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Five Exceptions to Straight Ticket Voting in Harris County

In spite of several indisputably bad candidates on either side of the aisle, apparently tens of thousands of Harris County residents are still going to vote straight ticket.

Maybe those people are just lazy. Maybe it gives them a jolt of pride or even spite, as in "I am going to stick it to those idiot frenemies I've been fighting with on Facebook and Twitter." Or maybe they are just following the orders from the local TV and radio ads. (The people who put those together really should know better...)

At any rate, there are several great reasons to cross the aisle no matter your party....

5. If you are a Democrat, vote Mike Anderson for District Attorney. Maybe Anderson would represent a return to the Harris County Death Machine of Johnny Holmes and Chuck Rosenthal, but he could execute criminals at a rate that would put revolutionary France to shame and still run the DA's office better than Lloyd Oliver, a non-Democrat, misogynist, incompetent, several-times-indicted, homophobic weirdo and all-around goober.

4. If you are a Republican, vote against Sharon Keller as head of the state court of criminal appeals and for Keith Hampton. Way back in 2007, she went out of her way to prevent a man's last-ditch appeal to save his life, hours he was executed, because it was filed minutes late. She loses judicial preference poll after judicial preference poll, but voters don't care because she has an "R" behind her name. For Texans to have a judge like that on such a prominent bench causes us to have an "S" (for stupid) behind our name in the eyes of the world.

3. Also if you are a Republican, you don't want to be voting for Louis Guthrie over Adrian Garcia for county sheriff. Garcia won the conservative C Club's endorsement. Guthrie has a checkered past, including having a moody rock song written by a fellow Humble high school student portraying him as a teenage bully (see below), and then there was that time his wife lost $17 at a car wash. Guthrie responded by cordoning off the area as if it were the site of a mass murder, called for back-up and shut down the car wash for an hour. Garcia, his boss at the time, fired him for official oppression.

2. Civil court judge candidate Elaine Palmer's ad campaign against fellow Democrat Steven Kirkland in the primaries early this year was so reprehensible we'd vote for Marky Ramone if he were her opponent.

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Palmer, you'll remember, made hay of the 28-years-sober Kirkland's two youthful DWIs (in 1982 and 1984), and insinuated he was drinking again because he was photographed holding a wine-glass full of sparking water.

Dems: vote Ken Shortreed, or abstain. There's negative campaigning, and then there's evil.

1. And this isn't a straight partisan issue, but following Annise Parker's lead, most Dems are thinking they are supposed yes on all the bond issues. Those who favor an expansion of light rail over shoveling hundreds of millions into road projects should vote "No" on the Metro proposition. A yes vote is for bidness as usual and miles and miles more concrete prairies and unsustainable sprawl.

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