Saturday, March 31, 2012

HAS ANYONE SEEN THIS FARMER?

At The Cleveland Advocate political forum last Thursday County Attorney Wes Hinch had the line of the night.

The gist of Wes Hinch’s comment went like this, “I just hope to meet my opponent before the primary is over”.

James Farmer is the other candidate that will appear on the ballot running for County Attorney. Liberty Dispatch has reported on the bizarre circumstances surrounding this Houston attorneys attempt to establish residency without actually living here. We have also reported that Farmer failed to file the necessary campaign finance reports for candidates running for public office.

But as far as anyone we talk to knows, no one in Liberty County has seen or heard from Farmer since he signed up. He has been compared by some to the man who he used as his reference when he rented the Liberty apartment he never stayed in – Sheriff Henry Patterson. Patterson had been on the job for months before some of his deputies actually met him. He leaves Liberty and heads for his Cleveland home early on a regular basis. Rex Evans, his spokesman, takes care of all of his communication with the people who elected him.

Farmer is even more mysterious than the man he uses as a reference. His missing in action includes the absence of any political signs or appearances at public events. That is strange behavior for someone who is running for office.

Liberty Dispatch would like readers to please let us know if you see James Farmer. The most likely place to see him we are told would be at breakfast in Cleveland.

BILL WAS JOKING ALLEN

In the middle of the political season all kinds of interesting things are going on. It is an exciting time for everyone involved in reporting the news, everyone who loves to discuss the future, and everyone who loves to express an opinion. Newspapers, radio stations, and the internet are very dynamic and very busy just trying to keep up this time of year.

Allen Youngblood and his i-dineout are an exception however. He has some extra time to focus on the most trivial of things. Case in point – his blog, the local liberal site most people go to in order to check on the latest car wreck, has all kinds of goofy nonsense, but one in particular will be on the top of the list for 2012’s most ridiculous things put on a blog.

In an interview with a citizen from Devers Texas, KSHN owner and reporter Bill Buchanan made a quip typical of many Texans sense of humor. The Devers resident referred to Devers as “God’s country” and Buchanan quickly questioned that – it was very obvious it was a light hearted joke. I doubt anyone that has been around long hasn’t heard a little humorous banter like this in the course of everyday life.

But Allen Youngblood must not have. And he must not be very focused on the current political environment. Far be it for Liberty Dispatch to be defenders of the local disc jockey, but get a life Allen! Buchanan was obviously kidding.

If you want to post things you disagree with Buchanan about… talk about the FEMA/Fitzgerald court case … or the hospital district… or one of the local races.
We all have plenty of imperfections and Liberty has plenty of scandals, but acting like Buchanan actually believes Devers is Godless?

Stick with the car wrecks please.

Monday, March 26, 2012

“The President of Non-Specifics” By David Pring-Mill

LD- Contributor

I.                 Advantageous Ambiguity

   In the President’s Weekly Address on March 10, 2012, Barack Obama stated, “You and I both know that with only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20 percent of the world’s oil. We need an all-of-the-above strategy that relies less on foreign oil and more on American-made energy – solar, wind, natural gas, biofuels, and more.” This rhetoric is superficially appealing, but the President’s claims aren’t entirely accurate. The Institute for Energy Research says that Obama is creating the impression of scarcity by focusing on the technicality of proven oil reserves whilst neglecting to mention that the United States has enough recoverable oil for the next 200 years. Although I agree with the President that we need to encourage American ingenuity and switch over to alternative energy sources, there needs to be a transitional period. Nikola Tesla once said that it is only a matter of time until “men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.” I believe that innovation will yield phenomenal gains for the energy needs of mankind, but I also believe that brilliance can be broken down into incremental progress.

GOOD GOVERNMENT AT STAKE

At the University of Chicago last week, the leader in the race to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States said, “I don’t mean to be flip with this, but I don’t see how a young American can vote for a Democrat.’’ Mitt Romney cheerfully apologized to anyone who might find such a comment “offensive,’’ but went on to explain what young people need to consider if they are thinking of voting for Democrats.

The Democratic Party “is focused on providing more and more benefits to my generation, mounting trillion-dollar annual deficits my generation will never pay for,’’ Romney said. While Democrats are perpetrating “the greatest inter-generational transfer of wealth in the history of humankind,’’ Republicans are “consumed with the idea of getting federal spending down and creating economic growth and opportunity so we can balance our budget and stop putting these debts on you.’’

The government’s record-breaking debts “are not frightening to people my age, because we’ll be gone,’’ Romney argued, but “they ought to be frightening to death to people your age!’’ He regretted not doing a better job of getting that message across to younger voters. “You guys ought to be out,’’ Romney insisted, “working like crazy for me and for people like me: conservatives, who want to keep the cost of government down and give you a brighter future.’’

Despite efforts to breathe life into the local Democratic Party, Liberty County has been jumping out of the Democrats boat for several elections. Young and old people alike have been voting more and more for Republicans in local elections as years of questionable behavior by Democrats holding office has made the last fifteen years sound to discerning ears like a steady inevitable “here we come” drumbeat for Republicans. The same concerns that Romney expresses about the country should be on people’s minds as they look at the future of this county.

Unfortunately, but very predictably, Liberty County has more complicated things to consider at the polls than Romney’s simplistic “vote Republican and get rid of the tax and spenders” advice. Local politicians have switched parties and some of the switchers are not what Republicans should want. Incompetent Democrats like Henry Patterson switched last election and have had four years to stain the law and order image Republicans like to project. The majority of officeholders who have switched have simply been like Patterson and tried to go where the votes are and there has been no principle involved in their decision. But there have been a few with conservative beliefs who switched to get away from the poor behavior of local Democrats and to try and coalesce with newly elected Republicans to solve budget problems.

Particularly frustrating for conservatives who have been actively working for change for any length of time in Liberty County are the people who show up to run as Republicans who have either worked against the local Republican effort or they have been in position to help and they have sat on their hands and not lifted a finger. The best example of that is seen in the District Attorney’s race. Karen McNair is far and away the best prepared to become Liberty County’s next D.A. and she has been working to elect other local Republicans for years. In contrast, Logan Pickett has the least experience of any prosecutor in the courthouse and though his family has spent part of their wealth and influence in statewide and national races, they have done nothing but help Democrats locally – until now.

One thing Liberty County voters can be proud of. We have pierced the veil of those in power who told all of us it would “always be this way”. We have, at least for this period of time in our history, responded the way Benjamin Franklin hoped we would when he was asked if we know we have got – a Republic or a Monarchy at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Franklin said if we could keep it, we would have a system of government where every man had a say, not one like it was in England where Kings and Queens and Dukes and Duchesses told us how things were going to be.

Young people ought to be willing to fight for that in any generation.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

FOLLOWING THE MONEY

In his unsuccessful bids to be the state representative from this area, records reveal Eddie Shauberger received contributions of well over a quarter of a million dollars. Far and away the majority of this money was from a few large donors rather than receiving small donations from people around the district. It is interesting to go back and look at some of those donations in light of Shauberger’s multiple run-ins with the law.

In October 2002, records show something of special interest to those who have witnessed Shauberger’s strange public life. That was the year that the Tom Delay scandal happened. TRMPAC allegedly was used to funnel illegal corporate donations into the campaigns of Republican candidates for State Representative. Records reveal Eddie Shauberger’s campaign received several thousand dollars from TRMPAC that year.

Also of interest, when reading Influence Explorer campaign donor analysis are three donations of more than $10,000. Two of Shauberger’s large donations come from the Palmerez brothers. These brothers are the same ones Shauberger made all kinds of allegations towards when he was charged with a felony involving business dealings with them. Speculation that after a few years of bitter dispute, Shauberger and his long time friends have rejoined forces with each other to conspire against Ray Akins, have neither been confirmed or disproved.

Also a $10,875 is credited toward Richard Pegues, the County Chairman at the time. When Mr. Pegues was asked about this donation he appeared surprised.

“I tried to help Republican candidates in any way I could, but I never donated that kind of money to anyone. Why does my name appear on there? I don’t know. What was Eddie’s involvement with Congressman DeLay? These kinds of questions can best be answered by the candidate.”

There would be nothing illegal about donations from Pegues or the Palmerez brothers as long as they were not corporate donations. Pegues owned no corporation. Like the Palmerez brothers however, Pegues has parted company from Shauberger, but unlike them, he continues to have serious concerns about the man he thought he knew well.

“I don’t know if he has changed or if I was just always blinded by our friendship from church. It is like he has a list of people he that he feels he needs to exact revengeon. It appears he will use any means necessary. This is far from our pact to work to elect good conservatives tolocal offices,” Pegues said.

(Citation) Shauberger campaign finance link