Having paid close attention to politics and politicians for many years, I rarely get disgusted with a politician’s actions. But the thirst for power displayed by Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson through the years is both disgusting and astounding. Disgusting because of the fallout from her quest for power and astounding that Harris County Republican Party leaders and voters give her a pass on her actions.
Don Hooper has pointed out most of these actions in this post. And he’ll be doing a follow up with a few names behind the scenes. Such as using the same prosecutor who used a grand jury to no bill Dr. Douglas Karpen. Or having her office collaborate with the Planned Parenthood attorney. Or blaming the grand jury instead of taking responsibility for what her prosecutors presented as evidence to that grand jury.
No one who has watched the full versions of the videos that David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt produced can reasonably say that representatives of Planned Parenthood did not do exactly what the now indicted pair say they did. You can watch those full versions by clicking here – yes, it takes a lot of time but then you’ll know the truth. And the truth is that the “cut” or “short” versions of those videos are not deceptive or misleading.
But Devon Anderson knows full well the possibility of losing an election in Harris County during a presidential election year. She was a “victim” of the Obama voter wave in 2008, losing her job as judge of the 177th District Court. She fully understands that she is going to need Democratic voters to cross over and vote for her. She knows full well that without positive press, that won’t happen.
So let’s take a look at the press she’s getting today.
This isn’t the first time Anderson has made a tough choice. Under pressure from the police union to retry Alfred Dewayne Brown in a Houston police officer’s callous murder, Anderson decided last year there wasn’t sufficient evidence, and Brown went free.
Anderson has recently implemented reforms, including expanded diversions for first-time offenders, and spoke out in favor of a controversial idea to allow defense attorneys at probable cause hearings.
We know now that Daleiden is a fake, a phony. And so are politicians who find it politically expedient to pretend he’s not.
Devon Anderson, meanwhile, might just be the real thing.
From Paul Weber’s AP report titled Houston Prosecutor Has Angered Anti-Abortion Groups Before:
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, a Republican originally appointed by former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is now watching her party fume after she announced a grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of misusing fetal tissue — and instead indicted the makers of undercover video widely embraced by the GOP. But those who know the former judge say she is no ideologue and won’t buckle to politics.
“It’s really proof that she is out to do a job and not score political points,” said Gene Wu, a former Harris County prosecutor who is now a Democratic state lawmaker. “Because those things don’t pan out politically. If you’re a Republican and trying to give people a second chance on marijuana, I don’t think that sells very well on the Republican side.”
Brian Rogers’ report in the Houston Chronicle titled DA denies politics played role in Planned Parenthood case is full of truth about what really happened here.
“If anything, it kind of helps her in the long run, because it presents her as a more neutral actor who is willing to follow the law even if it has a potential adverse affect on her standing in the Republican party,” said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones.
Because the issue of abortion is so politically charged, experts said, Anderson likely would have drawn a primary opponent had the indictment been handed down last year.
“This indictment would definitely have invited a Republican challenge,” Jones said. “The question would have been whether that challenge would have been by a credible candidate. This would not have been something that you would have wanted to do at any time in the fall.”
On Tuesday, politicians on both sides of the issue wanted to look past Anderson and instead lay the decision at the feet of the grand jury, a group of 12 people who meet behind closed doors shielded by laws making it illegal to reveal their secret proceedings.
Typically, grand juries are rubber stamps for more than 100,000 felonies filed in Harris County every year.
That last line from Rogers’ article is key to understanding the process. As the old saying goes, a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich if they want to. It all depends upon the evidence given to the grand jury and how the evidence was presented. For Anderson to blame the grand jury is simply nonsense. She is quoted as saying “The inconvenient truth of a criminal investigation is that it doesn’t always lead where you want to go.” While that may be true it is also true that the inconvenient truth of her actions in this case will result in more brutal abortion procedures by Planned Parenthood.
Harris County Republican Party leaders are also responsible for this mess. They are the ones that encouraged Gov. Rick Perry to appoint her after her husband died. They are the ones that persuaded people not to run against her because “we need the female vote”. They were the ones telling voters that she was the “real deal” when those of who knew better warned people. Heck, current Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson sent out a press release yesterday blaming abortion law instead of placing it squarely where it belongs. He’s up for re-election, you know.
And to further the disgust in this case, former Harris County Republican Party Chair Jared Woodfill, a plaintiff’s attorney, has announced that he is representing the defendants. That’s right, the defendants have placed their lives in the hands of a man with no criminal law experience (search the District Clerk’s website with Woodfill’s bar number 00788715). My guess is that they want to use this as a platform for their issue. That is a huge mistake and only reinforces the idea that the entire movement is a farce. Woodfill is now attacking Anderson in the press which is completely hypocritical considering that he is the one that presented her to the HCRP Executive Committee as “the one”.
Like I said I’m disgusted by this entire case and by the politics of a woman who will do anything to remain in office. Don’t bother trying to convince me that the Democrat running against her in November could be worse.