I love living in America where I can freely express myself because citizens of this country believe in freedom of speech.
I wrote a post on my blog, "Shame On You, Chip Harrison" on August 21, 2014 about how I was disgusted that the Somervell County Hospital District voted to ignore a contract that required accountability with how taxpayer money was spent through the 501a. I also wrote a letter to the editor of the Glen Rose Reporter that same night because I was so outraged. Chip Harrison's vote for this surprised me, since I had voted for him on the basis of his protestations of being fiscally conservative.
On August 27, 2014, Darrell Best brought a civil lawsuit against my hub to try to remove him from office and 0ly accused my husband of writing the "Shame On You" post or of having me write it as his *agent*. I laughed when I saw that charge, one of two initially, in the lawsuit, since I knew Best knew better. I was also, again, disgusted that I as a female was being portrayed as someone who could not possibly have a political opinion or a blog of My Very Own. (The case against hub is not mine to talk about, except that for some really weird reason Best decided to bring me into it. My question has always been WHO is the one that was really offended by what I wrote? Darrell Best, who was not even mentioned in the original post and had nothing to do with the vote? I doubt it.)
I wrote a letter to the Glen Rose Reporter on October 16, 2014 calling out Darrell Best for lying about this.
Hub had an anti-slapp motion filed for the 2nd civil hearing on the case on January 8 2015. The anti-slapp motion included two affadavits, one of which was mine certifiying that Somervell County Salon is my blog and that I wrote the post Best was 0ly using. At the end of the hearing, Judge Cooke said "I do not believe the state has met its burden to remove him from office. The most important thing we have in this country is the election of our citizens, whether we agree with what Mr Harper does or does not do, the voters voted and put him on the board". (Glen Rose Reporter January 9, 2015)
Hub had an anti-slapp appeal filed with the 10th Court of Appeals in Waco, which is pending. Here is a primer on what anti-slapp is.
Andy Lucas, with an affadavit from Ron Hankins, attempted to keep hub from attending an upcoming Somervell County Hospital District meeting in which Ray Reynolds was to be discussed, a meeting called by board president Chip Harrison, re: an emergency restraining application filed 1/15/2015 . The judge said "You are asking me to... well, and basically do a prior restraint, which we all know --we studied right from the first year of law school.... You are stopping something from happening before it ever gets there, you know". The judge denied their application
Some unknown people spread a malicious unfounded rumour that the hospital was going to be closed and an unruly mob showed up for that January meeting regarding evaluating Ray Reynolds. Some of the ones that showed up were quite ugly in their actions and speech, (Including Darrell Best's wife and daughter) and were not stopped by the board president, Chip Harrison, from even going so far as threatening board members I personally believe this meeting, founded on a lie and orchestrated by a wanna-be judge, brought out the worst in a lot of people, which was unfortunate.
Ron Hankins said in a meeting at the end of May 2015, regarding whether insurance for the district should be used to pay hub's lawsuit fees that anyone that does what is right in his heart shouldn't worry about getting sued. From the Glen Rose Reporter June 2 2015
Harrison proposed a hypothetical question to Hankins.
“What if the shoe were on the other foot and someone decided to sue you because they didn’t like the color of your car, would you feel the board should kick in?” Harrison said. “I didn’t realize when we got elected we had $25,000 deductible on a lawsuit. Maybe we should have looked into it. I didn’t know we were going to be sued right out of the box.”
Hankins had a quick response.
“If you do what’s right, and that you know in your heart and mind what’s right for these residents, then you shouldn’t be worried about being sued,” Hankins said. “But if you come in here with a pre-made-up agenda to do something, and when you get elected start doing stuff like that, then that’s what’s going to happen to you.”
Of course, that's based on HIS opinion and he forgets this is a democracy. I wrote a letter to the editor criticizing him for this posted by Glen Rose Reporter on June 11, 2015; I consider this an unamerican viewpoint, to expect that if a person runs for office, he or she cannot and should not express an agenda for what positions or actions they are running on.
Another person wrote a letter the following week to the editor regarding Hankins. He decided to go to the sheriff's department because apparently his feelings were hurt by being criticized and that letter writer got a visit from the police. Because, you know, You can't Write A Letter to the Editor Expressing Your Opinion if it's about Ron Hankins.
Suzanne Gentling decided to lie about me on a Facebook gossip site. She has freedom of speech to do this, but as I repeatedly said, she cannot expect to spread bullchit about me by saying or implying that Paul owns or runs this blog instead of, as she knows full well, it being MINE and ME writing ALL the posts that are bylined "salon", without me calling her out.It's what happens when people are not careful to make sure of their facts before running their mouth.
For a very long time, I was consumed by anger about all this. One main reason was that I am female, worked as a systems support engineer for a number of computer software companies, including a major one supporting and doing architecture training on, a network operating system, and was grossly offended that I should, first, have even been included in a lawsuit that didn't directly concern me (I'm not elected), and second, that apparently in this community, some of the men believe that women should shut up or get permission before writing a single thought or opinion of my own. I thought to myself, are these men MORONS? One friend of mine I spoke with said she thought the men doing this, which included not only Darrell Best, but Ron Hankins and Allen Sumners, knew the truth and found it more convenient to portray it differently for others. Certainly Mr Hankins didn't apply the same rule to his own wife, and no one of sense would believe that he is the one speaking out on Facebook AS her. I don't know but I do know that the whole thing made me feel slighted, denigrated, and brought out every good feminist feeling I have ever had. I doubt that any of these men has ever had anyone challenge whether he said something or was impersonating someone else or having their own hard work and talents attributed to somebody else. Maybe it's good old White Male Privilege. All of my working life, I had to fight sexism and mysogyny and I sure am not going to give in to it in Somervell County simply because there are some men without common sense who have managed to be in positions of perceived power.
I do believe that the reason for all of the above was to stifle freedom of speech, ie, "Nobody gets to say an opinion about anything unless it's the Approved Opinion". If you will, a control issue designed to stop information and opinions about that information from getting out to the public and being discussed. At this point, over a year later, I am back to laughing about all this. I'm going to continue to speak my mind about whatever happens to concern me, in the way I'd like to write it, with any political cartoons or pics I choose to make, and at the depth level (or not) I want to write it, and the people who want to stop it are the ones with issues. Not me.