Friday, February 26, 2010

Shifting From Deflection to Dirty Politics? The 2010 Race for 253rd District Judge

75th District Judge- CT "Rusty" Hight(D), perceived controller of judge candidate- Michelle Merendino(R), poison pill candidate

For those who have asked Judge Cain to consider running in the Republican Party over the years, it has been amazing to watch the “win at all cost” politicians go after him. Some Democrats and some self serving Republicans have made it their business to throw mud at him in the form of exaggerations, rumors, and just plain ole lies. Most people would expect that if anyone could switch parties and not be the victim of a mudslinging smear it would be a district judge because they generally stay clear of most of the public politics. District Judges across the state generally try to maintain a low profile in order to assure people of all political persuasions that the courts are not about politics. With that said, it is amazing that Judge Cain, one of the top vote getters in the last twenty years, inherited so many enemies among the persistent political operatives as they exaggerate, fabricate, and spin nasty lies about someone that public has known for years.

If the only deception local politicos tried to smear Judge Cain with was their response to Judge Cain’s declaration that he could no longer stand by quietly while Judge Fitzgerald manipulated taxpayer money during the storm recovery that would be one thing. But after Cain stood up in commissioner’s court and voiced objections to the way FEMA money was being distributed, those who didn’t like Cain opening up the courthouse to questions of integrity and corruption tried to deflect the public’s attention. They tried to get people to look away from the discovery of hundreds of thousands of FEMA dollars going to individuals connected with Fitzgerald to talking about several thousands of dollars being paid to people who work for the county and Judge Cain. These politicos were hoping Liberty County citizens would be distracted and question salaries being paid by two different counties because the 253rd District Court is shared by Liberty and Chambers County. But all of the questions were answered and there was no scandal. Citizens have been informed that all of this a matter of public record and all of the decisions have been part of the budgeting process that Fitzgerald and every other County Judge get to vote on every year. Recently all of this has been dismissed as just mudslinging politics and the media reports have confirmed everything has been done correctly. But questions about the distribution of over a million dollars of FEMA money by County Judge Fitzgerald continue to be asked. So it looks like these people will continue to try and deflect our attention and the public may have to endure more attacks on Judge Cain as authorities and the courts decide County Judge Fitzgerald’s fate.

The rumor mill is the next place the people wanting Judge Cain’s opponent and this team of candidates elected have decided to try and defeat Judge Cain because of his public comments about Fitzgerald’s misuse of FEMA money and his lack of a proper bidding process. Even though Cain’s opponent has almost unquestionable ties to the Democratic Party as she practically advertises that she is teamed with Democratic Judge Rusty Hight, Democratic County Court at Law Judge candidate Zack Zbranek, and Democratic County Judge Phil Fitzgerald, the politicos are spreading the rumor that Judge Cain publicly visits with several of the Democratic candidates and appears to have friendly enough relationships with them that he might not be upset if they win the position they are seeking. People on this team are trying to convince Republicans to punish Cain for agreeing to switch parties; and they are wanting us to reward his opponent for just now joining the Republican Party. Again, these people are practicing deflection and deception. But they are not very good at it. Judge Cain has been a Judge in the courthouse for almost two decades and people know him and he has many friends – Democrats and Republicans. What kind of human being would shun his friends and colleagues just because he switched parties? Cain’s opponent has no real bonafide connection to either party and she has no record of how she would serve as Judge. If anything people from both political parties ought to wonder who this newcomer is and if she is just saying what she thinks they want to hear. Cain, like several famous conservative Texas Democrats over the years ( i.e. Governor John Conally, Governor Rick Perry. Senator Phil Gramm), switched parties and has a long record of serving as a Judge. Like these famous men, people know Cain is a great person to have on your side, but he not only has a strong pro law enforcement record, he has a solid record of fairness and nonpartisan jurisprudence.

So far everything discussed here may sound like typical election time rhetoric and just part of the junk we all have to endure when politicians are involved, but this seems to be falling quickly to a much lower level than mere deception to what are just simply lies and even possible illegal behavior. Those who want to sour Republican primary voters on Judge Cain may have recently committed a crime to try and obtain mud to throw at the Judge. In addition, it is highly likely that some may have even taped Judge Cain (without telling him) as they tried to get him to say his switching parties was really just until after the primary when he would switch back. Not only are these actions meant to perpetuate lies and to give the public a false impression of the Judge so people will vote for his opponent, but some of this could be prosecutable. Beyond all of that, it is all just plain stupid. Committing Watergate-like crimes, or at the very least behaving in an unethical manner, only hurts the campaign whose supporters act out in this kind of manner. And by the way, no one in the history of elections has done anything as stupid as these mudslinging deceivers want us to believe with their “switching back rumor”.

While Judge Cain may want to stay out of all of the mudslinging and malicious lies and rumors and maintain the image he feels best serves the public and while he may want to remain someone who doesn’t get so involved in politics that he cannot serve as effectively as possible as Judge, some of us are not as inclined to be quiet. We believe Republican primary voters, as well as fair-minded independents and Democrats, should know what is going on so they can reject this kind of politics. And while we are not so inclined necessarily to point a finger at Judge Cain’s opponent to blame her for all of this, nevertheless the misinformation and the lies are meant to benefit her and those politicians she has decided to associate with.

If Judge Cain’s opponent wants to engage in some kind of class warfare and try to appeal to voters to reject someone who has made over 10,000 rulings with about as close to no complaints as any judge in Texas, that is more in the range of what politicians do, but if she wants to stay above the lies and the illegal activity, she needs to publicly disavow and discourage this kind of smear campaign.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hight and Fason should make a good pair.

Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous said...

Watch him throw her under the bus after the primary.

Anonymous said...

Hight should be called a puppet master of the corrupt.

Anonymous said...

What kind of experience does Merendino have NONE

Michelle Mangum-Merendino said...

Ray,

First, I have cancelled checks to prove my historic financial support of organizations that promote Republican values and conservative policies to prove where my long time allegiance has been.

Second, I cannot disavow things of which I have not been made aware. Who taped what?

I have been busy trying to take my message, a desire to have a conservative, fair and impartial court who is committed to protecting children and victims of crime to the voters. I have heard nothing of a tape. If people are spreading unsubstantiated rumors about my opponent, then yes I disavow that. If you are upset because my supporters have complaints with his record, then I have no complaint with people examining the record of either of us.

Before I am a Republican I am a Christian, I will never support bearing false witness about anyone. You are wrong to intimate that I have ever been a democrat. At most, I have voted independently for the candidate whose conduct convinced me of their Christian values. I have never voted for a democrat in the general election for President. I support all true Republican Christian candidates. This all sounds very nasty and I want nothing to do with it.

Michelle

Ray Akins said...

Dear Michelle:

Please be advised that though I agree with the article posted, I did not write the article.

Ray Akins

Anonymous said...

Michelle, the only message you have been pedaling to the people is the one Carol Rusty Hight is sending you out with.

You are the puppet and he is the puppet master, do you think we are too stupid to see whats going on?

Anonymous said...

Michelle, people judge you by your actions and the company you keep. If you lie with snakes, your bound to get bit. You seem to be awful "chummy" with Fitz & Hight. I would never question your faith, but your politics are questionable at best.

Anonymous said...

I think you see what you want to see.

Anonymous said...

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn!

Anonymous said...

Are you talking about the woman who was recently in Hights Court?

Anonymous said...

Hey how about a "Dear Ray" letter saying you support fellow Republican Mark Morefield and anyone who runs against Phil Fitzgerald, Michelle? Let's go on record now because that is the only way I will believe everything I have seen and heard is not true.

Anonymous said...

Public record indicates no difference in Merendino and Cain's voting records. I agree that the over 10,000 cases Cain has ruled on have had amazingly undisputed results. in a small town like this I would think it would be hell to be one of these judges, but Cain's court has been relatively quiet. Merendino should have run against Hight. Hight is the brother in law of the man state candidates called the Father of the Demoratic Party in Liberty. His court oozes of politics.

Anonymous said...

Michelle I have known you since fifth grade. This all sounds like a personal vendetta toward Cain. When this is over you need to practice a little mpore forgiveness and a little less vengeance. that has laways been an area you have struggled in.

Anonymous said...

The courthouse is spinning with the details of the scandal that is only alluded to in this article. Michelle Merendino and Rusty Hight may leave their offices early today because it has not been one of their better days. I may start doing to them what a friend of mine always does when he sees Phil Fitzgerald. he refers to Phil as "caught". Whoever's brainstorm it was to pull this kind of junk ought to know voters do not like this stuff. I really thought Merendino might make a decent showing and that Hight would win but dang, you can't expectr the public to just ignore this kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

This is great! Now Bill Boy Buchanan can get to be the WaterGate guy. You know Robert Redford. The "reporter". Woodward. And then it can be all about him and what a great reporter he is. Naaaa! Bill Boy is more like an army desserter when it comes to reporting stuff on people that have months left in office. He is scared of any possible return fire.

.. said...

No way Merendino is going to come out publicly in support of Morefield and against Fitzgerald. Im like you,I would have to take a second look at her if she did that, until then she is a zero and not to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

No way Mrs. Merendino is going to come out in support of Morefield period. He is pro-abortion and she is pro-life. I know Mrs. Merendino well and I know that she would never support this man because of his position on this issue. He personally recommended that I abort my son (who is now 15 years old) and I personally know another woman that he offered thousands of dollars to on behalf of a client to entice her to abort her child at 7 months into the pregnancy. No way Michelle would ever support this man to be judge. How can he claim to be Republican? I am not really into politics, but I thought that Republicans were against abortion.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Merendino Please grow up! It might be best when this is all over to practice law in another state!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice the obvious from her comment? She didnt deny her connection to democrat 75th judge, CT Hight.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the comment about Mr. Morefield being pro-abortion... how obvious is it that this comment was planted by the Merendino/Hight team? I have known Mr. Morefield for quite some time and have had many conversations with him regarding religion and politics. Based on those conversations, I can emphatically state that he is NOT pro-abortion.

Additionally, I find it quite pathetic that these two (Merendino and Hight) can't seem to manage their own campaigns on whatever characteristics and experience they claim makes them the better candidate in their race and instead have to stoop to this level of idiocy and immaturity!

Anonymous said...

Morefield has been a Republican since Merendino was in fifth grade with the girl; that says she has always been vengeful. The whole story about Morefield being pro abortion etc etc sounds more like vengefulness than anything I have ever heard about Mark Morefield. Perhaps she has confused Morefield with Hight and the family with the Father of Liberty County Democrats in it.

Anonymous said...

Heck I worry about an atmosphere these people may be creating that involves taping each other and dirty tricks. It may sound creepy like a lawyer, but it does not sound creepy like a judge.

Anonymous said...

Careful listening to these people. These lawyers will criticize Cain and promote Hight and you will never know there is a business connection with Hight. They are sleezeballs and they are whacking Cain because he exposed Fitzgerald.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please tell me how little Rusty Hight ever got to be judge in the first place. Do you people even know who sits on the judgement seat of the 75th court?

Anonymous said...

Potez Home Center in Liberty is one of Hights biggest supporters. Lewie and Hight are big buddies! Reminds me of that Taxi Tv Show with Danny DeVito!

Anonymous said...

Rusty's brother-in law, Zeke Zebranek and his father-in-law Wisegerber helped him get this position he now has. This is the way it has always been done in Liberty County, your relatives come into office when you retire. The relatives are trained and promoted on how to operate here in Liberty County. This way they can blend right in to the same ole way things are done here. Liberty County needs some new blood in the County Politics.

Anonymous said...

Hight tried to use Zbranek's coattails to beat Judge Cain years ago but was not only unsuccessful, when he started some of his political rumors to try and beat his opponent a black mark in his own professional life was revealed. He got beat and now he is looking to get even. What a pitiful way for a judge to behave. Par for the course for Hight.

Anonymous said...

It looks to me like the public knows far more about the behind the scenes stuff than I would have guessed. Now that someone has referred to the revelation of Hight'sethical violation back two elections ago I would like to point out what I think isthe most interesting thing about the team Hight has put together. All three of his main people have at one point or another had extremely unethical things come out about their lives. All three did these things when they were no longer a young person. Perhaps Zack Zbranek will be smart enough to ask the core team of Fitzgerald, Hight, and Merendino to leave his name out of their mouths.

Matthew said...

I think it is wise that people who run for office that are caught doing unusually bizarre acts that show a great deal about their own lack of character and integrity turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. I am not so sure how wise it is that they turn to the voter and appeal to them in the name of Jesus Christ however.

Anonymous said...

I agree. this kind of effort to portray an image of someone who will do the right thing and imply your opponent will not only makes people look at Christians as hypocrites. The best thing to do would be to just do the right thing. Don't talk about it or act better than someone else. Jesus is perfect. No one mistakes these politicians for Jesus. People who do this seem to be saying that whatever mistakes they make pale in comparison to their opponents. Or to say it another way, their message is that they are more worthy than their opponent. I missed that message in my Sunday school lessons and in my Bibkle reading.

Anonymous said...

You are a little off in the message the team has come to the voters with in their attept to get Cain beat. Their message is that they don't like the way Cain thinks and they don't like that he has been there so long and who does he think he is? I don't blame the Merendino group for trying to get the voters away from asking about the way Merendino thinks as we hear about her personal life. I don't blame them foor wanting to steer away from her minimal experience and trying somehow to make Cain's experience a negative. I am not sure who Merendino thinks she is but I don't blame these lawyers when they run against each other for trying to make the voters aware that their opponent makes a good living and start a little class warfare thing. But I also don't blame voters for holding their nose until this kind of stuff is over.

Anonymous said...

No. Who does sit there?

Anonymous said...

Hey Charlotte K. your message was short but let's make sure it is not just sweet.Let's get to the truth of the matter. Every vote for a Democrat adds fuel to that party's burning desire to make abortion more available.regardless of how the individual candidate says he or she feels on the issue. In contrast, every vote for a Republican, whether they have exceptions to when an abortion can be done or not, is a vote for the only major political party and the strongest force against abortion. In the next couple of years because of the liberal leap Democrats made to the left this last election, it will become more and more true that if you select a Democrat it strengthens their ability to fight for more abortion rights and vice versa if you select a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the logic and the rationale for how one should vote depending on their beliefs on abortion. I have a Democratic friend of mine who is really working me over with nasty rumors he has heard that he says should make me vote for his Democratic high school classmate who is running for judge. He says since I am a Christian I "have to vote for his classmate". I was tempted to tell him him since he is an avowed atheists that he must then have to vote Republican since he is what he is. But I did not. I sometimes think these people think we are stupid when because we say we belive in Someone bigger than ourselves. They think they can make our candidates look so sinful we will vote for their candidate.

Anonymous said...

The comments you arent posting are a matter of fact, and a matter of record. -32-

Anonymous said...

Merendino has no right to play the morality card. She will loose everytime.

Anonymous said...

These candidates are all do gooders, until they are elected to office. Then they do what ever they want to do. Turn their nose up if you try to talk to them, will not return a phone call and could care less about what you think. I am taking notes on what they say they will and will not do. "Waiting for the election"

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me why Allen Youngblood is making fun of God and the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross so we an be nited with Him in Heaven?

Anonymous said...

Come on! You have to know Allen plays Christian hymns on the piano and uploads them on his blog and he does other little things so all of the good church going folks will read the rest of his blog. It reminds me of Bill Buchanan ushering at my church. Youngblood simply revealed who he is and who has been for some time when he started making fun of the Bible this time.

Anonymous said...

Okay Akins let me take a couple of things back I have been saying about you and Allen. I figureds you were just making up things about him because he competes for the public's attention with you. I was wrong. He is way out in left field. The other thing I am wrong about is I have said your responses to him and to KSHN were not proportional or fair considering what they say. Now I see why you take the gloves off. I know we are told to turn the other cheek when someone strikes us, but you defend those who do not defend themselves. I am starting to catch on.

Anonymous said...

Judge Rusty looks like he is stressed out over something in this picture you have posted. Maybe he has looked at the results of the Republican primary's early voting or could it be his coniving plans are begining to fall apart. (HAWK)

Anonymous said...

"Matthew said...
I think it is wise that people who run for office that are caught doing unusually bizarre acts that show a great deal about their own lack of character and integrity turn to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. I am not so sure how wise it is that they turn to the voter and appeal to them in the name of Jesus Christ however."

Boy was that post a mouthful! AMEN!!! I personally don't have a clue how Merendino sleeps at night! That's ok! She has to answer to her maker one day! God doesn't sleep!

Anonymous said...

I dont know how many of you all have ever met mrs merendino but i have and surely say she is no more christian than the devil himself.I see a self absorbed,corrupt,law bending big head lawyer that will do ANYTHING required to further her position in life no matter who she has to stomp on.Matter of fact you all will be hearing very soon about ethics violations i will be filing against her with the bar.