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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

LD, please post

To: The Governor of the State of Texas, and any and all who could help me

Dear Governor;

I am writing this letter pleading for your help in several matters I have in Chambers County, involving its local officials. Please read this letter thoroughly as I believe my constitutional rights have been and or still being violated. I write to you before writing to the media in hopes you can help me first.

My name is Travis J Richard, first I want to share a little background about myself to provide you with a snapshot of my character and service to the citizens of the great State of Texas.

I was born in Anahuac, Texas in 1971. My extended family still resides in Hankamer Texas but my mother moved to California when I was four years old. As a child I always dreamed about returning to Texas to live and retire. I was only allowed to visit during the summers until I was a teen.

After a successful career as a Law Enforcement Officer I was advised that my elderly grandmother was living in poverty conditions in small town Hankamer, Chambers County Texas. I made a trip to visit her in 2006 and was in shock at the conditions she was living and the community at large. I would describe her home as falling in, infested with termites and rats. The landscape was in such disarray it could be life threatening for one to enter. One day as I stood on the road leading to her home I observed a single-wide trailer positioned about 30 feet east of her once beautiful home, when I witnessed an adult female open the rear door and toss something out of a five gallon bucket.

Upon closer examination it appeared to be urine and feces. I asked a neighbor who lives in the small trailer and was told over 12 people were living in less than 600 square feet, and that they didn’t have running water or sewer services. After further inquiry I learned there were multiple families in Hankamer living in similar conditions. My heart sank for these people as I knew it gets extremely hot in Texas. Several families and individuals were living in trailer home with no walls, siding, and some without roofs. The following days as I visited I learned that there were people even living in abandoned cars and in the woods.

There situation had greatly touched my heart and I began making plans to help the people of Hankamer. Upon returning home I began checking all the resources I had and even thought about using my retirement money to give back and help my grandmother and the citizens of Hankamer.

I immediately began research on how I could positively help improve the lives of those people. My entire career as an Officer and State Detective was dedicated to helping vulnerable citizens, from elder abuse victims, child abuse victims, to abuse and neglect of our citizens with developmental disabilities to mental illnesses. With this heavy on my heart I took all I had and took an early retirement to move to Texas and help this dying town.

My first investment was in excess $80,000 into the town of Hankamer. This was my entire savings account and some assistance from my mother, who currently lives in California. We had my grandmothers house torn down and the land cleared off. We then purchased a mobile home for her that was in excellent condition and she was moved back in. After feeling sorry for the neighbors who lived in the small trailer 30 feet away with no running water or utilities I purchased another large trailer home, hooked everything up including a brand new septic and water system and allowed the family to move in at no cost. They obtained State housing assistance for afford their monthly rent.

More work was done on the land as well. The road leading into the property was so neglected it had holes that were over 4 feet deep and 5 feet in diameter. When rain water filled these holes one could see snakes, very dangerous snakes swimming inside. Now please note the area had up to 20 children play in and around these dangerous watering holes. Due to the overgrowth and community neglect there were even sighting by me of large boar hogs running loose.

I observed excessive amounts of wild dogs and chicken in and out of people homes as well. Being so heart broken by these living conditions I invested over $8000 into the road in order to make it safer and passable by the ones needing to use it. For example there is a gentleman in a wheelchair that lives back there that could not even leave his house in his wheelchair due to the conditions of the road leaving his house. There were two more men living in a partially torn down trailer home where they were only able to sleep in a room the size of a closet because there were no roof and no siding on the homes.

I made several reports to the county about these living conditions and the danger the children were in but they did nothing about it. This began a series of neglect and not willing to get involved by Chambers County, and it gets worse.

After discovering that Hurricane Ike had destroyed the towns only grocery store and that the citizens had to travel 18 miles roundtrip to buy groceries, some that only rode bikes or walked, I decided to purchase the local store in order to help. I immediately purchased the store for and additional $70,000 and invested over $30,000 more into the storm damaged store to get it back to code and in a condition that allowed the citizens to feel welcome and safe and obtain fresh food and necessities.

After successfully applying for and receiving my beer and wine license (BQ) from the TABC I began operation. Shortly after opening I even added a food concession stand next to the store for the citizens and visitors didn’t have to travel so far for something fast and easy for lunch or dinner. The food stand was permitted and approved by the county. Everything was going fine for me as a business man and for the citizens of the town.

After a story surfaced about the county officials and a missing $60 million dollars of FEMA funds I was asked by several citizens if I would run for the office of County Judge due to my Law Enforcement background. I agreed and began making inquiries about what I needed to launch my campaign to get my name on the November 2010 ballot. That’s when the nightmare began and my civil rights began to get ignored by county officials.

One of the first series of things that happened was following the eviction of one of my renters in town. The tenant stole my entire A/C unit and the air return system from the trailer home in excess of over $4000. I reported this to the Sheriff Dept who came out to investigate, and after several months they told me they lost the report and have not acted on the case since.

The second incident was another tenant of mine defaulted on a contract to purchase a mobile home the my lawyer canceled the contract. No less than a month later I requested an eviction hearing with the local Justice Courts. After being granted the hearing I provided proof that the tenants clearly violated the terms of the contract and it was canceled. The judge in this matter, Bob Wallace, stated that his courts never handle such a case and that he couldn’t rule on it because the courts didn’t have the appropriate paperwork to file and didn’t act on the case, allowing the tenant to remain the home.

This action or shall I say inaction led the tenant to believe the home was now theirs and that they could pay rent as they pleased. A few months later with the courts still undecided on how to proceed the tenant made several statements to members of the community that they were just going to take the home even though it had not been paid for and the contract was legally canceled.

I was advised a few weeks later that the tenant was making preparations to move the home without my permission. I immediately took steps to prevent my home from being stolen by this distraught tenant I had my welder remove the tow tongue from the home. After investigating to see what steps the tenant took in trying to take the home I realized they had removed all of the hurricane ties that secured the home to the ground. I reported this to the Sheriff’s Dept. and again nothing happened., they just had me filled out a complaint. I even spoke to the county attorney about this matter and he agreed that criminal behavior was occurring and requested I go back to the Sheriff’s office and ask that they send him the report.

Approximately one month later while on vacation I learned that the tenant had stolen the entire home and there was nothing on my lot but an empty field with trash and wires left behind. I again reported this to the Sheriff’s Dept. and was told they were too busy to come out and take the report. I was again shocked and wondered why they didn’t want to help me. To this date (6/14/2010) my home remains stolen and no report will be been taken by the Sheriff.

To make matters worse after requesting signature sheets from the County Judge’s office in order to gather signatures to run for County Judge someone from the courts contacted TABC and advised that they (The County) made a gross mistake and issued me the wrong beer license and advised they were going to cancel my license. (Please note that the license I possessed was the bread and butter for my business and without it my business would fail.)

I worked with TABC’s attorney Sandra Patten for a short time and according to her the county was not going to renew my license and therefore force my business to close. Due to this decision by the staff of Chambers County the store that I proudly opened a year ago to help the citizens of Hankamer is now closed and again they have to go back the old ways of traveling miles to buy a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.

The inaction and wrongful treatment by Chambers County has caused me significant financial harm and the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars, but most importantly my reputation as a local business man with a heart to help its vulnerable population.

Please help me in correcting the wrong that was done to me and help me help this dying town.

Travis Joel Richard, Business Owner
Po box 463
Hankamer, Texas 77560

Monday, June 28, 2010


The conservative columnists George Will recently wrote a list of questions the current nominee for Supreme Court Justice should answer due to her past comments about how open and informative, etc. these confirmations should be. As Lucille Ball's husband use to say to her, "Lucy! you got some splaining to do. The question Mr. Will poses are here below and Liberty Dispatch invites all to send in their answers. We believe all non-conservatives have "some splaining to do":

-- Regarding campaign finance "reforms": If allowing the political class to write laws regulating the quantity, content and timing of speech about the political class is the solution, what is the problem?

-- If the problem is corruption, do we not already have abundant laws proscribing that?

-- If the problem is the "appearance" of corruption, how do you square the First Amendment with Congress restricting speech to regulate how things "appear" to unspecified people?

-- Incumbent legislators are constantly tinkering with the rules regulating campaigns that could cost them their jobs. Does this present an appearance of corruption?

-- Some persons argue that our nation has a "living" Constitution; the court has spoken of "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society." But Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking against "changeability" and stressing "the whole anti-revolutionary purpose of a constitution," says "its whole purpose is to prevent change -- to embed certain rights in such a manner that future generations cannot readily take them away. A society that adopts a bill of rights is skeptical that 'evolving standards of decency' always 'mark progress,' and that societies always 'mature,' as opposed to rot." Is he wrong?

-- The Ninth Amendment says: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The 14th Amendment says no state may abridge "the privileges or immunities" of U.S. citizens. How should the court determine what are the "retained" rights and the "privileges or immunities"?

-- The 10th Amendment ("The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people") is, as former Delaware governor Pete du Pont has said, "to the Constitution what the Chicago Cubs are to the World Series: of only occasional appearance and little consequence." Were the authors of the Bill of Rights silly to include this amendment?

-- Should decisions of foreign courts, or laws enacted by foreign legislatures, have any bearing on U.S. courts' interpretations of the Constitution or federal laws (other than directly binding treaties)?

-- The Fifth Amendment says private property shall not be taken by government for public use without just compensation. But what about "regulatory takings"? To confer a supposed benefit on the public, government often restricts how persons can use their property, sometimes substantially reducing the property's value. But government offers no compensation because the property is not "taken." But when much of a property's value is taken away by government action, should owners be compensated?

-- In Bush v. Gore, which settled the 2000 election, seven justices ruled that Florida vote recounts that were being conducted in different jurisdictions under subjective and contradictory standards were incompatible with the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws." Were they right?

-- In Bush v. Gore, five justices held that Article II of the Constitution gives state legislatures plenary power to set the rules for presidential elections. The Florida legislature fashioned election rules to produce presidential electors immune from challenge by Congress. But the legislature said that immunity depended on electors being chosen by a certain date, which could not be met if further recounts were to ensue. The court held that allowing more recounts would have contravened the intent of Florida's legislature. So the recounts were halted. Was the court's majority correct?

-- Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom you clerked, said: "You do what you think is right and let the law catch up." Can you defend this approach to judging?

-- You have said: "There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage." But that depends on what the meaning of "is" is. There was no constitutional right to abortion until the court discovered one 185 years after the Constitution was ratified, when the right was spotted lurking in emanations of penumbras of other rights. What is to prevent the court from similarly discovering a right to same-sex marriage?

-- Bonus question: In Roe v. Wade, the court held that the abortion right is different in each of the three trimesters of pregnancy. Is it odd that the meaning of the Constitution's text would be different if the number of months in the gestation of a human infant were a prime number?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Dear Liberty Dispatch,

I was reminded today of the extreme position of others in our local media. Here is a quote from one of the news stories by our local media: "The Obama administration has gotten more done in its first two years than any president in modern times".

That sentence alone tells most of us how differently the local media looks at the world!

In light of this viewpoint and other memories we should all have of the local media, let me first say I hope and pray the best for you and your family as you continue to make legal progress through the charges that have been made and often exaggerated and unfairly reported.

But let me also remind your readers, that our local media has a past record of supporting left wing politicians and the Democrat Party in general and reporting the news in a way that hopes to influence voters to cast their ballots in a like manner. It would be ashamed if a community who has clearly tried to the maintain values that have made this country great and a common sense responsible economic approach has enough of its electorate twisted by the local media into supporting people like Barack Obama or any other Democrat to continue the downward spiral of the current administration.

I appreciate the efforts you have made to help turn this county away from those things the local liberal media has prepared and pushed for us to embrace. We need to all work together to reject their ideas and elect good strong conservative Republicans.

Thank you in advance for posting this letter,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell Visits with Liberty County Republican Richard Pegues at the Sandy Beach Park Annual Picnic in the Capital City of Juneau

Republicans like Sean Parnell, the Governor of Alaska, have a common sense balanced approach to how government should deal with the conflict between the environment and economic concerns. Articulating our passion for taking care of our natural resources and for prioritizing our need for energy should be an area Republicans do better in in the future. We hunt; we fish, we drive trucks and cars; and we should not allow the Democrats to demonize us as many of their policies would more than double our electric bills.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dear Liberty Dispatch

It is very interesting to see the following Advocate online comment after the story, about the firing of Liberty County sheriff's deputy Larry Allen : " I guess we'll have to wait until i-dineout or Akin print the rest of the story. All we have here is coffee shop and beauty shop gossip. Shame on you Advocate.”

I don't know if this comment is meant sincerely or sarcastically, but please don't waste your time trying to clear up sloppy newspaper articles like this one. It is awful dang slow in the newsroom at The Cleveland Advocate when we see all of this bloviating about a couple of anonymously mailed and seemingly vindictive accusations a husband sent about their ex wife (allegedly). At least the paper could have waited and connected all of the dots. The reader is never told why Allen was dismissed. Sure we can guess, but is that what this newspaper has reduced its "reporting" to? The end of the article leaves the reader wondering if any laws were broken. Well, Advocate Editor at the paper, were there any laws broken?

Another thing we must wonder about is The Advocate's relationship to Commissioner Hunt. Why is it that whenever I hear Melvin Hunt is checking on someone, that I suspect that he is really just checking to see if they are on his "hit list". Rumors about a heavy handed Hunt wanting to whack Sheriff Patterson and install his own personal favorite (Royce Wheeler) as Sheriff are already buzzing around the county. The reasons for calling Hunt in on this are pretty far fetched, but you could just imagine hearing his tires sliding into The Advocate parking lot after he was called. Hunt is a master manipulator who has honed out a long political career by keeping his ears to the ground and weighing in on backroom out of the public eye issues (along with using county assets to ingratiate him with certain voters).

It appears from the feedback the paper has posted that most people would rather this story been reserved for the employees of The Cleveland Advocate to talk about around the water cooler, and more resources devoted to the mystery surrounding the guns stolen out of the Cleveland Police Department. Or we would love to hear a follow up report on the death of the retired Hardin school teacher and how his assets were "inherited" by the Fairchild brothers (who are not related to the deceased, but one was there in a "failed attempt" to save the teacher). Patterson's willingness to respond personally rather than hide behind a very tight-lipped Steve Green is refreshing compared to the stolen gun case and the retired teacher case. People want to know things like how this man Allen was fired while Deputy Kelly's case continues to have no actions taken. Some of us are very willing to believe there are a few bad apples in law enforcement who may misuse their connections, but if that is now an accepted fact, we want further investigation of former Sheriff's deputy Chip Fairchild's connection to the estate of the deceased teacher.

But again Liberty Dispatch, please don't waste your time trying to clean up another story where the Advocate Editor has acted like Chicken Little about a perceived "scandal". Keep on fearlessly looking into the real problems the county has. The Advocate newspaper runs to people like Melvin Hunt and Mike Little for help to uncover scandals? When will our local media stop letting the big fish go while they chase after the little fish?

Lastly, why don’t you question Royce Wheeler about hush money and protection money he has taken???

Thursday, June 10, 2010


In another extremely low voter turnout for a Liberty area election, Liberty ISD voters rejected the $18.27 million bond election. Liberty Dispatch continues to ask voters who did not vote in this last school bond election to take an active role in determining the near future of our schools. This bond issue deserves a larger voter turnout. It deserves a second chance. In the meantime, go and ask to look at the administration building and ask to look at the high school labs that were built with 1980's technology. We considered Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lusignolo's recommendations and quietly agreed until two days before the last day of voting. We believe the assessment stating that the upkeep and maintenance to the district’s oldest facilities have fallen behind over the years as past school boards have focused on different priorities is a correct one. We also believe that anyone who has been in the old administration building knows it is a money pit and probably one of the worst administration buildings in East Texas. No more money needs to be wasted on a building that wasn't that great when some of our grandparents went to classes there. But don't take our word for it, seeing is believing.

In an effort to make sure this bond issue was not thought of as some kind of "wish list", Dr. Lusignolo asked a 30-member citizens panel to study the district's facilities for several weeks and this proposal is the result. While resistance to spending taxpayer money in such unusual economic times is understandable, the need for the work the panel lists is still a reality. The poor conditions of those facilities where work was planned will only get worse and more expensive if put off. If we want to look back and second guess past budgets, Liberty Dispatch would say the truly conservative approach to this kind of issue would have been to have budgeted more for maintenance each year and to have stuck with an improvement program. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We believe conservatives who actually survey the conditions of the schools will see the best thing to do from this point forward is to borrow money at these low rates, get the schools back up to speed and then institute a proactive maintenance program with an untouchable budget that doesn't get lost when optional projects are discussed.

The district’s top administrator is new. She doesn't have a reputation for blowing money, but for a straightforward problem solving approach that is open to the community's suggestions. Unfortunately, she had less than 20 folks show up at the six public meetings and tours to view the facilities. From what we have seen and heard it seems like we are all fortunate to have her here, but just as we should want the children in school in Liberty now to be well equipped for success, we should give this leader the tools to lead the next generation with too.

Finally from a personal note let us say all of our kids are out of school and we will fight to keep taxes low, but this bond issue is a necessity. Don't take anyone's word for it. Go see for yourself. This is not a drive-by issue, but an issue that deserves more attention.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2006 Liberty Dispatch Golden RINO Award Winner Runs for SREC Position

R.I.N.O. - Republican In Name Only

The 2006 Liberty Dispatch RINO award winner, Melinda Fredericks is running for Republican Party of Texas, Vice Chair. Fredericks and Lester Ray Wisegerber both won the Golden Rino Award for 2006. Mrs. Fredericks recently lost her bid to retain an appointed position with the SREC.

Tom Mechler is running for Texas Republican Chairman and Fredericks, his Vice Chairman. Fredericks is alleged to be an integral part in the bastardization of the State and Local Republican Party.

In the SREC election, Liberty Dispatch endorses candidates, Mrs. Cathie Adams for Texas Republican Chairperson and Mr. Robin Armstrong for her Vice Chairman.

NEWS: Texas Right to Life PAC Endorses Cathie Adams, Incumbent State Republican Party Chair for Re-Election

Friday, June 4, 2010

High Paid Liberty County Employees to Get Pay Raise $$$$$

Liberty County Commissioners Agenda, June 7, 2010

In a time when Liberty County revenues are down and the people of Liberty County are suffering the most, high paid county employees ask for a pay increase.

Liberty County DA, Mike Little and the people who work for him are some of the highest paid Liberty County employees. In contrast, the Liberty County Attorney's office are some of the lowest paid professionals in Liberty County. What makes Mike Little and his employees so special that they are immune from pay cuts and financial belt tightening?

Attorneys are typically more fruitful in private practice than government practice and usually gravitate to county jobs because they are fresh out of law school and inexperienced. These people are making a career out of working for the DA's office, not using it as the customary lower paid stepping stone to better private practice money.

With all the allegations of corruption in the Liberty County DA's office leveled against Mike Little and his people, why should these people be rewarded?

Allegedly, the DA's office has had a blank check because of the threat of prosecution of other county workers and political enemies. Effectively, the massive flow of money into the DA's office is more extortion and hush money than anything.

Commissioners should strongly consider cutting back the great amount of money which flows into the Liberty County DA's office. The commissioners and the people of Liberty County need to send Mike Little and his employees a strong message that there are no blank checks for the DA's office and their corruption will not be rewarded.

We will report the commissioner's actions regarding this issue.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Liberty Dispatch

I'm not one to make waves. I've never considered myself political. I'm just an average citizen that doesn’t understand how Liberty County can operate the way it does. Im outraged against those in the courthouse that can sit there and not protect the ones that need it most. My niece passed away 2yrs ago after sustaining injuries that she received when she was 2 months old. Her parents were charged and we have been involved in a legal battle for over 4 years with this. Now the DA comes to tell us that no one will be prosecuted due to mistakes made by the police. What?!? Are they telling me that I can commit a heinous crime and then get away with it because Liberty police are incompetent? Is there no justice for my niece? This little girl never got the chance to live. I can remember the day she was born and how perfect she was. Then we skip ahead 2 months and we get the call that will forever change our lives. We spent weeks in Texas Children's Hospital praying for God to do his will and those responsible to be held accountable. My niece was plagued with health issues and lay in a vegetative state for 2 years before God saw fit to take her home. Now Liberty County tells us, "Sorry, nothing can be done because we don’t have the evidence anymore." How can the DA possibly feel right about this? Can nothing be done? What about the next child that dies at the hand of the very people that should protect him/her? The people of Liberty County need to wake up and see what they have put in power in the courthouse.