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Republican Party sues to get Farenthold off the ballot

Now here‘s something you don’t see every day.

Rep. Blake Farenthold

The Texas GOP is suing the Texas secretary of state to keep embattled U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold off the 2018 primary ballot — one day after the Corpus Christi Republican announced he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Farenthold, who’s facing a raft of allegations that he sexually harassed staffers and created a hostile work environment, had filed for re-election by the Monday deadline and missed the deadline the next day to withdraw. Still, he asked Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey on Friday not to include him on the ballot, according to the lawsuit, which notes Dickey has until Tuesday to submit the names of all primary candidates to the secretary of state.

Filed late Friday in federal court, the lawsuit calls into question the “incongruity” between the separate deadlines to withdraw and to hand over the names, while arguing Farenthold’s appearance on the ballot at this point would violate the “First Amendment associational rights” of the party.

“In short, the State cannot constitutionally force any political party to be represented on the primary election ballot by a candidate with whom it does not wish to associate,” the lawsuit said.

See here for the background. As you know, I Am Not A Lawyer. I am, however, a sentient carbon-based life form, and I am highly dubious of this claim. Candidates who are not representative of a given political party run for office in the primary of that party all the time. Dave Wilson has filed as a Democrat numerous times, for instance, most recently in 2016 when he challenged Rep. Jessica Farrar in HD148. Keisha Rogers and Lloyd Oliver, both of whom have had success in primaries, have done this as well. The reason Farenthold is still on the ballot is because he resisted the pressure from national Republicans to step aside until it was too late to legally withdraw his filing. The fact that he’s had a change of heart now is nobody’s problem but his own. There are other Republican candidates running for CD27, and working to ensure that one of those candidates defeats him in March is a perfectly viable option. Farenthold can abet this by not campaigning, or even endorsing one of his opponents. If the people choose to support him anyway, that’s just too damn bad. He can stay on the ballot and hope all is forgiven, or he can withdraw at that time and leave it up to the RPT to find a suitable write-in candidate, a la Tom DeLay and Shelley Sekula Gibbs in 2006. The RPT can also remember that it has total control of state government, and lobby for a change to that portion of the electoral code in 2019. Until then, I say tough luck. We’ll see what the courts say.

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10 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Kuff,

    You mentioned Dave Wilson, and I know you really, really, really dislike him. I’d like to know what you think about his time as a trustee at HCC. He (and Ch13) seem to be bringing HCC’s dirty laundry and lack of fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to public view. Has your opinion of Dave Wilson changed? Do you think the improprieties he is bringing forth are not true?

  2. Flypusher says:

    I remember the 2006 election in TX22 well. Despite efforts to educate the voters on how to do a write-in, the GOP was sunk by all the voters who voted straight ticket R. IIRC straight tickets were banned this last session.

    I did feel some pity for the DeLay donors; he thoroughly shafted them by withdrawing and not returning the $. But they can’t say that some of us didn’t warn them about what a scoundrel he was.

  3. Bill, I’ve seen Wilson talk a lot about the ethical issues HCC has had, but I’m not sure what exactly he has accomplished. He also paid for mailers attacking Zeph Capo and Kevin Hoffman in 2013 when they were running against the very ethically challenged Yolanda Navarro Flores, so he’s only anti-corruption when it doesn’t conflict with his deep-seated homophobia.

    So sure, some credit to him for pointing stuff out, but that doesn’t come close to mitigating his decades-long record of working to make life worse for thousands of people in Houston. I look forward to supporting a much better person against him in 2019.

  4. Manny Barrera says:

    Charles, the only person ethically challenged is you when it comes to Yolanda Navarro Flores. I have asked that you read the entire Veselka Report and I take that you have not or you would continue to put out things that are not true.

    What specifically did Flores do that was ethically wrong.

    As to Zeph Capo his lack of actions speaks tons about him. Two programs are on probation, they keep bleeding students (Lone Star student population is going up).

    I once called the Houston Chronicle a whore because as long as HCC paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars for ads they would publish untruths.

    Zeph Capo knew or should have known about Chris Oliver, but he did nothing. Why?

    In my opinion Capo is working with the Greater Houston Partnership and that is not always a good thing. How many workers has he sold out? Is HCC paying their lower income employees more since he went on board? He is head of a Union and does not for wage or health benefits of HCC employees. What kind of Union Leader is he.

    Again if Flores did something wrong, what is it, don’t quote the whore of a newspaper.

  5. Manny Barrera says:

    does not fight

  6. Manny Barrera says:

    C.L. you just quoted the whore of a newspaper that was spreading lies, instead look at what the Veselka report had. Here, http://inside-hcc.com/VeselkaInterviews.html In fact the so called contractor that was helping Flores was Pete Manafort, read his interview. In fact HCC investigated Flores twice, both time they were friend of Richard Schechter and both Jewish if memory serves me correct, almost one million in legal fees. His daughter, Lilly, is a consultant for linebarger, and was a consultant at the time he served, but not to Linebarger.

    Dave Wilson sued to try to stop HCC from buying the Westheimer property, it and is in a flood plain, it was under water not to long ago. They paid about 5 times the appraised value of the property, here http://inside-hcc.com/index3.html look at 9/12/2011

    For years I wrote about what was happening at HCC, it just got too expensive as HCC does almost everything possible to avert provide information that should be public. In fact there is still a lawsuit that HCC filed against the State rather than give me the information. Here, http://www.houstonpress.com/news/houston-community-college-sues-texas-attorney-general-over-public-records-7396122

    So C.L. read the interviews and there is much more to the Veselka investigation besides the interviews, but don’t quote the so called newspaper that reports lies for money. Well it could be for other reasons that I can’t think off.

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    I am not always right, hell I make a lot of mistakes, but I do try had to be honest. Maybe that is why I never get elected no one wants an honest politician.

  8. […] Manny Barrera on Republican Party sues to get Farenthold off the ballot […]

  9. C.L. says:

    @Manny… gotcha. Houston Chronicle – fake news.