Tuesday, May 15, 2007

CLEAT: 'We turned the Calendars Committee into the killing fields'

I checked in at the website of our friends at the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), which is the largest Texas association of police unions, to find an unusual expression of exuberance at their legislative success, so I thought I'd share with readers what they've been up to in Texas' 80th legislative session.

Charley Wilkinson, CLEAT's long-time lobbyist, claims his group owns the House Calendars Committee, declaring:
We turned the Calendars Committee into the killing fields because we had to. Here are some of the obituaries that I am proud to announce:

· A House bill that would have given our friends at TCLEOSE a statewide CID unit to investigate officers bypassing the local District Attorney’s office and overriding the local law enforcement agency. (After surviving a shooting and clearing your name locally through arbitration an officer could wind up facing a TCLEOSE criminal investigation.) DEAD!

· A House bill that would have mandated using stun guns only in deadly force situations. DEAD!

· A House bill that would have taken away all stun guns in Texas for 12 months. DEAD!

· A House bill that would have required standardized state mandated training for stun guns. DEAD!

· A House bill that would have taken all law enforcement training dollars and sent them to the governor’s criminal justice division for further bureaucratic red tape and distribution. DEAD!
Hmmmmm. Must be nice to have that kind of pull! Meanwhile, Charley says his group this year had unprecedented success influencing budget writers to attack pork barrel funding for a rival union group, the Texas Municipal Police Association:
It has been on again and off again for the anti-grant riders that we placed in the omnibus appropriating act called HB 1. The massive spending bill contains the $154 billion of the state budget.

CLEAT has never played at this level of legislative gamesmanship before and no pattern for strategy exists. However, as one Senator focused on taking out our riders in conference committee last week another house member would get it stuck back on. These often secret meetings have been held in back hallways and empty corridors where no one can hear or see. As of Friday, May 11th the house heroes had stuck our riders back in the bill again.
So to summarize: CLEAT considers it a good legislative year because they killed an independent police misconduct investigator, avoided any restrictions on Taser use or even required training, and may still succeed with attacks on a rival union's funding source designed to weaken a competitor.

If you ever wonder why Texas criminal laws are so bad, IMO it's mainly because the police unions (and also these guys) wield too much power "in back hallways and empty corridors where no one can hear or see."


Catonya said...

Nice display of integrity by the boys in blue, don't ya think?

Anonymous said...

CLEAT is the most scurrilous, dishonest and chicken-shit organization purporting to represent law enforcement organizations in the State. Ron DeLord and Wilkinson are not to be trusted any further than you could throw them. They're whores out only for bucks to line their own pockets. CAVEAT EMPTOR...

Anonymous said...

All I know it that this citizen once dared to criticize a remark made by a CLEAT lobbyist and wrote to tell him so. He responded with language that I found incredibly offensive, confirming virtually every negative thought about police officers I learned in the 60's. If being assholes makes them effective as lobbyists, I guess I see why they are claiming so much success.

Anonymous said...

"· A House bill that would have required standardized state mandated training for stun guns. DEAD!"

This man is HAPPY that anyone can be given a stun gun without standardised training and then go out and use one?

Where's mine?

Unknown said...

Doing things "off the record" is the modus operandi of police here in Oregon. They organized political rallies for legislation proposed to increase power and undo profit sharing with criminals ban [aka the Forfeiture procedure to steal assets without trial].

I expect the same this session although I'm finding it much harder to find a list of their activities. Last session they posted a list of political rallies on their www.oregonmethwatch.org site. This session they have local contact people without email connections. Seems like I am not the only one interested in crashing their rallies. And of course, taxpayer funded "drug awareness" meetings feature speakers on a "liars only" basis. Yes, they have convicted felons willing to say "the drugs made me do the crimes" but no honest drug war critics - even if they request a spot.

Anonymous said...

I actually wrote CLEAT and told them how it protected corrupt cops. I met with several State Senators and State Reps on Wednesday at the Capitol. One of the State Senators sounded as though he had Charley Wilkison in his butt-hole talking. CLEAT responded back to me with this nice email:

Thanks for expressing your opinion to CLEAT as you are always entitled to do. However, I work for an elected board of directors made up of actual rank and file police officers who represent the largest and smallest police agencies in Texas and there is complete agreement that the bill was bad.

Texas sheriffs, police chiefs, and district attorneys can be trusted to prosecute bad cops- -in fact they do it consistently. Having criminal investigations in the hands of those who do not answer either directly or indirectly to the local voters is bad public policy.

Every single thing about the American justice system pushes criminal investigations back locally and away from big government and bureaucratic power grabs by state agencies.

Instead of being ashamed, I am very proud to be in the fight to keep power out of the hands of the very powerful who sit it distant places, and very proud of our Texas founding fathers who distrusted big government and sought justice locally for all citizens.

Anonymous said...

They do need to do some thing about all the bad cops. Like sending them to jail just like anyone else who is breaking the law. Let the Judge's do there jobs. And send them away for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

Here is you an example of a bad cop... found this on another forum. Meet Michael Meissner, Gypsy Cop, with a criminal record!


What a crooked cop, a disgrace to the badge!-- too bad the HB failed.

Anonymous said...

I know all to well about Michael Meissner. He was the Police Cheif in a small town called Bardwell. I had a friend that lived there, all he did was try to make a namw for himself . And he did a really bad name.He needs to go right to jail and the key thrown away. Never to be found.

Anonymous said...

TMPA Rules

Anonymous said...

You can't please everyone! Look at the Baptist Church and why there are so many of different styles. Having been affiliated with CLEAT since 1978 (yikes that's a long time ago) compare the differences between CLEAT and TMPA, who has made the most progress for law enforcement officers. Keep an open mind, I tell people to belong to one or the other, although I favor CLEAT, both have different but good qualities. I have seen CLEAT take on and WIN difficult cases whereas TMPA wouldn't even review the events. One basic difference I and others have found through personal knowledge, CLEAT will let you talk to any attorney while TMPA will review the circumstances before you can talk to one of theirs. Need protection and assistance, join one or the other, both have the same purpose....I just think CLEAT is better.....Now, Michael Meissner, has hurt the profession and tries to make his light shine brighter at someone else's expense. He has attempted to hurt so many officers' reputation's with slander it's a wonder nobody has tried to sue him yet. He must be in hiding, someone please keep trying to get one of these counties to indict him. Where are the files in Smith County, what happened to the cases against him??? Thank you for the time....

Anonymous said...

People are trying to still secure indictments in multiple counties. If you read www.michaelmeissner.com, as was posted earlier, you can stay tuned to all the latest and greatest news stories on the legend (in his own mind)