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November 30th, 2005:

Colyandro dismissed from ex-candidates’ lawsuit

There’s so many lawsuits and investigations relating to TRMPAC’s activities from 2002 that it’s sometimes hard to keep track. John Colyandro, the indicted former executive director of TRMPAC, now has one less lawsuit to worry about.

On Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed him from a lawsuit filed by two losing candidates alleging that Colyandro and the Law Enforcement Alliance of America violated the Texas Election Code by using corporate funds to influence contests for Texas attorney general and an East Texas legislative race.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said the losing Democrats, Kirk Watson and Mike Head, “failed to allege any facts that Colyandro intentionally or even knowingly violated the applicable sections of the Texas Election Code.”

Buck Wood, who represents Watson and Head, had argued that Colyandro, executive director of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee, coordinated with the law enforcement group to use $1.5 million in corporate contributions to run ads favoring Republican candidates. Texas law bans corporate donations to political candidates.

Wood said the suit will proceed against the Virginia-based law enforcement group which ran ads criticizing Watson for being a personal injury lawyer and praising Republican Greg Abbott as a respected Supreme Court justice. Abbott won.

The AP wire story has more information. Watson and Head filed this suit last September. Obviously, it has not get gone to trial, but it does help illustrate the concept of the wheels of justice grinding slowly.

In other TRMPAC news, Texans for Public Justice has joined in with State Rep. Pete Gallego in calling for former TRMPAC treasurer Bill Ceverha to step down from the board of the Employee Retirement System of Texas.

“Those overseeing the pensions of Texas public servants should have the highest personal and financial integrity,” said Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald. “Bill Ceverha does not meet these standards after his recent declarations of moral and financial bankruptcy. Mr. Ceverha’s participation in the 2002 Texas election scandal ought to disqualify him from public service—especially from a position that owes a fiduciary duty to retired state employees.”

Ceverha yesterday complained that Gallego’s statement was a political attack meant to embarrass him. I doubt he’s feeling the love any more today.

Display problem seems to be fixed

Figured out what the sidebar-display problem was about: my use of a fixed-width font in this post. I could swear that it displayed correctly on Wednesday when I posted it, but I just realized today that it was the cause of the main body being too wide – it needed the space. I’ve shortened the offending text, and things seem to look better now. Refresh your broswer and see if that’s true for you, too.

The funny thing is that this post was about to scroll off the bottom of the page. I’d have come back in tomorrow, hit Refresh, and everything would have been magically restored, had I not come to my senses and figured this out. No wonder tech support people chug Maalox every day.

As for the weird appearance of the Euro symbol where bullet points should have been, Michael left a suggestion for a template tweak that will hopefully work. I’ll know for sure the next time I do a copy and paste from an external source into a post. Thanks, Michael!

If there are any lingering problems, let me know. I appreciate the feedback.

The class of 2006

The MLB Hall of Fame ballot for 2006 has been announced, and it’s remarkable in two ways: One, there’s no slamdunk newcomer on the list, and two, it’s curtains for Pete Rose until and unless the Veterans Committee takes up his cause.

Pete Rose’s eligibility for the baseball writers’ Hall of Fame ballot expired Monday when the 2006 candidates were announced, a group that includes Cy Young Award winners Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden.

Albert Belle, Will Clark and Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen were among 14 first-time candidates on the 29-man ballot. Bruce Sutter is the holdover who came closest to election, falling 43 votes shy last year.

[…]

First-year candidates include pitchers Rick Aguilera, Alex Fernandez, Doug Jones and John Wetteland and infielders Gary DiSarcina, Gary Gaetti, Gregg Jefferies, Hal Morris and Walt Weiss.

Doc Gooden is of course a prime candidate for the Hall of What Might Have Been, where he can join his fellow former Met

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