The Race For the Park Cities' State House Seat Has Completely Jumped the Shark

Categories: Politics

ChartWestcottMorganMeyer.jpg
Superficially, the Republican race for state Representative Dan Branch's Park Cities/Preston Hollow seat started off positive. Here you had three intelligent, accomplished young professionals politely agreeing with each other on how best to shape Texas' future. Their few apparent distinguishing features -- I've been endorsed by LeVar Burton! Holy crap I have a good looking family! -- were kind of adorable.

A fraction of an inch beneath the surface, though, things got ugly quick. Anonymous tipsters peddled little clumps of dirt -- Chart Westcott has a probationary law license, perhaps maybe because he's a drunk; Morgan Meyer was arrested in college and lied about it to The Dallas Morning News. Someone even passed along a photo purporting to show Court Alley, who didn't make the May 27 runoff, double-parked in a handicapped spot in Preston Center.

But the pockets in the race were too deep and the egos too big for such mud-slinging to stay hidden. As the runoff approaches, the race has degenerated into a brutal exchange of personal attacks of the type that tend to be the exclusive purview of grade-school playgrounds and political campaigns.

See also: LeVar Burton, Formerly of Star Trek, Just Waded into a Texas House Race

Westcott, newly armed with the Don Huffines campaign team that successfully deposed Texas Senate fixture John Carona, fired off the first public volley, attacking Meyer for being employed by a law firm (Bracewell & Giuliani) that supports Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

An accompanying website -- whoismorganmeyer.com -- repeats the charge and adds the cardinal sins of being a trial lawyer (Westcott is counsel for his father's company and thus doesn't have to dirty his suits in courtrooms); of working with a law firm that has clients (e.g. "Trial Lawyer Morgan Meyer's firm helped its clients pocket $13.2 billion from Obama's stimulus programs"; "Meyer's firm helped Spanish company Cintra turn Texas' State Highway 130 and State Highway 121 into controversial toll roads."); and taking a pragmatic approach to illegal immigration ("certainly [we] want them to be taxpaying members of society if they are here," Meyer says on an audio recording, which Westcott defines as "amnesty.")

The site also brings up Meyer's aforementioned arrest. Meyer's explanation -- that he was a sober but cocky law student in Virginia who got mouthy with a cop and refused to submit to a Breathalyzer -- is at least plausible, given that he was acquitted of criminal DWI charges and had his record expunged.

So, for that matter, is Westcott's explanation of his probationary law license (i.e. that he gave up drinking several years ago but felt morally compelled to admit his former alcoholism on his application to the state bar), not that it stopped Meyer's campaign from plastering the Internet with ads directing readers to an ominous description of the situation on chartonprobation.com.

Meyer also returned fire on the tenuous claim that he's cozy with Democrats, pointing out (on a URL registered especially for the purpose. naturally) that Westcott and his family have made donations to California Governor Jerry Brown. This, by extension, clearly means that Westcott "supports Obama-style policies like federal funding for abortions, increased welfare funding and the most liberal taxing policies in the nation."

Then, in an ironic little coup, Meyer convinced the state of Virginia to charge Westcott with a misdemeanor for disclosing his expunged criminal charges.

At this point, with the supply of plausible attack URLs dwindling, serious-minded voters might be tempted to throw up their hands. We'll just make a couple of quick observations. One is that, recent salvos notwithstanding, Meyer has established himself as the pragmatist in the race, much less eager than Westcott to mouth conservative dogma. The other is that every 8-year-old knows the tried-and-true method of adjudicating these types of disputes: Westcott started it.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
31 comments
Bornagaindem
Bornagaindem

Morgan Meyer- a moderate? don't make me laugh. In an interview for Park Cities People he said that the judge in Fort Worth, who allowed the dead woman who had been pregnant when she died be taken off of life support, decided wrongly. He said he would have decided differently and that the legislature needed to make sure that can't happen again. That is not a moderate, not a man who believes in personal freedom, not a man who upholds the the settled law of the land and not a man who respects the right of a woman to decide for herself. This is man who no woman should ever vote for.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

I received again today THREE giant postcard mailings from the Wescott campaign attacking Morgan Meyer with innuendos, half-truths, incorrect generalizations, and vicious personal attacks.   All this does is hurt the Republican Party, show disrespect for the intelligence of the voters, and tarnish Wescott for years should he be successful.

So, far, I see a huge backlash against Westcott because of a lack of ethics in twisting the truth to try and make his opponent appear in a light that is false.

We'll see in a few days.

Gangy
Gangy

Forget these kids and vote for the strong candidate in this race:  Leigh Bailey.  She is not in a runoff, but you can vote for her in November.

lecterman
lecterman

Wait...wait....wait...Chart?  The guy's name is Chart?


Um.....okay

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

It actually matters who started the mud-fest first.  In campaigns, if you're personally attacked - which Morgan Meyer was, you have no choice but to defend yourself and fire back at the side attacking you.  

Negative campaigns work, which is why many candidates resort to them.  However, for Republicans in a Primary Election to throw this much mud, there needs to be a determination by voters of who first disrespected the GOP and his opponent. 

I will only say that Morgan Meyer had no choice but to respond to the continued personal and ugly attacks by the Wescott campaign and hired guns.  They seems to be trying to buy the seat, and in the GOP  - from what I've seen - that's not a confidence builder among voters.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Hello, the district also includes a large section of East Dallas going down to I-30.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

If they were real men, they'd duel.

pnd2131
pnd2131

Court Alley was the only one qualified and should have won. Money buys elections, unfortunately.

tb00
tb00

The race is awful, but of the two candidates, Westcott is far worse than Meyer. I threw up a little bit in my mouth when I realized Chart had hired Don Huffines' disgusting consultants for the runoff. Like Huffines, Westcott is utterly unqualified and is in the race only because he's rich, rich, rich. Replacing Carona and Branch with Huffines and Westcott would be a huge drop-off in intelligence and expertise in the Senate.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

It's petty and "jumping the shark" is a good phrase for it.

Unless by simply leveling a petty, partisan accusation can spur a systematic multiple federal agency task force to destroy the candidate, and the people who support them under color of law.

Threeboys
Threeboys

This race jumped the shark when two guys named Chart & Court filed.

SCamp2
SCamp2

Chart Wescott: The best candidate his daddy can buy!

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Maybe someone can take the high road and get some divorce records unsealed, or get a friendly, crooked election board to invalidate signatures. That way, we'll know the winner is fit for DC.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

Ahem--"Commonwealth" of Virginia, if you please.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

@lecterman His parents named him for the medical folder on the clipboard on his mother's hospital bed?

Creative.  :|

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

@Montemalone Morgan Meyer would win hands down.  Wescott may have money on his side, but Meyer has wisdom, experience, and time-in-the-district on his side.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Montemalone

If they were real men, they'd jump a shark.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@tb00  

Link him to a Youtube video then have him jailed for a year by the Feds.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@tb00  
Agreed, so long as you didn't reference "integrity" and "Carona" together. Intelligent - yes. Expert in the wily wiles of gov't - yes.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas topcommenter

@SCamp2 Chart Westcott contributed over $2,000 to Jerry Brown in California (a/k/a Governor Moonbeam), a relentless and aggressive dope smoker, liberal, Progressive, and aging hippie.

Morgan Meyer has never personally contributed to a Democrat.

This makes the choice pretty easy for Republicans.

tb00
tb00

@wcvemail I hear you. I've never been a huge fan of either Branch or Carona. (I once lost my shit when Branch himself put his campaign sign in my yard by mistake.) But they're both miles ahead of Westcott and Huffines.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@James080

Even the most revered, deified and idolized great leaders have to start somewhere, and that's usually in local and state politics.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@RTGolden1

Cool, she wouldn't even need a spacesuit.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@wcvemail @TheRuddSkiI dunno, there was a pretty good idea on this board to make her the first, only and lifetime appointed warden for the national park she wants to establish on the moon.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@wcvemail

Nothing legal.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@TheRuddSki  
I still appreciate the comment in Tx Monthly (ca 1994) that Eddie Bernice Johnson was elevated to U.S. rep because the Tx Senate couldn't figure out what else to do with her.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...