Thursday, February 18, 2010

Debra Medina and the Truthers: Why It Matters

Something has arisen which I feel needs to be addressed. I do not think I am the best person to do so, but I am the only person I can make do so.

Based on an interview he had with her, part of Glenn Beck's base has violently split from him, denouncing him as either unwilling or unable to 'handle the facts,' and making an issue out of a non-issue: that is, whether or not Texas Gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina is a 9/11 Truther, or pals around with Truthers.

They say that, since she is running for a state-level office and not a federal level office, this is a moot point and should be overlooked. Of course, the majority of those saying this are themselves Truthers. Do they have a point? Would it only matter if we were talking about a federal-level candidate or appointee?

Believing that the US government was directly responsible (as opposed to indirectly, through a series of intelligence breakdowns throughout the 1990s) for the attacks on 9/11 is not the same as believing we faked the moon landing or in Santa Claus.

When you choose to take the position that our government attacked and killed American civilians on American soil, you are making an accusation of mass murder. And not just against George Bush. There are millions of people on the left who hate George Bush who don't think he ordered the 9/11 attacks. It goes farther than that.

Because, you see, part of that theory includes not just those giving the orders, but those receiving them. The orders to fly planes full of civilians into buildings full of civilians were not made to civilian pilots, or even automated drones.

No, the crux of the plan would have relied on soldiers (or airmen, more likely) first slaughtering the passengers on all four flights to prevent them from calling for help (because, you see, the recordings we have of them calling 911 or saying goodbye to their families were fabricated, either through machine or voice actors) and then flying planes into buildings full of thousands of even more civilians. All because they "were just following orders."

This is why I have zero tolerance for any person, public or private, who not only believes but acknowledges such belief as valid. This is worse than spitting on returning Vietnam Vets. It's perpetuating the myth that soldiers are nothing more than mindless, soulless baby-killing machines not only willing but eager to shed blood, friend or foe, so long as they have the excuse of "orders."

It is also why Debra Medina's views on this subject are, in fact, germane to her run for governor.

Anyone with such a view of our armed forces should never be elected to a position of authority over those armed forces. The Governor of Texas is the Commander in Chief of the Texas National Guard, a deployable force made up of men and women who are dentists, students, mechanics and moms. They deserve better than to be led by anyone who thinks there is room for debate over whether or not they are a class of sadistic mass murderers waiting to be let loose on society.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

RIP: Tim Pope

Let’s be fair to Tim Pope. Tim was indicted by the Multicounty Grand Jury on 12 felonies, including perjury, conspiracy, etc., etc., etc. The case ultimately proved an embarrassment to Edmondson. One of his witnesses would not cooperate, the second recklessly killed a mother of four and was charged with negligent homicide, and the third’s lawyer had written a wholly exculpatory letter before the investigation even started.

Ultimately, as Tim’s lawyer, I negotiated a resolution that all of the felony cases would be dismissed with cost paid by the State. In return, the State would file a single misdemeanor count to which Tim would make an Alford plea of "guilty," but would be placed on probation without conditions or supervision and that, too, would be dismissed. Tim died unconvicted of any crime.

He was an articulate, hard working, thorn-in-the side of the Democrats. In a day of self-important political consultants who charge outrageous fees, Tim was a winner of races on a local, district or county level. He successfully led Brent Rinehart to victory which caused an earthquake downtown at the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, and in the Sheriff’s office. Time has proven Rinehart was right on his complaints and criticism, even if his style was too populist for the "tall building" crowd.

Tim’s greatest achievement, possibly, came in 2006 when Republicans lost their shirt in the statewide races. Tim managed brillantly five campaigns and won all of them.

l. He was the campaign coordinator for Bill Graves who defeated incumbent District Judge Susan Caswell. What a breath of fresh air that was at the Oklahoma County Courthouse once Bill took the oath.

2. He successfully managed Randy Terrill’s reelection in Cleveland County.

3. He guided Anthony Sykes to a last-minute, sleeper, cliff-hanger victory and inched the Republicans forward to control of the State Senate. Tony was a public defender subject to a last-minute television smear by the Democrats because of his clients. All it took to turn that away was Anthony’s father, a victim of the Oklahoma City bombing, to appear on a television ad and tell voters he was proud of his son.

4. Tim led the campaign for Jason Murphrey of Guthrie on his second attempt for the legislature. He defeated an incumbent Republican whom many judged a RINO.

5. Finally, the greatest upset for all, Charles Key, after several unsuccessful efforts, managed to get back in the House of Representatives by defeating his well financed Republican primary opponent by 40 votes.

Tim hit five home runs.

For that, Edmondson filed a $10 million lawsuit against him alleging a new interpretation of "ROBO call" identification requirements heretofore unknown, later said he would take $100,000, then $10,000, and after Tim won an appeal on a technical basis and it was remanded, Tim settled for $4,500.

The Democrats tried every way they could to destroy Tim or silence him. Only God has silenced Tim Pope. He was a fearless champion who fought for what he believed in, and a devoted family man. He was a strong Republican. He did not trim his political views. He was my client for four years, and it was a joy to be around him. Tim could energize any room and come from behind in any political race.

One other note to remind Republicans. While Edmondson really prosecuted Tim, and all Republicans should remember that this year, he did it behind a fig leaf. He appointed Rob Hudson, the Republican, that’s right, Republican District Attorney of Logan County and Stillwater, to be the "special prosecutor." Hudson never showed up for any court appearances and never was involved in the case, but simply lent his name to the cruel and meritless effort. By selecting a Republican to lead the investigation, Edmondson could claim it was "bi-partisan."

In the final analysis, while Jim Roth probably had too much to carry to get elected to a full term on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission with President Obama at the top of the ticket, all you have to do is look at how Jim Roth ran in some rural precincts and counties along the Red River and the Arkansas border. Those Democrat county commissioners knew what Edmondson and Roth had done to Brent Rinehart, who may have been a pariah in Oklahoma County, but in the rural districts among the commissioners was viewed as a hero and a man who could not be broken. Brent may have been defeated, Tim may have stood in the shadow of the jail, but Jim Roth was defeated and the Republican control of the Corporation Commission continued.

Tim Pope was a political organization genius and a good man in every sense of the word. Not many people had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the assault that he faced and ultimately prevailed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010