Harris County Republican Primary Endorsement Comparison

Just for grins and giggles, I decided to put a few of the endorsement lists popular in the Republican primary in a matrix to compare them. Well, that and it will be useful to measure their effectiveness after the election, as I did before. Will Terry Lowry and the Link Letter keep the crown for highest winning percentage? In addition to the pay to play’rs, I added in my actual votes, Rhymes with Right’s recommendations since we have the same ballot, and the Kingwood Tea Party’s recommendations.

Harris County Primary Endorsement Comparison

Not much surprising but definitely some. My little buddy, Mr. Lowry, did not endorse anyone in my state house district, 129, which is interesting because John Davis is a longtime customer of his. I’m grateful that John didn’t give any money to Lowry this go round because the Link Letter is particularly offensive this year. And the fact that Lowry didn’t “endorse” anyone in the Party Chair race is intriguing, especially since both guys wasted money putting this rag in my mailbox and Jared is a long time partaker of Lowry’s services.

About the only interesting thing in Polland’s column is that he didn’t endorse anyone in the 337th Criminal District Court. I mean, you could hate Renee Magee for some reason and still know that Jim Barr is a joke of a candidate. What’s up with Rhymes with Right supporting that guy? Strange.

I didn’t note anything unusual in Hotze’s column but I do have a story. I was talking to Mike Jackson a last week and he told me that he didn’t have enough money to pay Hotze this year and Hotze told him that he was going to put his name on there anyway. Hey, something to be said for taking care of your regular customers. But seriously, I think Hotze often does that – his rag is the most legitimate of the three in that respect.

Let’s go back to the Link Letter for a bit. I’d like to slap every single candidate upside the head that paid Lowry this year. He’s taken despicable to a new level on the whole – Polland still wins on the individual point with his tirade against Kristin Guiney – but the Link Letter this year is a hate filled rag that puts all Republicans in a negative light. While I was working on the matrix I received an email from a long time reader asking me to call him. He wanted to know if there was any law that he could use to keep Lowry from sending this junk to his home. Imagine someone getting ticked off enough to do that. This issue of the Link Letter will do that. Let’s walk through it.

Open It up and page 1 has Franklin Graham whining about political correctness and comparing himself to the Apostle Paul. Turn the page and you have a page and a half of mocking poor people. Why, 99.6% of po folks have refrigerators, don’t you know! This happens to be an abridged version of a report on Heritage.org. Why make fun of people that happen to be poor? Oh, so that we as Republicans can look down on them and say that they don’t need any help, that’s why. Continuing on, we learn that the contraception debate was really about conscience. Well, no, it wasn’t, or at least it shouldn’t have been. Don’t get sucked into that – the argument should have been that the government shouldn’t be telling private businesses what products to sell (or in this case give away). But no, we fell into the trap that Axelrod presented to us. Next up we have a warning about “after-birth abortions” in a terribly written piece.

My second favorite is next (hey, we made it to page 6!). Lily white, suburb living, elderly Terry Lowry includes a piece by Bill Cosby in which Mr. Cosby laments the state of the black family and community. Fine, we all know they have troubles. But honestly, what purpose does this serve in an election “journal” that is sent to 99.99% elderly, suburban, white folk? Complete with a picture of a “tough” looking black kid holding a handgun. And we wonder why Democrats say we are racist?

We go from there to Phyllis Schlafly whining about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Darlin’, she’s been on the court for almost 20 years. Get over it.

I’ll pass on commenting on the next page, which has Sen. Patrick bloviating. Page 9 brings us some more whining from a Professor of Political Science at Grove City College (you know, the Harvard of Grove City, Pennsylvania?). “Dr.” Paul Kengor has decided that only Democrats use churches as political tools. Dude has never been to Lakewood, I suppose, where the flag hangs high and the cross hangs hidden.

Pages 10 and 11 are actually about the election! But pages 12 and 13 remind us that we have become a dependency nation under President Obama.  Interesting use of colors in a graph – everyone before Obama gets a green bar, Obama gets a red one even though all of the bars represent the same data type, direct payments to individuals as a share of GDP. Classic.

Pages 14 and 15 remind us that the French are wimps and that we saved their country in WWII but if we remind them about that, you can hear a pin drop. Don’t worry, I’m almost done.

Page 16 tops the list, especially since we are Republicans and we are going to unite behind Mitt Romney in our efforts to oust President Obama. Right? Aren’t we?

Well, I guess us men folk are because guess what? Why would any woman vote for a Mormon? Huh? Hmm? Why? Why, why, why? You see, women folk can only get to the highest level of heaven if their man calls them by their special name. Otherwise, they end up in one of two lower heavens for the not so good.


Like I said, I’d like to slap every single one of the candidates that gave this jerk money to put this crap in my mailbox. That includes you , David Dewhurst. You Pat Lykos (see update below). You Mike Anderson. You Dan Patrick. You, you, you, you, you, you, you, you!

Unfreaking believable.

UPDATE: I made an error – this is what happens when I see the Link Letter, I get mad and make mistakes. Pat Lykos DID NOT have an ad in the Link Letter this year. I had Gary Polland’s booklet out and it was open to her page on my desk and I saw it and added her to the list. My mistake but it is one that I am most happy to correct.

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  1. Big Boy says

    You put Rhymes With Right in the chart and he endorsed Jim Barr who was removed from the bench for judicial misconduct by the Texas Supreme Court – go see http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-review-tribunal/1299059.html. Rhymes With Right has no credibility and his endorsements can not be worth the paper they are written on and you should be ashamed for giving him any air time. It seriously calls into question your judgment.

  2. conservative values count says

    If every one of us voted against Terry Lowry’s paid endorsements he would be finished and character over cash would eventually replace him.

    As for the more “qualified” candidates who allow themselves to be extorted by this vermin–how can we the voters expect a candidate to behave any differently once elected to public office?
    Whores like sell out politians are who they are.

    Character should count for something.

  3. Big Boy says

    It is unbelievable that you alllowed a blogg slate having an endorsement of Jim Barr be used. Such an endorsement calls in question the integrity of all of your endorsements as well as your opinions in general. If you knew Renee Magee you would have nothing but good to say about her both as a person and as to her qualifications. The fact that you do not says more about your opinions than anything else.

    James Barr, was previously a judge but he was removed from the 337th District Court bench in 1998 for judicial misconduct. The Texas Supreme Court tribunal hearing his removal action found that, among other things, Jim Barr “through sexual comments and gestures, violated the constitution of the State of Texas and the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct” and that his actions “were clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of his duties, cast public discredit upon the judiciary of the State of Texas as well as on the administration of justice and thus are likewise violative of Article V, Section 1-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution”. The citizens of Harris County deserve better.

  4. says

    Dave & Big Boy:
    I had one candidate who was somehow never available when I tried to make contact, as opposed to another one who spoke frankly to me about what he had learned from his previous experience. I thought long and hard before making that endorsement in the race. You can disagree with that endorsement, but I think that the personal insults directed my way by the commenter are a bit over the top.

  5. Big Boy says

    Rhymes, Well apparently she was available to speak with Harris County Conservative Politics, Spring Branch Republicans, Senator Dan Patrick, Texas Conservative View PAC, Houston Chronicle, Kingwood Tea Party, Association of Women Attorneys, C Club, United Republicans of Harris County, State Rep Dan Huberty, Dr. Steven Hotze, Harris County Courtroom Observers, Terry Lowry and the Link Letter, Paul Bettencourt, Houston Business Realty Coalition, Murray Newman and Reasonable Doubt, Conservative Coalition of Harris County, Harris County Deputies Organization, Houston Police Officers Union, Police, Inc., Senator Joan Huffman, and many others which can be found at her website http://www.mageeforjudge.com. It appears she has been readily available and widely accepted and supported. I find it both strange and incredable that you could not get in touch with her but get in touch with Barr who has not attended anything except the judicial petition signing party and made one phone interview. If you are merely a friend of Barr’s just say so and do not misrepresent a truely good caandidate like Renee Magee.

  6. says

    Dave, yes I did and if I mistook your sarcasm, then I apologize. It would be better for all if you merely came out in support of Renee Magee and explained the reasons why Barr is not the best candidate and was removed from the bench.

  7. says

    I’ve spoken with Barr precisely once in my life. As such, I would not even rise to the level of acquaintance, much less friend.

    And I’m not misrepresenting Magee, about whom I’ve said nothing negative except I was unable to get in contact with her — and who I will be glad to support in the likely event that she is the party’s nominee.

    And I’ll repeat what I said — I thought long and hard about making that endorsement. I seriously considered not endorsing at all. I accept that you strongly disagree with the decision I made — and I don’t even blame you for questioning it. I’ve never claimed to be infallible, and will gladly concede that your objections are valid and that I may have made the wrong call on this one.

  8. Dale Huls/Pct 0655 says

    When it comes to the endorsements in these “pay for play” political rags, be careful of painting the candidates with the same brush. I have met a number of first time candidates that simply assumed that these publications are legit. I also know that the success rates of these publications are very high making many candidates feel that they have no choice but to participate. And of course these are those who know and understand the game being played.

    As one who participates and supports the conservative reform efforts in Harris County, I and others have decided to not make an issue of whether a particular candidate has been endorsed by these paid propaganda pieces or not. While some such as David have been on track with these guys for years, we tea partier types are just now coming up to speed on how our local elections are won and lost. We are suitably appalled.

    Know that by the time the next election cycle rolls around, all candidates will have suitable warning when dealing with these guys. If they think that inclusion in these “voter guides” is more valuable than the support (or active opposition) of the grassroots movement, then let the games begin.

    We in the Clear Lake Tea Party will be watching and actively opposing this type of corruption in Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria County. Keep up the good work David.

  9. conservative values count says

    Dale Huls,


    You and David are true patriots.

    Many thanks. My prayers and support are with the cause.

  10. Georgetown says


    There is another Harris County Democrat running on the Republican side this time(and I suspect this time only). In the Precinct 3 Constable’s race the second place finisher in the 2008 Democratic
    Primary is now running for the same seat in the Republican Primary and has gotten the Link letter endorsement because his opponent refused to pay Lowry anything. Bill Norwood was a distant second in the 2008 Dem Primary to incumbent Ken Jones and has switched sides to sidestep having to face him in the primary this time around. David Cruzan will not pay money to Lowry and the Link Letter decided to endorse a Democrat.

  11. Tom Zakes says

    Hey Georgetown –

    I spoke to Norwood about why he ran as a dem in 2008. Turns out that precinct three is drawn as a heavily dem district. Jones got 69 percent in the primary and 68 percent in the general election that year. In order to win this race, it will be necessary to change people from D to R. Norwood is taking his race all through the district, and carries the GOP platform with him. As he speaks to traditional D voters, he shows them the platform and asks them if they agree with it. We will get a good number of new primary voters this year, and they will translate into R voters this fall as well.

    Can’t say the same about his opponent. For some reason, Bill’s signs at early voting locations are getting put up 20 feet in trees. I don’t think the law of gravity has been suspended. Bill has been a deputy sheriff for 30 + years, and is married to another law enforcement officer. I don’t think there are many people in that category who would be described as dems. I am proud to endorse Bill, and glad to have one of his signs in front of my home.

    Check out Bill’s finance report, available online. He did not give a dime to Lowry, just like his opponent. In one fourth of the races this year, Lowry endorsed people who did not buy advertising.

  12. Tom Zakes says

    I’ll start with two basic premises.

    First, it is normal to expect people to act in their best interests. Doctors do so, as do union members (police or otherwise), insurance lawyers, business owners, teachers, home builders, realtors, etc. The combination of many different peoples best interest will translate into the best interest of society.

    Second, most people do not have the time to devote to learning about the candidates, in order to make an informed decision in each race. However, voters do want to vote with the idea that they are picking the better candidate. Without sufficient information, many people will choose not to vote. This is shown by polling data, as well. As a general rule, the people who describe themselves as “undecided” before an election will be undecided afterwards as well. They will either not vote at all, or will undervote in down ballot races.

    Traditional methods of informing voters have been ineffective in combatting this. As I’ve heard my mom say after looking at a “voters guide” in a major daily newspaper “So I should vote for the guy with 4 kids instead of the guy who has 3, or the one who went to SMU Law School instead of the one who went to Baylor?” Other factors enter in as well, which have absolutely nothing to do with qualifications, such as an unusual name, or the candidate’s gender, ethnicity or race. Hence after a previous defeat, Cathy Herasimchuk and her husband legally changed their surnames to Cochran, and she hasn’t lost since.

    Social media have changed this, primarily by allowing candidates to create a website to get out much more information to voters quickly and economically. I remember the days before that, calling directory assistance to get the phone number for a candidate who lived in the panhandle, calling what turned out to be a home number and reaching a spouse who promised a return call from the candidate as soon as he finished his golf game. But even with that, what you get is the canned version of what the candidate wants you to know about them.

    I like to base my decisions on personal knowledge of the candidates. I have been fortunate this year to know all of the judicial candidates in the Republican primary. Through involvement in the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club, as well as over 20 years of practicing law, I have met them, and in some instances gotten to know their families as well. For those who have been judges in the past I have appeared in front of them. For those who have been assistant DAs I have done battle with them.

    I use that information to make recommendations to my clients, friends from church, my neighbors, and more recently my facebook friends.

    I have known Steve Hotze, Gary Polland and Terry Lowry for over 25, 20 and 15 years. In that time, I have spoken to them dozens of times about politics and other subjects. Like many of my friends, we disagree on many races, and agree on many. I will not question their pro-life values, their dedication to the Republican Party, nor their desire to see the strongest field representing us in the fall. What they do with their endorsements is what I do with mine, but on a larger scale. The harsh reality is that printing, maintaining a mailing list and postage cost money.

    Much of the criticism of slates comes from people who have tried to get their endorsement and failed. Afterwards, instead of taking their licks, they decide to cry foul. Is there a correlation between money paid by candidates who got the endorsement? There may be, but it would be based more on the campaign’s desire to get a list out that includes their name than a quid pro quo of “I will endorse you if you buy an ad.” I haven’t gotten my copy of the Link Letter yet, but I heard the interview of Paul Kubosh by Terry Lowry in which they discussed advertising in it. Three important statistics I took from it: in one fourth of the races, a person got the endorsement without buying any advertising, 42 percent of the candidates who bought ads did not get endorsed, and buying an ad in it averages two cents per recipient. Not a bad price for a county-wide race.

    I remember when Jeff Millar was the movie critic for the local daily paper. I would read his reviews, and decide to see a movie based on them. But it wasn’t based on if he said he liked it or not, because he and I had different tastes in film. Similarly, there will be people who will decide to vote against a candidate based on seeing that they were endorsed by someone. This apparently happened in 2010, when a former Democrat judge filed in the Republican primary, decided against running after the deadline, did not campaign, endorsed his opponent, and still got 25 percent of the vote.

  13. Georgetown says


    All I have to do is look at the election archives from the 2008 Democratic Primary to see that Ken Jones won every voting precinct in Precinct 3. Some by a tremendous landslide. Occam’s razor tells me that Norwood has chosen to run in the Republican Primary due to his inability to compete with Jones. Voter vault lists Norwood as a Democrat as well. From there it is no logical stretch to simply see that Norwood is hoping to ride the Republican wave that is sure to come countywide regardless of whether he converts any D to and R or not. He will abandon the Republicans just as soon as it suits him I’m afraid.

    As for the pay for pay slates, why didn’t Lowry even bother talking to the other candidate in the race? He wanted to endorse Norwood because Norwood was willing to contribute to his mailer. If he had actually wanted to endorse a candidate on the criteria you mentioned above he most certainly would have at least spoken to Cruzan as well as Norwood. You simply can’t defend an endorsement in any race where you haven’t spoken with all of the candidates now can you?

    As for Norwood, his 5 day suspension in 2005 for being AWOL and making threats to his superior shows me that he has no business being in a leadership position like this. In 2008, the voters of Precinct 3 had an opportunity to choose an alternative to Jones. They rejected Norwood outright and the Republican that year actually did much better against Jones in the General election. To me at best Norwood is completely unelectable in November. Let’s see if the other guy can change that.

  14. Georgetown says

    Also Tom since you say you like to choose candidates to vote for based on your conversations with them, when have you ever spoken to Cruzan? If you did you would see he is obviously the most qualified of the two. It didn’t take me ten minutes to figure that out between these two individuals and I did speak with both of them.

  15. Tom Zakes says


    you need to get new reading glasses. I didn’t say I decide based on talking to people. I said I decide based on knowing them. I haven’t spoken to Ky Griffin in the CD 36 race, or Doc Agris in the US Senate race, but I still have people I am supporting in those elections. Did Terry speak to Cruzan? I have no idea. Ask Terry. Norwood is running on a shoestring budget, and doesn’t have ten grand to drop on a mailer that goes to 7 constable precincts that he is not running in.

    I heard Cruzan speak at the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club, have spoken to him on the phone, have read his website, every piece of literature I have gotten from him and every email I have gotten from any of his supporters. I have also reviewed his finance reports. I’ve never said Cruzan is not qualified to be constable. If he wins the primary, I will support him.
    You obviously never read the complaint about Norwood, either. It was not alleged that he threatened anyone. He told his supervisor that he needed to evacuate his family, who lived in a mandatory evacuation area, and when he was told it was more important for a civil court bailiff on a day that the docket was cancelled to hang out in the basement of the CJC “just in case”, he said “This is (insert word used by Rick Santorum)” and put his badge on the desk. He evacuated his family and was back at work the following day. I will never hold it against any dad that he put his family’s safety ahead of his job.

    But the best news? In 4 days this will be over.

  16. Georgetown says


    My whole point isn’t about speaking to every one when you are trying to decide such a large ballot as we have this time, it is trying to pass off your choices as having vetted the candidates and doing it as a for profit business which is what happened here.

    As for Norwood being on a shoestring budget, the campaign wouldn’t give any money to Lowry but someone else could pony up the dough. I suspect this is what would happen for most.

    And yes Tom I did read the letter of suspension for Tommy Thomas’ letterhead to Bill detailing his suspension, the reasons for it and that he would be transferred to the jail and no longer be a baliff in the court system as a result. The Sheriff did the right thing in my opinion. Bill, while not a patrol officer, could have obviously been used in a capacity that would have freed others to be used on patrol had that hurricane actually hit closer to us. As for the badge incident, he threw the badge at his superior and then cursed him out. That superior also alleges that that tirade contained threats.
    The letter is posted on the internet for all to see. I do not know who put it there or how they obtained it but it is straight out of the personnel file.

    Also Terry Lowry would have to have a reason to endorse a lifelong Democrat over a conservative, pro-life Republican. What talks better than the green to cause someone to overlook the obvious superior qualifications and credentials that Cruzan possesses. If we did have two equally qualified Republicans who were long time Republicans and conservatives in this race, then the endorsement could be explained or at least explained away. Something this blatantly obvious with a lifelong Democrat switching to the Republican Party to ride the anti-Obama wave after losing a primary on the Democratic side four years ago, in a race where he did not win even one voting precinct, well it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that the story doesn’t pass the smell test. Whoever paid for that endorsement pulled a major coup. Bob Price has documented several cases of the Link Letter endorsement being for sale. This race is only one of those.

    Really though I think all should be concerned with the way these pay for play slates are hijacking Republican primaries. I refuse to vote with a slate mailer because I can’t trust the motives or judgement of people who represent them as the word of God or something. In the end it isn’t about one race but as David Jennings and Dave Huls have pointed out, it is the whole system of that attempts to profit off something under the guise of a public service to educate a potential voter.
    Anyone that reads this, please stop using these things, they are only trying to use you to further their own personal agenda or financial gain and to set themselves up as kingmakers for the party. Frankly, we all deserve better and should expect better from others and ourselves.

  17. says

    Mr Jennings

    I came across a very disturbing site which few likely have seen. I think you should see it. You seem to responsibly share information, not intended to harm, but things we need to know


  18. Tom Zakes says

    As a postscript to the “pay for play” allegations, here’s the final tally:

    Harold Heuszel, endorsed by Lowry, got 17 percent of the vote in the sheriff race.

    Ruben Monzon, endorsed by Gary Polland, got 12%

    Louis Guthrie, endorsed by Steve Hotze, got 30%.

    Carl Pittman, endorsed by more precinct chairs than the other 7 candidates combined, got 21 % and is in the runoff.

    The HRBC, which made the biggest stink about everyone else’s mailers, matched Hotze on 33 of the 39 races in which they both made endorsements.

    I think the republic is safe.

  19. Georgetown says

    “I think the republic is safe”

    I like to think that articles like this one have something to do with that :)

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