I watched the weekly Thursday public hearing on Zoom on Thursday, 6/15, before Judge David Peeples in San Antonio about the 21 election denial suits filed by Harris County Republicans defeated in the 2022 elections. There was no hearing last week.
The Houston Democracy Project watches the hearing each week. Here is the previous report.
Weekly repeating points: Re-doing elections is sought--Not declaring new winner. /Judge Peeples decides cases. No jury./Judge Peeples seems fair-minded./First trial is Erin Lunceford seeking to commandeer election from Judge Tamika Craft. It’s separated from the other cases because is further along in discovery./Craft trial starts August 1/Other 20 cases in fall. Maybe all 20 in a bundle. Maybe two separate trials./All cases likely headed to hyper-partisan Texas Supreme Court.
In these hearings, the Judge asks the lawyers questions about what kind of evidence will you present, on what facts or witnesses will the evidence be based, are lawyers cooperating with each other in accordance with rules of discovery and as Judge ordered & when should we schedule certain proceedings.
With 21 cases going on, there are many lawyers on the call. I can’t screen-shot a picture because a graphic on the video says doing so is contempt of court.
There was an attorney for the Harris County Election Administrator on the call.
Almost all discussion Thursday was about the Erin Lunceford--Tamika Craft trial. Judge Craft beat Republican Lunceford by 2743 votes.
The lawyer for sore-loser Lunceford--Andy Taylor--is annoying & talks and talks. He says things about the case that opposing lawyers say are really not so.
The two sides went back and forth at length about possible dates for various meetings and deadlines. The essence of the exchanges seemed to be a lack of trust. The Craft people express concern the Lunceford folks will introduce last-minute claims, evidence and witnesses not consistent with proper discovery and pre-trial rules.
Trust--the lack of trust--has been a consistent theme. The attorneys for the Democrats are doubtful of the theories being offered and feel Republicans are looking for the whatever they think they can sell to the Supreme Court.
Based on listening to the guy at length now, I feel Judge Peeples sees through willfully false actions. He seems difficult to pull one over on. The Texas Supreme Court is a different issue.
A topic that came up was people who go to the polls, sign in to vote and then leave before voting. I’ve figured that must happen with people who feel duty-bound to vote, but don’t like anybody running. Or whatever reason. There are times I’ve pondered it. It does in fact take place.
There is also an upcoming motion for summary dismissal of the cases before any trials because there is no solid evidence. This is discussed parallel to talk about the trials.
Bottom line--Republicans throw out all sorts of horse-hockey ideas in hope of discrediting elections and taking our freedom. They don’t like cities and counties populated with Democrats and 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.
I’ve started the Houston Democracy Project to change the culture of city elections in Houston. It's up to rank and file Democrats and to anybody who cares about democracy to demand more of our candidates and elected officials. The issue in these lawsuits is not the candidates and elected officials--It is our democracy and our future as free people.
I'm Neil Aquino