Paul Kennedy writes:
But when questions arose regarding who was eligible [for the DWI pretrial intervention program] and who wasn’t and what defendants would be required to do as a condition of their “probation,” there was no one around to answer them. No one was in charge. With Mr. Anderson out of the picture, no one wanted to step up and take any heat for unpopular decisions.
That’s ridiculous. Even when Mike Anderson was healthy, the person at the DA’s Office responsible for DWI pretrial intervention decisions was Belinda Hill.
Kennedy’s view of the DA’s Office as having a “a complete vacuum on the Sixth Floor” for the last four months doesn’t bear scrutiny. Business has been taken care of; when issues have been brought to First Assistant DA Belinda Hills’ attention, she has promptly dealt with them. I doubt that Kennedy has called Hill to ask for the DA’s Office’s answers to his questions.
Rumors have it that Gov. Goodhair has shopped the position [of interim Harris County District Attorney] to various folks who have been prominent in the Harris County criminal (in)justice system but that no one has expressed any desire in serving as the temp. It looks like Belinda Hill will get the nod by default.
Or maybe Harris County will get lucky and Belinda Hill will get the nod, instead of whoever the kleptocrats running the Harris County Republican Party choose, because she is the best candidate for the job. I challenge Kennedy to name a better candidate.
The incumbent, if he or she wins the Republican primary, will be the clear frontrunner in the 2014 election.1 And apparently some culture-war Republicans think that Hill can’t win a primary because she is “pro-choice.”
— Don (@DonPHooper) September 7, 2013
(Hooper appears to have deleted his tweet calling Hill a Democrat and suggesting that she, elected judge four times as a Republican, couldn’t win a Republican primary. Curious.)
I don’t know Hill’s feelings on abortion. As far as I can tell her “pro-choice” attitude was invented by people who don’t want her as DA for some other reason,2 , or perhaps who assume that a black woman is a pro-choice Democrat, but regardless, the DA’s job is not to make the law, and nobody who knows her would say that Hill will not enforce the law.3
But the culture-warrior Republicans think the DA’s Office should not investigate whether the allegations are founded.4 They want something done now, which is perfectly understandable, since they are already convinced, but which is a stupid reason to pass over the best candidate for the job.5
By default or for good reason, if Belinda Hill wants the job she should be running the Harris County DA’s Office.
The Republican will be the frontrunner in any case in the 2014 election—Democrats will put up a good fight in 2016, but the off-years still belong to the Republicans. ↩
Take your pick:
- She’s a woman.
- She’s black.
- She’s incorruptible.
- She’s smart.
The Karpen case that Hooper cites is a good example: if the allegations against Dr. Karpen are founded, I don’t know of any prosecutor in Texas who wouldn’t hammer him for murder. Anyone who thinks Hill would, because of her personal philosophy, throw the case is just plain nuts. ↩
First the execution, then the trial! ↩
Other names that have been mentioned include Ted Poe, who likes being a Congressman, and Joan Huffman, of whom one courthouse wag has truthfully said, “she’s evil, but at least she’s dumb.” ↩