Saturday, January 07, 2012

Dear Liberty Dispatch,

Purely by coincidence, I sat near one of the Breakfasts King’s early morning meetings a couple of weeks ago and I gotta tell ya, it is entirely possible Henry Patterson is telling the truth. He is available to any voter who wants to have a 5:30 in the morning breakfast in Cleveland.

It is noteworthy that in 45 minutes I sat near the sheriff and his posse of biscuit eaters, not one time did I see anyone who would qualify as a voter who just dropped by to visit with the sheriff. But if there had been one, it is entirely possible that voter could have interrupted the good ole boys in between their passing the biscuits and talking shop.

Also noteworthy, no talk of the strain the rising cost of running the jail and how to reduce the problems happening there almost every week. I would not call these meeting problem solving meetings or town halls. I would call them more like a clique of good old boys who meet to make sure everything, especially politics, is going their way.

I must say I was troubled to hear some of the negative things I heard said about some in our community. But it is noteworthy to say none of the negative talk came from the sheriff. I don’t know the players in this game well enough to tell you who said what, but the sheriff was more of a spectator than anything.  The sheriff seemed to care less.

What did I get out of sitting next to their breakfast? Two biscuits, two strips of bacon, and two eggs over easy. What is my advice to anyone thinking of attending? Unless you are from Cleveland, you probably have pretty good morning vittles closer to you than the Hot Biscuit. Who do I think you ought to vote for? Next time I am voting for pancakes and sausage. The biscuit crowd has sold me on one thing and that is that they have no clue.


Two famous liberal Democrats have recently written and gone on television to mock Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum for how he and his wife Karen dealt with the death of their son Gabriel. Gabriel died two hours after his birth after a severe prenatal development led to his very early delivery. There is plenty of political fodder or even personal nuances to make fun of with any of the people running for office without having to visit the macabre, but Democrats will search for new lows as they will have the liberal news media and maybe a record one billion dollars to work with in their bid to re-elect the most liberal President this country has ever had.

Here is a word for word accounting of Eugene Robinson’s despicable television analysis of how the Santorums handled their tragedy: “He’s not a little weird, it’s that he’s really weird and some of his positions he’s taken are just so weird, um, that I think that some Republicans are going be off-put. Um, not everybody is going to, going to be down, for example, with the story of how he and his wife handled the, the, the stillborn ah, ah, child, ah, um, whose body they took home to, to kind of sleep with it, introduce to the rest of the family. It’s a very weird story.”

It would have been wise for these all-knowing Democrats to mix in a little compassion and a little knowledge of what they were talking about with their pro-abortion attitudes. Spending time with a child who died shortly after birth is commonly recommended. Taking the child home for a few hours is less common, but they did it so that their other children could also spend a time with the deceased child, and that is definitely recommended.

Evidence that the Santorums did what professionals advise is here in the American Pregnancy Association. It recommends that parents spend time with the child (and we quote):

“With the loss of your baby, your family members will also grieve. Your baby is someone’s granddaughter, brother, cousin, nephew or sister. It is important for your family members to spend time with the baby. This will help them come to terms with their loss. If you have other children, it is very important to be honest with them about what has happened by using simple and honest explanations. It is your decision whether you would like the children to see the baby. Ask for a Child Life Specialist at the hospital; these are trained professionals who can help you prepare your children for the heartbreaking news, and prepare them to see the baby if you wish.”

So the “elite” who always want to side with science and who ridicule faith, this family well known for their Christian faith spent time with their dead child and they had a funeral, which is often done in these kinds of situations, and they followed your precious scientific community’s advise. And now you ridicule them! Now the evidence from our scientific observation must be that you are very ignorant, cold and calculating political spinsters who will say anything to defeat those who dare challenge what you want to be “the truth”– not what science says is the truth.

Continue to ridicule people of faith at your own peril. The Santorums were not “crazy” or “very weird” to do what they did. They were in the midst of one of the most painful experiences we as humans may have to deal here on this earth.

Armed with more money and more friends in the media than perhaps any two Presidents together in our history, these kinds of assaults on candidates with whom they may have future political battles, show us that this President’s “Christian love” is much more like that of his old pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Reverend Wright spent far too much time preaching hate and revenge than he did the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. I love a good political fight. You get to hear policy differences and you get to hear personal failings that might foreshadow a character flaw that will hinder a candidate. But I had always thought there was a limit and I had hoped no one I know would, in a million years, ridicule parents who were grappling with unfathomable human loss.

These two mean spirited men would have undoubtedly decried Abraham Lincoln unfit for office since he had one of three sons die young. Overcome with grief, he needed to see the boy one more time. The Santorums handled their grief and the afterlife of that grief much more traditionally than the Lincolns and Rick Santorum is no less qualified to be the head of state than Lincoln himself.

Democrats... please sit down and shut up on this topic.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Patterson and CEC Jail Corporation

Similar to Senator Barack Obama three years ago, Henry Patterson ran a campaign promising “change”. Similar to President Obama now, many of those who supported Sheriff Patterson wonder where the “change” is or what exactly the “change” was that Patterson had in mind when he promised it.

Unfortunately, one of the most obvious connections Sheriff Patterson has with the idea of “change” is the changing stories he or his infamous re-election team put out there to try and make him look good to the public. The most well known example locally of spinning news stories to try and get a political advantage was when the Outsiders jumped out there and bragged that the Sheriff’s response to a citizen tipping the Sheriff’s Department off to where two huge fields of marijuana was growing would make his re-election almost automatic. When Liberty Dispatch started asking why there were no arrests and why all Patterson did was “arrests the pot plants”, the Outsiders backpedaled and asked for proof the sheriff was even involved in the sting.

Besides the “change” we have observed in his efforts to attract voters, we have heard Patterson and/or his Outsider buddies “change” the meaning of conservative by telling us all it is not conservative for the Sheriff to even consider the possibility that it may save the county’s taxpayers money for the county to run the jails. This ridiculous effort to change what conservatism is claims it is as simple as the slogan that "private business always is more efficient than anything the government does". But that is not true. Otherwise maybe we should hire a military and maybe we should hire people to run the military jails. And if it is true private companies always run jails cheaper, then maybe Patterson should hire a private company to patrol the county. Does Patterson think that would save money too? Or has he already started to do that (ie: the Outsiders)?

It is not only wrongheaded to think that “farming out’ these responsibilities is conservatism, it may be that this kind of thing is at least questionable to almost all constitutionally-minded people. The government is charged with the responsibility of protecting us. Farming this duty out and sending the taxpayers the bill may not set well with many conservatives. Patterson and his libertarian friends cannot “change” what conservatives believe just because Patterson struggles with managing his current duties.

This sheriff’s political handlers can write comments saying that the sheriff’s department is already short-handed and overburdened without taking on managing the jails, but taxpayers are not stupid. The Liberty County Sheriff would get a boatload of money and more personnel if his duties to run the jail were reinstated. Patterson and/or his people have already said it would cost more money for the sheriff to run the jail. Again, Patterson doesn’t seem open to real “change”. One of his opponents, Bobby Rader, has already said that the facts need to be collected and a cost/benefit analysis needs to done. Liberty County Sheriff candidate Bobby Rader says: “Whatever is best for the taxpayer is what I will push for if he is elected as sheriff”.

Perhaps the most damning fact about Patterson’s handling of this issue is that just like the two most long serving commissioners (Todd Fontenot and Melvin Hunt - both Democrats), he seems to rely on previous decisions and make assumptions rather than gather the facts. A cursory investigation reveals that as of Tuesday only County Judge Craig McNair, Bobby Rader, and Liberty Dispatch have asked the county auditor for information necessary to analyze what should be done with the jails. Conservatives might say Patterson is acting more like a Democrat when he makes his own job easier by leaving the jail in the hands of a private company and sends the bill to the taxpayers. In Texas and indeed throughout the USA, most jails are still under the management of the county sheriff.

The jail question brings up the real “change” we have had since Patterson defeated Greg Arthur in November 2008. Patterson has “changed” out Arthur’s good ole boys for his own. Besides the infamous “farming out” of certain “investigations” to the infamous Outsiders and hiring captains with troubled pasts from Harris County, Patterson has added Warden Timothy New, the CEC jail administrator for Liberty County to his list of people in his good ole boys network. No obvious crime there on the surface, but no great “change” from business as usual either. Timothy New has numerous allegations against him that are clearly troubling.

Patterson has been seen riding around and hanging out with Timothy New for years now. And for years now an unacceptable level of lawsuits has come from the jail Timothy New administers. Undoubtedly, allegations of Timothy New stalking a married woman and offering to help make some of her legal problems go away for sexual favors were not part of their friendly conversations. And apparently neither was the proposition of working to stop an ever increasing amount of contraband in the jails – sexual abuse, cell phones and drug contraband etc. But the possibility of big money through bribery, etc. is also attached to the jail and most of us are far more interested in Patterson fulfilling his role of oversight than buddying up to Timothy New. Allegedly, CEC has recently stopped efforts to search prisoners and jail cells and if true, who can identify any meaningful “change” we have because of Henry Patterson being elected sheriff ?

Why is Patterson’s cozy relationship to Timothy New important? There is a great deal more than “change” involved in who runs our jails. CEC gets paid millions to run our jail. CEC just sent taxpayers an increase that will add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just months after our judges found ways to save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Patterson and the commissioners seem to be fatalistic and prepared to stamp “approved” as CEC cashes in and takes much of the savings the judges have engineered. In addition, CEC’s rate increase has Liberty County taxpayers carrying a bigger load than the federal government. We have heard no objection from Sheriff Patterson and CEC is charging you and me $12.45 more per day for keeping someone in a jail cell than they charge the feds for keeping someone in the same cell!

Conservative voters of Liberty County voted for substantial change the last two elections and we have actually achieved much of it. But it is time to review some of the people we elected and to replace them if we want to continue to change this community into what we want it to be. Anyone paying attention the last three years should agree replacing Patterson should be part of the change we work towards in 2012.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Not so fast Melvin Hunt...

On 12/30/2011, Commissioners Melvin Hunt and Todd Fontenot orchestrated the "emergency" renewal of CEC as the Liberty County jail management company for sixty more days.

Instead of bringing in a new and responsible company, Melvin Hunt and Todd Fontenot signed an agreement to keep CEC as Liberty County's Jail Manager- and even increased the money Liberty County pays.

Additionally, there is a bid process which has been completely ignored and circumvented by Hunt and Fontenot.

CEC jail corporation has been plagued with prisoner civil rights violations, employee drug use, drugs and contraband in the Liberty County jail.  Also sexual assaults of prisoners by jail personnel and alleged sexual harassment by the Warden himself against his underlings.

So what did commissioner Melvin Hunt and Todd Fontenot do for Liberty County?  Did they help or harm?  Based on all the lawsuits and crimes committed by CEC personnel and against prisoners, it would appear they put the people of Liberty County in jeopardy and probable continued harm.

Since Melvin Hunt and Todd Fontenot chose to extend the contract and increase the pay of CEC for the next sixty days, we plan to expose' the over dozen lawsuits and crimes centered around CEC.  We will be looking at alleged sexual harassment of CEC employees by the CEC Warden and Sheriff Henry Patterson's connection and ignorance of all these problems going on under his nose.

Additionally, we will study how the County can save money and avoid all the legal problems associated with CEC and what its people have visited upon Liberty County.

Stay tuned...

Rick Santorum Surging in Iowa

Rick Santorum is surging at just the right time and, backed by strong evangelical support, could pull off a huge last-minute win in next week's Iowa caucuses. Though its highly unlikely he'll roll through the other primaries and emerge as the nominee, an Iowa win should at least send Santorum toward the front of the pack, if only temporarily.

A review of Gallup's polling dating back to 1972 shows that first place finishes in Iowa or New Hampshire have boosted candidates by up to 30 points, propelling some candidates from low single digits to top-tier contenders overnight. In one case, a win in both those states resulted in over a 40 point boom and, ultimately, the nomination.

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