In the last few days I read, with interest, two items running on highly respected, national conservative blogs.
First, Brandon Darby and Bob Price reported on Breitbart.com on the failed lawsuit of Joe Pool, Jr., against conservative incumbent Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown (whom I have been advising).
The full story has a lot of good information in it, but the lede really says it all:
Republican Joe Pool, Jr. is seeking election to the Texas Supreme Court; however, instead of campaigning, he went to the courts seeking to have his Republican opponent removed as a choice for Texas voters on the ballot. The Texas Supreme Court ruled against him on Friday.
Second, an item posted earlier last week on Pajamas Media’s Tatler, by conservative, Texas-based blogger Bryan Preston.
Headlined, “‘Conservative’ challenger in Texas Supreme Court race forges a curious alliance,’” Preston reveals that Pool’s lawsuit never had a chance.
As Preston notes, “Shortly before Christmas 2013, Pool demanded that the Texas GOP remove Brown from the ballot. He met with party leadership, who explained to Pool that his request was wrong and would be denied. He proceeded with the lawsuit anyway, and last week, after arguments from both sides in court, he lost in Travis County district court.”
At the District Court level, Pool, Jr.’s injunction, after three hours (only two hours were scheduled) of argument, was denied. Last Friday the Texas Supreme Court (with Brown and another Justice recusing themselves) denied both the “petition for writ of mandamus” and the “emergency motion for temporary relief” which asked the state GOP to stop printing ballots, a mere 44 days from the March 4 primary.
I wondered how much money the Texas GOP had to spend defending itself in court that it could have spent working to defeat Battleground Texas and liberals like Wendy Davis. State GOP chairman Steve Munisteri recently said it cost them at least $25,000.
No conservative Republican should ever attempt to win an election with a lawsuit.
But what’s worse is that many observers were shocked to learn one particular fact.
As Preston reported, “Pool’s challenge had one unusual feature. He hired as his legal representative, attorney Buck Wood. There are a lot of lawyers in Texas, but Pool’s attorney, Buck Wood, is known for being a long-time lawyer for Democrat interests. Wood was deputy state comptroller when the Democrats held the state, and was general counsel to Democrat Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock. He has represented the Texas Democratic Party, and Democrats such as state Rep. Donna Howard, in election lawsuits. Buck Wood was an eyebrow-raising choice to represent a candidate claiming to be a “conservative Republican.”
Why would a ‘conservative’ Republican hire the Texas Democratic Party’s lawyer to sue the Republican Party of Texas? Who is funding such a campaign?
I suspect we will find that trial lawyers are funding this “Republican” challenge.
Joe Pool, Jr. has some serious questions to answer.
Matt Mackowiak is an Austin, TX-based Republican consultant and president of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. He has been an adviser to two U.S. senators and a governor, and has advised federal and state political campaigns across the country.