Why is it so hard to get good people to run for public office?
by Bob Price on October 28, 2010 at 9:40 AM
With the intentional character assassination by WFAA's Brad Watson, cowardly political positions like those taken by the Dallas Morning News and DCRP Chairman Jonathan Neerman against Stephen Broden, is it any wonder why it is so difficult to get decent people to run for public office? Look how far back they had to dig to find something on Christine O'Donnell - ALL THE WAY TO HIGH SCHOOL! Come on people! Are we looking for public servants or saints? Who among you does not have some skeleton in your closet? Who hasn't said some phrase they wish they could have back? Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone!
It used to be that a real journalist would report the news. Not try and make the news by intentionally destroying a good man running for a public service office. WFAA's Brad Watson committed journalistic malpractice in his hit piece on CD 30 Republican Candidate Stephen Broden.
Watson set out to destroy Stephen Broden. There was no interest in an independent review of a man running against a now known scoundral, EB Johnson. His goal was to dissect the past speeches of Mr. Broden, interrogate him under the kind of scrutiny one might give a murder suspect and twist the words to fit into Watson's own political agenda. He wasn't just trying to lead Broden to the slaughter, he was verbally shoving him off the cliff. Click here and scroll to the bottom of that page to see the interview. Mr. Watson should be ashamed and WFAA should look for a real journalist.
Politics has become a very nasty place. Decent people like Bryan Underwood try to do a good thing for their congressional district by giving the people a choice against the Democrat machine politics of Henry Cuellar and get things thrown in their face like a minor charge for damaging a man's car while Underwood was defending his wife! What a cheap shot by Congressman Cuellar (remember his demeaning comments to then Sheriff Rick Flores of Laredo? He failed to mention in that TV appearance that his brother was running against Flores...)
"We will work with the local law enforcement and we represent, but your job is to be a county sheriff, not a U.S. congressman, which is a big difference. My job is to look at the big picture. Your job is to look at the smaller picture, and I will do my job as long as you do your job." - Henry Cuellar to Sheriff Rick Flores on CNN's Glenn Beck show.
And this guy has the nerve to condemn a guy for defending his wife? The Democrats can appoint a tax cheat as Secretary of the Treasury, but Mr. Cuellar wants to distort a minor property tax problem long since resolved?
TexasGOPVote received a question from a reader about these allogations and Mr. Underwood responded with the truth. But why should good people be attacked like this? What kind of message are we sending to future potential candidates when we allow these kinds of campaign tactics?
I guess things can get pretty nasty at the level of a congressional campaign, but my next example comes from a local school board race!
In the district where my children go to school we have real problems. We have a school district that has spent the last decades spending money like there was no tomorrow. A district where bullying of students has been allowed to continue and a liberal led school board has allowed itself to be cut off from the communications process with schools to the point where a child in my kids middle school committed suicide this month because the school allowed him to be tormented to the point where the child felt he had no choice but to kill himself.
Former Family Court Judge Bill Henderson decided to jump in this race at the urging of fellow Conservatives to try and help shift the balance of power on the school board to stop this district from continuing its left wing spiral into disaster.
One would think Republicans would be happy about that, right? And yet, a Harris County REPUBLICAN Precinct Chairman Ramsay Elder who has apparently been holding a grudge for over 15 years and decided to drop some big bucks to send a "hit piece" mailer out to a school district he doesn't even live in. (He lives in West University)
Why would someone go so far out of their way to try to trash the reputation of a man who is trying to do good work for the people of a district. Mr. Elder, my kid's school needs some change to rain in the big government mentality of the current board. Please mind your own business!
Judge Henderson was kind enough to respond to the viscous attack of Mr. Elder.
Judge Henderson's response:
Dear Mr. Elder:
I am disappointed that you would wait until 10 days before the election to disclose your negative comments about me; hardly allowing me the time to address your concerns. It is apparent that your motives have nothing to do with the well being of the 100,000 students in the CyFair district but is more about a personal vendetta you have against me. The beneficiary of your comments is a Democrat that has supported President Obama and who believes that a property tax increase is necessary for the District.
Nevertheless, I will address the issues you have raised about my personal background. The events that occurred in 1997-98 were a result of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filed in 1992 and a divorce that was filed in 1993. I am not proud of either event; however, there were several financial circumstances that influenced my decisions and I feel I have learned valuable lessons as a result. I truly believe that the felony bankruptcy fraud charges were politically motivated because when I agreed not to seek reelection, the charges were dismissed and I plead guilty to a contempt of court charge. Even the final findings by the State Judicial Conduct Commission did not prohibit me from serving as a district court judge in the future.
I am particularly proud of the job I did as a Family Court Judge and the fact that the Chronicle would label me “one of the worst” judges based upon the evaluation of the attorneys totally disregards the condition of the family courts in 1994 when I was elected. If you will recall, 1994 was the year Republicans swept to victory in 53 of 55 judicial races. The family courts were infested with the “good old boy network” of attorneys and the other Republican judges and I instituted a number of procedural changes, including new scheduling orders and greater use of mediation, to move our dockets more expeditiously.
Lastly, the incident in 2003 involved a deputy constable who was trying to arrest my stepson and several of his buddies in my front yard. When I tried to intervene and prevent the arrest, I was charged with interfering with a public servant. No charges were ever filed against any of the boys and, upon the completion of several requirements, including writing a letter of apology, all charges against me were dismissed. I did not believe the incident justified the expenditure of attorney’s fees to take the case to trial.
My sincere opinion, Mr. Elder, is that my experience advocating for families, and sitting as a family court judge, has equipped me to make the tough decisions that face public school trustees. For the last 12 years, since returning to private practice, I have limited my practice to family law matters, representing parents and their children and mediating over 500 family law disputes. Furthermore, for the last two years I have served as President of the Downtown Pachyderm Club and worked tirelessly to help Republican candidates from the Courthouse to the Congress to take back our country. I truly believe that our school districts need the same kind of conservative leadership. There are many in this community who are able to speak about my abilities, including Jared Woodfill, Ed Hubbard and Paul Simpson. And if you want more information about me, please feel free to contact Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or Judge Paul Pressler, both of whom have known me since 1972. I have the demeanor and intellect to be a strong advocate for our public education system and I look forward to the opportunity to support with the wonderful teachers and staff of the CyFair School District. I also believe that my faith has helped me deal with the challenges I have faced and has made me a better person. I think I will be an excellent role model for the over 100,000 students of our district.
Yes, it is indeed no wonder it is difficult to find decent people to become faithful public servants. As soon as this election is over it is time to start looking for candidates for city elections and for the 2012 primary races. I hope there are people who are brave enough to put their "sacred honor" on the line. But more importantly, I hope there are more among us all who will realize we are not electing saints. We have to hire our civil servants from the human race - warts and all.