The Tea Party Democrat

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

Then there was the fact that most of his clients are low-income, minorities and Democrats. Why, Lloyd mentioned one day over iced vanilla coffee, he would be foolish to ride anything other than the Donkey.

Lloyd's wanton pursuit of business, however, has landed him in trouble a few times. In 2009, he was nearly indicted (it was no-billed) for barratry, the improper solicitation of clients, when he gave a six-foot seven-inch homeless man named Perry Mason a pair of size-17 shoes, a Whataburger double-meat burger, $20 and a stack of Lloyd Oliver business cards to hand out outside the Harris County Jail. Lloyd says he perhaps has more "gypsy cab drivers" out there, "but [I] don't pay them nothing." This, Lloyd argues, isn't a crime, but clean and simple entrepreneurialism. In fact, Lloyd hopes Perry Mason's still out there. (Perry Mason is.)

Under ordinary circumstances, Lloyd, who spent only $325 on the primaries, would be gone already, like his four campaigns before, while stronger candidates marched ahead. But through a strange string of events, he's somehow wiggled into the Democratic nominee slot after doing very, very little to get there. And now, Lloyd, an object of derision for Democrats and amusement for Republicans, called a "joke" by attorneys and pundits, nearly penniless and uninsured, indicted for bribery in 1988 in state criminal court and divorced, may actually win the entire election, bringing a bizarre climax to an otherwise troubled career. With the presidential election looming and the rise of straight-ticket voting, if Republicans founder under Mitt Romney and Barack Obama takes Harris County as he did in 2008, Lloyd may well be the burr that gets carried in, too.

Lloyd Oliver's house, much like the man, is strewn with oddities:  boobs and asses on the walls, paintings of naked women, jars of condoms, and, finally, one Texas Democrat sticker. On the toilet.
Photos by Terrence McCoy
Lloyd Oliver's house, much like the man, is strewn with oddities: boobs and asses on the walls, paintings of naked women, jars of condoms, and, finally, one Texas Democrat sticker. On the toilet.
Lloyd Oliver's house, much like the man, is strewn with oddities:  boobs and asses on the walls, paintings of naked women, jars of condoms, and, finally, one Texas Democrat sticker. On the toilet.
Photos by Terrence McCoy
Lloyd Oliver's house, much like the man, is strewn with oddities: boobs and asses on the walls, paintings of naked women, jars of condoms, and, finally, one Texas Democrat sticker. On the toilet.

Lloyd knows this, and understands his campaign may not matter much. So if he's going in, he's going to do it the Lloyd Oliver way.

"I'm the Tea Party Democrat!" he roared suddenly one day recently while driving to a PBS debate against his opponent, Mike Anderson. The sound of this pleased Lloyd. He began to laugh. "Yessir, the Tea Party Democrat. Ha! How 'bout that?"
_____________________

On a recent Sunday morning, the Tea Party Democrat was splayed out on his living-room floor, inert, wearing just underwear and craving orange juice. Lloyd's back was bothering him something fierce, he said over the telephone describing his undress, and the only thing that made it feel any better "was to lie down on the damned floor." By the time I arrived an hour later at Lloyd's blue-shingled house, he was upright, wet from the shower, and wearing a white polo and camouflage shorts, his gray eyes big and glassy. He asked me inside. I entered, and found myself in the peculiar position of existing inside the Lloyd Oliver subconscious.

It was difficult to pinpoint what, exactly, was the most curious thing inside Lloyd's house. It could have been all the antique guns and knives, or the Republican paraphernalia everywhere. George W. Bush smiled from an image on Lloyd's fridge. Ronald Reagan flexed, shirtless, in another picture. Or maybe it was the giant jar of condoms on Lloyd's toilet beside the only Democratic sticker in the house — "Where it belongs," Lloyd said, chuckling.

But the wackiness only reached an apogee with all the asses and boobs. Hanging from the back of Lloyd's bathroom door was a naked female mannequin. Next to Lloyd's piano glowered a large-breasted bust of a black woman wearing star-studded sunglasses. In Lloyd's bedroom, beside a painting of a naked woman, there were more butts and boobs. "Have you seen my dad's house?" Lloyd's daughter, Paige, asked. "My dad's a single guy. He's definitely a ladies' man. He loves the ladies."

On this there's no argument. Machismo is very important to Lloyd. Wherever he goes, he's on the prowl for babes. Sitting in a coffee shop, he scoped them coming in and out. Crammed into an elevator, he crooned at a beautiful woman, who giggled. Lloyd, hair and mustache dyed charcoal black, has more dates than any 69-year-old man has a right to. And, in a way, this is awesome.

But it also speaks to a certain sadness in Lloyd that he'd never admit to — "happiest guy you'd ever meet" — though it's almost immediately salient. Lloyd is very alone, and often laments the mistakes he's made with women. "Should have held onto that one," Lloyd said of his third wife. "What a woman. But I messed it up. I'd come home after all the stresses and demands piling up on me, and would crash out and not want to do a damned thing."

With the exception of his daughter and sisters, women have always been transient in Lloyd's life. They come, but more often they've gone. Born in 1943 in Lubbock, Lloyd was raised in Dallas by his father and whatever woman his father happened to be with at the time. Robert Oliver was divorced four times. Just like Lloyd. When Lloyd turned 18, he moved out on his own, because that's what a man does.

Lloyd spends a lot of time thinking and talking about what a man should, and should not, do. A man should wear cowboy boots. A man should respect his mama and love his "little babies," he explained to one of his clients who was caught with some drugs and guns. A man's dinner should be made by his wife, and that dinner should be ready when that man arrives at home. "I'm a man of my times," Lloyd says often. "And I don't apologize for it."

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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 like.author.displayName 1 Like

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

@blomejj lmao

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. 

Wyatt
Wyatt like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @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?

Gretel
Gretel like.author.displayName 1 Like

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

 
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