the old courthouse, and among the dignitaries were Judge Bill Moody and family, Melissa Taylor of the HCDP, and CD-02 challenger Gary Binderim and Stace Medellin. The humidity that day was stifling -- this must have been what kept the Chronicle away -- so we quickly adjourned to Chatters in the Heights and met about a hundred or so supporters, including Gerry Birnberg and Hank Gilbert and Jim Sharp and Mary Kay Green and Bill Connolly and Mark McDavid. As the evening grew late much of the group adjourned to one of the other fundraisers (James Pierre, Scott Hochberg, and Richard Garcia all had events going on).
I personally collapsed from exhaustion.
Robb and Stace have their accounts up with pictures, which you may have already read, since I'm a week late in posting this.