September 12, 2007
More on Bradford v Rosenthal, the Sequel

Grits takes a closer look at the upcoming Harris County DA campaign and sees a good chance for former HPD Chief C.O. Bradford to knock off Chuck Rosenthal. He also reminds me of another good issue that Bradford could use to drive a wedge between Rosenthal and his supporters:

When the Texas Legislature passed a law in 2005 allowing law abiding Texans to carry a handgun in their car, the Harris DA was the first to defy them, announcing he'd continue to prosecute gun owners under the old standard. The Lege came back in 2007 and trumped him with stronger protections for gun owners in their cars.

Bet that'll play well in certain circles. The beauty of it is that it won't matter if Bradford himself has ever expressed an opinion on gun laws. All he has to do is say something like "My own personal feelings on this aren't what's important. My job is to enforce the laws as the Legislature writes them, not pick and choose based on my opinion of what they say. Chuck Rosenthal has an established history of deciding that his opinion matters more than the Legislature's. That's not how I'll run that office." Pretty straightforward, really.

This line of attack is not completely foolproof, since there's also the matter of prosecutorial discretion, which is another area in which Ronsethal is demonstrably weak. But that's more a matter of deciding whether the evidence at hand is good enough to take to court than whether or not a law should be respected. And it's still all of a piece having to do with Rosenthal's judgment as DA. All I'm saying is that Bradford will have ample opportunity to put Rosenthal on the defensive if he chooses to do so.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 12, 2007 to Election 2008

All I'm saying is that Bradford will have ample opportunity to put Rosenthal on the defensive if he chooses to do so.

His own experience as a prosecutor and administrator should do the trick.

Oh, wait -- he has no experience as a prosecutor, and his experience running HPD involved mismanagement of the crime lab fiasco.

Never mind.

Posted by: kevin whited on September 12, 2007 7:50 AM

"if he chooses to do so"

Are you kidding? This one's going to be a bloodbath from start to finish. I can't think of any strategic reason for Bradford's campaign not to come at Rosenthal hard, fast, and often, and Rosenthal by nature will respond in kind.

Y'all slug it out in Houston and the rest of the state can get some popcorn and watch the show! We'll call it "American Gladiators, Houston Style," or maybe, given the locale and the candidates, "Sweatin' to the Oldies." :) best,

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast on September 12, 2007 9:52 AM

Agreed. This is going to be one heck of a messy campaign.

Two of the worst actors in the HPD crime lab mess slinging mud that each candidates supporters will catagorize two ways:

1. Any allegations levelled against the candidate that has support will be baseless and explained away to the predecessors.

2. Any allegations levelled against the candidate that is opposed is automatically "proof of case" against and will lead to calls that "no reasonable person" could ever vote for said opposition.

Those who suffer from political vertigo would be wise to stay away from the details of this case.

Items might shift during flight.

Posted by: Cory on September 12, 2007 11:41 AM