More From Yesterday's Elections Commission Meeting Turned Bruce Sherbet Rally, Including the Postgame Interview With Clay Jenkins

Categories: Politics

Perhaps most disappointing to everyone gathered in support of Bruce Sherbet at yesterday's Election Commission meeting was the refusal of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to face his critics after he and two other Democrats, County Clerk John Warren and County Tax Assessor-Collector John Ames, voted against reappointing Sherbet to his gig as elections administrator. Jenkins did, however, speak with reporters afterward, and you can see most of it above.

Dallas County Democratic Party chair Darlene Ewing -- who voted with her counterpart, Jonathan Neerman, to keep Sherbet in place -- said the trio of Jenkins, Warren and Ames had reservations about placing Sherbet in a position he supposedly didn't want and expressed concerns about reappointing someone apparently so afraid to be reviewed that he resigned.

We asked Ewing: You don't think he was really afraid of being reviewed, do you?

"No," she replied.

Ewing said "nobody contacted me" about any effort to push Sherbet out of office and when asked if she thought such an attempt to do so existed, she said, "Let's just say the three votes came easy."

So what exactly was the original purpose of the get-together?

"It was just to bring the Elections Committee together and talk about the Elections Department," Ewing said she was told by Jenkins.

Neerman, who made a motion to open the meeting to the public and was supported by Ewing, told us that Jenkins balked at the request because it dealt with personnel issues and said the size of the crowd created "a carnival-like atmosphere." Neerman points out that these reasons contradicted the one given to him earlier: that the meeting wasn't subject to the Open Meetings Act.

"I'm very disappointed in our county government," he said shortly after the meeting, which included two county attorneys.

Below you'll find two videos of the crowd chanting "Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!" before the meeting and "We want Bruce back! We want Bruce back!" while the commission met behind closed doors. On the following page, we've posted more pics from the event.

Update: Wade Emmert, Jenkins' Republican opponent in the November election for county judge, posted this to his blog:

I've withdrawn my name from Clay Jenkins' "Transition Team." In the past 3 months, it's met only once and that was for the press conference. By the looks of his poor conduct and judgment over the last week, it looks like Clay's transition is complete. That didn't take long.
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49 comments
Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

I'd like to know when Clay Jenkin's performance review will be held. After this incident I can't imagine anyone (other than JWP of course) who doesn't have "concerns" about his "performance".

bornfreeamerican
bornfreeamerican

Time to oust John Wiley Price, Senator Royce West, and Judge Clay Jenkins!! We are NOT Chicago!!!

Whatever
Whatever

bruce serbet was ordered out of the bldg.cannot returnhis personal stuff will be packed up and sent to himhe will be paid thru 3/1/2011.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Just looked at the Clay Jenkins video. (1) He has the worst case of Klingon head I've seen outside of Startrek, (2) he intends to have an annual "performance review" of the Elections Supervisor every year (before a committee that can only hire and fire) after the election. Boy, does that send a message to the Elections Supervisor about toeing the line or what? And for the love of god, would he learn the guy's name is Sherbet, not Sherbert!

just watching the view
just watching the view

For me, two points in this matter stand out. 1) After Sherbet's meeting with JWP on Wednesday - where Price allegedly gave Sherbet a letter of resignation to sign - Jenkins was still saying that the Friday EC meeting was going to be a performance review. If true, does it mean Jenkins was totally out of the loop about a meeting that supposedly he (Jenkins) had called? 2) Ewing did not know what the agenda was for the EC meeting, or at least claimed that she didn't, on Wednesday. If true, does this mean she was out of the loop? By the time the third vote was taken at the EC meeting, I"m guessing Ewing was reading the writing on the wall and was really voting to keep her job as Dallas County Democratic Party chair. Not sure that's still possible, if JWP is running the Democratic party like some seem to think.

May be time for Jenkins and Ewing to do some serious thinking about the future of the Democratic Party in Dallas County and their role, or lack thereof, in it.

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

I love the potential nicknames Clay-Mation Jenkinsand Barney Fife Jenkins. Perhaps Claymation Fife or something willcatch on.

We elect people who while serving their constituents and ostensibly workinghard at their jobs...JWP and familia Garcia, for example, also seem obsessively intent on acquiring more and more personal power and control.

With their longevity in office they accumulate a form of tenure and entitlementand no longer are answerable to authority or laws. They call the shots, endorse and elect puppets that will repay favors earned or implied. Finally when they get control of the elections they will have even less accountability.

I must say that things from out here in the citizenry don't seem too bad. They fixedmy street not long ago and I haven't been burgled or beaten this year. Justice seemsto be getting done at the courthouse and the trains are running (I don't know if theyare ever on time though as I can't figure out the schedule.)

I have a natural aversion to a system where wrong-doing, crimes and mischief, are noted and reported in the media but nothing can be done to stop or correct it without spending years and millions for a Federal investigation.

Maybe the Kunkle-nator will be a force for good but he's not off the best of startsgetting in tight with Woolens and he won't have anything to do with Dallas County.

We get the government we deserve.

HonestGovt?
HonestGovt?

Jenkins campaigned on "transparent" and open government and pulls this garbage? Looks like J Wiley Price has got his hooks into him early and is now pulling the puppet strings. J Wiley Price, the direct contradiction to open, transparent, and honest government.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

What is most obvious about Judge Jenkin's impromptu press conference out of the sight of the public is that it was done because he had not managed to come up with a plausable message to spin about Bruce Sherbet's dismissal. If this Friday meeting was merely a "performance review," why would John Wiley Price on Wednesday draft his own version of Sherbet's resignation letter and thrust it across at desk at Bruce for him to sign? Sherbet refused and later drafted his own. That action is clear evidence that Jenkin's spin is just that -- and nothing more. I chuckle at the ineptitude of the Jenkins' spin machine. Nothing to me is more inept than an elected official who plays dirty but doesn't even have the tongue to follow it up. I predict he will give us far more fodder in the future.

Snitch-In-Time
Snitch-In-Time

Clay Jenkins interview is a textbook case of grossly disingenuous political discourse. Note that he tiptoed past the fact that someone "leaked" the news that they had 4 votes to remove Bruce from office earlier in the week. (Who might that leaker be, Clay?) How else was Bruce to respond to that leak? The slanderous and malicious gossip that Jenkins uttered in the interview was nothing but a bald attempt to defame a decent and honorable public servant, nothing more, nothing less. This interview sets a new low water mark in Dallas County politics. My well well informed suspicion is that had Bruce not resigned, Jenkins would have stood their and defamed him for "bitterly clinging to his office". This was a raw exercise in partisan opposition for the purpose of advancing nefarious political goals and agendas from which the public would rightly recoil were those agendas to be fully exposed. This may very well signal the end of fair and honest elections in Dallas County at the hands of a political hack with so little courage and such defective moral character that he cannot face a candid public to deliver forthright answers.

waterloo
waterloo

Clay Jenkins has got to go. He needs a deep investigation. Lets all band together to make it a reality. John Price has never been any good. Up on rape charges, never paid child support for his own child. Low life scum elected by people who feel like this is what they need to represent them. Heinous! We either fight it or everyone and all the good Doctors move from Dallas County and let it become Detroit.

iwanttothrowup
iwanttothrowup

Appreciate the attempt to "explain away in legal terms" the actions of "barney fife - Jenkins", but no words will justify the "dingbat's actions". He is and will remain an idiot.

GarlandGuy
GarlandGuy

I really fear for the state of Dallas County government if this is the type of legal advice that they are receiving from their "County Attorney" (I don't know if they mean the Civil Section of the DA's Office or an external attorney) because their "interpretation" of the Texas Election Code is dead wrong. Texas Attorney General's Opinion LO-88-62 (https://www.oag.state.tx.us/op... states that "nothing in the relevant statutes expressly authorizes the election commission to discipline the elections administrator;" its sole purpose under §§ 31.031 - 31.038 of the Election Code is to hire/fire and fill a vacancy of an elections administrator. Nowhere does it say that it is authorized to "conduct" or give permission for "a performance review;" that would normally fall under the purview of the Commissioners' Court which oversees the Elections Department on a day-to-day basis, just as it would any department head who is not an elected official. So, at best, this was a sham cover and, at worst, a blatant lie from Jenkins on the reason to call the meeting.

Second, I fear for the mental health of the employees of the Elections Department. It is well-known that Pippins-Poole's management style is far more unnecessarily aggressive than Sherbet's, to the point that one former employee of the department suffered a stroke, allegedly due to Pippins-Poole's frequent, unwarranted, and public beratings of her subordinates. It would not surprise me to see additional employees leave following Sherbet's departure. Indeed, at least one other management-level employee is retiring with Sherbet, due at least in good part to Pippins-Poole's self-admitted difficulty for employees to work with and for her.

Finally, despite Jenkins's protests to the contrary, the writing on the wall is that other department heads who do not tow the new political line should fear for their continued employment, lest these illegitimately-crafted "performance reviews" biasedly and unfairly come after them, too.

crispinTx
crispinTx

@HayMan -- How do we know Bruce was doing a good job? Simple, we were his election judges and deputy voter registrars. We attended his classes, we reviewed the materials he gave us, we called his office sometimes 20 or 30 times on election day. We emailed him with questions and he answered us. We dropped off voter registration cards at his office once a week during a run up to the voter registration deadlines. We have friends on the ballot board who told us how it works. We have friends who had one-on-one dialog with Bruce about the HAVA changes and electronic voting machines. We have friends at the League of Women voters who tell us he is an open and honest communicator about matters electoral.

We are the people who are involved on an intimate level with the hands-on working of our democracy and we know by all of our interactions, and all of our friends' interactions, with Bruce and his office, that he was doing a good job and he was an honest man.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I don't think I've ever come across someone so easy to hate. Jenkins appears to be utterly devoid of respect or concern for the citizens of Dallas. I suspect as soon as he finishes whatever despicable assignments he's been given by John Wiley Price, Royce West and the rest of the Dallas County machine, he'll head on back to Waxahachie.

Nunya
Nunya

Off topic here. Can't put my finger on it, but something is amiss with Jenkin's hair. Are those finger waves? Hair plugs or toupee maybe?

Not that there's anything wrong with that..

Admonkey
Admonkey

I'll go out on a limb and predict this Jenkins YouTube video will reappear in only slightly edited form in three years and two months.

WTD
WTD

Jenkins looks like Kunkles weird little brother. He sure doesn't speak well. This is only the begining. Things will get worse

miss moxie
miss moxie

Crass, crass, crass. This is a joke. Bruce Sherbet deserves nothing but thanks for his service to this county. He's going out with class. This whole debacle is a pathetic display of arrogance and a sad start to a new administration.

Guest
Guest

John Wiley Price is the Hosni Mobarak of Dallas County.

iwanttothrowup
iwanttothrowup

Are you kidding me........this dingbat is what the citizens of Dallas voted to be on the County Commission. Can the man string together a coherent sentence without uttering 'uh, oh, uh'. The man looks like he was caught like a deer in headlights. What a disgraceful performance. I guess in the end, while not voting for him, we get what we deserve as voters. Stupidity............amazing............

Guest11
Guest11

The Morning News is reporting that the Parkland Hospital Board and Ron Anderson are next. Whom will JWP appoint next? Also - why doesn't Clay Jenkins blink normally? Is it uncomfortable having JWP's hand up your backside controlling your mouth?

HayMan
HayMan

When the "Tea Party" types began to speak up, I could no longer defend Sherbet. He acted like he had something to hide.

pak152
pak152

just what we need Democrats in charge of elections

Guest
Guest

WHY DO I FEEL LIKE I AM WATCHING AN EPISODE OF "V" AND THE SKIN IS PEELING OFF REVEALING A LIZARD?

in vain
in vain

Democrats should be ashamed they elected this guy. What a clown. Looks like a clown and sounds like a clown. What a disgrace to elected office.

Oakparkstudio
Oakparkstudio

This whole episode is so disgusting it is not be be believed except in Dallas County. Who believes what this Judge and JWP is shoveling? Who is Judge Foster Gump now? At least Foster had the conviction to stand on his. Guess that's why he's out the door too. After living in Dallas for over 20 years I guess I shouldn't be too surprised...so why am I still shaking my head? Too bad people are either too stupid or too scared of JWP to railroad him out of office as well.

A sad, sad week in Dallas right before the big show. BRAVO! Real nice.

claytonauger
claytonauger

Did this guy ever win a case? Talk about English as a Second Language.

cp
cp

Memo to Clay Jenkins: NOBODY IS BUYING YOUR BULLSHIT!

waterloo
waterloo

How could we known how prophetic the show Howdy Doody would produce such a star.

cp
cp

Please let's not confuse the roles and responsibilities of the COUNTY government vs. the CITY government. The Mayor of Dallas can no more do anything at all to affect change at the County level than the Mayor of Timbuktu.

Got your street fixed? Not the County's doing. Trains are running on time? Again, not the County's doing. Crime is down in your neighborhood? Not the County's doing.

Snitch-In-Time
Snitch-In-Time

The County Judge corrupted the Elections Commission into a twisted and contemptible Star Chamber designed to ram a political outcome down the throat of the good citizens of our county. Welcome to the People's Republic of Dallas County. Like all banana republics we now appear to have our very own conniving tin pot despot in Clay Jenkins.

Stan
Stan

I totally agree with you. I have worked as an election judge, precinct chair and election clerk. Bruce was a very good administrator and kept elections honest. I fear for the integrity of the ballot box with the new crew in charge.

marspolarlander
marspolarlander

He acts like he has had extreme plastic surgery for his brows/eyes. His face just does not look normal.

Snitch-In-Time
Snitch-In-Time

Uh, HayMan, I think your bigotry is showing. If you will do a little research (you can do research, yes?) you will find that the majority of people that showed up in support of Bruce were Democrat and Republican election judges and precinct chairmen. If these essential and mainstream election volunteers are not credible in your book, then I think rational men can safely discount anything further you have to say on the matter.

cp
cp

That is the stupidest thing I've ever read. Republicans and Democrats getting together to maintain the fact that we have had honest elections in Dallas for decades, but as soon as a "tea Party type" jumps in to agree, suddenly somebody's hiding something? You're a moron.

crispinTx
crispinTx

Oh come on. An elections administrator having the support of all political persuasions is not a BAD thing. It's a good thing.

bornfreeamerican
bornfreeamerican

Starting to remind me of Nevada!! The SEIU were the technicians in charge of the voting machines!!! They've been taking lessons from Harry "Pinky" Ried!!

Jay D
Jay D

Its difficult to lie on the fly.

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

Yes, I know the different roles of our local governments. My point was simply this stuff bothers me and perhaps others but no great clamor will be heard because the day to day business seems to be going along OK even considering the economic climate. It can happen to city and nearby governments as well as Dallas County. I think 14/1 was an attempt for council persons to accumulate personal power etc.....It's not only JWP but ambitious local pols and their pals who see public service as a career and primary means of attaining wealth and status, not as consequence of their achievements but as the means of achievement yada yada yada.

HayMan
HayMan

The "Tea Party" is an ANTI-political group, if you ask me. They seek to subvert the political process, not embrace it. They seek policies that restrict voting rights, not expand them. They seek to eliminate certain voting blocs, not embrace them. Putrid.

Oakparkstudio
Oakparkstudio

Thanks, crispinTx.

Seriously HayMan, Sherbet was universally liked by ALL persuasions locally, statewide...in fact well respected nationwide in his job keeping elections fair and running them smoothly.

You don't buy anyone's line that he resigned because of a job performance review do you? Don't you think in his many years on the job he would have had a hint if he was doing poorly or needed to improve?

No, he resigned rather than be fired. His "Godfather-style" chat with JWP earlier in the week sealed the deal. Judge Clay-mation had to follow through with the political theatre which he bungled.

Curiously absent is any comment by the normally caustic Price whose diarrhea of the mouth normally devolves quickly into an abject meltdown at Commissioner's Court.

Very curious to see what happens next week. Sherbet has been talking and has nothing to hide. Clay-mation and Price are seeking cover from the bright lights.

bornfreeamerican
bornfreeamerican

You are listening to the propaganda! Dude we are grandparents, parents, dads, soccer moms, we are your neighbor. We do not either want to subvert the political process!! We want them to follow our constitution. We want liberty, fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility! They don't want to restrict voting rights! Where are you getting your info, because it is obviously wrong and anti-American!!! Yeah, we want citizens to vote, not illegals! What is wrong with that? We want people that are true citizens!!! Not dead people, not felons, not people from another state, but true citizens. Hopefully that is what you want too!!! You need to find another source for the biased BS you are reading! They are lying to you. You sir, are being duped.

Curtis P.
Curtis P.

HayMan you are so asinine. You show your lack of intelligence and your insipid insolence by your description of a group of Americans who think all America is "Taxed Enough Already". I am a county employee with over 30 years of service 7-03-80 and I personally knew him. His integrity can not be matched. (Something I cannot say for the County Judge) You show your colors when you try to belittle him or the T.E.A. Party. BTW I make less than 40,000 a year so I am not a fat cat and I was a democrat until I sobered up. (Sobered up 1980 left the leftist party 3 years later.)

cp
cp

You chose your words poorly. Fine, I'll give you their wanting "to subvert the political process". That is exactly what we are witnessing right now in this ugly episode: a very clear example of the "political process" at work. Therefore, yes, I'll agree with you on that.

However, had you said "democratic process" you would have been wrong. There is a huge difference between the "political process" and the democratic process. And both Dems, Reps and yes, "tea Party types", realize is that Jenkins and JWP are attempting to subvert the democratic process.

Oakparkstudio
Oakparkstudio

This was a Kangaroo Court proceeding...plain and simple.

How do I know his office ran smoothly? I don't because I don't work with him.

But his wide support in a very partisan environment and in a very partisan position bears his accolades out.

So, In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I continue to be dissuaded by any argument other than the simple one....Our Man Downtown wanted his own man in the Dallas County Elections Office.

Tea Party protests may make headlines...but the Tea Party is not the real boogeyman here.

HayMan
HayMan

"[Sherbet was] well respected nationwide in his job keeping elections fair and running them smoothly."

How do we know? How often was his agency audited (if ever)? What oversight occurred (if any)? Why did he bolt instead of defend his tenure in charge?It is Sherbet's actions that smell fishy. By the way, do not assume that I am an apologist for Commissioner Price.

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