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Friday, October 21, 2005

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Want to make a gay
guy suffer? Vote no to Prop 2.

Come November 8th we will have the chance to march into the voting booth and vote for or against nine amendments to the Texas Constitution.

It is a regular occurrence in Texas. What is unusual is this year some people actually care if said amendments pass or fail.

Well, really nobody cares about any of them except Proposition 2.

Proposition 2 is the conservative knee jerk answer to the threat of homosexual marriage. It defines marriage as a thing between one man and one woman.

Now, don’t get ticked off at me yet. My knee jerks pretty hard when I have to say “homosexual marriage.”

I make no bones about being a male chauvinist, knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, son of the Southland, with all it implies.

But, after my knee put a knot in the underside of my desk, I got to thinking.

First off, I do not recall ever being more incensed than when I had to waltz into some petty bureaucrat’s office and ask for state permission to marry She-who-must-be-obeyed. Far as I was concerned, it was a topic for her, God, her gun-toting father and me. The state could go jump in a lake.

I still feel that way. I also think that any supposed preacher of the Gospel who cowers from performing a marriage ceremony without prior state approval is the modern day equivalent to a Pharisee.

I would have married SWMBO in church, before God and all, and the important partners in the whole equation would have been happy - except maybe her father.

Which is one reason I really do not understand the whole homosexual marriage deal.

The important part of marriage was the commitment before God and our friends and family.

Being licensed by the state means about as much to marriage as a politician’s promise means after election day.

Actually, I can only find one real reason to oppose gay marriage.

State sanctification of gay marriage is really just one more arrow in a constant barrage of idiocy aimed at my culture.

For the record, the culture I was raised up in is not really keen on homosexuality, killing babies as convenient birth control, taking handouts from the government, slacking in general, walking around without a gun, calling 50 hours a week of day care a good thing, eating tofu, paying taxes on homemade whiskey, impolite Yankees, outlawing Christmas pageants in elementary schools, not hitting back when pushed, and having government agents tell you when, where and how to live your life down to the smallest details.

For the past 50 years my culture has been the favorite target of an ever growing culture of impolite, limp-wristed, gutless, logic deprived twits who figured out that they could shove their culture down our throats with the help of a federal government bureaucrat’s jackbooted foot.

So, on the count that gay marriage is just one more such arrow, I support Proposition 2. But, on a few other accounts, I just cannot help but hope that the homosexuals get their legal right to marry.

First off, I am still a member of the Texas Bar and hence qualified to help folks through the trials of divorce, estate planning and probate.

What lawyer could be against anything that will increase the total number of potential clients? People who get married tend to get divorced too.


On this count alone I feel that those opposed to Proposition 2 are the real homophobes. Seriously, right now, when one gay guy wants to get serious it’s just not that big a deal for either of them.

How bad can it be? You buy each other a ring, or maybe a nice sweater, and call it good. When they get tired of each other they have a little spat and divide the Precious Moments collection.

No muss, no fuss.

If Proposition 2 fails, gay guys are going to hear, “If you love me you’ll marry me.”

On this count alone homosexuals should be voting in droves to make Prop 2 the law of the land. How many great relationships were skewered and died on those horrible words? Then there will be the expense of a wedding, the fight between the parents over who is the father of the bride and has to fork up for the bill, and who knows what kind of post marital problems.

Seriously, what relationship ever got better after marriage?

Then, when they get tired of each other it’s off to the lawyers and foster care for the Precious Moments thingamabobs.

How crazy do you have to be to volunteer for that?

So, if you really have it in for homosexuals, vote no to Proposition 2.

Your View

Part 2: Where is the The Pecos Enterprise


Perhaps Mr. Briggs, my disappointment with your newspaper is not only some of your views, the lack of credible reporting when it comes to some of our politicians and their actions. 1 compare your newspaper to a commercial I recently viewed on television. Dish Network used the phrase "it sucks"! In this they mean that regular television is lacking without Dish Network. I feel the same about your newspaper as do many others.

Without good nonbiased investigative reporting, "it sucks"! Where is the good investigative reporting we as a community deserve? The only reporting I have read lately on our local politics and politicians are the sugar coated articles that distorts certain facts for these local politicians and the click (the privileged few) in order to make them look good in the eyes of the citizens of Reeves County.

For example, last year I filed a petition in District Court for the removal of Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo, two commissioners and to penalize two employees of the Reeves County Detention Center for refusing to provide public information on the receipts of a trucking company Jimmy B. Galindo has admitted to be a representative for in Reeves County. After filing the petition I received a letter from District Attorney Randy Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds stated he could not take my petition seriously, it was not certified, stated I had no knowledge of the facts I presented in the petition, stated I had no knowledge of the law and stated that the petition would be dismissed expeditiously!

Basically, he felt that this petition was a joke! The word certified in Chapter 87 simply means the document must be notarized and sworn to by the petitioner. Black's Law Dictionary defines certification as "to attest as being true". When I finally obtained the proper affidavit I noticed it required nothing more than my signature, the notary's signature and stamp. Nothing about raising my right hand and swearing an oath as I was required to do by the notary. If I remember correctly, when you testify in this District Court you are required to raise your right hand and state the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God! Mr. Briggs, you did a good job of reporting the facts of this petition to the public. You had a copy of the petition and a copy of this letter. The requirements from the notary were more binding than the affidavit required. Perhaps Mr. Briggs as a member of the audience at this hearing you will remember Mr. Reynolds being questioned by Judge Parks concerning his investigation of certain allegations stated in the petition brought before the court. I seem to remember Mr. Reynolds making statements on two occasions in the newspapers that his office had been investigating the allegations since July 2004. I remember Judge Parks asking Mr. Reynolds, " what have you found in your investigation, Mr. Reynolds? I remember Mr. Reynolds answer to Judge Parks was "nothing, your honor"! I also remember that District Attorney Randy Reynolds was not laughing and saw nothing funny while the court was in session. I seem to remember his head down during most of the proceedings.

Part two of the petition presented to the District Court stated that there were four violations of the Texas Statutes. Every segment of this petition was verified by county records obtained from the County Treasurers Office, County Auditors Office and the County Clerks Office. The laws I mentioned are from the Texas Statutes and the penalties and remedies are from the same. Segment 2 of this petition read, "Refusal of Public Information". There was no alleged violation! A complaint was filed against Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo with the Attorney General's Office for failure to provide public information. There is a time limit. Segment 3 of the petition read " Violation of the Texas and Federal Nepotism Laws". The mother of Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo is employed at the Reeves County Detention Center. Mr. Galindo stated in the Pecos Enterprise that he does not do the hiring at the prison. Right! Segment 4 of the petition read "Removing County Employee's and Their Budgeted Payroll From the Offices of Elected and Appointed Officials". Once again Mr. Galindo stated he does not do the hiring and firing at the RCDC! The warden at the RCDC cannot remove individuals from the offices of our elected officials, so who did? Perhaps we should ask the numerous individuals that were removed from these offices and sent to work at the prison? Segment 5 read "Conflict of Interest". Mr. Galindo's and his attorney stated in the Pecos Enterprise that Mr. Galindo was involved with Beaver Express as their representative in Reeves County! Mr. Briggs, you were given numerous documents with Mr. Galindo's name, signature and initials supporting my claim that Mr. Galindo and one that I will mention later in this article were involved in a business at the Reeves County Detention Center. You elected not to pursue this Mr. Briggs! Where is the investigative reporting the citizens of this community deserve and where is our District Attorney? The Texas Statutes are the laws in Texas and they are there for a reason. Violation of these statutes carries a penalty. Mr. Reynolds lack of performance in this case was expected. I am of the opinion that Mr. Reynolds does not have the intellect and is not capable of prosecuting these types of violations. Could it be that Mr. Reynolds lack of this intellect is the reason there was no communication with this petitioner as ordered by the Judge Parks. There were no citations issued, and no presentation of this petition to the grand jury. Not only has Mr. Reynolds refused to pursue this case, he has refused to protect our citizens from a gang of young men that according to the Pecos Police Department do not exist. There are two recent cases I am aware of that pertain to these young men. One was ignored by the Police Department and Mr. Reynolds refused to pursue the case for reasons I will never understand. The other is now being pursued only due to the involvement of a state agency. I have stated before that Mr. Reynolds is a do nothing District Attorney. His record of convictions is apparent in this district. Where is the investigative reporting, Mr. Briggs?

Mr. Briggs, I have mentioned this petition for a reason . i ask if you are familiar with a article written in the winter of 1996 titled "Criminal Law Update" from the Texas Office of the Attorney General, by Shane Phelps (a graduate of Rice University, UT School of Law and is the former Chief of the Prosecutor Assistance and Special Investigations Div. of the Office of the Attorney General) with the help of Angela Beavers and Karen Martin. The subtitle of this article is "When Elected Officials Violate Public Trust", (the reason we have Chapter 87 of the Texas Local Government Code of the Texas Statutes) copy attached. Please refer to the article I mentioned above. On page 6, Judicial Notification states the following:

Section 74.059 of the government code mandates that a district judge notify his administrative judge when a petition for removal has been filed in his or her court. The administrative judge will then appoint a non-resident judge to hear all phases of the removal action. The district judge of the court in which the petition is filed may take no action at all on the petition except to notify the administrative judge as required by Sec. 74.059.32.

Please refer to Texas Statutes Government Code 74.059, Court Administration Act, Powers and Duties, which states:

Part (c) A district, statutory probate, or statutory county court judge shall:

(4) if an election contest or a suit for the removal of a local official is filed in his court, request the presiding judge to assign another judge who is not a resident of the county to hold a regular or special term of court to dispose of the suit.

Please refer to Texas Statutes Government Code 74.091, Local Administrative District:Part (c) In a county with only one district judge, the district judge serves as the local administrative district judge.

If this is true Mr. Briggs, would you as editor of the Pecos Enterprise and a lawyer agree that Mr. Parks as administrative judge should have appointed a nonresident judge to hear the above mentioned case and has Mr. Parks overstepped his authority. This is nothing more than a continuation of Mr. Parks favoritism toward some in our community, judging, defending and prosecuting from the bench and what many outside this district call West Texas Justice. Perhaps, as I have stated before, this is why many attorneys will not practice law in this court. Perhaps its time for some real investigative reporting Mr. Briggs!Robert L. Hanks

To be continued......

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