Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Endorsement watch: Kirkland

Nearly all of the judicial primary action this year is on the Republican side, since nearly all of the incumbents running for re-election are Democrats; there are no contested Democratic primaries for the few Republican-held benches. The one contested Democratic judicial primary is a challenge to a sitting judge, Judge Steven Kirkland on the 215th Civil District Court, and it’s been a high profile race with a lot of money in it as I noted on Sunday. The Chron has given their endorsement for this race to Judge Kirkland.

Elaine H. Palmer’s run against Kirkland is being financed almost exclusively by local plaintiff attorney George Fleming, who not incidentally lost a major judgment in the 215th court that could cost his firm millions of dollars.

Palmer, a 14-year attorney with a blended civil, criminal and traffic/misdemeanor practice, appears to be the chosen instrument of Fleming’s effort to oust Kirkland. Fleming’s law firm and a PAC he funds have contributed $35,000 to Palmer’s primary campaign.

An unintended consequence of Palmer’s candidacy to the county Democratic Party, well explained by Chronicle columnist Patricia Kilday Hart (“A little mystery over primary opposition to judge,” Page B1, April 19), is the clear potential it has brought for creation of a schism between the party’s crucial black and GLBT voting blocs. This would be destructive to Democrats well beyond a single contested primary race for a civil court bench.

Either way, we conclude, Palmer is the apparently unwitting partner to potentially damaging mischief to both Kirkland and the local Democratic Party.

And so we offer our emphatic endorsement of Steven Kirkland in the May 29 Democratic primary. We strongly encourage the party’s voters to support this highly qualified, deserving candidate.

That $35K figure was accurate for the January finance report. It’s up to $47K now with the 30 Day report added in, and I won’t be surprised if there’s more in the 8 Day report. Palmer could certainly turn out to be a decent judge if she gets elected, but this isn’t the way to go about doing that. We can get into the whole debate about electing versus appointing judges again, but to my mind if you’re going to elect judges, or if you’re going to appoint them and then have retention elections, then make them publicly funded and bar all contributions above some token amount, say $250. I cannot think of any valid reason why anyone who might have business to conduct in a given courtroom would contribute five figures or more to the election or defeat of that courtroom’s judge. That’s an issue for the Lege to deal with. In the meantime, I join the Chron in endorsing Judge Kirkland, and I hope you’ll vote for him as well.

Related Posts:

11 Comments

  1. joshua bullard says:

    kirkland is in trouble for a number of reasons-dont go get jolonda jones who was voted out of office on her ass by the houston voters and pay her to perfom a political advertisement for you,this ladie put the voters threw pure hell for her last two years in office and i am proud that the record reflects that i pushed like a mad man to have her removed out of office by the voters,this race is about qaulifications and not being reversed by the first court of appeals over and over again-even this week the first court of appeals overturned judge kirkland again-kirkland was just reversed this week by the appeals court in the first district,i like palmer,she is a woman that struggled with two jobs to pay her way threw law school,and along the way she reached out to many democrats for assistance that was gladly given to help her over come the common obstacles young lawyers face in the workforce,my take-i would award e-palmer with a vote-this lady is the best candidate besides the fact that she has a perfect disciplinary record i know she will not be reversed so often like kirkland…………………. written by joshua ben bullard-were all for e palmer……………………..

  2. Houstonian says:

    Judge Kirkland is a fine justice, and deserves to keep his bench. I’ve known him for years. He has my vote and is worthy of yours.

  3. Joseph Houston says:

    I typically vote Republican but having known Kirkland for years, there is simply no alternative. I don’t care about his orientation and don’t care about a few appellate decisions, he is a decent man with a sense of fair play. I know that Palmer’s sole financial backer (for all intents, she only has one) is still grumpy over being treated fairly instead of getting his way in court but there is just no comparison. As far as the GOP candidate, the stench coming from those endorsing him is enough on its own to keep Kirkland in place.

  4. Paul Kubosh says:

    Gee guys….what about the d.w.i.’s At least when you are endorsing a judge you should talk about his criminal record.

    | Home | Help | FAQs | Manuals | Name Search | SPN Search | DL Search | Case# Search |

    Case Summary Information (QCAS)

    NAME RECORDS FOR THIS SPN: PARTY: RACE: SEX: DOB: SPN:
    KIRKLAND, STEVEN EARL DEFENDANT WHITE MALE 08/14/60 00429361

    Address: 6500 MAIN #511 HOUSTON TX77000
    In Harris County Jail? NO
    Height
    5’04
    Weight
    120 LBS
    Eyes
    HAZEL
    Hair
    BROWN
    Skin
    FAIR
    Build
    LGH

    Scars, Marks, Traits: N/A

    Case Information
    CDI CASE NUMBER CRT CON FILE DATE OFFENSE NEXT SET CST DISPOSITION

    1. 002/074849301010 011 DEF 01/02/84 DWI OR DUID 05/18/84 C DISP-051884
    2. 002/064147301010 007 DEF 01/22/82 DWI OR DUID 05/11/83 C DISP-051183

    Subscriber Access Coordinator 05/11/2012 19:36 PM

  5. Mainstream says:

    Gosh, that is old stuff. We have a half dozen GOP judges with equivalent records of youthful indiscretions, even assuming this report about the old Tidelands motel resident is actually the same person.

    Judge Kirkland did well on the Bar Poll, which is probably a better measure to use. Yet I hear complaints about a rigidity, an imperial attitude from the bench from some attorneys.

    I always vote in the GOP primary. But I am offended that a single lawyer unhappy about a result appears to be trying to rig the contest.

  6. Paul Kubosh says:

    Just interested in full disclosure. Some people myself included would like to vote for people without a criminal record. That includes our former president.

  7. Joseph Houston says:

    Given the way so many defendants are treated by the judicial system, I’m okay with a candidate having been charged with a few misdemeanors even if they are 30 years old. He might have a better perspective of fair play for going through the system a time or two and considering how DWIs were treated back then as a glorified traffic ticket, hardly indicative of a career criminal. If the alternative is a power broker’s select candidate, I’ll take the proven winner who has already earned the respect of a great many people, myself included.

    A cynic would sugest that Mr. Kubosh picked Palmer because he used to get spanked in Kirkland’s municipal court so often, the juge providing all the requisite fairness one might expect but not catering to the handful of lawyers usually at the wheel down there. Thankfully, I’m not that cynical, even known for my neutrality akin to Switzerland when asked. :)

    Just so we’re on the same page, there are at least a couple of races where I’d vote for Paul as a superior candidate, even his brother for Constable in precinct 4 were he to run.

  8. Paul Kubosh says:

    Joseph, :) nicely put. I will readily admit that the greatest thing to me about the Obama win was kirkland leaving the municipal court. Also we did overturn him in the Court of Criminal Appeals while he was a sitting Municipal Court Judge. As to the Power brokers candidate, you mean George Fleming right? Have a happy mothers day.

    P.S. you know instead of a bloggers lunch with the mayor we should have a kuffner bloggers lunch just to meet face to face. Friendly meeting of course.

  9. Joseph Houston says:

    Thanks Paul. As you probably suspect, we have met a number of times in the past and discussed birthdays, Switzerland, and a great many other things but yeah, I’d favor an actual lunch sometime with Charles and some of the other regulars. Given the chance, I might actually convince some of them how public pensions are not rocket science and the local issue is quite easy to fix despite the wannabe political hacks and hedge fund owners trying their best to screw folks over. ;)

  10. Athena says:

    Mainstream worries about a single lawyer trying to rig a contest, while reading posts from a Tea Party troll, Paul Kubosh, that is not only helping to rig the Kirkland contest, but is almost single-handedly trying to orchestrate the subversion and takeover of the Harris County Democratic Party with his puppet, Keryl Douglas. He seems to be part of the greater NOM agenda to foment strife and internecine warfare between minority elements of the Democratic Party.

    Kubosh and his brainless minion, Bullard, should be persona non grata at any Democrat’s table and no Democrat should ever take a contribution from him without expecting to lose support and endorsements in the future.

    And, Paul, since you’re interested in full disclosure please tell us what you know of the Ministers for Keryl and Christopher Nielsen emails. Anyone that helped put Helena Brown in office should have a lot of explaining to and apologizing to do. “Dirty tricks but clever,” you had the gall and hypocrisy to write, before the blood had even dried on your corpulent jowls. What other dirty tricks do you have up your greasy sleeve? Are you trying to impress James O’Keefe? That bloated ego of yours has to be dying to brag to someone.

  11. Athena says:

    Mainstream worries about a single lawyer trying to rig a contest, while reading posts from a Tea Party troll, Paul Kubosh, that is not only helping to rig the Kirkland contest, but is almost single-handedly trying to orchestrate the subversion and takeover of the Harris County Democratic Party with his puppet, Keryl Douglas. He seems to be part of the greater NOM agenda to foment strife and internecine warfare between minority elements of the Democratic Party.

    Kubosh and his brainless minion, Bullard, should be persona non grata at any Democrat’s table and no Democrat should ever take a contribution from him without expecting to lose support and endorsements in the future.

    And, Paul, since you’re interested in full disclosure please tell us what you know of the Ministers for Keryl and Christopher Nielsen emails. Anyone that helped put Helena Brown in office should have a lot of explaining to and apologizing to do. “Dirty tricks but clever,” you had the gall and hypocrisy to write when accusing Lane Lewis of your work, and before the blood had even dried on your corpulent jowls. What other dirty tricks do you have up your greasy sleeve? Are you trying to impress James O’Keefe? That bloated ego of yours has to be dying to brag to someone.

Bookmark and Share