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mark griffin

Storm warnings for Democrats

Apr 14, 2010 By Paul Burka

The message sent by voters in the Republican primary is that they have little use for establishment politicians. Mabrie Jackson, Delwin Jones, and Mark Griffin all fit that profile. Jones and Griffin were endorsed by establishment types and those endorsements were albatrosses around their necks. Jackson got the same percentage…

Frullo wins

Apr 13, 2010 By Paul Burka

This race was won in the primary with a piece of mail raising the issue of whether Griffin got a sweetheart deal on property that he owned (a low appraisal and a high purchase price). Otherwise Griffin would have won the race without a runoff. The mailer knocked him below…

One last look at tomorrow’s runoffs

Apr 12, 2010 By Paul Burka

All of these runoffs except one involve Republicans. Please note that I am still adding to these reports. Texas Supreme Court, Place 3 Former legislator Rick Green vs. Fort Worth district judge Debra Lehrmann I want to be fair and balanced about this. Even though Green has no judicial experience and was an embarrassment as a legislator, and Lehrmann has served on the bench for more than 22 years, there is a good reason to vote for Rick Green: His election might awaken the public to the realization that electing judges is a bad idea, and the Legislature might be shamed into establishing a new method of selecting judges. Now, to be fair and balanced, I offer a reason to vote against Rick Green. Here is his "Ten Worst Legislators" writeup from 2005: I do not like thee, Mr. Green Exactly why I cannot ween. But this I say, although it's mean: I do not like thee, Mr. Green. Something about Rick Green just drives his House colleagues nuts. Maybe it's things like his bill to let parents opt out of required immunizations for their children (currently allowed only for religious reasons). Or, maybe it's the way he introduced his bill in committee: "If you had told me a year ago I would spend this much time dealing with shots, I would have assumed it was a gun bill." Maybe it's things like his argument for his bill, that three times as many kids are injured by vaccinations as have gotten the disease the shot is intended to prevent. (Could it be that immunizations are the reason so few children get the disease?) Still, one bad bill and an annoying style does not a Worst legislator make. No, Green had to go out and earn his notoriety. No problem. He spent the session embroiled in ethical pratfalls. First he sponsored a fundraiser for the Torch of Freedom Foundation, which he founded, and sold tickets to lobbyists, thus managing to avoid prohibitions against fundraising during a session; charitable solicitations are excepted. But the executive director of Common Cause told the Dallas Morning News that such activity smacks of a "lobbyist shakedown." Next, published reports revealed that lawyer Green had worked successfully to secure a state parole for a family friend and associate of a Green family business who had been convicted of defrauding investors of $30 million (the Greens were not linked to the fraud). The man had loaned $400,000 to the Green family, most of which had been forgiven in various transactions. Finally, Green appeared in an infomercial, sitting in his Capitol office and walking through the halls of state, for Focus Factor, a company that sells nutritional supplements to "supercharge your brain." When word of this inappropriate use of state property leaked out, he asked that he be edited out of the infomercial. Forget the ethical issues; the real scandal is, Who decided that Rick Green was the exemplar of a supercharged brain? Green is probably the favorite to win this race. In races where candidates are totally unknown to most voters, the shorter and more common name usually prevails. The winner will face Democrat Jim Sharp in the general election.

The House runoffs

Mar 25, 2010 By Paul Burka

NORMA CHAVEZ vs. NAOMI GONZALEZ (El Paso) [revised] This is the only runoff on the Democratic side. It has become a proxy fight between TLR and the Trials, like the Rios Ybarra-Lozano race. Chavez is attacking Gonzalez for taking money from Texans for Lawsuit Reform — some 88% of her…