Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Heflin folds

Texas Dems pick up one last seat.

Heflin's is the last of three challenges stemming from that election to be dropped. Jack Stick withdrew his challenge against Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, and Eric Opiela dropped his contest against Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, D-Alice, last month.

Gee, all the challenges were from Republicans, weren't they?

Rumor is that the state GOP put pressure on Heflin to give up (and notice that a Republican--Rep. Will Hartnett, R-Dallas--led the investigation and made the initial call) because they didn't want to enrage Ho's constituency. This puts a Vietnamese immigrant in the Lege--kind of a new thing in Texas, I believe.


  • At 9:04 AM, Blogger Cindy Balboa said…

    While Heflin's contest may have been without merit, a Bee County grand jury just indicted one of Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles' campaign workers on felony voter fraud charges. Toureilles stole the election last fall with dead people and the Republicans were too chicken to do anything about it.

    Friday, June 3, 2005

    Attorney General Abbott Obtains Voter Fraud Indictments In Two Counties
    Hardeman County commissioner, Beeville woman indicted for mail-in ballot violations

    AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced his office’s first indictments for alleged voter fraud in Texas, returned in separate cases by grand juries in Hardeman and Bee counties.

    "My office takes seriously the one-person, one-vote philosophy that has been the backbone of this country throughout its history," said Attorney General Abbott. "When the activities of even one person would undermine the electoral process, we will hold that person accountable."

    Hardeman County Precinct 1 Commissioner Johnny Akers, 58, was indicted late Thursday on six counts of election fraud in Quanah. The Texas Election Code violations involve alleged unlawful methods for returning completed ballots during early voting by mail. During the April 2004 primary runoff and November 2004 general elections, the indictment alleges, Akers personally handled or mailed ballots for six persons unrelated to him over several days, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to $2,000 on each count.

    On May 27, Beeville resident Melva Kay Ponce, 53, was indicted in Bee County on a charge of illegal voting. She allegedly posed as her deceased mother during early mail-in voting in the November 2004 election. Illegal voting is a third-degree felony punishable by two to10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

    Ponce mailed an application for a mail ballot to the Bee County Clerk’s office for her mother, Dominga Ponce, on Oct. 15, 2004, when her mother was still alive. Her mother died of natural causes on Oct. 20, and two days later the clerk’s office mailed a ballot addressed to Dominga Ponce. Despite her mother’s death, Melva Kay Ponce filled out the absentee ballot in her mother’s name. She then mailed the completed ballot back to the clerk.

    The Bee County Voter Registrar, Andrea Gibbud, contacted the Bee County Sheriff’s Office about the suspicious ballot, knowing Ponce’s mother had died before the ballot could have been completed and returned.

    The Attorney General’s Office investigated the allegations of election fraud at the request of the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.


  • At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well Ain't that a kick! Cindy before you start acting like Eric Opiela. Get the facts!! That usually leads to the truth. If you checked with the Attorney General's Office you would have known the women who was indicted was working for the Republican Party. That woman was not working for Toureilles or for the Democratic party. And furthermore that ballot was not even counted b/c the voter registrar in Bee County knew that that voter was deceased. By the way in case you didn't follow Opiela's contest. Here is what happened. He filed a contest along with the recount. He made all these outlandish accusations and put up this smoke screen that the election was stolen to cover up for all the statements he made. In other words to cover his ***! Rep. Will Hartnett who supervised Opiela's Lawsuit/Contest made him re-file his Petition (3) times before he would even consider looking at it because Opiela doesn't know the Election code or the law for that matter. Then after forcing Toureilles to spend enormously on Attorney's to defend this case, Opiela then withdraws; if he really had a rock solid case as he quoted to the papers he would have stood his ground. Why? Because you know you are right and you have the law to back it up! He didn't have the law and he knew he was wrong. The reason Opiela withdrew is because his case was about to be dismissed as FRIVOLOUS/WITHOUT MERIT; even Harntett who is a conservative REPUBLICAN acknowledges this and he would know b/c he reviewed the evidence and law in this case. Ask yourself why didn't the Republicans defend Opiela. It wasn't for lack of backbone or money because believe me when they want something they fight hard for it. It's because it wasn't right. Would you have liked it if your former opponent had shown up at your home or workplace after he lost? Well that is what this immature young man did w/Toureilles, he became obsessed and fanatical. That's why DPS has had a restraining order against him. By the way if you had bothered to look at the pleadings and evidence filed in this case you would have known that there were no "dead voters" What Opiela did was find people w/the same name like "Hector Barrera" who had died and then find a different "Hector Barrera" who was alive and a registered voter and claim that the second one was dead. Not surprisingly there are several Hector Barrera's. Toureilles' attorneys went through each of his "dead voters" and presented evidence that the voters were alive and registered to vote by presenting DPS drivers license records, different dates of births, different voter registration records, tax records etc. Opiela would also target Hispanic father/sons with the same names and claim that these voters voted twice. Opiela also only focused on the two counties that he lost, Jim Wells and Bee and targeted mostly Hispanic voters. He couldn't understand how Toureilles beat him so badly in her home county, which everyone else understands. Toureilles is extremely well liked and respected in her home county. She has a large family and a strong support base in Jim Wells County. Opiela also couldn't accept the fact that George Bush did better in Jim Wells than he did, but a lot of Democrats and Hispanics voted for Bush and then voted for Democratic candidates! And Opiela is no George Bush! So before you start making slanderous and false accusations maybe you should get your facts straight.

  • At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You get the facts. If Ponce was working for the Republicans as you say (yeah, that's believable) then why was Toureilles named in her indictment as a co-conspirator? The reason Opiela withdrew was because the AGs office asked him too so they could pursue the criminal case against Toureilles. And where do you get this about DPS having a restraining order against him? On what basis? Especially when the Texas Rangers were investigating Toureilles. Sure. At least know a bit about the law when you make things up, only courts issue these. Extremely well liked and respected--give me a break. If so then why did she lose with less than 40 percent of the vote 6 of the 7 counties? Everyone in the district knows her as an arrogant obsessive chihuaua who makes threats to get what she wants. And her husband is a convicted stalker. Yeah, sure, real credible people.


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