The Tea Party Democrat

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

That may be a little too hard on Lloyd. He was smart enough to bat away those indictments. He was smart enough to do right by his daughter, Paige, who says she respects him more every day. And he was smart enough to realize that in politics, if you just keep hurling shit at the wall, sooner or later, some of it's going to stick.
_____________________

Little else, though, was sticking for Lloyd one Wednesday morning at 8. The coffee was on, and Lloyd sloshed some into a big clay mug, adding vanilla cream.

His back, he said. His accursed back. He had an appointment with a chiropractor, Bobbie Stowe, that morning to see if he could get some help. In the days before, I had carted around with Lloyd in a behemoth white Ford F250 a lot, often driving because Lloyd's back hurt. He'd sprawl out in the passenger seat and enter lengthy monologues on anything from politics to whether or not crack residue alone merits a conviction. These drives took us to a lot of places. We went to a very impoverished neighborhood, where Lloyd knocked on doors and declined to specify why. We went to the home of a "big ol' black woman and her ugly Mexican husband" to deliver some clothing Lloyd had laundered for their children. We got lost in search of a soup restaurant.

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."

So this morning I asked Lloyd if he wanted me to drive. Today he did not. We climbed into the truck, and for a time Lloyd mused. "I think America's ready for a conservative Democrat," he said several times. But if true, how would Lloyd let them know he's it? Lloyd had lots of campaign signs in the back of his truck, but it's very likely they're pretty much useless — if anything, his primary victory underscores the irrelevance of local campaigns. Life on the campaign trail in small-ball politics can be strange and humbling. Everyone's attention rests elsewhere. No one knows who you are. "There are forces beyond me at work," Lloyd said, referring to the presidential election.

What Lloyd proves, actually, is that anyone can win locally. Consider the upcoming election. There will be all sorts of positions that will require your vote, and your decision will likely hinge on whether there's a D or R next to a name. In 2008, more than 65 percent of voters in Harris County went straight ticket. This year, some polls show, that number will hit at least 75 percent, maybe higher.

This has been one of the most quantifiable effects of the intensifying polarization we see all around us. The only thing that matters, explained one fervent Tea Party supporter at a recent rally, is someone's party. "True liberals and true conservatives are as far apart as Satan and Jesus," he said. More troubling yet, one must wonder whether partisanship has any place in local politics. What does political affiliation matter to a constable or superintendent?

Lloyd never expected to be in the position he's in now, had barely even asked for it. "Dumb luck," he said. And yet the nomination's been thrust upon him and gotten all these new thoughts going, dragging out a vein of existentialism. Maybe all of this was meant to be? He didn't know. As we walked into Bobbie Stowe's office at a small gym pulsing with techno music and lithe bodies, a lot of things seemed to be happening inside Lloyd's head.

Buff, tan and 60, Stowe was standing when we arrived. He'd already drunk nine cups of coffee that day. It was 9 a.m. Over the next few minutes, and for reasons unclear, Stowe explained he's often smarter than his patients and can bench more than his son, who, Stowe assured, "is a horse." Stowe's confidence and fitness appeared to transform Lloyd. He became insecure. He wouldn't talk. And when he did, his voice lacked his usual Texas bravado.

It was almost as if he knew what was coming. Stowe's chastisement of Lloyd was lengthy and thorough. Lloyd, according to Stowe, does just about everything wrong. He doesn't drink enough water. He doesn't eat the right foods. He never exercises. His insides are all messed up. They're like beef jerky. Lloyd's thyroid's no good. He may develop diabetes, if he doesn't have it already. Lloyd could die very soon.

"Lloyd's unhealthy," Stowe said, "because of this." Stowe patted Lloyd's belly. Stowe then eased Lloyd down onto an operating table and began to massage Lloyd's buttocks. The manifesto continued. At one point, the Paleolithic Era was even cited to evidence Lloyd's state of unhealth. He asked Lloyd what he'd eaten the night before, and Lloyd said he'd had Mexican food with two women. "Well, did you eat them, too?" Stowe responded, laughing.

Lloyd said he's trying. Really, he is. It's just this damn campaign. He gets home at night, he said, emotionally and physically drained, and pillages the fridge, "eating up anything I can, and then pass out in front of the television, and get up the next day and do it all over again." In a rare moment of emotional authenticity, Lloyd shook his head slowly. He seemed confused and depressed and tired. "I do not take care of myself, correct," he said, looking away. Lloyd paid Stowe $50 in cash and headed back outside.

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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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