Monday, July 14, 2008

Election Objections Heard by Commissioners Court

Tuesday, July 8, several Wilmer citizens armed with an inch thick sheaf of papers for each of the Dallas County Commissioners presented evidence and testimony regarding irregularities and apparent fraud in the recent local option liquor election and the mayoral race.

The first topic of discussion centered on Mayor Hudson's residence address in Palmer.
Testimony and evidence related to the mayor's "true" residence address including photographs and state issued licensing documents referring to the Neck Road property in Palmer. Mayor Hudson claimed the Neck Road address in documents dated August 2007 ad April 2008, just one month before the election.

One of the presenters was overheard saying after the testimony that Hudson's #6 Belmont address had been observed daily for months with no vehicle activity in the driveway. Another participant stated Hudson had never lived there, referring to #6 Belmont.

One source close to City Hall reported that the news of the briefing session had been reported by sources in Dallas County shortly after the meeting adjourned.

The mayor had previously announced that his time in office would be a limited term of perhaps a year and that he had planned on resigning before the end of his two year term.

The Petition Application and Petition to put the local liquor option measure on the May 10 ballot was also criticized in the testimony. A number of potentially forged signatures were found on both the application for the petition and the petition itself. Commissioners were presented with several suspect pages of each, supported by the voter registration cards of the signatures in question. One of the presenters stated that two former Wilmer residents had been contacted and stated their willingness to sign affidavits that they certainly did not sign the petition. Another presenter stated that Wilmer had been the object of "AstroTurf-ing" - a practice where professional lobbyists establish bogus grassroots citizens groups in support of lobbying initiatives. One presenter asked the Commissioners Court to invalidate the election due to the nature and scope of irregularities in the petition documents.

Although the Commissioners Court was quick to point out that it lacked jurisdiction to address these problems and referred the participants to the District Attorney's office, which had at least one Assistant District Attorney in attendance.

Reportedly, the evidence was filed with the District Attorney's Civil Division in the same building as the Commissioners Court immediately following the briefing session.

Of note, Dallas County has a Citizen's Election Advisory Committee which meets at irregular times - the next meeting scheduled for today, July 14 at 2:30PM at the Commissioners Court.

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