Tag Archives: Tarrant County

Tarrant County may hire an election denier? Seriously?

Our neighbors over yonder in Tarrant County are facing a serious dilemma. County Judge Tim O’Hare has to hire a new elections director in the wake of the resignation of a guy hailed and lauded by his peers as being one of the best in the state.

Heider Garcia is leaving his post soon as county elections director. O’Hare, though, says he might hire someone to replace Garcia who questions the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

So … there you have it. The county judge might hire an election denier — a promoter of The Big Lie — to run the elections department of the state’s largest swing county.

Good grief!

Garcia resigned precisely because of pressure he was getting from O’Hare, who he said is following a policy that differs from the non-political course the office has followed.

O’Hare said that finding a successor to Garcia could include hiring an election denier, saying it is “not an automatic disqualifier.” Well, you know what? It damn sure should be!

Tarrant County likely will struggle to find new elections administrator | The Texas Tribune

The 2020 election wasn’t stolen from anyone. No one in the U.S. of A. has produced a shred of proof of any electoral theft in 2020. For the chief executive of Tarrant County to suggest that there might have been such an event is a disgrace to his office and a slap in the face to the fine men and women who work diligently to protect the integrity of our election system.


Big Lie claims a new victim

The adherents to the Big Lie notion of non-existent widespread election fraud have claimed another victim, and it is a shattering blow to election officials who take their jobs seriously and do them with integrity.

Tarrant County elections director Heider Garcia is quitting his job effective June 23 because of a dispute he is having with County Judge Tim O’Hare, who campaigned for the office in 2022 pledging to rid the county of fraud he said tilted the 2020 presidential race in the county to President Biden.

Garcia was on duty at the time as the county’s chief elections official. He has been praised for his work to conduct safe, secure and legal elections.

Heider Garcia, Tarrant County elections chief, resigns | The Texas Tribune

Garcia wrote a letter to county officials, saying, “When leadership respects the team’s values and shows trust, members of the team become the best version of themselves. … Judge O’Hare, my formula to ‘administer a quality transparent election’ stands on respect and zero politics; compromising on these values is not an option for me. You made it clear in our last meeting that your formula is different, thus, my decision is to leave.”

O’Hare pledged during his campaign for county judge to clean up the election process. Except that the process in Tarrant County has been well run under Garcia’s tenure as election administrator.

“I want to say all things are on the table,” O’Hare said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I know there are a lot of people that want to get rid of the machines. I’m not telling you I’m a fan of the machines, want to keep the machines. I’m telling you you can cheat in paper ballots. You can in machines. You can cheat in all sorts of things.”

Sure, you can cheat … but has it occurred to the level that O’Hare says it has? No. It hasn’t.

Now the county is looking for someone to take on a responsibility that is fraught with unnecessary tension, as the county judge is looking for a cause to a made-up problem.


Democrats’ hopes dashed

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Democrats have seen their hopes dashed once again as they seek a significant political victory.

A runoff for the Sixth Congressional District in the Fort Worth area will be decided between two Republicans: Susan Wright and Jake Ellzey.

Why the Democratic disappointment? They had hoped to breach the runoff barrier by getting one of their candidates from a crowded field to replace the late Rep. Ron Wright, a Republican who died of COVID complications after winning re-election in 2020.

One of the runoff participants is Wright’s widow, the aforementioned Susan Wright.

The district is supposed to be trending more Democratic, given the changing voter face throughout Tarrant County, which voted narrowly for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race and for Beto O’Rourke in the Senate contest in 2018.

Two Republicans, one backed by Trump, head to runoff in Texas special congressional election (yahoo.com)

Democrats had high hopes for the Sixth District race. They fell just a bit short. Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez, who was in third place with 13.4 percent of the vote, was her party’s leading candidate in the field.

I am thinking that more opportunities are going to present themselves going forward. The state’s political composition is changing by the year. It’s good to remember that Donald Trump carried the state in 2020 by fewer than 5 percentage points over Joe Biden, which makes the state a “battleground” going forward as the fight for the presidency ramps up.

Wait’ll next time, Democrats.

Beto scores endorsement from ‘conservative’ media outlet

The Texas Tribune reported recently how Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz are fighting for victory in what it called the nation’s “largest conservative county.”

Tarrant County fits the bill as a conservative bastion, according to the Tribune.

Thus, the county’s newspaper of record — the Fort Worth Star-Telegram — usually backs conservative candidates for public office. Not this year in the race for the U.S. Senate seat that the Republican Cruz now occupies.

Here’s a snippet of what the Star-Telegram wrote in endorsing O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger.

“Only O’Rourke seems interested in making deals or finding middle ground. That is why the El Paso Democrat would make the best senator for Tarrant County’s future, and the future of Texas. This Editorial Board has recommended conservative Republicans such as George W. Bush and Mitt Romney for president, along with U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison. But Cruz does not measure up. This office needs a reset. The Star-Telegram Editorial Board endorses Beto O’Rourke.”

O’Rourke also has earned the editorial board endorsements from the San Antonio Express-News, the Dallas Morning News, the Houston Chronicle and (not surprising in the least) the hometown El Paso Times.

It’s certainly fair to ask: Will these endorsements matter? I am not sure that endorsements from newspapers prove decisive. Texans are like most newspaper readers. They make up their minds on a whole host of factors: personal bias, philosophy, traditional family political history.

Still, I believe it’s instructive that the Star-Telegram, which purports to speak for the “largest conservative county” in America has decided that a self-described TEA Party conservative, Cruz, no longer earns its blessing.

‘Affluenza teen’ gets jail time … finally!


Ethan Couch is headed to jail.

He should have been there all along. He got a light sentence: probation. For what? Oh, for killing four people in a motor vehicle accident in Fort Worth while driving a pickup truck. He was roaring drunk, at least three times over the minimum legal limit.

But then came the astonishing defense that the judge apparently swallowed. Couch’s lawyer said the young man suffered from “affluenza,” having been raised in a wealthy family, by parents who failed to teach him right from wrong.

Then the kid went on probation, only to violate the terms of his sentence. He was caught drinking. He fled the country, ending up in Mexico — with the assistance of his mother.

It’s good that he was caught. Couch, who was 16 at the time of his crime, has just turned 19. Texas law doesn’t allow much of a jail sentence because the young man was a juvenile when he committed the original crime.

But at least he’s going to serve nearly two years in the slammer.

I’m glad to see that the young man will get what was due at the beginning.

Now, how about throwing the book at his mother — Tonya Couch — for aiding and abetting his escape from justice?

Oh, the irony of the ‘Affluenza Teen’ story


The hunt for the missing kid known as the “Affluenza Teen” contains a huge twist of irony.

Ethan Couch was 16 years of age when he plowed into a parked car near his Fort Worth hometown, killing four people and injuring others, some of them critically. He was roaring drunk, plastered to the gills, 10 sheets to the wind … all of it. Couch’s blood-alcohol level registered three times greater than the legal definition of drunk while driving.

He could have faced prison time. He got 10 years probation instead, largely on the testimony of a shrink who said he was a “victim” of wealthy parents who raised him without teaching him right from wrong. He was ordered to go into rehab, which didn’t seem to do him much good.

So, what did the kid do? He took part in a drinking game, violating the terms of his probation. He then took off, failing to report to his probation officer.

The ironic part? He apparently went on the lam with his mother. Couch and his mom might have left the state, if not the country.

Doesn’t that simply drive home the idiocy of the sentence that was handed down in the first place?

Couch is facing some prison time when the authorities catch up with him. The U.S. Marshals Office is involved, as are Tarrant County officials. Couch is on the county’s most wanted list.

Once they find him, let’s hope they charge Mommy Couch with aiding and abetting, convict her and toss her into the slammer too.


Rich kid on the run … who knew?


How could the authorities have not seen this coming?

Ethan Couch, a son of a wealthy couple in Fort Worth, avoided prison time after killing four people in a horrific drunk-driving-induced motor vehicle wreck, is now on the run after allegedly violating terms of his parole.

Tarrant County officials have launched a manhunt to find Couch, who’s now 18, after he failed to report to his probation officer as required under the terms of his all-too-light “sentence.”

Couch’s defense hinged on testimony from a psychologist who said the youngster’s wealthy parents enabled his hideous behavior, coining the term “affluenza.”

All the teenager did was get plastered, climb behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and then plow into another vehicle that was disabled on the side of the roadway. Several individuals were injured along with the four who died; two of them were hurt critically and one reportedly remains paralyzed as a result of the injury sustained in the wreck.

Couch’s blood-alcohol content registered three times greater than the legal limit to determine drunken-driving.

Now we hear that Couch might have fled the country … with his mother, no less.

Someone is going to be in deep trouble. If all this is true, I see some serious prison time for both mother and son.


Davis's political future is clouded … at best

This is tough for a Texas liberal such as yours truly to acknowledge, but a well-known political observer is likely correct about Wendy Davis’s future in state politics.

She doesn’t appear to have one.


Texas Monthly blogger Paul Burka notes in a brief post that Davis, a Democrat, managed to parlay a thought-to-be-competitive governor’s race in 2014 into a rout — for the Republican, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott.

Her loss in the governor’s race was worse than the percentage Tony Sanchez rang up against Rick Perry in 2002. Hey, whatever happened to Sanchez?

Burka said Davis is making some noise about seeking another public office. Where? Doing what?

I’m not prone to piling on here, but Davis ought to take a bit of a break from seeking to serve in some public capacity. She is a lawyer, after all, and she can kick-start a private practice in Tarrant County.

I was one of those Texans who had hope that Davis at least could make a race of the contest for governor. She entered the campaign with the wind at her back. She then managed to do a 180 and turned a tailwind into a headwind. Her campaign never got traction.

She lost the contest by 20-some percentage points.

Should she run again? No, Wendy. No!

At least not for a while.



Rain isn't heading off water-use restriction

They’re talking openly now in Tarrant County about imposing mandatory water-use restrictions.

And this is in light of recent rainfall that has damped the ground and lifted spirits in the Metroplex.

Meanwhile, way up yonder — here in the Texas Panhandle — we’re still bone dry and there’s no serious talk about mandatory restrictions.


Are we in that good of shape regarding our water resources?

Amarillo city officials keep talking about us having 200 to 300 years of water available. They have some voluntary plans in place. Gosh, I don’t mean to be a spoil-sport, but these voluntary measures aren’t getting the job done.

City water use is still exceeding the goals set by the Utilities Department. That means Amarillo residents aren’t taking the hint: Don’t use so much water, because we’re draining our aquifer much more quickly than it can recharge.

I am willing to adhere to mandatory restrictions. My yard already is looking pretty dismal compared to most of our neighbors, given that I don’t own an automatic irrigation system. Frankly, I’m not that competitive about appearances.

So, bring on the mandate, City Hall.

By the way, I’m still praying for rain.

Boy’s probation still hard to swallow

Ethan Couch’s probationary sentence has been lined out.

It still stinks.

Couch is the 16-year-old Tarrant County boy whose drunken recklessness killed four people in June 2013. He lost control of his big Ford pickup while driving at three times the legal limit for blood-alcohol content. Several of the victims who were injured may never recover fully from their wounds. One of them suffered brain damage. Couch had been drinking at his parents’ house and stole some beer from a retailer.

Four people are dead because this youngster was too drunk to drive. A Tarrant County trial judge, Jean Boyd, decided Couch didn’t need to serve any time behind bars. She sentenced him to 10 years probation. How did the boy manage to skate past any jail or prison time? His parents were able to hire top-notch lawyers to defend him.

The case has coined a new term: the “Affluenza” defense.


On Wednesday, Boyd formalized the terms of Couch’s probation. He’ll have to serve some time in a rehab center. It’s supposed to be a highly regulated environment. Couch will complete his rehab, will finish his probation and will be able to go about his life.

Many of his victims won’t be so fortunate.

Even from my vantage point a good distance from where this tragedy occurred, it’s apparent that justice wasn’t done.

Prosecutors sought a 20-year prison sentence to teach this youngster a lesson for the carnage he created and the misery he brought to victims and their families. Dallas Morning News blogger Mike Hashimoto said the sentence sought “didn’t seem unreasonable as accountability for the trail of death and destruction Couch left behind.”

Eric Couch needed to be taught a tough lesson.