The Houston Democracy Project likes rank & file citizens who do the work of democracy outside official channels. Such folks--Sure I'm praising myself here. I do the work.--sometimes have more intellectual and political autonomy to move things forward.
A good example of this in Houston is Emily Hynds who authors Emily Takes Notes. Ms. Hynds watches Houston City Council meetings, takes notes and shares the notes with the public. A simple idea that is well-executed and makes a big difference.
The Houston Democracy Project is very much about Houston City Council. Emily Takes Notes is a great resource to learn about Houston City Council.
I watched the weekly Thursday public hearing on Zoom on Thursday, 6/1, before Judge David Peeples in San Antonio regarding the 21 election denial suits filed by Harris County Republicans defeated 2022 elections. I've watched the hearings each week.
Weekly repeating points: Re-doing the elections is sought--Not declaring new winner. /Judge Peeples decides the cases. No jury./Judge Peeples seems fair-minded./The first trial will be Erin Lunceford seeking to commandeer election from Judge Tamika Craft. It’s separated from the other cases because it is further along in discovery./Craft trial starts August 1/The other 20 cases will be in the fall. Maybe all 20 in a bundle. Maybe two separate trials./All cases likely headed to hyper-partisan Texas Supreme Court which is bad news for anybody who respects the rule of law.
What happens in these hearings is the Judge asks the lawyers a bunch of questions about what kind of evidence will you be presenting, on what facts or what witnesses will this evidence be based, are the lawyers cooperating with each other in accordance with rules of discovery and as the Judge has ordered & when should we schedule certain proceedings.
With 21 cases going on, there are many lawyers on the call each week.
There was a lot of talk Thursday about the Erin Lunceford--Tamika Craft trial. Judge Craft beat Republican Lunceford by 2743 votes.
The Lunceford people say Craft got 325 votes after 7 PM when polls close & they intend to contest all those votes. There has been consistent fudging of the 7 PM matter by Republicans. They make like all votes cast after 7 are illegitimate. But we’ve all heard many times that if you are in line by 7--You can vote. It has felt to me from the start Republicans are intentionally conflating people in line at 7, with any alleged people who got in line after 7 in a wrongful effort to discredit the count.
Judge Peeples asked a question of the attorney for Lunceford of what happens if he--Judge Peeples--determines any wrongly counted votes break even for Craft and Lunceford? That would not change the outcome. The lawyer said that is not the question. Since a re-do is sought rather than a reversal, the issue is showing the judge that so many votes are questionable we simply can’t know who won.
So the Lunceford people say they should get a redo even if the any wrongly counted votes did not harm Lunceford.
One fuss going on is sparring about an upcoming motion for summary dismissal of the cases before any trials because there is no solid evidence. They go back and forth about a date for that hearing.
A further running haggle is about the 125% rule. This references the amount of ballot paper supposed to be at each polling place. The number is based on how many people voted at a certain location in the most recent comparable election.
Attorneys for the Democrats say with countywide voting--since anybody could go to any polling spot no matter where they live--there was no reliable way to judge this against previous elections and that the Texas Secretary of Sate did not offer guidance on the concern before the election.
The 125% issue seems like the 7 PM poll closing matter. Even if a polling place did not have enough extra paper, that does not mean anybody was turned away.
Bottom line--Republicans throw all sorts of horse hockey ideas out there in hope of discrediting our elections and taking our freedom. They don’t like cities and counties filled with Democrats and with people who are not white.
Two recent investigative reports, one by Jennifer Rice at the Houston Chronicle and the other by Andrew Schneider at KUHF 88.7 FM, say the facts are not there to merit new elections.
We’ve already lost our elected school board in Houston in what was 60 years ago a Jim Crow city.
I encourage rank and file Democrats and people who care about democracy to discuss these assaults on freedom with others & insist that elected Democrats and Democrats running for any office to make the protection and promotion of democracy a central issue.
Here is the front page of the Houston Democracy Project.
I'm Neil Aquino