6 August 2010 at 1:54:51 PM
Good. From the A-AS.
In the latest skirmish over a contested Waco-area state Senate seat, Texas Democrats filed a lawsuit today to challenge new GOP state Sen. Brian Birdwell’s eligibility to run in the November general election.
The Texas Democratic Party and their new Senate District 22 Candidate. John Cullar, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth seeking a determination of whether Birdwell is qualified to run.
I didn't realize until I read this article in the A-AS that David Sibley HAD tried to challenge Birdwell's residency before the election.
David Sibley, a former state senator and lobbyist who unsuccessfully ran against Birdwell in June, had challenged Birdwell’s residency with Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade. She declined to get involved.
In case you somehow, living in this district, have missed the issue, here it is again.
P.S. This has nothing to do with the issue of whether he double voted; I saw that he has a PR piece in the paper over that one, but that says NOTHING about the cloud that hangs over him due to residency.
Asking tor the ruling to come before August 20, 2010
P.P.S. here' s the court filing from the Texas Tribune. Some parts of interest.
Should this Court permit Mr. Birdwells candidacy under the uncontested facts of
this case, it will have voided a provision in the State Constitution and it will have
declared Texas a political free range where candidates from anywhere in the state can
move to another area on a whim and seek public office. Candidates from out of state can
similarly come here and seek election despite their legal residency in other states.
....Brian Birdwell was a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to, and
including, 2006. Public records establish that Brian Birdwell voted in the 2006 General
Election in Virginia and that Brian Birdwell registered as a new voter in Texas on June
The date for this Special Election was set
on May 8, 2010. See id. David Sibley, the incumbent Senator for this office immediately
prior to Senator Averitt, announced for the office. See id. Brian Birdwell also announced
for the office. See id. Immediately, Mr. Yancy and Mr. Sibley raised questions
concerning the eligibility of Mr. Birdwell on the basis that he was a recent, voting
resident of Virginia. See id. Despite the serious questions raised about Mr. Birdwells
eligibility, he continued in the race and Respondent, the Republican Party of Texas, took
no action to declare Mr. Birdwell ineligible. See App. at 13-24. Every Republican
candidate in the race publicly expressed reservations concerning Mr. Birdwells
residency and eligibility. See id.
Evidently Mr. Birdwell knew he had an eligibility issue because in April, Mr.
Birdwell filed a friendly suit seeking declaratory judgment that he was eligible. Upon
information and belief, the suit was styled In Re Birdwell. Upon information and belief,there were no other parties. Neither the Texas Democratic Party, R. John Cullar, nor any
Democratic Party official was given notice of the suit. Senior Judge William Brigham
granted the declaratory relief in a case the court was without jurisdiction to hear because
the matter was not ripe and the case did not amount to a case and controversy.
....Beginning in November of 1998, public records reveal Mr. Birdwell began voting
in elections in Tarrant County, Texas. See App. at 5. Mr. Birdwell, though stationed
outside of the state due to active service in the United States Army, continued to vote in
Tarrant County, Texas, as a resident thereof, until and including the November 2, 2004
General Election. See id.
However, public records in Virginia reveal that on February 20, 2004, Mr.
Birdwell registered to vote in Prince William County. See App. at 1. On his application,
Mr. Birdwell listed 6039 Gholson Bridge Ct, Manassas, Virginia, 20112 as his residence
address. See id. This same record reflects Mr. Birdwell did not take the steps to cancel
his Virginia voter registration until June 5, 2008. See Id.
The Virginia public records reveal Mr. Birdwell voted as a resident and citizen of
the Commonwealth of Virginia on November, 2, 2004, May 14, 2005, November 8, 2005
and November 7, 2006. See App. at 2.1 Further, the public records reveal Mr. Birdwell
voted a Full Ballot in November of 2006 and not just a ballot of federal candidates.
Also, on March 3, 2006 and again on April 1, 2007, Mr. Birdwell requested and
received a resident fishing license when a non-resident license was available. See App.
3-4. The licenses state thereon that it is a crime under Virginia law to request a resident
fishing license if the applicant is not, in fact, a resident. See id. See also, VA. CODE §
Not until, June 13, 2007 did Mr. Birdwell again seek voter registration in Texas.
See App. at 6. This time in Hood County. See id. The official public record of Mr.
Birdwells 2006 Texas Voter registration bears his signature and his selection as a new
registrant and not a change or replacement registrant. See id. Since June 13, 2007,
Mr. Birdwell has consistently voted in Hood County. See App. at 7.
Therefore, at the very earliest, Mr. Birdwell did not become a resident of Texas
again until November 8, 2006, the day after he voted last in Virginia, and more likely
June 13, 2007, the day when he requested registration as a new voter in Texas.
UPDATE: The case has been kicked to the Dallas Fifth Court of appeals.
Cullar and the party filed a writ of mandamus — an order instructing a court to perform a certain act — that asks the Fort Worth’s Second Court of Appeals to declare Birdwell ineligible.
But late in the day the Fort Worth justices recused themselves and kicked the case to Dallas’ Fifth Court of Appeals.
senate district 22
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