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And the same old crap begins in Steven Kirkland’s race

Lone Star Q reports that Steven Kirkland received the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, just as the same kind of attacks on his character that he dealt with in 2012 cranked up again.

Steven Kirkland

Kirkland, a close friend of Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s, served as a Harris County state district judge from 2009 until 2013. He was defeated in the 2012 Democratic Primary by Elaine Palmer, who ran an anti-gay campaign funded by a vindictive attorney against whom Kirkland had entered a judgment. Kirkland says that same attorney, George Fleming, is financing his current opponent in the March 4 primary, Lori Gray.

In recent days, Kirkland has been the target of misleading robo calls, radio ads and mailers calling attention to his arrests for drunken driving and public intoxication 30 years ago. The ads, paid for by a PAC tied to Fleming, reportedly suggest the arrests were far more recent. Kirkland, who has been sober for 29 years, details his recovery on his campaign website. He also details Fleming’s vendetta against him.

“How can Lori Gray be a fair judge if she allows her campaign manager to keep spreading lies? How can she be the defender of justice when she is part of Fleming’s effort to buy judges?” Kirkland writes. “Justice in Harris County should not be for sale. Judges should be selected on their qualifications, not lies and deceptions. I’m putting my faith in the people to join me and protect our courts.”

There’s no question that Fleming is financing Lori Gray’s campaign. You just have to look at Gray’s campaign finance reports – her only other donor of any significance is Paul Kubosh, who was also a contributor to Elaine Palmer in 2012 – the finance reports for the Texans For Good Leaders PAC, and the finance reports for the Moving Texas Forward PAC, which appears to be the financier of those calls, ads, and mailers.

Speaking of mailers, I got a copy of that nasty and misleading attack mailer that Texpatriate wrote about. You can see it here and here. Note the lack of any date on the arrest files, plus the 2012 date on the photo of Kirkland; very classy, that. Clearly, Lisa Falkenberg wrote that column too soon. Claiming she had no connection to Fleming was questionable at best to begin with, but now that Fleming has gotten up to his usual tricks means Lori Gray cannot avoid the association at all. As Mark Bennett likes to say, when you outsource your marketing, you outsource your ethics. If you don’t approve of what someone else is doing on your behalf, it’s your responsibility to get them to stop, and if they refuse it’s your responsibility to publicly distance yourself from what they’re doing. In the absence of any such action on her part, it’s fair to assume that Lori Gray approves of what George Fleming is doing. She deserves as much approbation as Fleming.

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7 Comments

  1. Fred Lazare says:

    MADD was cited at the bottom of that BS mailer. Are they lending their ‘good’ name to this?

  2. I suspect they were being cited as the source for the facts about drunk driving. But you are correct, the way it is laid out makes one think they are siding against Kirkland.

  3. Steve Houston says:

    It’s no surprise that Kubosh was a major contributor too, he and Kirkland go way back in their municipal court battles.

  4. Paul Kubosh says:

    Yes we do. You always like to bring me up on these posts. When he got beat and came back to work as a Judge he started running around with my competitors trying to come after me. That is why he isn’t a good judge because as a Judge he can’t keep his personal bias out of his desicion making and he uses the power of his position to promote his on personal interest. Just an angry bad man and he proves it everytime he has a little power.

  5. joshua bullard says:

    i swear to god-i reviewed soooo many 14th and 1st court of appeal reversals filed on kirkland when he was a state district judge=no lie=he was reversed allll the time by both courts,his cases always landed in the appeals court,think about it,hes got no bussiness running for office again,right after his own party sent him packing=anyways, heres my predictions on the election results in the race = lori gray 54% steven kirkland 46%

    joshua ben bullard

  6. Doug Hunter says:

    “You always like to bring me up on these posts.” Well, you were prominently mentioned in the article above as one of two main contributors to his opponent’s campaign so it seems fair game to mention where your specific grudge comes from. Fleming opposes Kirkland because the judge did not rule in his favor, some would say your personal vendetta is similar. Inquiries to others that work the municipal courts, both those who support Kirkland and those who do not, made it sound clear that he would take you to task for some of the gamesmanship involved in that system. While not a perfect candidate, he seems much more qualified than his opponent so the cheap shots of outdated material strike me as coming from desperation so I hope he wins.

  7. Steve Houston says:

    Paul, I’ve never seen Kirkland use his considerable power in such a way nor abuse it in his courtroom. If you have some dirt that amounts to more than sore feelings because he was trying to run a courtroom while you were trying to run a business and didn’t cater to how you wanted things done, there are far better venues to take the grievance.

    Maybe some day you’ll take the hit in pay to run for office and then opponents can make mountains out of molehills on trivia about you. It’s not like there isn’t a little they could run with you know. :)

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