The following note was written by Richard Glasheen, Democrat for JP, Precinct 5, for publication in the Austin American Statesman, but that newspaper can be somewhat selective in what they publish, so we thought it would be of value to readers by posting here.
I think it's important to note that the Republican Party in Travis County worked feverishly to find candidates for all judicial races but the people we approached noted that it would not be a smart move, professionally, on their part, and they declined. Here's Richard's note:
I sent the following e-mail to the Austin American Statesman in response to their Feb 21,2010 story in Section B on page B1 titled "Candidate wrong on pleas for cash to support party". They will surprise me if they print it. So I am sending it to the Travis County Democratic Party, the Travis County Republican Party, the Travis County Libertarian Party,the Austin Chronicle,local TV stations,CNN,MSNBC, and Fox News. Please feel free to forward this to anyone that you choose. And remember to vote for the candidate of your choice.
My e-mail to the Statesman:
My name is Richard Glasheen. I am a candidate for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5. I am a political newcomer having never before held or run for office.I believe that the general public would be shocked to find out what goes on behind the scenes.
The shakedown of the candidates in the Democratic primary by the Democratic Party is the tip of the iceberg. The Democratic Party primary is a corrupt system.
To begin with, the majority of the candidates on the ballot are running unopposed. Sadly,in some cases, those candidates will not face any challenger in November.
In the nonjudicial "races", the Libertarian Party will field a candidate in every race. Good for them.
As for the Republicans, shame on them for not having candidates in every "contest". Sure, they would likely be the loser here in Austin,Travis County. But the people deserve a choice. Sometimes you have to fight a fight you are probably going to lose. Remember the Alamo?
What a coincidence that there is a strong correlation between those who pay to play and who gets the endorsements. Even more disturbing is the contamination of our courthouse by money flowing from lawyers to judges in the form of "campaign donations."
My opponent,for example,reported in his campaign report filed last month that he purchased a mailing list from the State Bar. He sends letters to lawyers asking them for money. Shameful. We have judges who ask lawyers for money. And my opponent is far from being the only one. It is rampant.
Read the campaign finance reports online at the Travis County Clerk website. They are shocking. Now I understand that this practice is legal. But it is wrong. The only people I've met who think the practice is acceptable are lawyers or judges.
Prior to the civil war, it was legal to own other persons. So if you bought another human being in 1850,a black one, it was legal. But it was wrong. And some chose to not participate in slavery because it was wrong. They didn't wait for a law to come along to tell them the difference between right and wrong.
Throughout history, there are those with integrity and those without. The stream of money that flows from lawyers to judges in Travis County runs fast and deep.
Why don't you reporters analyze the data? Do lawyers who pay judges in Travis County get better results in the courtroom than those who don't? Do candidates who pay a shakedown fee get more endorsements than those who refuse? Isn't it a strange system where a sitting judge asks lawyers for money, then turns around and pledges money to the Democratic Party, gets favorable endorsements, and gets reelected? And then they stay on the government tit for years or decades.
When I walked in to the Democratic Party headquarters in January to file to run against an unopposed candidate in the primary, who also has no Republican opposition in November, I was told "That's Herb's court!" I had to explain to the party hack who said it that the courthouse belongs to all of us.
There is plenty to report on in this primary. Follow the money.