Friday, February 12, 2010

The butcher, the baker and the idiot who fell off the turnip truck

I attended the Harris County Municipal Justice Bar Association's lunch today so I could see the candidates for Harris County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5, Place 2. For those of you unfamiliar with that court, the current Justice of the Peace, William Yeoman, is retiring and four republicans are running for his bench.

Of the four candidates, Jeff Williams, George Huntoon and Virginia Pittman spoke at the luncheon. Mr. Williams is an attorney, Ms. Pittman is the supervisor of the court's criminal department and Mr. Huntoon is a real estate huckster, er agent.

Judge Yeoman's court is the busiest in the State of Texas, or at least that's what Judge Yeoman announces to the gathered throng when he steps out to present his monologue, er welcome speech, every morning.

Mr. Williams said he has practiced in Judge Yeoman's court and knows what a nightmare it can be. He promised to streamline procedures so that attorneys weren't spending hours in court. Of course on the traffic side of things, the nightmarish docket can be a blessing as DPS officers will rarely appear for trial and cases are continued for a year or more.

Ms. Pittman understands the inner workings of the court. She knows what works now and what doesn't. She proposed to get input from court staff as to what needs to be changed. While some might say that a court insider could be very myopic when it comes to operations, when it comes to the strange world of the justice court, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Finally we come to the strange world of Mr. Huntoon. He was quite proud to let us know he wasn't an attorney -- but he always wanted to be one. His radio ads tout him as someone who would run the court as a conservative republican. When questioned about that statement he seemed at quite a loss for what a JP court actually does.

If you're concerned that a Harris County Justice of the Peace might conduct a marriage ceremony between two gays or lesbians, then Mr. Huntoon is the man for you. He said he would never do that. If you're worried that a Harris County Justice of the Peace might sit over a trial in which a defendant was charged with a hate crime (WTF?), he let us know that he wouldn't stand for it -- he didn't think federal hate crime legislation was constitutional. Finally, if you lie awake at night fretting that a Harris County Justice of the Peace would be one of those liberal activist judges who make up the law on the bench, you needn't worry anymore.

Mr. Huntoon said that as a judge he represented everyone in the district. Huh? Is that what he really said? Earth to McFly, a judge represents no one. A judge is supposed to be a neutral arbiter of the facts before him.

So for those of y'all voting in the republican primary next month, you've got a choice. You can choose the attorney, the court employee or the buffoon who has no freakin' idea what a Justice of the Peace does.


Unknown said...

Sounds like a real dipshister. I'm glad I don't get those kinds of cases very often. I hate going to that court though - it is ALWAYS packed (& Yeoman ALWAYS gave a long, drawn out speech.)

Paul B. Kennedy said...

You wouldn't believe. He loved to hear himself talk.

Every time he opened his mouth it became more and more apparent that he had no clue what he was doing.

Murray Newman said...

What a small world. George used to be the president of our home owner's association when I used to live on the West Side. He's a nice guy, but he definitely wants to be the leader!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that George gave such a poor performance. I've known him for years and I can assure you that he knows what the court does and the serious function that it serves. As for speaking on his feet, well. . . .

Paul B. Kennedy said...

I'm sure that George is a great guy to have over for some BBQ and cold beer -- but I don't think I'd want him sitting on the bench.

George Huntoon said...

I love reading these old Blog Posts. As I read the post again, I can see Paul really did not like me. But then in the comments he says he's sure I am a "great guy to have over for some BBQ and cold beer". I am still waiting for my invitation, Paul. I hope all is well these days.