The Tea Party Democrat

Party leaders want to throw out District Attorney candidate Lloyd Oliver and the donkey he rode in on.

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Lloyd Oliver wants toilet paper. Of the many troubling issues assailing his considerable girth and loosening composure at this precise moment, it is toilet paper, he concludes, that may grant him some modicum of sanity. It's all gotten to be too much. For starters, Lloyd can't breathe beyond a wheeze or bend over, not since that tumble he took some days ago while slapping up campaign signs on Kirby. Also, Lloyd's hungry. He didn't have anything that morning but coffee, never does. Next, his case file folder has somehow gone missing, though its cover screams in red and blue: LLOYD OLIVER ATTORNEY AT LAW. On top of all that, there's that bald bailiff. Oh, Lord, the bailiff, Lloyd says. What a tyrant of a man. He's hollering at Lloyd to stop talking though Lloyd hadn't been talking. The sweats have started, Lloyd realizes. It oozes from his every pore. He can feel it. He can't think. He needs air. Lloyd Oliver wants toilet paper.

"Why don't you go run on into that stall and get me some of that toilet paper," he says to me, after finding the napkin dispenser fresh out of napkins inside the 17th-floor men's room at the Harris County criminal courthouse. "Those damned judges," Lloyd says, though it's unclear what sway a judge would have on the napkin situation. "When I'm Harris County district attorney, we're gonna keep these things stocked full of napkins." Pause. "Ah! My back. I'm wacked out on so much pain, things ain't making a lot o' sense."

Lloyd Oliver shakes hands with Harris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill. Woodfill says he's had a good laugh over the Democrats' failed attempt to force Lloyd off the ticket.
Troy Fields
Lloyd Oliver shakes hands with Harris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill. Woodfill says he's had a good laugh over the Democrats' failed attempt to force Lloyd off the ticket.
Lloyd Oliver, who calls himself the Tea Party Democrat, addresses a recent Tea Party rally. Says Lloyd: "I already got the Democrats. I need to get the Republicans."
Troy Fields
Lloyd Oliver, who calls himself the Tea Party Democrat, addresses a recent Tea Party rally. Says Lloyd: "I already got the Democrats. I need to get the Republicans."

I'm holding most of Lloyd's things. This includes a bevy of folders, notepads and several Lloyd Oliver business cards. Lloyd is staring at the mirror, and his reflection, a mustachioed and squat apparition with a stomach like a potbelly stove, grimaces back. Lloyd, wearing an American flag tie and Texas pin, is squeezed into a navy blue suit and black tennis shoes he bought at Walmart. I get the TP and hand him a clump, stepping away. He pats at the globs of perspiration. "Oooh, wow" he lets out. "Now, that's better." Bits of toilet paper stick to his face here and there, but Lloyd either doesn't notice or doesn't mind, and barrels back outside to meet a client at "his desk" — a trash can in the corner. "This here is where I do most of my business," he says.

Lloyd Oliver, the Democratic nominee for district attorney, is an elemental being. Where other lawyers and politicians sashay and schmooze, Lloyd waddles, sweats and curses. He compliments women frequently on whatever "fine aroma" they may be wearing. He characterizes certain teenage girls as "sticking out every which way you can imagine." He finds flip-flops effeminate and can't imagine how an upstanding man could attract a woman without a pickup truck. He considers the consumption of bananas and almonds "eating like a horse." He has "great credit" at a Starbucks on Travis Street. He contends domestic violence is a "prelude to lovemaking." He is wary of Seattle because of all the "queers holding hands" and the "rag heads." He loves soup. And his opinion of the local Democratic leadership? "Frustrated homosexuals."

They're not too fond of him, either. After Lloyd, a criminal defense lawyer, ousted favorite Zack Fertitta in the primaries last May, the Democrats were seized by apoplexy and started doing embarrassing things. It started with Gerald Birnberg. The former chairman of the Harris County Democrats read the Houston Chronicle on May 30, saw a picture of Lloyd smirking beneath his mustache like some mischievous back-country sheriff and found out what he had to say. Like always, it was a lot. "If I could have voted in the Republican primary, (incumbent Republican Pat Lykos) would have gotten my vote," Lloyd said, adding that his opponent, Mike Anderson, would make a better prison guard than district attorney.

Birnberg dispatched a letter to the new chairman, Lane Lewis, who looped in the state Democrats. All agreed: Lloyd had endorsed a Republican, and had to go. They'd rather have no Democrat at all than Lloyd Oliver. But Lloyd wasn't going down like that. He challenged their decision in state court, and later won. "Where do you two goobers get the idea that you have the right to trump 30,000 good Democrats who voted for me?" he wrote in a formal complaint. "I heard you two clowns were lawyers. I want to see your Texas Bar card."

It was an old-fashioned Texas bar fight. The Democrats' complaint against Lloyd was pretty straightforward: He isn't, in fact, a Democrat. He's a Republican. They fretted Lloyd could bring down the entire ticket. He's run for office five times, usually as a Republican, the squeals went. Lloyd doesn't perceive much of an issue in this. So what if he is a Republican? he asks. Would that be so bad? Besides, party affiliations or political clout don't interest him. Such intangibles fail to juice the Oliver aesthetic. What he's after, along with getting his message out, is more business.

One of the unintended aspects of our democratic process is that it's a wonderful instrument of capitalism. And if there's anything Lloyd always wants more of, it's business. He's shameless about it. Lloyd lays it out like this: His name is the best advertisement he's got. So he plasters LLOYD OLIVER in boldface on everything. On his folders. On his pickup trucks. On his clocks. Every woman who's married him — four and counting — has taken his name; Lloyd wouldn't have had it any other way. "Never trust a woman with two last names," he admonishes.

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18 comments
XXXx
XXXx

Terrence deserves a prize for this,  fucking find one for him now. It's so Houston, it's so sweaty. This is the finest piece of pol journalism and COMEDY of 2012. Please turn this into a screenplay if you haven't already, sir.

blomejj
blomejj

That sounded evil to me too.  We hear a respected professor saying crazy stuff like that.  I wonder if just a portion of his thesis was stated out of context.  This stuff about this Arab bragging that he bought Lloyd Oliver's opponent for $5k confirmed my suspicions.  I guess Lloyd was waiting for some concrete proof, before he could release what was already obvious to those close to the system.  Michael Anderson has promised returns for the $700K that opportunists invested in his campaign.  What do you want to bet Lloyd's opponent won't return the $5K or donate it to a worthy cause?  Justice has always been for sale in Harris County.  It is just that the buyers consisted of a smaller tight knit group during the Holmes-Rosenthall era.

ZubenElGenubi
ZubenElGenubi

I rarely am surprised by the behaviour of politicians or lawyers nowadays, so the revelations of Mr. Oliver were not earth-shaking.

 

The one sentence that really knocked me over was this: 

 

"Rice University Political Scientist Bob Stein said he suspects it was because Lloyd's name sounds blacker."

 

There's one of two conclusions one can take away from this statement.  A) Mr. Stein is a racist or B) the African-American electorate do not make educated voting decisions (i.e., voting by name only).

 

Which is it?  While the article addresses straight-ticket voting, it does not satisfactorily explain how Mr. Oliver was elected in the Democratic primary in the first place.  

blomejj
blomejj

Where did the $400K come from that the maid found in Johnny Holmes freezer?  Constituents have been voting for dirty public officials that are tied to family fortunes for the longest.  How has that worked.  Look at retired judge Dibrell in Galveston County?

andy434
andy434

Great article about this pathetic cartoon character masquerading as a man. Mike Anderson is much more conservative than I am, but he's been my friend for more than 25 years and he's going to run a good office. And anyone who thinks Johnny Holmes was bought and paid for knows nothing about the man or his family fortune. Johnny was too rich to be bought even if he hadn't been too honorable.

redeyecarl
redeyecarl

@HoustonPress @TexasObserver pls. send this link 2 those clubs that prefer original songs in Americana style... http://t.co/cbHfSRJj

blomejj
blomejj

We know that Lloyd Oliver's opponent is bought and paid for by the same entities who owned the Holmes and Rosenthal administrations.   You are very kind Anse and your point is well taken.  Lloyd Oliver can lead the Harris County DIstrict Attorneys Office without the money and connections.  He would have to be dirty to use connections in the same manner as his opponent.  All he needs to do is get elected.  Than it is up to him to hire good chiefs.  There are plenty, who are ready, willing and able,  to pick from.  Other than taking orders from the people who paid at least $700K to Anderson, Lloyd Oliver's opponent does not know how to take advice from the experts who actually run the huge office.  Lloyd knows how to take advice from others and I expect him to do a good job of this once he is elected.  He promises not to over prosecute infractions of the law, while concentrating his efforts on major crimes, especially those committed through corruption.  Lloyd is a generalist, not a specialist.  That is what we need.

Anse
Anse

This dude is a piece of work. But honestly, give this guy money and connections, get rid of his gut, and he could be Rick Perry.

ScottS
ScottS

Lloyd Oliver was my attorney in a custody suit in Fort Bend County in the 1990's.  I hired and fired 3 Fort Bend attorneys who I was told could get me through the good ol boy system there.  They couldn't.  I got hooked up with Lloyd through a good friend and Lloyd got me through the process with the best possible outlook for me and for my child.  He is a good guy, a straight shooter, and an honest lawyer.  If you find yourself needing an attorney I would highly recommend him.

 

He has some interesting opinions as described well in this article, but he would make a big impact on a terrible DA's office staff.

 

Good luck Lloyd if you happen to read this and I know you will do a great job if you win this election.

hwalsh10284
hwalsh10284

Based on what is said here, and who knows if its true, I find that I don't agree with him on many issues.  That said I would vote for him because he does not mince words.  With him in office you would know exactly where he stands.  When was the last time you had someone in office who was straight forward?  Now if all politicians were as outspoken we would truely have a representative government not this bastardization we have now where noone on either side does what they say they will do.

miyashay
miyashay

@terrence_mccoy well written @HoustonPress on Lloyd! cc: @thecatarina

Bradley
Bradley

Lloyd Oliver is a good man.  The Republican candidate spreads all this untrue stuff, because Lloyd has promised to prosecute corrupt politicians.  Lloyd's opponent is one of them. 

Gretel
Gretel

I'm speechless. What an amazing story about a truely horrible human being. Way to go Democrats...pay attention next time! Please!!

Wyatt
Wyatt

Wow...great story.

Anse
Anse

@blomejj lmao

Wyatt
Wyatt

 @Bradley The Republican candidate spread what stuff? This story comes from spending time with the guy. And while interesting as a human being, he also sounds like a misogynistic, homophobic, racist goober.

 

Or are you suggesting the Republican candidate dressed up like Lloyd Oliver and tricked a reporter into believing he was him, then said all of that terrible shit?

 
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