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Brimer: Letter from the Alamo

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Fellow Republicans and patriots, I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Democrats under Wendy Davis–I have sustained a continual bombardment and cannonade by their lawyers for 24 weeks and have not won a case–The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion; otherwise, my political career is to be put to the sword, if the seat is taken. I have answered the demand with a press release & our campaign signs still stand proudly on our campaign headquarters’ walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of partisanship, of ambition, of incumbency, of everything dear to the Fort Worth character, to come to our aid. Victory or death! * * * * Having lost his battle to have Wendy Davis declared ineligible to run for or serve in the state Senate, at every level in the Texas judicial system–the trial court, two appellate courts, and the Texas Supreme Court, Brimer now is declaring his intention to continue the battle in three different forums. From his press release: With the court ruling today, we will focus on winning this election and defeating our ineligible opponent at the ballot box leaving the question of eligibility to be determined by action taken after the election. The eligibility of our opponent is still a question mark? In the Court’s own words, it states “Even if Davis is ineligible to hold office- an issue we do not reach in this appeal…” Therefore, as a result of the Court of Appeals decision today, an ineligible candidate who is on the ballot after early voting begins can only be removed by one of the following three options: A) By an administrative action taken by the State of Texas (after the polls close but before the vote is canvassed –Texas Election Code 145.003(d); B) By a vote of the members of the Texas State Senate to refuse to seat an ineligible candidate (Texas Constitution Art III, Section 8); C) By a judicial Quo Warranto action taken by the Texas Attorney General or other appropriate State Official. The first question that comes to mind is: Why is Brimer revealing his intention BEFORE the election? I can’t see how this is to his advantage. Wouldn’t he be better off saying that he has every intention of winning this race on November 4? If he’s going to carry the fight to the bitter end, do it, but don’t announce to the world that you’re a sore loser before you’ve lost. Nothing Brimer has done in this race makes sense to me. Now, let’s talk about the options: A.. An administrative action under 145.003 of the election code. Here is some pertinent language: (d) The presiding officer of the final canvassing authority for the office sought by a candidate may declare the candidate ineligible after the polls close on election day and … before a certificate of election is issued. (e) Not pertinent (f) A candidate may be declared ineligible only if: (1) the information on the candidate’s application for a place on the ballot indicates that the candidate is ineligible for the office; or (2) facts indicating that the candidate is ineligible are conclusively established by another public record. (g) When presented with an application for a place on the ballot or another public record containing information pertinent to a candidate’s eligibility, the appropriate authority shall promptly review the record. If the authority determines that the record establishes ineligibility as provided by Subsection (f), the authority shall declare the candidate ineligible. I don’t think Wendy Davis is out of the woods yet. I assume that the final canvassing authority is the Texas Secretary of State, whose office, of course,l is completely stocked with Rick Perry allies. Secretary of State Hope Andrade could make such a ruling. B. A vote of the Texas Senate, which, of course, has a 20-11 Republican majority. If Brimer is counting on Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst to save him, he can forget it. Dewhurst is not going to put the fix in to save Brimer, with potentially grave consequences to his own political career and to the ability of the Senate to function in the 81st Legislature. C. A quo warranto proceeding by the Attorney General. Greg Abbott showed himself during the redistricting fight of 2003 to be an unrestrained partisan. Some of his AG’s opinions have done the same (like the one for Craddick). It’s pretty easy for lawyers to hide behind pious-sounding words in a legal opinion. Davis ought to worry about this one.

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