By Marc Campos
A local and highly respected political consultant offered up a scenario on how the GOP controlled Texas House of Representatives will steal the election from Hubert Vo. Here is how it goes.
Three contests have now been filed with the House. Talmadge Heflin against Vo, Austin GOPer Jack Stick vs Mark Strama, and South Texas Repub Eric Opeila vs Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles. Vo won by 33 votes, Strama by 569, and Toureilles by 835.
A special committee will be appointed by House Speaker Tom Craddick. The panel will have a strong GOP majority. The committee will immediately throw out the Stick and Opeila contests and label them without merit. They will then rule that the Helfin contest is worthy to be heard and say to the Dems - "you guys should be happy, two out of three ain't so bad".
The hearing will be a partisan, combative, circus like event. GOP hotshot election lawyer Andy Taylor will "prove" that there were enough "illegal" votes cast that make it impossible to declare a winner. Then the committee will claim that there is no winner and a new election will be held.
In other words, the Stick and Opeila challenges are "throw down" contests. This scenario works if Craddick and his team already know that they will take a pretty severe PR hit. Is Heflin worth it? We'll see.
December 2, 2004, 9:00 AM