Rob Todd Unredacted

Desperately seeking Susan

If Hotze's case goes to trial, his supporting cast of witnesses should be as interesting as the offense. Shortly before the arrest, the good doctor had been at a Rainbow Lodge affair honoring a tobacco shop. He shared a table with Councilman Chris Bell, Mark Clarkof the Houston Police Officers Union, and several West University Republicans. Also at ringside was Hotze's political Tonto, consultant Allen Blakemore.

All are primed to say that Hotze seemed sober during the festivities. Considering that Hotze was an early, ardent backer of District Attorney-elect Chuck Rosenthal, and Blakemore was the candidate's consultant, the case should provide a good test of the impartiality of justice under the new order.

Texas Dreaming

With the likelihood that the Bush regency shortly will relocate itself to Washington, Democrats are busy dreaming about a resurgence in the Texas elections in 2002. Warming in the partisan incubator and party operatives' imaginations is this rainbow coalition:

  • Governor: Laredo oilman Tony Sanchez or Houston plaintiff's lawyer John O'Quinn. Both have the bucks to finance their own campaigns -- and considerable drawbacks. Sanchez would have to explain why he was a Bush pioneer ($100,000 minimum fund-raiser) in the recent presidential race. O'Quinn -- according to party sources he's considering a run -- would have to convince voters he's no longer a perennial candidate for the Betty Ford Clinic. His recent interview with the FBI concerning former state attorney general Dan Morales's handling of tobacco litigation and a grand jury probe of the matter won't help either. And O'Quinn's millions won't necessarily buy voter love. Just ask defeated congressional candidate Phil Sudan, $3 million lighter but not necessarily wiser.
  • Senate: Former HUD secretary and San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros to match up with old snaggletooth himself, Phil Gramm. Time has begun to erase the taint of Cisneros's affair with Linda Medlarand subsequent misdemeanor plea for fibbing to the FBI. With the charismatic Cisneros on the ballot, Dems could count on carrying South Texas en masse.
  • On the bench looking for a place in the puzzle: Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk, Houston City Controller Sylvia Garcia, former Texas comptroller John Sharp and Houston attorney Paul Hobby, who ran a strong race for comptroller in 1998.
Only in a Place Called Chad

For those still casting about for analogies to the presidential election muck-up, here's an anonymously authored gem percolating through the e-mail ether. Our suggested working title: "Banana Republicans." In an abbreviated version, imagine that:

  • We read of an election occurring anywhere in the third world in which the self-declared winner was the son of a former prime minister who had headed that nation's secret police (CIA).
  • The self-declared winner lost the popular vote but won based on some old colonial holdover (electoral college) from the nation's predemocracy past.
  • The self-declared winner's victory turned on disputed votes cast in a province governed by his brother.
  • Poorly drafted ballots of one district, a district heavily favoring the self-declared winner's opponent, led thousands of voters to choose the wrong candidate.
  • Members of that nation's most despised caste, fearing for their lives/livelihoods, turned out in record numbers to vote in near universal opposition to the self-declared winner's candidacy.
  • The self-declared winner and his political party opposed a careful by-hand inspection and re-counting of the ballots in the disputed province or in its most hotly disputed district.

We would deem such an election to be representative of only the self-declared winner's will to power. We'd wearily turn the page thinking that it was another sad tale of pitiful pre- or antidemocracy peoples in some strange elsewhere.

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