Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A sitting state supreme court justice lost a primary?

Remember when Texas Governor Rick Perry was considered to be a serious candidate for president? If not perhaps one of these links will refresh your recollection. 

In case you were wondering how things are going for Governor Perry (who indicates he may run for another term as governor) now that he is no longer running for President, the answer is not all that well.  His approval ratings took a hit in the aftermath of his failed presidential campaign.  Moreover, as Slate reports, the candidate Governor Perry endorsed for Texas's United States Senate seat was thrashed in the GOP Senate primary this week. 

Governor Perry's endorsement also did not help Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina.  As the blog Tex Parte notes, Justice Medina lost the GOP primary for his seat on the Texas Supreme Court.  You read that right, a sitting state supreme court justice lost a primary for his own seat.  Since there is no democratic opponent for the seat, the primary was essentially the election.  As the Austin Statesmen points out, Justice Medina's opponent, John Devine, sought endorsements from tea party groups.  Justice Medina was endorsed by Governor Perry as well as  "22 members of the Texas Legislature or U.S. Congress and several politically influential groups, including Texans for Lawsuit Reform and the Texas Medical Association." 

In any event, both candidates have some issues.  According to the Statesmen, Justice Medina was fined $35,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for improperly spending campaign money on personal travel.  While serving on the court, Justice Medina was indicted for evidence tampering in a suspected 2007 arson fire in his Houston-area home. However, prosecutors quickly moved to dismiss the charge for lack of evidence (which sort of begs the question as to who called the grand jury).  Devine was sued by American Express for unpaid charges on a charge card and ordered to repay more than $20,000. 

One quote in the Statesmen really jumped out at me.  The article quotes Texas activist Donna Garner as saying that Devine "is endorsed by true patriots while his opponent is endorsed by politicians."  Note how the opposite to "true patriot" is not "false patriot" but, instead, politician.

Iave no idea whether Rick Perry will be re-elected if he decides to run again in 2014.  But it does seem problematic for Governor Perry when activists from his own party are suggesting that politicians like him are not "true patriots."  Do not be surprised if Governor Perry ends up with a serious challenge from a primary challenger who says Governor Perry is too liberal.

1 comment:

  1. A bit more to your story -- what killed Medina was the fact that the Grand Jury that indicted him refused to be intimidated by Perry et al and went public. Saw it at (or com don't remember) -- think it's being made into a movie. Also, there was some bizarre connection to the Cameron Todd Willingham murder. (Texas murdered him in 2000?, he was innocent as has been proven, but apparently Medina used the same arson expert that was ignored when they executed him, but in his case to get his behind out of jail.)


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