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South Texas Politics - Jessica Puente Bradshaw Robinson, et al... Is Her Name Even Valid on the CD34 Ballot?
Democrats could easily challenge her eligibility to be on the ballot - AND WIN!
Trust is an important thing for our elected officials to earn. It doesn't take much to destroy that trust. Remember when Bill Clinton was asked about a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinski? His answer included, "It depends on what your meaning of 'is' is..."
We currently have a Congress that is at a low point of public approval because of members believing the law does not apply to them. We don't trust them. We don't trust them not to spend us into bankruptcy. We don't trust them to make laws that don't apply to them. We just don't trust them. Now, we have a candidate running for a brand new Congressional seat. The seat for the newly created Congressional District 34 of Texas. And we have a candidate running for that office who cannot even tell us what her real name "is". In fact, it appears legally that she should not even be on the ballot. Let's take a look at what Jessica's "is" is...
Improper Ballot Application
The name on the ballot is Jessica Puente Bradshaw. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! The Texas Election Code requires a candidate to print their "name" on the ballot application. It also provides a place for how you want the name to appear on the ballot. This is provided for people who use a common nickname, like "Bob" instead of "Robert". I guess she thinks this law does not apply to her as she entered her alleged nickname, "Jessica Puente Bradshaw" into the FULL NAME field instead of what appears to be her legal name, Jessica Robinson. Nowhere on her ballot application does her legal name appear as required by law. Interestingly, on the petition page where she signed her own name, she signed it as "Jessica Robinson".
While her ballot application has not been legally challenged in the courts, it well could be by Democrats or others.
Jessica Puente Bradshaw Invalid Ballot Application
Running under an alias, as opposed to a nickname, seems odd to me. Why would a candidate for Congress not run under her real name? Usually we hear about aliases being associated with criminals, scoundrels, scam artists and others who are trying to hide something in their identity. Is Ms. Robinson (aka Jessica Puente Bradshaw) trying to hide something? Or is this just a lame attempt to pander to the Hispanic voters of South Texas? What is really going on here?
But this is not the only place where her ballot application can be challenged. Nor is it the only place where she indicates an arrogance of being "above the law".
Texas Law requires drivers to have their current residence on the Texas Driver's License. Ms. Robinson, on her ballot application, claims her residence is 44 Calle Duquesa in Brownsville, Texas. Yet the Texas Department of Public Safety lists her DL address as 12500 Uvalde Creek Drive in Austin, Texas. The law requires that you update your DL address within 30 days of changing your residence. Is this another law she thinks doesn't apply to her?
Texas Driver Detail from PublicData.com
Interestingly, Ms. Bradshaw is not registered to vote, but Ms. Robinson is registered to vote in two places. Both her Austin address and her "Brownsville address" have current voter registrations on file. Ms. Robinson also has a Texas Real Estate License on file showing an Austin address. Where DO you live Jessica?
From Texas Secretary of State Public Web Search
Improperly Submitted Petitions
Another requirement for the ballot application is for a candidate for Congress to present a petition with fully qualified signatures of 500 registered voters who live in the district the candidate would represent. While Bradshaw, excuse me, Robinson did submit 63 pages of petitions containing 567 signatures, her petitions fail to comply with the law (yet again).
Texas Law requires the petitions to bear the name of the candidate seeking the signatures as well as the race for which the signatures are being collected. In other words, you can just go gather signatures for a candidate or office to be named later. All but 29 of her 567 signatures can, and most likely would be, disqualified if challenged in court. Here is why:
Texas Election Code 127.027 states that all petitions must include the following statement (and that the blanks be filled in with the applicable information):
"I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle (insert candidate's name) to have his or her name placed on the ballot for the office of (insert office title, including any place number or other distinguishing number) for the (insert political party's name) primary election. I understand that by signing this petition I become ineligible to vote in a primary election or participate in a convention of another party, including a party not holding a primary election, during the voting year in which this primary election is held."
Texas Election Code 141.063(a)(4) says that a signature on a petition is invalid unless "each statement that is required by this code... appears, AT THE TIME OF SIGNING, on the page on which the signature is entered."
I have been with candidates when they are filing their petitions, and the party officials I have witnessed have been VERY explicit with the candidate about the importance of this law. They make it VERY clear that it is the CANDIDATE'S responsibility to make certain the petitions are filled out completely and properly.
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that failure to provide the "place or district number" on a petition as required by the Texas Election Code 172.027 renders ALL signatures on that petition page invalid. The Court said, "We agree that the omission of any statutorily required information on a petition renders signatures on that petition invalid." The Court went on to specifically address the requirement that the candidate's district number must appear on the page in order for the signatures to be valid.
From one of Jessica Puente Bradshaw's Invalid Petitions
It appears that Ms. Robinson doesn't believe the Supreme Court of Texas' ruling or the Texas Election Code applies to her election as she failed to provide this information on 58 of her 63 pages. Simply a clerical error? No. This appears to be a blatant failure to follow the law as required to be a candidate for this office.
As if that was not enough, she ignored the law further on 58 pages by failing to put the name of the person filing the affidavit, the date of the signature and the county in which the petition was signed. There are also 95 of the signatures themselves with non-compliance errors that alone would make her required qualified signatures fall well below the statutory 500 required for a candidate to get on the ballot. And let's remember, this is not Ms. Robinson's first rodeo. She ran for Congress two years ago in a race where she finished fourth out of four candidates. She should know what is required, but apparently she believes this does not apply to her.
Now that we have firmly established Ms. Robinson has no eligibility to even be on the ballot because of her disregard for the laws of the State of Texas, let's look at how she follows the laws of the United States when it comes to filing her financial disclosure reports. Again, Ms. Robinson fails to comply with the law...
Failure to Properly Submit Reports & Incorrect Federal Applications
It appears she doesn't have much for regard for federal law than she does state law. In May and August of 2011 the Federal Election Commission had to file complaints for failure to comply with the laws requiring quarterly reports as to financial receipts and expenditures. Once again, this is not Ms. Robinson's first rodeo. She knows the law and seems to simply choose to ignore it. Is this what we want from a Congressional Representative? Not to mention the financial irresponsibility of an overspending liberal that left her 2010 campaign deep in debt while starting up a new, now debt-ridden, campaign for the 2012 primary election.
I have to admit, it is a little difficult to search for her federal campaign information. It appears Ms. Robinson was perhaps a little confused when it came time to file her federal Statement of Organization and Statement of Candidacy forms (filed in April and May, 2012 respectively). It seems she "forgot" what district she was running for and filed these forms for CD 27 instead of CD 34. Interestingly, she also listed yet another address (Cedar Hill, Texas) and a different treasurer, Gary Doan, insted of Jonathan Bradshaw. (Maybe Jonathan got fired for not filing the reports on time?)
Clearly, at best, there is incompetence run amuck going on in this campaign. At worst, one could ask if there is something more underhanded going on?
There are already problems in this race with candidates. The Democrats have already had one of their candidates arrested for a federal indictment. Jessica Puente Bradshaw/Robinson, or whatever her name is, has shown an attitude of disrespect for the law and an arrogance that leads many politicians to believing they are above the law. As Republicans, We should not be adding more problems to the mix. We should be doing better and leading by example.
We cannot take the chance that a victory by this candidate could lead to no Republican being on the November ballot because of what will most certainly be a challenge from the Democrats as to her eligibility. As you can see, they would clearly win such a challenge. We also cannot take a chance that the first Congressperson from the 34th Congressional District of Texas will be a person who will continue the not so proud tradition of Congress of making laws that apply to us but not them.
We can, and should, do better. If you haven't voted in early voting, please come out Tuesday, May 29th and vote for a conservative Republican with a proven record of service. Research your candidates and vote carefully. My personal pick for this race is Adela Garza.