Thursday, January 31, 2013

Liberty County State Rep. John Otto Recognized With Appointments

Press release:

State Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton), a CPA serving in his fifth term in the Texas Legislature, has been appointed by Speaker of the House Joe Straus to serve on two powerful House committees: the House Committee on Appropriations, which sets the budget for all state programs and agencies, and as vice chair on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which hears issues affecting tax policy in the state.

Both committee assignments are considered high profile and have a significant impact on Texans.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on these committees and will focus on the important budget issues facing this state while ensuring taxes remain low,” said Otto.

“Representative Otto's invaluable experience and leadership on these committees will help the Legislature address some of the state's most pressing challenges,” said Straus.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

IS THE MYSTERY LAWYER DOING SOMEONE A FAVOR?

Recent media reports included a description of the latest special prosecutor as a “Runaway Prosecutor” in reference to Larry Eastepp’s questionable work with July 2012 term Liberty County grand jury.  According to jurors, appointed pro-tem DA Eastepp only met with the jury twice and one of those times he was uninvited, but his lack of frequency did not mean there was a lack of effort and intensity on his part.  Apparently from local reports Eastepp stopped the grand jury from even hearing any evidence related to some high profile cases via his Machiavellian moves.

The first time the jury set eyes on pro-tem Eastepp he was rude, arrogant and lied to jurors according to all accounts.  When Eastepp came in he immediately extinguished everything the jury had done under the previous special prosecutor.  By all accounts Eastepp acted like ‘the defender of those the grand jury wanted to investigate and a prosecutor of grand jurors’.

At the second meeting with the grand jury Eastepp showed up uninvited and rather than pursue the matters that concerned the grand jury, he emptied the room of everyone except the foreman, Dr. James Smith, and the alternate foreman.  Eastepp then laid out a phoney bologna case for the removal of foreman Dr. Smith.  Eastepp was told his facts were wrong and that all twelve of the jurors would be witnesses and that he should drop the issue.  At issue was a false allegation initiated by Eastepp that Dr. Smith had a “personal” case before the grand jury, which was a complete fabrication.

Eventually Dr. Smith looked at the rules and practices governing grand juries and decided Eastepp was illegally overstepping his boundaries, all jurors agreed.  Dr. Smith was re-instated and the grand jury called Judge Gists and he agreed to remove Eastepp.  The collective jury told Judge Gist: “Eastepp’s services are no longer needed.”

But Eastepp did not leave quietly…  He told Judge Gists something contrived that persuaded the judge to seal everything and dismiss the grand jury.  Liberty Dispatch has been unable to find anyone in the legal community who has ever observed actions like these by Eastepp.

We can all speculate about why Larry Eastepp did not want the grand jury to look into certain high profile cases and why he was so rude.  And we can only speculate about Eastepp’s relationship to any of the players in certain high profile cases.  Whatever answers readers arrive at, one thing is for sure... Eastepp’s behavior is not typical in any Texas grand jury history.

Liberty Dispatch has uncovered other odd behavior by Larry Eastepp – almost six weeks after his dismissal, Larry Eastepp has not billed Liberty County one red cent.  LD asked Liberty County Auditor Harold Seay about any request for payment from Eastepp, Seay stated: “I have never received a bill from Eastepp”.

Eastepp has redefined what it means for a grand jury to “no bill”.  Maybe his lack of concern for being paid ought to concern us all.  Is he just a poor businessman and way behind on his billing or is he doing someone a favor?

Whichever option you believe, it appears Eastepp overstepped his authority and tried to bully a Liberty grand jury into submission.  It also appears the end result was just what Eastepp and whoever he is working with wanted. The grand jury was sent home and multiple serious high profile cases continue to languish.

Who was Eastepp really taking his orders from to block indictments of multiple public officials?  We have our suspicions, time will tell and the conspirators will be revealed.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Local Liberty County Radio Station Weighs in On Questionable Grand Jury Dismissal

KSHN RADIO 99.9 FM :

"Grand Jury Dismissed: There has been some big city publicity about a Liberty County Grand Jury dismissed late last year by a vesting judge from Jefferson County. That was in response to a sealed motion from a special prosecutor who was hired following a request by that very grand jury. That dismissal came, according to some of their members, without any explanation. It has left many of the 12 local members scratching their head and even expressing anger. In most cases, grand juries hear information presented to them by the district attorney’s office. However, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure says that grand juries “shall inquire into all offices liable to indictment of which any member may have knowledge, or of which they shall be informed by the attorney representing the state, or an other credible person.” End Quote. With out divulging anything from their secret proceedings, the six members of the grand jury said they were merely being responsive to information provided to them by credible local sources. Jury members emphasized their complaints are with the former office holders at the sheriff’s and district attorney’s office, not those elected officials who took office in 2013."

LD NOTE: This news story was apparently produced by Mr. Brad Harrington a local respected news reporter.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Former District Judge Passes

Former District Judge W.G. “Dub” Woods, 86 of Liberty. Graveside services Friday 10 a.m. at City Cemetery. Visitation Thursday 5-8 p.m. Allison Funeral Home.

Judge Woods was a well respected DA and Judge in Liberty County.  He should be remembered as a hard working public servant.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Dismissed grand jury seeks answers Members want to know why Liberty County panel was disbanded early

By Brian Rogers

Disbanded a month before their term was scheduled to end last year, members of a Liberty County grand jury investigating that county’s officials want to know why they were taken off the case, according to the foreman.

“We have heard person after person describe unacceptable practices and questionable activities that reek of fraud, collusion, selective investigation and prosecution, and abuse of office personnel and resources by county officials and employees,” James Smith wrote in a letter to several judges in December. “We demand an explanation of what is going on here.”

The grand jury that Smith presided over began hearing cases in July and was scheduled to run until Dec. 31. On Nov. 27, Beaumont judge Larry Gist signed an order dismissing the panel after reviewing a sealed motion filed by special prosecutor Larry Eastepp.

Because of grand jury secrecy, Smith would not discuss what evidence the body heard or which witnesses were called, but he confirmed he had written letters obtained by the Houston Chronicle and that other grand jurors agree with him.

He began writing the letters to the state district judge who originally empaneled the grand jury, to other judges and the head administrative judge and has yet to get an answer.

“We haven’t done anything wrong,” Smith said about his service as foreman or his requests to know why the term was cut short. “That sealed motion, that’s what has people really scratch-ing their heads.”

Controversy not new

In the letters, Smith said the grand jury was “repeatedly forced to look beyond the ineffectiveness of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office” and said the actions of several county officials and employees appear to be criminal.

He wrote that the grand jurors convened regularly and “voluntarily met on additional occasions to examine multiple alleged wrongdoings perpetrated in Liberty County that were frustratingly noted by federal investigators and the media.”

What the grand jurors heard remains a secret, but Liberty County officials have been no stranger to controversy. Last year, prosecutors dropped charges against former Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald, who was accused of misuse of Hurricane Ike government cleanup funds after a federal judge rejected a plea deal in which Fitzgerald previously had admitted making a false claim for federal funds.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark rejected the agreement, saying three years’ probation wasn’t a strong enough sentence.

After the case was dropped, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Beaumont said further investigation of the alleged offenses is necessary while Lum Hawthorn, Fitzgerald’s attorney, said his client did nothing illegal.

In the current controversy, state District Judge Chap Cain empaneled the grand jury in July for a term to end in December, according to court records.

But Gist was appointed to oversee the grand jury, apparently because Cain was the victim of an alleged mail fraud that could have come under the purview of the secret body.

Gist appointed Eastepp, a former federal prosecutor, as the special prosecutor.

State law

Eastepp said he cannot comment on the sealed motion or about anything pertaining to the grand jury because state law prohibits it.

It’s a pretty absolute secrecy rule with anything involving a grand jury,” Eastepp said. “The participants can’t talk about it, so I’m just following the dictates of the Texas Legislature and the Code of Criminal Procedure.”

Judges Gist and Cain also said they could not comment.

brian.rogers@chron.comtwitter.com/brianjrogers

Courtesy Houston Chronicle

Local Texas State Rep. Otto Files Pro Second Amendment Bill


Texas Representative John Otto (R-Dayton) has filed H.B. 553, the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” in response to threatened federal Executive Orders that would unconstitutionally restrict the right to bear arms. 

The proposed legislation nullifies all federal acts in violation of the Second Amendment and prohibits the enforcement of any federal law or regulation that attempts to confiscate or ban any firearm, limits the size of a magazine or the amount of ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, or imposes a tax or registration requirement on any firearm or ammunition.

“My heart goes out to every victim of gun violence," Otto said, “but my head knows that banning or restricting guns, magazines, or ammunition won’t prevent criminals from getting guns and using them for evil purposes, and that good people need guns to protect and defend themselves.

“The Constitution was designed for times like these — when emotions run high and justice demands a response. But our Founders saw the wisdom in preserving our natural right of self-preservation and self-defense, and provided that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. My bill is designed to ensure that for Texans, at least, that will remain true.”

Excerpts from Otto's bill:

"(5) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

(6) That all federal acts, laws, executive orders, agency orders, and rules or regulations of all kinds with the purpose, intent, or effect of confiscating any firearm, banning any firearm, limiting the size of a magazine for any firearm, imposing any limit on the ammunition that may be purchased for any firearm, taxing any firearm or ammunition therefore, or requiring the registration of any firearm or ammunition therefore, infringes upon Texan ’s right to bear arms in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore, any such law is not made in pursuance of the Constitution, is not authorized by the Constitution, and thus, is not the supreme law of the land, and consequently, is invalid in this State and shall be further considered null and void and of no effect in this State. "

LD supports Representative Otto and his bill.

See the actual bill here as filed by John Otto.

Local State Rep. Otto Files Second Ameadment

Local State Rep. Otto Files Second Amendment

Local State Rep. Otto

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

King Obama's Stage...

(01/15/13) Tomorrow President Barack Obama plans to hold a press conference at the White house to unveil his and Biden's new gun control executive orders.

Obama issues an average of about 35 plus executive order per term.

Now in 2013 Obama plans to get even with Republicans, Conservatives and the NRA for the resistance he received when he was running for reelection.

In a shameless and cowardly move to retaliate against gun owners of America, Obama plans to stage his illegal use of his executive privilege with children as stage props.



Welcome to King Obama 2013-2016, no laws, just imperialism.

Congressman Stockman: Impeach Obama over Gun Control Executive Orders

Congressman Steve Stockman was first elected to Congress in the Republican Revolution of 1994. Stockman beat long-time US Representative icon Jack Brooks. Stockman has not been in Congress for over a decade, but now he is back after winning handily in the new Texas Congressional District 36 in east Texas. Stockman came in with boots on the ground and ready to fight for conservative values.
One of Stockman’s first votes was to not vote for John Boehner as the Speaker of the US House of Representatives because Stockman believes we need a stronger conservative leading the Republican controlled House.
Stockman does not stop there. One of the early bills he has filed is a bill to repeal gun free zones or “killing zones” because they are just places where massacres happen because shooters know that no one has a gun to be able to shoot back to protect themselves.
Knowing that he will likely not get any gun control bills passed through the Republican controlled US House of Representatives, President Barack Obama has made it known that he will use executive orders to enact gun control measures in America.
Congressman Steve Stockman took little time to respond to Obama. Stockman did not try to beat around the bush or play nice or compromise like many Republicans like to do. Congressman Stockman warned Obama that any gun control executive orders that side-step Congress are unconstitutional and would result in Stockman filing for Obama to be IMPEACHED
Here is what Steve Stockman had to say to the Daily Caller about this:
“I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment,”
The freshman congressman, who served one term in Congress in the mid-1990s, further labeled the possibility “an existential threat to this nation” because, he said, the purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow the people to protect themselves from tyranny.
“Any proposal to abuse executive power and infringe upon gun rights must be repelled with the stiffest legislative force possible,” he added. “Under no circumstances whatsoever may the government take any action that disarms any peaceable person — much less without due process through an executive declaration without a vote of Congress or a ruling of a court.”
He concluded by claiming that an executive order would be not just “not just an attack on the Constitution,” but also an “attack on Americans.”
“If the president is allowed to suspend constitutional rights on his own personal whims, our free republic has effectively ceased to exist,” he said.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Republican Quarterly Meeting Tuesday January 15th


To All:  Please plan on being part of our first meeting for the new 2013 year.  We have a great opportunity in 2013  and we want you to be part of our success.  We had a race last year won/lost by less than 10 votes, YOUR vote counts please come out and take part in our meeting.

Thanks to all for your past support.

Regards,

Liberty County Republican Chairman

Liberty County Republican Party - Agenda for Quarterly Meeting January 15, 2013
Judge Graves’ Court Room 7:00 pm
FM 1960 Dayton, Texas 77535

1. Call to Order by Chairman Ken Coleman
2. Opening Prayer,
3. Pledge to the United States Flag,
4. Pledge to the Texas Flag,
5. Reading of Minutes from Previous Meeting
6. Treasurer’s Report (regular and primary accounts)
7. Introduce Special Guests
a. Federal– Congressman Steve Stockman
b. State - Judy Parada (SREC SD3 Committee Woman)
- Jim Wiggins (SREC SD3 Committee Man)
c. Local - Judge Craig McNair
d. Introduce Executive Committee
8. Special Update on “The State of Liberty County”
9. Old Business
a. Election Updates (by County Clerk’s Office)
b. Liberty County Republican Ladies Organization Update
10. New Business
a. Headquarters Status
b. If anyone has an interest in running for an office on the Republican ticket in the Liberty County, please contact a member of the executive committee for information.
d. Any other New Business
9. Next Quarterly Meeting, Tues, April 2, 7 pm, TBD
10. Adjournment

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How Convicted Sex Offenders Return to the Pulpit


I grew up in a large evangelical megachurch. I only ever heard of one sex scandal, and that involved a junior pastor having an affair with a secretary. The junior pastor left both his family and the church, the secretary stayed with her husband (I am not sure whether she kept her job at the church), and that was the end of that. So for a long time, I have been unable to understand stories like this one, reported as follows by blogger Incongruous Circumspection:
Many of my readers may be familiar with the series about Dr. Ken Copley sexually molesting his adopted daughter, Ruth Copley Burger. If not, it is a nine part series, written from the pen of Ruth herself, telling the gruesome details. The first part is titled, Adoption Into A Family.
Just before publishing this series, we discovered that Dr. Ken Copley was employed at Brownsburg Baptist Church in Brownsburg, Indiana as the Counseling Pastor. In a whirlwind of confusing events where many phone calls were placed to the church and a letter was even sent to the governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, Incongruous Circumspection was informed that Dr. Ken Copley was no longer employed at the church and the website was scrubbed of all his information.
The trail went cold – until now.
Dr. Ken Copley is now employed at The Cross in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can view his name on the right of the home page. And yes, he is the Associate Pastor.
Why am I telling you this? Simple. Dr. Ken Copley has never once admitted to his crimes. He hasn’t even addressed the allegations in a public forum. He has also never provided information to rebut the allegations. More importantly, having never confessed to his crimes, Dr. Ken Copley has never admitted to himself that he has a problem and needs to be rehabilitated for his sexual deviance.
In short, Dr. Ken Copley is in a position of authority, in a religious institution, which brings through its doors, many trusting individuals – especially women and young girls – never being given the opportunity to completely vet their associate pastor for his alleged sexual crimes. They have the right to know. The parents who attend that church has the right to know the danger that exists right under their noses.
In short, Ken Copley sexually molested his daughter, and has not even sought help for his problem, and yet he is nevertheless serving as a pastor. Many in his congregation likely do not even know about his past. (By the way, you should take some time and look around the blog Incongruous Circumspection, it covers these sorts of issues regularly). Perhaps some of Copley’s parishioners know about the accusations against him and simply don’t believe them.

By, Libby Anne

Friday, January 11, 2013

CRAZIES GET A TEST DRIVE ON KILLING

Courtesy- Overture Films

No one wants to ever again see anything like the senseless slaughter of one person much less 26 people – including 20 children - at a school. But if Congress is going to look into what can be done to improve the situation, here are six facts they need to know-
1. Violent crime – including violent crime using guns – has dropped massively over the past 20 years.
The violent crime rate - which includes murder, rape, and beatings - is half of what it was in the early 1990s. And the violent crime rate involving the use of weapons has also declined at a similar pace.
2. Mass shootings have not increased in recent years.
Despite terrifying events like Sandy Hook or last summer’s theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, mass shootings are not becoming more frequent. “There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Northeastern University, who studies the issue. Other data shows that mass killings peaked in 1929.
3. Schools are getting safer.
Across the board, schools are less dangerous than they used be.Over the past 20 years, the rate of theft per 1,000 students dropped from 101 to 18. For violent crime, the victimization rate per 1,000 students dropped from 53 to 14.
4. There Are More Guns in Circulation Than Ever Before.
Over the past 20 years, virtually every state in the country has liberalized gun ownership rules and many states have expanded concealed carry laws that allow more people to carry weapons in more places. There around 300 million guns in the United States and at least one gun in about 45 percent of all households. Yet the rate of gun-related crime continues to drop.
5. “Assault Weapons Bans” Are Generally Ineffective.
While many people are calling for reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons – an arbitrary category of guns that has no clear definition – research shows it would have no effect on crime and violence.
6. Violent video games and movies allow crazy people a “test drive” to see and feel how bloody massacre would go down. 

Note: LD and its supporters are not against video games, only the use by unstable or criminal people who use them as a training edge for perpetrating crimes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

County Judge selects new broker to sell old Walmart building

HCN Story concerning the proposed sale of the Liberty Old Walmart building:

"The county had grand ambitions of transforming the empty building in Liberty to a central location to house several county offices. The facility was also supposed to be the site of an emergency shelter within the old structure, but when the county could not get approval from the federal government or insurance companies for the design, the project was cancelled. It simply remained a vacant building for years."

This property purchase was a boondoggle and waste of money by prior Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald(D).

"The county spent more than $300,000 in architectural and design costs for the project and paid $1.8 million to acquire the facility."

A crazy waste of money by wasteful Democrat spendthrifts.

"The building and land is currently valued at $1,552,370, according to the Liberty County Appraisal District.
The previous real estate broker was Jeff Pittman. County Judge Craig McNair said that the new broker will help move the process forward to fulfill the goal of selling the property. A new broker has not yet been named, but will need approval by the commissioners court."

Our Liberty County Judge Craig McNair(R) has taken the bull by the horns to help Liberty County turn a bad situation into a good one- effectively cutting Liberty County loses.

Courtesy HCN Cleveland News

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Change of date for LCRP meeting

NOTICE: Tonight's quarterly meeting of the Liberty County Republican Party is being moved to next Tuesday, January 15, 2013, in the JP Courtroom of the Liberty County Annex off F.M. 1960 in Dayton, Texas, at 7:00 PM. (Same time, same location, one week later.) The high probability of inclement weather and flooding necessitates the change. Please plan to join us next Tuesday, and please notify others of this change. Thank you, and stay safe tonight!

Lee Haidusek Chambers Secretary, LCRP

Sunday, January 6, 2013

LIBERTY COUNTY TRANSIT PLAN - Get on the bus!

Recently, in response to complaints about government waste, Liberty Dispatch took time to review the “REVISED- 2009 H-GAC LIBERTY COUNTY TRANSIT PLAN”. Readers can view other documents by goggling the Brazos Transit Authority and compare their projections and reports with what we all observe on a daily basis and decide whether we have our own government boondoggle right here amongst us.
  
The Brazos Transit District, branded as The District, is the primary provider of mass transportation in a 16-county area of East Texas. The agency was established in 1974 as the Brazos Valley Transit Authority, with the primary purpose of providing fixed routes for Bryanand College Station, plus rural demand response service.
  
Back in the day this program was touted by Democrat Congressman after Democrat Congressman as a great solution to problems we would have as population grew and transportation became more of a priority or “need”. Attempts were made to expand the program several years ago, but the lack of funds has limited its routes in Liberty County (to 5 routes in Cleveland, Liberty, and Dayton). The district program has cost taxpayers millions of dollars since its inception and, though some may say the programs on self study justifies its existence, many observers may be less likely to trust the economic analysis and the amount of public good this program does.

“One time I actually saw four people on one of those buses. But one of them was the bus driver,” one commented.

Fully maintained buses and full time bus drivers are a large expense, and we need to look at and see if we can get the needs of some of our people with medical needs taken care of using other methods.

Letter to the editor

Dear Liberty Dispatch, 
 
“The Epiphany” was celebrated by some Churches yesterday. The celebration traditionally falls on January 6 and is a Christian feast daythat celebrates the revelation of God the Sonas a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the three magi or kings to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesusin the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God. 
The question for some today maybe could God find three wise rulers these days to replicate such a scene?
 
-anonymous letter to editor

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Sheriff Sworn in at Midnight


(Liberty County- 01/01/13) 01:20 Due to the crisis situation at the Liberty County Sheriff's Office brought on by former Sheriff Henry Patterson etal, new Sheriff Bobby Rader was sworn into office just after midnight.

Sheriff elect Bobby Rader was sworn in by JP Ronnie Davis.

In turn Sheriff Rader himself swore in his support and command staff including- Don Neyland, Ken Defoor, Mark Ellington and Chrystal Thomas.

Liberty Dispatch supports, congratulates and welcomes new Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader.