Where is the Public Servant?

Subject:  In response to the Op-Ed published in Saturday April 29th, 2017, ‘Where’s the due process?’

After some careful reflection on the Op-Ed published last week by Hood County Commissioner Butch Barton in the HCN, I was compelled to pen a response.  Several points troubled me about the perspective relayed to the public by Commissioner Barton.  In fact, the very first line sets the stage for concern – that this Op-Ed is his very first ever.  That should trouble Commissioner Barton’s constituents in Precinct 2.  In today’s political environment, one might consider him a “Poster Child” who represents numerous local elected officials who live in their own little bubble, oblivious to their constituents.

How often have you seen communications from him or other elected officials informing the public about the actions they are taking to improve the ‘Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness’ of their constituents?  In the rapidly expanding world of social media and electronic communications, one would think that it would be easier and easier for an elected official to communicate with his constituents.  However, what you see is exactly what happens with Commissioner Barton – not much.  Sure, he attends some selected social functions, but what effort does he make to truly communicate current issues with his constituents?  Based on that alone, it is no wonder that there might be complaints lodged against the Hood County Commissioners related to open and transparent meetings.

The second thing that troubled me about the tenor of Commissioner Barton’s article is the perspective he exhibits as a “poor little innocent victim.”  I am not a lawyer but I know some very good ones and I suspect that the first thing they would tell you is that if the Attorney General requests a Grand Jury it is not just a political witch hunt.  The AG’s investigators would not have wasted their time and money if they thought there was nothing of concern there.  Instead of decrying the perceived unfairness of it all, perhaps Commissioner Barton would be better served by reflecting inwardly why people in the county would think that he is not conducting himself in an open and transparent manner.

The last issue that is troubling goes to Mr. Barton’s insistence on discovering who made the allegations “against him.”  It appears he is not really aware that in his role as an elected official, he is considered a government entity and as such there are specific reasons why certain ‘whistleblower’ laws were put in place.   Among those reasons is to protect a concerned citizen’s identity and to encourage folks to come forward if they see wrongdoing.  Whistleblower laws were also put into place to protect citizens from retaliation by an out of control government entity.  Mr. Barton, if anyone, should be cognizant of the disproportionate power the government has when dealing with an individual.

At the end of the day, perhaps it would be better for Commissioner Barton to chalk this off as a learning opportunity to improve his relationship with his constituents.

Yours in Liberty,

Jim Logan

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RE: HCN, April 29, 2017 Letter to Editor — “Where’s the due process?”

Released on behalf of Dave Eagle, Hood County TEA Party Vice President.

—————————————————————————————-

Mr. Roger Enlow, Editor

Hood County News

P.O. Box 879

Granbury, Texas 76048

         RE: HCN, April 29, 2017 Letter to Editor — “Where’s the due process?”

Dear Mr. Enlow:

            Sometimes one cannot sit idly by and not speak out.  Now is such a time.  I reference a letter to the editor published in the April 29, 2017 edition of the HCN entitled “Where’s the due process?” penned by Lloyd “Butch” Barton, Hood County Commissioner, Pct. 2.

            In his letter, steeped with recalcitrant indignity, Mr. Barton bemoans the fact that the Hood County Commissioners were recently the subject of a 12-18 month Texas Attorney General’s investigation for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  Mr. Barton goes on to lament that he suffered some sort of due process atrocity because the AG’s office dared to take a look at whether the Commissioners were complying with the Open Meetings Act and to question whether the Hood County Commissioners routinely conduct their business in an open and transparent manner.

            Question:  If you are doing everything you are supposed to be doing in an open and transparent way, then you should welcome and encourage outsiders to come in and take a look at what you are doing and how you are doing it.  Having someone look over your shoulder should not be an issue if you are open and honest.  After all, Texas has enacted statutes that mandate open and transparent government.  If my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Barton was required to at least take a couple of hours of training on the Texas Open Government Act.  Who oversees this?  The Texas Attorney General.

            According to the Texas Open Government Act, “the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees.”  (Tex. Govt. Code § 552.001).  What that means is if John or Jane Q. Taxpayer sees what he or she believes is a violation of the Texas Open Government Act, that citizen has a right to call that to the attention of the governing authority and to call out the government official for that perceived misconduct.  If the government official who is the recipient of this scrutiny does not like that, I’d suggest he go find a job in the private sector.  But I digress.

            Let’s explore due process for just a moment.  Amendments V and XIV of the US Constitution speak to the legal concept of due process, which dates back at least to the Magna Carta’s signing at Runnymede in 1215.  Since the enactment of the US Constitution, there are likewise mountains of case law that explore, explain and define due process.  So — What is due process?

            “Due process” is a legal term of art that breaks down into two different components — procedural due process and substantive due process.  The first question Mr. Barton needs to answer is whether he is complaining that some feigned substantive due process right was violated or whether some feigned procedural due process right was violated.

            Substantive due process relates to the government’s limited power to infringe on one’s individual rights to life, liberty or property based upon narrowly defined parameters.  Procedural due process has to do with the methodology which the government must follow to get to one’s life, liberty or property.

            In Mr. Barton’s case, I don’t think that either of these forms of due process come into play.  Someone, according to Mr. Barton, made an allegation to the attorney general’s office that the commissioners had conducted one or more illegal meetings in direct violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  Apparently those allegations were enough of a presentment that the attorney general’s investigators deemed it necessary to investigate the matter further.  Apparently those investigations uncovered enough information to justify a presentment of allegations to the District Attorney.  Apparently the District Attorney deemed that the allegations were enough to take the matter to a Grand Jury.

            Although Mr. Barton’s pro bono attorney sloughed off the allegations as a waste of time, apparently the AG’s office did not think it was a “waste of time” or they would not have conducted the investigation.  In addition, what would you expect to hear from a criminal defense lawyer who makes his living defending folks who are accused of all kinds of high crimes and misdemeanors.

              Based upon the evidence that was presented to the Grand Jury, according to Mr. Barton, the Grand Jury “no billed” him.  That should resolve the matter and Mr. Barton should feel exonerated.  Mr. Barton’s perceived “due process” rights were never called into play.

            On the other hand, had the Grand Jury moved forward with an indictment, then Mr. Barton’s constitutional right to procedural and substantive due process would have attached at that point in time.

            Based on Mr. Barton’s long-winded whine to the HCN, it appears that he does not like it when a citizen calls into question some of the activities in which he participates as an elected official.  We’re supposed to trust him and “let him do his job,” right?

            It’s sad to see that someone who holds an elected office such as the County Commissioner’s seat has no more knowledge of the law than Mr. Barton.  This is even more troubling in the fact that he also was an officer in the Air Force, which, by the way, I am grateful to him for his service to our country.  Be that as it may, based on Mr. Barton’s background, one would assume that he was at least offered a minimal classroom education on Constitutional Law and the meaning of due process via the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution.  Apparently this County Commissioner skipped out on those classes.

            John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, said it most succinctly:

“Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study the constitution of his country, and teach the rising generation to be free . . . By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated, and be the better prepared to defend and assert them.”

            Mr. Barton wants to know, “Where’s the due process?”  It’s there.  It’s been there the whole time.  Mr. Barton just doesn’t know it.  I respectfully suggest that Mr. Barton learn what due process is before he makes a claim that his due process rights have been violated.

            Thank you for your attention to this.

            Sincerely,

            Dave Eagle, Citizen for Open and Accountable Government

cc:        Mr. Jerry Tidwell

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Clinton Cash the Movie – A Must Watch!

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Concerned About Election Integrity – – Here’s what to do!

Concerned about election integrity? Have you heard about potential incidents of votes flipping on electronic voting machines, or glitches? What if it happens to you?!? What do YOU do about it?

 **DOUBLE CHECK YOUR BALLOT BEFORE CASTING YOUR VOTE**

If something doesn’t look right on the machine while you are voting: 

  1. Call the Election Judge over immediately to address the issue. Problem solved? Great! No farther action needs to be taken. Not solved? See #2.
  2. Let the Election Judge know that you would like to report the irregularity. (Document the number of the troubled machine for reporting.) *Ask to cancel your vote on that machine and to vote on another machine.

What else should you do?

  1. Call your Hood County Election Administrator to report the issue:

Jenise Miller

Elections Administrator

County Voter Registrar

Ph: (817) 408-2525

Email: jmmiller@co.hood.tx.us

…. Follow up.

2.  Call your Hood County Republican Party office to report the issue and ask what their procedure is to resolve, or report, it.

    Contact Information

PH: 817.573.1944

Email: Info@HoodCountyGOP.com

3.  Call the RPT Election Integrity Hotline: 512-766-4597

4.  Report the incident to the TX Secretary of State.

Email: elections@sos.texas.gov

       Phone Numbers 1.800.252.VOTE (8683) 512.463.5650

5.  If you want to take it a step farther, report it to the TX Attorney General‘s office.

      Main Agency Switchboard

(512) 463-2100

*Document, document, document! Who, what, when, where, and how…. then follow up.

Check out the Republican Party of Texas Ballot Integrity Manuel for more information!

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Hood County TEA Party 2016 Voter Recommendations

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Hillary Clinton – Career Criminal (In case you forgot all the corruption the first time she was in the White House)

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Continued Concerns Over Ignorance in Our Election Process

election-integrity

Several months back the Hood County TEA Party tried to bring to the attention of the Hood County Election Commission and Hood County Commissioners Court concerns over possible problems with Electronic Voting.  At that time both Darrell Cockerham, County Judge, and Jenise Miller, Election Administrator, pled ignorance (perhaps willful) to any issues and stated that they were following the Secretary of State recommendations.  At the conclusion of that meeting neither individual followed up on their promise to investigate further.

It has recently come to my attention that there are continued issues within the Election Administration office for Hood County.  An issue was brought to Jenise Miller’s attention that the staffing of the polling locations was not following recommended guidelines from the Secretary of State.  It is also widely perceived that Jenise Miller shows favorability to the Democrat Party.  As can be attested too by the fact that it appears she has used the tactic of loose coordination with the Propaganda Minister from the Hood County News, Kathy Cruz, to site that she is in disagreement with the recommendation since it is not ‘fair’ to the Democrats.

It appears that Ms. Miller has also used a Democrat tactic of continuing to contact the Secretary of State’s office until she ‘allegedly’ got an answer that coincided with her point of view.  The first two times their office told her she was incorrect but the THIRD time was the charm and the one which she is running with.

I am aware that the Republican Party of Texas has requested the Secretary of State to provide an official ruling on whether she is in compliance with their directives.

Since Hood County Government has shown a track record of blatant indifference to complying with the codes of the State I would ask all members to contact the Secretary of State’s office at the number below and request their office expedite their ‘official’ ruling on whether our Election Administrator is performing her job within the guidelines of State Code.

Elections Division

Secretary of State

P.O. Box 12060

Austin, Texas 78711-2060

Phone Numbers 1.800.252.VOTE (8683)

512.463.5650

And just for good measure I encourage the membership to Contact the Willfully Ignorant Judge Cockerham and let him know you are not amused by his preference for ‘fairness’ as much as whether we comply with the State Codes (ie the Law)!

Judge Cockerham

dcockerham@co.hood.tx.us

Ph: (817) 579-3200

lifes-not-fair

Yours in Liberty,

Jim Logan

President Hood County TEA Party

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Exposing the Lilliputians of Hood County….now known as Social Media Trolls and their Minions

Some of you may have read Gulliver’s Travels in high school or seen the various screen adaptations in the past but some may not have forgotten one of the points Jonathan Swift was making with the story.

One of the unique terms to come out of the book was Lilliputians.

By the time Jonathan Swift had finished Book I there was a stark contrast drawn between the diminutive, petty, and sometimes vicious politician (Lilliputian) and the normal but sometimes gullible person (Gulliver). The politician was always portrayed as the midget in contrast to Gulliver.

Its focus was to denote how petty and small the politicians had become in relation to the average person. Well since the Hood County TEA Party has become more active in local political issues the premise of Jonathan Swifts book has played itself out tenfold. There has been no more glaring example of this than the recent decision by the Hood County TEA Party’s VP, Dave Eagle’s decision to run for G.I.S.D. School Board.

lilliputians

Continue reading

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Secretary – Sherri Reynolds

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Our Mission

To unite like-minded citizens to stand up for our God given Rights, educate the People on the Rule of Law, actively engage in restoring our Constitutional Republic, and protect the future of this country as One Nation Under God.forefather-emblem-2

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Membership Chair – Marti Barber

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