Scott Brooks - Going Negative

For many years now I’ve believed that political candidates who choose to either go completely negative in a scorched earth kind of way or who spend most of their time, energy and money on their opponent tell us pretty much what we need to know.

You might remember Rodney Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey ran for Ellis County Judge this year but did so in a negative fashion from day one of his campaign. He spent all sorts of time and energy on Carol Bush rather than on Rodney Ramsey. So did his supporters, a few of which have also been political candidates in the past. In their campaigns, they used the same approach and well, lost. It’s far easier it appears to criticize and condemn an opponent than to articulately espouse one’s own abilities. I don’t get the approach, but then again I’m no politician.

In many respects, Todd Little is following in the footsteps of Ramsey. The desire to acquire as many of Ramsey’s supporters is critical to Mr. Little’s success and it’s obvious that Mr. Little believes the way to get them is to go on attack. The other way is to use the raise issue as a sledgehammer. No one will accuse me of being a political consultant, but I don’t think either attempt is helpful to winning the race for Ellis County Judge. I don’t see much value in alienating a significant amount of citizens, many of whom have long-standing memories. Going negative on their candidate of choice as the primary way to win makes it tough to ever win again.

What strikes me about the race between Carol Bush and Todd Little is that one has far less tendency to campaign like a politician while the other campaigns like most politicians do. The reason I think John Wray is so successful as our state representative is because of his genuineness, his authenticity and his ability to remain true to his values. I think Carol Bush is much the same. Those who dislike Ms. Bush disagree, I know, but my impressions are different. Ms. Bush isn’t a politician, in my view. She is much like the rest of us in that she is her own person. You get what you see and that’s that. In all my dealings with the Judge, I’ve never felt that she was leveraging our discussions for support or that she had ulterior motives. The conversations were about important topics and there was always mutual respect. My guess is that most people who personally know Ms. Bush have had the same experience and would say the same about her.
Of course, there are those who have had disagreements with Judge Bush and who may not like her but that holds true for all of us.

Mr. Little is a seasoned candidate who has won a few races but who has lost one or two, as well. He has a style, based on my interactions with him, that lends itself to more of a politician. A politician can be as good a person as there is just as he or she can be as lousy a person as there is. I happen to like Mr. Little. Disagreeing with his approach won’t change that, either.

It’s common that the label of politician is usually not all that flattering ... be it fair or unfair. Trump has achieved great success in a year and a half largely because he isn’t a politician. He doesn’t care what others think and he isn’t beholden to anyone. Contrast Trump with Bill Clinton or Barack Obama and you’ll discover the differences. Clinton and Obama governed base on polls. They sought votes at all expense and cared far too much about pleasing potential voters despite how adrift doing so took them from their true convictions.

What troubles me about Mr. Little’s approach is the tendency to do the same in these waning days of this race. A flier many people, including me, received in the mail this week exasperated my concerns if for no other reason than it’s contents were just too expedient for me. By example, until last Thursday, Mr. Little had been quiet about the dopey raise issue. Now the central piece of Mr. Little’s campaign is giving the raise back. Call me crazy, but to side with people who think the raise is blasphemous while ignoring the opinions of citizens who listened to reason and then said yes to the raise is confounding. Mr. Little, instead of running for County Judge based on the new salary implemented fairly and with clarity by fellow citizens, has chosen to pick up a pitchfork and torch to join the Ramsey crowd and run now on a platform of giving it back. I just don’t think it’s a wise or healthy way to campaign.

One other thing bothering me about Mr. Little’s approach is that the obstructionists or anarchists or whatever-they-want-to-be-called-this-week element of folks in the county have embraced him. There’s no doubt how I feel about that element given the damage they perpetually seek to inflict on our communities. They are voters though and have proven that any candidate who satisfies their thirst for attention and control is likely to be their candidate. I don’t think Mr. Little wants that nor should he, but when placating others for their vote becomes real, they then are in a position to make or break you. That’s a risk Mr. Little now faces. Should he win, these folks will expect Mr. Little to be at their beck and call ... and that simply won’t be good for anyone.

Carol Bush has withstood more than what’s being thrown her way now and, despite it all, I’m guessing she will triumph in more ways than one. Staying positive is important. Going negative is a mistake.

And we can’t afford any mistakes.

Posted on 16 May 2018, 22:20 - Category: News

22 Reasons to Support Carol Bush

Post From Sandy Nicholson King

If there's one thing that I detest more than a dishonest person, it's someone who doesn't SPEAK UP when dishonesty is circling around them. For that reason, I am inspired to speak up for our judge, Carol Bush.

This week I was able to sit down and talk with Judge Bush for well over an hour. It was the first time I had ever had that opportunity. I am aware that most citizens have never and will never get the same opportunity, so I want to share my experience in hopes that you will, at the very least, know a little more TRUTH about her, both as a person and her accomplishments as our judge.

Now let me also say this....I didn't not go into this meeting expecting to like her, to be very honest. I, like you, had heard the rumors and wanted to be face to face with her to get my own read on her. To my absolute amazement, I found her to be warm, intelligent, and very thoughtful about every decision she has made in her position. I learned even more about how hard some of those decisions were to make and how strong a person has to be to make them. To put it simply, I just got a good feeling about her. She never gave me the impression of a slimy politician or even a politician at all. She was just a woman who is doing what is right for our community.

For those of you who know me, you know that I don't filter myself very well. I speak hard and brutal truth, sometimes to a fault. In true "Sandy" fashion, I asked Judge Bush some hard questions. We talked at length about her salary increase, about raising and LOWERING taxes for Ellis County, and many other subjects relevant to us as citizens. The more she talked about everything, the angrier I got at all of the rumors and twisted stories that are being spread around like wildfire. I grew frustrated at myself and others who read things posted on Facebook and never took the time to learn the real truth. Why would we be so lazy and not take the time to investigate and instead believe comments from our famous keyboard warriors on Facebook? Shame on us.

My biggest take away from this meeting was this: I was PROUD of Judge Carol Bush. Not only was I proud of everything she has done for Ellis County, but I was PROUD of her as a woman and as a person. She NEVER ONCE brought up the name of another candidate and never spouted that vile mudslinging that so many candidates choose to do during election season. She spoke only of her accomplishments and her love for our wonderful community. What a breath of fresh air that was!

I took the time to post this today, because I feel like more people should take the opportunity to STAND UP for people and SPEAK GOOD about what they know when they have the chance. This is my truth about Carol Bush, for what it is worth. 

Please read a few of the things we discussed during the meeting:



Posted on 12 May 2018, 10:31 - Category: News

Setting The Record Straight

Dear Friends and Neighbors:
In my 22 years as your state legislature representative I've seen a lot of dirty politics. Generally, the best option is to tum the other cheek. However, there are times when the rhetoric is so blatantly false that response based on 100% fact must be issued. That is the case with the malicious and dishonest accusations regarding County Judge, Carol Bush’s salary increase.
In July 2016, Ellis County Commissioners voted unanimously to institute Section 152.014 of the Texas Local Government Code; the law which establishes a neutral committee from a pool of grand jury members to review salary concerns. The names of the participants were placed on individual pieces of paper and placed in a concealed container by Cindy Polley, the County Clerk. Nine names were drawn randomly to be on the Salary Grievance Committee. It was done in open Court. To state otherwise is a falsehood.
The Salary Grievance Committee met on September 9, 2016. The meeting was duly posted and open to the public. I personally attended the meeting and testified concerning why I believed Judge Bush should be given a raise.  I felt then, as I do now, that her responsibilities were possibly the most challenging, time-consuming and demanding of anyone in government in Ellis County. And yet at the time, our County Court at Law judges, the District Court judges and the District Attorney were making $40,000 to $50,000+ more in salary than Carol Bush. The inequity was the sole purpose of the salary review.
During the session, the salary compensation of other key legal and government executive positions in Ellis County was reviewed. Of those presented, Judge Bush was paid less than 30 of the governmental judges and managers in our county. As an example, in 2016 the City Manager of Waxahachie was paid $190,550 and managed a budget of $33,474,100.  At that time, Judge Bush was paid a salary of $94,835 and managed a budget of $61,840,688.
After the presentation, Judge Bush voluntarily left the room to allow the committee to discuss the presentations and make a decision regarding a salary increase.... or none at all. After the committee unanimously decided upon a new salary of
$165,000, Judge Bush was called back into the room. The committee spokesperson explained they unanimously set the salary to compensate for Judge Bush's experience, legal expertise and comprehensive responsibilities, time and efforts. The votes were recorded with each committee member's signature.
Facts don't lie, even though detractors do. The County Commissioners clearly set the protocol and legality of a committee to review salary concerns under Section 152.014 of the Texas Local Government Code. The selection process for the committee was exclusively under the control of the County Clerk. Judge Bush never asked for a specific dollar figure and never suggested that her salary be increased by the amount awarded. She simply requested that her current salary be increased to be more in line with other judges and city government managers in Ellis County. The nine-member committee mutually determined the amount of the increase and all nine members agreed on the same amount.

Those are the facts, and I challenge anyone to show proof otherwise. They can't, but they will continue to spread lies because they cannot mount a campaign against Judge Bush based on how they could do a better job at running Ellis County. And that is the true irony of the situation. It is because Judge Bush does such an outstanding job, the salary increase was justifiable.... unanimously.
James R. Pitts

Posted on 15 Apr 2018, 16:05 - Category: News

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