Election Coup: Following Bruce Sherbet's Adios, Only the Man from Plains Can Save Us Now

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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I'm serious. I want Jimmy Carter to come monitor our elections. We need his help.

So, if you were around here eight years ago, when Dallas was getting national attention for vote fraud, you might be especially concerned about recent developments in the county elections department. Until the Legislature adopted new laws to curb the abuse, Dallas was sort of the Wild West for a seamy practice called "vote harvesting."

Basically, paid operatives arranged to have mail-in ballots sent out to a lot of old people. Then the operatives showed up at the old people's doors, told them who to vote for and collected their ballots.

Sometimes they did it for a particular candidate. Sometimes they were freelancers, collecting boxes of signed but uncast ballots which they would then sell to the highest bidder.

Largely at the instigation of then Dallas Representative Steve Wolens, the Legislature passed laws trying to prevent the worst of the scams, but that doesn't mean there are no longer any ways to cheat.

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Help us, Jimmy! Help us!
Several people have told me they are worried that political boss and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, aided by his henchman, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, moved to get rid of Dallas County elections director Bruce Sherbet because Sherbet was too straight and too smart to allow hanky-panky.

What hanky-panky could take place under the new laws? It all depends on who can get through the door to the ballot-counting room at the elections department on vote night and who cannot. The people in that room have great discretion to allow or disallow ballots. In the extremely low-turnout narrow-margin contests common in down-ballot elections in Dallas, the people in the vote-counting room can easily make the difference.

Nobody with good sense is comforted that Price got rid of the honest guy who ran that room for more than two decades and seems to be replacing him with a plant. There has to be a reason.

In the meantime, what are the chances we could get Jimmy Carter to come monitor our elections? He's got have a good nose for this stuff by now, and we need some kind of interim assurances.

Think about it. We need to catch up with Liberia.

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Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I know for a fact Elections department can effect outcome,when I ran for City Council a group of nursing home residents wanted to vote for me,many were former classmates at BTW high school,because I knew, their ballots could be harvested and the Manager said she could not monitor them, they agreed to have them come to p.o.box and delivered to them,Daphene Fain somehow got list of ballots being mailed saw P.O.box number and had Toni Poole call me to say the ballots could not go to that box,I ask how do you know who's box it is,her answer ,she google box number,that was a lie. I ask what will happen to their right to vote?Never got an answer.My Sister had contract to fix lunch for Kathy Nealy clients on election day,Sisters mail in ballot went to ballot board ,two days before the election and she voted for Nealy's client opponent,the morning after ballot was open,my sister got call saying the lunch contract was canceled.That lunch was cancel because someone on ballot board knew my sister by name,when I investigated it was a John Price appointee who told Toni Poole and Nealy about how my sister vote,Mr.Sherbet later ban this woman from working in Department.So much has been done by these people ,to harm the very people they are suppose to protect.

crispinTx
crispinTx

Jim, thanks for the "context" link below. What some folks don't seem to understand is that the action against Sherbet fits in a pattern of cronyism and shady behavior we've seen out of JWP et al for YEARS (the John Ames primary win being yet another example). Those who forget history....

LL
LL

We have the Trinity debacle, the arena and the hotel because of illegal vote tactics. It is not hard to prove but no paper or media outlet -- including the Observer -- wants to do the work that it would require. The real shame is that it's not a lot of work. Seems that everyone is just scared to take it on.

When they are ready, I am more than willing to show them how.

Admonkey
Admonkey

Jesus, just take it on yourself! Please! (Really, please!)

What is this, the "do it for me" zone?

cp
cp

Yeah it seems the only guy in town who ever bothers to file ethics complaints down in Austin is Allen Gwinn...

JS
JS

Just another example of the black man keepin us down.

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

I believe you comment is tongue in cheek but I think it's interesting to note that this really is not a racial issue. It's about how elections can be controlled by a few insiders with the skill, contacts, and funding to achieve the results they want.How do you suppose a guy like Tom "Tom Who" Leppert got elected mayor?

JWP of course has a lot of racial issue history. I admire him on many levels. He's on top of many of the issues, he works very hard, he does good things for the county and especially the black community. He knows how to get things done etc. etc.The equity issues and corruption complaints are nothing new to local politicians around here. What disturbs me is the consolidation of power to control all the county organizations,funding, staffing and construction etc in the hands of fewer and fewer people with less and less accountability. I don't want to end up with a Rahm Emanauel appointed our leader and the electionjust a formality. If you know what I mean. The ethnic group is not the important factor.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Robert Mugabe was once admirable, but now he is a power-hungry dictator taking his country to ruin. Power corrupts.

Admonkey
Admonkey

I'm no fan of what went down-- really, to see Bruce go; and the way he went-- is beyond the pale, but who was Elections Administrator "around here eight years ago, when Dallas was getting national attention for vote fraud"?

I get what you're saying, Jim, and I understand the point, but you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Guest
Guest

The only problem is that many of the worst tactics used eight years ago were legal at the time.

Admonkey
Admonkey

That's not the only problem, but yeah.

The solution at this point, assuming Sherbet is a no-return-for-credit, is a truly national search that will find an Administrator beyond the reach of Price or any would-be-Price Republican.

Admonkey
Admonkey

Oh, I know, Robert. I was here, then.

I stand on my assertion that the solution is a truly national search that will find an Administrator beyond the reach of Price or any would-be-Price Republican.

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

Jim and Wylie H have nailed it. I can only add that by staying home on election day as most of the city usually (reliably) has done we have given up democracy and handed it over to the democrat machine and voter consultants. Now it is fait accompli.

My perception is that Mr. Price is even more of a hero to his constituency now than ever.He is the man, the Commissioner, answerable to no one and he's loved and feared. Nice combination to have going for you.God bless us everyone.

shrubstex
shrubstex

At the time of the Dallas Arena bond issue and approval election, it was well known how much a vote cost at a large church in South Dallas. For around 30 dollars, you got a vote, and a deduction to a church on your income taxes. The rest home on South Central was always harvested by various Democratic Party people. It is obvious to me that the future contested races in the Democratic Primary are going to be the ones to watch in the future since Royce West, and JWP are the King Makers in charge now. The Betty Culbreaths of the world have been trying to tell us this for a long time.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Just tell him JWP has Guinea worm, he'll show up.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I've been giving this whole affair a lot of thought over the last few days and have the following two comments:

1) Dallas County will never again see a fair election without some sort of federal intervention and/or prosecution;

2) The Dallas County "machine" has now effectively politicized the elements of law enforcement including the constables, DAs office, and sheriffs department as well as the election process, now that Sherbet is gone;

3) Representative government is now effectively dead for all practical purposes in Dallas County; and

4) The fact that not a single elected official (I.e. Leppert, etc.) registered an objection to Sherbet's ouster is beyond depressing.

El Rey
El Rey

I totally agree with your 'two' comments. I fear our county will be the laughingstock of the state (and nation) if JWP is the new Mayor Daley.

Admonkey
Admonkey

Leppert doesn't care; his eye is on a higher prize.

Angela or any of the other would-be contenders is another matter.

Fear is a powerful drug.

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