Monday, February 25, 2008

Look who is smiling now!

Smiling Bob is not smiling any more. Steve Warshak, founder and president of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, is looking at 20 years in Federal prison. His mom, Harriett Warshak, was also was convicted of conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering.

Bet he's hoping his bunkmate hasn't received any "male enhancement"....

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Billy Allen Fletcher has a Snit (updated)

Appropo of absolutely nothing I suppose, but word of an interesting exchange reaches my ears. It is interesting because it shows the sort of personality that Billy Allen Fletcher has and how he reacts to people in authority.

Fletcher arrived at the Tomball early voting place Tuesday the 20th with a stack of pizzas for the poll workers. That in of itself is a good thing, poll workers are only paid 7 dollars an hour and work their tails off. But Poll workers must also take an oath to protect the sanctity of the election process too. Accepting food from a candidate is verboten. What makes it worse, he waltzed into the polling place with "vote for me" buttons on his jacket. That also is not allowed by state law. It is called electioneering. No one may electioneer inside the 100 ft markers. Yes, that means Billy Allen Fletcher too. The election judge, which on election day has the same power as a district court judge, asked him to either remove his buttons or depart the exclusion zone. He turned and left in a huff but he did not leave the exclusion zone, he camped out at the front door, prompting the election judge to have to ask him to leave AGAIN. After that second confrontation in which Fletcher reportedly was quite belligerent and the election Judge was concerned that he would need to call the Constable's office to remove him, he finally left in a cloud of tire smoke as he left the parking lot. It would seem Fletcher has a small problem with following the law and how he interacts with people in positions of authority.

Court Koenning, Fletcher's campaign manager, sends the following clarification of what happened:
Fletcher went into the polling location with pizza and no campaign material or buttons (heck, he doesn’t even have a “vote for me sticker”). After delivering the pizza he went outside to leave the facility. He ran into a neighbor whose kid is also going to Iraq and the two struck up a conversation. The neighbor had already voted and was also departing the facility. A Corbin campaign staffer snapped a picture on his cell phone of the two conversing in the parking lot and then went in to tattle to the election judge that electioneering was taking place. The election judge came outside to tell the men that someone had complained and that they should take their conversations past the markers. The men complied respectfully with the election judge’s request and immediately left the parking lot. No heated exchange, no requirements to leave the building, etc., etc., etc. One of our supporters went into the facility later to make sure everything was ok and the election judge said “the complaining campaign staffer was blowing things out of proportion, but I felt a need to go break up the conversation since there was a complaint.” Further, I have called the County Clerk’s office to see if there was an incident reported at the Tomball EV center (as judges are required to report such incidents), but none was reported. Sounds like to me you have a desperate campaign trying to create an incident.

I leave it to you the reader to come to your own conclusion as to what happened. Just as an aside, I am an election judge myself. You do NOT have to report cases of electioneering to the clerk's office. The Election judge has the authority to handle it himself and the clerk's office only needs to be notified if things get out of hand.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Couldn't have happened to a better place

Seems that "Cafe Socialista" in New York, where all the libtard celebs hang out, has a small problem... Seems that all those celebs have been exposed to Hepatitis A from one of the workers. Maybe they can take advantage of the "free" Hep A shots that the city health department is giving out. You know how they all LOVE socialized medicine.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Hickman Hot Water

I am told by my sources that deputy Bible has filed a Federal racketeering complaint against Ron Hickman and some of his command staff. The complaint concerns a scheme in which neighborhoods are charged for a full shift of patrol as part of their constable contracts, but instead of delivering a fill shift of patrol, the patrols are split between two or more adjoining neighborhoods. Therefore Hickman and his staff have conspired to shortchange neighborhoods that have contracted for deputy patrols. This complaint also gives Deputy Bible federal whistleblower protections from retribution arising from his involvement with the Sharon Grady case.

I have always found this practice of contracting with the constable's office for patrols, a bit ethically murky. It feels a bit like a protection racket. Either you pay for extra patrols, or they might not get around to responding to your calls for help. The Constable's office is not under obligation to respond to calls, they can refuse to and often do. The Sheriff's office MUST respond if the constable will not. Because of Hickman's refusal to communicate with the Sheriff's department on any level, often both a constable AND a sheriff's deputy responds to a call. This is inefficient and a waste of resources.

Blogger Roundtable questionnaire response: Robert Talton

You can read it here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A History of Hickman (Updated)

On August 24th, 2007, a call was made to the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's office, Sharon Grady and her husband were having a domestic dispute and the woman had attacked her husband. The call was assigned number CD070821275. When Deputies Darwin and Bible arrived, they found the man bleeding from his ear. The man said that the woman had bitten his ear. Under Texas law, when deputies respond to a domestic disturbance where there is evidence of assault, one of the participants will be arrested on assault charges. In this instance, the bleeding ear was clear indication that an assault had taken place, and since he obviously could not have bitten it himself, she was arrested on assault charges. Mrs. Grady then apparently attempted to attack one of the officers as she was being arrested which elevated the charges to assault on a police officer. Photos were taken as evidence, as were statements.

This is where the wheels start to come off the bus.

Apparently the Mrs Grady was friends with Constable Ron Hickman's ex-wife. While they were still at the scene, one of the deputies, I believe it was Bible but I am uncertain which deputy it was, received a call on his phone from Capt. Tim Cannon. Capt. Cannon allegedly told the deputy to drop the matter and to destroy any evidence he had obtained. The deputy rightly refused what he believed to be an illegal order. Allegedly Capt. Cannon told the deputy that this was what Hickman wanted. Supposedly the deputy told Capt. Cannon something along the lines of "If that is what Hickman wants, he had better tell me himself." Allegedly shortly thereafter Constable Hickman did indeed call the deputy on his cellphone and reiterate that he wanted the matter dropped and that all evidence was to be handed over to Capt. Cannon. The deputy's side of this conversation was allegedly recorded on the dashcam audio track of the deputy's cruiser. Shortly after arriving back at the Cypresswood station, Hickman's ex-wife arrived and personally took Mrs. Grady from the holding cell and drove her home. Capt. Cannon also arrived and took possession of all the evidence collected, which he allegedly then destroyed.

An anonymous letter to the DA's office triggered an investigation which led to Capt. Cannon being indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and evidence tampering. Constable Hickman has not been indicted yet in his role. Hickman fired Capt. Cannon, but then he promptly rehired him in a civilian role at his current pay and seniority. His duties however seem suspect.

My sources tell me that Cannon has not been seen in his office, but he is drawing a full 40 hours of pay, there is to my knowledge no record of him being suspended with pay. My sources further tell me that he has been seen putting up campaign signs for Hickman during work hours.

Constable Hickman's Campaign expenditure disclosures have an interesting pair of entries. Two entries, one of $1000, and another of $5000, paid to Clint Greenwood. The dates of these payments are suspect, the $1000 payment was on 9/13/07, three days after the investigation was begun. The second payment was made the day before Cannon was to appear in court. Clint Greenwood is a criminal defense attorney that specializes in defending cops, he is also a reserve deputy under Hickman. Rumor has it that these entries are payments made by Hickman's campaign to Greenwood to retain his services to defend Cannon. The timing of the payments seems to confirm that theory. This is a campaign funds violation, campaign funds cannot be used for criminal defense attorney's fees. In an interesting twist, Greenwood is campaign manager for Jim Leitner.

In an effort to ascertain the truth of the matter I have requested copies of that call record as well as cell phone records (including any paid for by campaign funds.) for Hickman, Cannon, Bible, and Darwin. I have requested all photographic, video, and audio of the call. Constable Hickman's office claims to have no records for the cell phones, and has referred all other requests to the County Attorney's office, claiming that it is evidence in an ongoing investigation.

I want to know why Hickman has not been indicted as well, especially since I am told there is recorded audio evidence that he made a phone call to the deputy telling him to comply with Cannon's illegal order. The trial has been postponed until after the Primaries, clearly in an effort to make sure Hickman's involvement does not come to light before the election. It seems clear to me that someone in the Special Crimes division of the Harris County DA's office, of which Kelly Seigler is the head of that department, is doing everything possible to make sure Hickman skates on his involvement. For some reason Cannon is falling on his sword for Hickman. Why I do not know, but I suspect when the trial gets underway and those prison doors start clanging in his ears, he will gladly give up Hickman to save his bacon, but by then, the voters will have been duped into re-electing him.

Don't make that mistake.

UPDATE: I have found two errors on my part that I should correct, plus one ommission. First off, it was Owmby, not Seigler that handled this case. Secondly it apparently occurred on August 25th, not Aug. 24th.
The ommission was that not only was the unsigned letter sent to the DA's office, it was also copied to several media outlets . It would appear that whoever sent the letter was concerned that simply notifiying the DA would probably wind up with the case buried and the sender sought out and punished. By sending it to multiple media outlets as well, he ensured that it could not be swept under the rug.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Who is Natalie Traylor?

For the last two weeks, Jeremy Rogalski over at KHOU has been looking into the Montgomery County DA's use of drug forfeiture money for lots of things it should never have been used for, such as parties with booze, flowers, $100 birthday bonuses for all of the county LEO's and DA office staff, instead of spending that money on things like bullet proof vests and such which is what it was intended for. But there is one name that repeatedly comes up in the check registers that he has not touched upon yet. That name is Natalie Traylor. In 2006, Ms. Traylor was given a total of $9,558.00 in 23 checks ranging from $288 to $576. In 2007, she received an additional $833 in three checks ranging from $100 to $504.

Ms. Traylor is a Clerk 4 in the DA's office and works for McDougal directly. What were those checks for? Has Ms. Traylor ever received an IRS form 1099 for those funds? Has she ever declared that money to the IRS? Does the Montgomery County DA have a mistress on his payroll too?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blogger Roundtable questionairre response: Jim Leitner

Jim Leitner is the first candidate to respond to the Blogger Roundtable questionnaire. You can read his response here.

Blogger Roundtable Candidate Questionairre

Cory Crow, of Lose an Eye, it's a Sport, has submitted candidate questionnaires compiled by him and others on the blogger round table (mainly him, the guy deserves the credit.) to candidates for the HD130, CD22, CD14, HCDA and HCJ races. As a member of the round table I have agreed to link to the answers as they are returned. Watch this space.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What you can look forward to if the Democrats win.

Both Democrat candidates have spoken at length about wanting to implement Socialized medicine. The Democrats love to point to Canada as their model.

In Canada there is a Gentleman by the name of Samuel Golubchuk. He happens to be an Orthodox Jew. One of the tenets of his faith is that Jewish law expressly forbids any action intended to shorten life. Mr. Golubchuk is dying. His family, also Orthodox Jews understand that, but because of their faith, they have told the doctors that they do not wish for his feeding tube or ventilator to be removed. They further state that were their father able to express his desires, he too would not want them withheld for the same reason. Now, mind you, in Canada it is illegal to offend another's religion.

The doctor in charge of the ICU in which Mr. Golubchuk is hospitalized has stated however that the family's desires are irrelevant and that he intends to remove the ventilator and if that is insufficient to kill him, he will remove his feeding tube and starve him to death. If he shows any signs of pain or discomfort he will administer morphine.

With doctors like this, who needs murderers?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Voter Disenfranchisement Democrat Style....

Last year, The Democrats dragged Mario Gallegos out of his hospital room and set him up on the Texas senate floor in a hospital bed in order to defeat Texas' Voter ID bill. The Democrats claimed that it would disenfranchise poor, elderly, and minority voters. That is of course a nice sentiment, even if it is a crock of fecal matter. But before you walk away thinking that the Democrat party has the voter's best interest at heart, you might want to sit down and take a deep breath because it just ain't so.

You see, The Democrat Convention process has a quirk that the Republican one does not. They are called Super Delegates. Super Delegates are not elected in any state primary, nor are they beholden to vote for a specific candidate. They may vote for whomever they choose. These Super Delegates are selected by the party VIPs and insiders. Their vote is every bit as important as a delegate from any state in the union. So in reality, if the party machine decides it does not like a candidate who may be running a close race with a party favorite, then those super delegates can negate a bunch of the delegate votes for the persona non grata, thereby making sure that the party insiders have the final say who the nominee is, not the voters.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You mean someone still uses those things?

Now before I go much further I want to make something abundantly clear. Electronic voting is still the very best, most secure, voting system devised by man. That said, some systems are far more secure than others. The eSlate units used here in Harris County, made by Hart Intercivic, are the only electronic systems that have yet to be hacked in any way, shape, or form. They are the pinnacle of security at this point in time. Other systems? Eh, maybe not so much. They are certainly better than paper ballots, but some are only slightly better. Take Diebold for instance. Previously, Academics have devised a virus that could be loaded onto a Diebold machine in about 60 seconds worth of unsupervised time, that could alter vote totals system wide. That was a technical vulnerability because to do so, the actor had to get access to the flash card slot which was behind a locked door. Ok, so far so good. Every jurisdiction that uses them takes great pains to make sure there is no unauthorized access to that slot.

Now for the other shoe to fall: It would appear that Diebold used a cheap easily duplicated key for every single unit manufactured. Yes, every unit ever sold takes the same master key. What is worse, some genius has managed to fabricate a key that fits based solely on an image of the key on Diebold's website.

Further, the "paper tape" audit trail that some conspiracy theorists have been calling for would not show anything amiss.

These devices need to be removed from service immediately and Diebold needs to pay for Hart devices to replace them. The devices are not fit for use.