September 18, 2008
Brimer lawsuit moved to different court


State Sen. Kim Brimer's legal challenge of his opponent's candidacy has been transferred from an appeals court in Fort Worth to one in Dallas for "good cause."

That cause was not specified. Chief Deputy Clerk Debra Spisak of the Fort Worth court said that she was not authorized to comment and that the justices also could not comment on the case.

Appeals court Chief Justice John Cayce wrote in a letter to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday that "circumstances have arisen which warrant that the case be transferred to another court."

Oral arguments were planned for [today] but will now have to be rescheduled.

Randall Wood, an attorney for Mr. Brimer's opponent, Wendy Davis, said that transfers for cause are rare.

Nick Acuff, an attorney for Mr. Brimer, said the transfers are uncommon but sometimes happen in political cases.

A copy of the letter from the Second Court of Appeals to the State Supreme Court is here (PDF). No clue what this means. All I know is this has gone on long enough. Time for a final ruling so we can get on with the election. I've got a press release from the Wendy Davis campaign beneath the fold. Vince has more.

Kim Brimer's latest attempt to hide from voters his history of defaulted loans and self-dealing at taxpayers' expense took an unusual turn yesterday, as the 2nd Court of Appeals asked the Texas Supreme Court to reassign the case to the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas.

In past statements, Brimer's campaign has used his pending litigation against Davis to justify his avoidance of a conversation on the serious issues facing Tarrant County families.

The Davis campaign pointed out that Brimer's interest in avoiding a competitive campaign with close scrutiny of his record is understandable, given his history of ethical lapses that will alienate voters, including a frequently overlooked attempt to stick taxpayers with the tab for his own defaulted campaign loans (see attachment).

When Brimer was a member of the Texas House of Representatives he defaulted on multiple campaign loans. One of the lenders, Commonwealth Bank, failed and the FDIC took over the campaign loan. In a letter to the FDIC, Brimer tried to get the taxpayers to cover his debt, claiming he could not pay back the loan - even though he owned a successful insurance company and was drawing a legislator's salary.

"This change of venue extends a seemingly endless evasion campaign - disguised as a court challenge - waged by Brimer and his surrogates to keep Davis off the ballot. This legal maneuvering is indicative of Brimer's weak political position and his wish to avoid ethical scrutiny. Kim Brimer can't hide from Tarrant County voters forever," Davis' campaign manager Jamie Fontaine said. "Tarrant County families have a hard enough time affording electric bills, homeowner's insurance, and health care - footing the bill for Kim Brimer's defaulted loans is they last thing they should be expected to do."

"I don't have any information about why the 2nd Court of Appeals asked the Texas Supreme Court to reassign our case," Davis said. "Though I respect the Court's decision, I was confident that the panel of judges would deliver a fair and favorable decision."

"I'm also absolutely confident in my eligibility for the Texas State Senate, and I think we will get an equally fair hearing in the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas," Davis said. "Despite the current delay in resolving this case, I hope Kim Brimer will soon join me and the voters in the conversation we've been having about issues, like the financial pressures Texas families are feeling and our public school system that is starving for adequate funding."

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 18, 2008 to Election 2008
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