Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jerry Madden facing bizarre attacks in primary campaign

Quorum Report lets us know that Texas House Corrections Chairman Jerry Madden has been the target of a negative push poll, allegedly from his primary opponent, John Cole, whose main political background is a stint working for drug czar John Walters in Washington D.C. before moving back to his hometown in Plano. The Young Conservatives of Texas issued a press release (doc) criticizing the negative push poll and calling on Cole to run a clean campaign, declaring:

“Jon Cole needs to come clean on whether or not he paid for or supports these dirty tactics that seek to smear the reputation of one of our state’s finest leaders,” Laura Elizabeth Morales, Director of Public Relations for the Young Conservatives of Texas said.

“Representative Madden is a West Point graduate with a sound conservative voting record. It’s shameful that these attacks are coming from such an inexperienced opponent. While Cole is new to politics, he needs to understand this type of behavior is unacceptable and wrong.”

In December the YCT, in a unanimous vote, endorsed Rep. Madden for re-election, citing his strong conservative record of making our streets safer and fighting government growth. In the 17th installment of their Legislative Ratings, Rep. Madden has a career rating of 85, indicating excellent standing with YCT.

The press release doesn't say what were the content of the negative attacks, but we can get a pretty good idea by looking at young Mr. Cole's website. The three main points of his campaign message are:
  • Stop Liberal Drug Decriminalization in Texas
  • Get Tough on Sex Offenders
  • Protect Texans, not Criminals
Go read his whole issues page for a truly disconnected view of Texas justice issues. Full prisons, no problem! We should "Increase the penalty for those who sell [drugs] to children" and "Double the penalty for those who addict children and turn them into drug dealers." No treatment options mentioned; forget that we can't staff the prisons we've got now. Lock 'em up, is his sole plan, ignoring Texas' practical and fiscal realities.

For that matter, his call to "double" sentences shows he doesn't understand Texas' indeterminate sentencing process, where a third degree felony is punished with 2-10 years, and a first degree felony with 5-99. I don't even know what "doubling" the sentence would mean. He obviously (wrongly) thinks Texas operates similarly to federal sentencing guidelines.

Perhaps my favorite bit on Mr. Cole's website declares that he will:
Expose and prevent liberal legalization schemes. Legislators in Austin are minimizing the rights of children and crime victims and allying themselves with liberals such as the ACLU and George Soros to decriminalize drug crimes and retroactively review previous criminal cases.
There are no specifics or documentation, given, of course, because the allegation is absurd and false. Not only has Madden never pushed to "decriminalize" drugs, he expanded the number of drug treatment beds available and passed legislation to expand drug courts (which even Cole's literature supports as a viable strategy). In Jerry Madden we're talking about the Republican chair of the Corrections Committee, a West Point graduate, an engineer, and a Tom Craddick loyalist. What an odd target against whom to run a "soft on crime" campaign!

Another bizarre moment comes when Cole implies that Madden and the Lege have somehow coddled sex offenders, decrying Texas' "current 'catch and release' policy" (?... !) on sex offenders and calling for tougher penalties. But nobody's at the Lege has done more to improve Texas' supervision of sex offenders than Jerry Madden, plus he helped draft the version of "Jessica's Law" (which Cole supports and Grits strongly opposed) that finally made it through the process.

Cole says he supports "punishment over rehabilitation for all sexual offenders," but Madden's committee, which oversees the prison system, has to deal with the practical reality that sex offenders constitute one in six Texas prisoners, so many will eventually get out. For those offenders, Texans are safer if the system made an attempt at rehabilitation. Honestly, Cole's position seems flat out juvenile and irresponsible; I doubt, for example, the sex assault victims groups would support his "no treatment" hard line.

So Jerry Madden is taking cheap shots in his district from a baby-faced Drug War hawk. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I hope GOP voters in his district see past it. They've got a good one representing them right now, and given the crises he's managing in the youth and adult prison systems, not to mention his multi-year effort to strengthen community supervision (probation), for now Texas needs Jerry Madden to stay right where he is.

MORE: See coverage from the Collin County Observer.


Anonymous said...

We need to get all the old heads out of office.Mr.Cole has my vote.

Anonymous said...

Cole obviously has no idea what he is talking about and needs to spend a month in TDCJ working with some of the COs and seeing the conditions from both sides (and maybe have one of his loved one's locked up on a SO charge too, just to experience the family angle as well). THEN let him come up with some real solutions, properly costed out, and maybe he will have a little credibility.

Anonymous said...

Looks like this guy has gotten some visibility - exposure from your blog!

He should remember that politicians can die from exposure.

Anonymous said...

Cole stands no chance when it comes down to Madden's record. He's one of the most ethical ones still around. TYC employees owe him for his staunch support of agency even though mistakes were made, he acted to correct them as much as he could. Cole obviously lacks experience.

Anonymous said...

There is no ethic's in Austin. We need new blood.

Anonymous said...

Cole is an idiot, has no idea what he is talking about, and is appealing to the fears of a priveleged district. See him go say that shit in Dallas!

DAC said...

Plano, Land of Oz, do you really expect reality and democracy to stand with his background and support, give me a break. Lock them up and throw away the key. I don't think any fascist movement or despot started with a different battle cry that that of mein Herr Cole.

Anonymous said...

This guy is dangerous. Heaven help us if he manages to displace Madden. Might as well just turn TYC over to TDCJ, build big adseg units in TYC, fire all the caseworkers and psychologists and chain the kids to the walls until they have "served their time," then turn them loose to continue offending. Brilliant! Oh, yeah, I guess we can solve the immigration problem by hiring guest workers at slave wages to watch over the young "inmates."

Anonymous said...

The problem with living in such a rarified environment like Washington DC for so long is that the lack of oxygen begins to affect brain function. When you spend all your time working in such a reality-disconnected environment - such as ONDCP, where the people have to keep telling themselves they're making a difference when the evidence is obvious they aren't - there's bound to be some 'cognitive dissonance' going on. The kind that can lead to craziness like this 'platform' of his.

It's going to take a lot more than waving twenty-years-tattered shirts with old, dried blood on them to get the electorate's attention nowadays; their concerns are more down to earth and practical than any Gub'mint wonk-house 'analyst' is ever likely to be...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cole has no idea of what is talking about. Does he ever listen in on the House and Senate hearings? Jerry Madden and Senator John Whitmire have come a very long way in making the wrongs right and this young man needs to spend from April until October in TDCJ to really find out what goes on.

Better yet, put someone he loves in TDCJ and let him find out what goes on and what this inhumane treatment does to whole families and especially to children.

He has no idea how Inmates are treated and what goes on. He is going back 10-15 years and wanting to lock everyone up, not help those who need help and throw the key away. He has no real solutions and is just repeating something he read in some comic book. Let him find out where all our money goes and then see how he feels.

Rep. Jerry Madden is one of the most honest, hardworking men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and Mr. Cole, you really shoul dry behind your ears before you take on Mr. Madden.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me how we reduce state spending and build more prisons to house all those folks he wants to stay in jail/prison forever? Just wondering. If he has a plan to do that I would sure like to hear it.

Helga Dill said...

Mr. Cole is sooo Collin County!
If the voters want integrity and a job well done , they better stick with Mr. Madden . And Sunray's wench you said it right .
Helga Dill, TX CURE

Anonymous said...

Mr.Cole is only 23! He has not even learned to live yet. He was an intern for Gov. Goodhair and you know, he rather favors him.

You don't try to smear Jerry Madden, not in Texas. Mr. Madden has done more for people who have gotten caught in the tangled web of deceit from TDCJ and the BPP than anyone who has tried. My hats off to Mr. Madden and Sen. John Whitmire, they are from different political parties, but work as a team. This proves we can all work together to better out State and our country, if we forget what political party each belongs to and remember we are all children of God and He loves all of us and work to prove we are worthy of His love.

Mr.Cole, if you are trying to smear State Rep. Jerry Madden, may this come back to haunt you. You are not even old enough to have voted very long and to say you worked for Gov. Perry is nothing to brag about.

Grow up and then you will realize what you are doing is wrong and stop lying about what you are really doing. You are 23! I am flabbergasted you would even try to put youself in the same class with Jerry Madden. Mr. Cole, grow up!

Anonymous said...

Let's see. "Baby Face" 23 year old who has only held two jobs as interns for Jim Pitts and Gov. Perry wants to replace Rep. Jerry Madden who knows what the real world is like.

Now, we find that "Baby Face" aged 23 years old works for "Dear Ole Dad", so Dad must be financing his campaign and is behind the nasty phone calls trying to bad mouth Rep. Madden.

Being 23, how many times has this "kid" voted" maybe one time in 2004. How does this make him experienced? He is making a terrible mistake picking on Rep. Jerry Madden.

Mr. Madden holds down a real job and also goes to Austin many times a year out of session to meet with Senator Whitmire to ready bills to make things better for all of us and does not rely on money from Daddy to do this.

At 23, Mr. Cole, you should give yourself some time to grow up and enjoy life and not let Daddy make the decisions for you. See you at the Fair!!

Anonymous said...

Some of this crud posted here will make wonderful comments for Cole's Campaign literature - so keep it up cause those rightwing Collin County Republicans will soak this up like a sponge.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Rose, Barnes, Rayburn, Craddick...

Besides, have you met Jerry Madden? What sage wisdom are you getting that I am not?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Ironic that anyone would mention Rayburn in the same breath as this numnut, since I nearly used a Sam Rayburn quote in this post to criticize young Mr. Cole's ridiculous policy positions: "Any fool can tear down a house, but it takes a carpenter to build one."

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have met Jerry Madden and I still say he the kindest most honest man I have ever MET!

No one 23 has the knowledge Mr. Madden has garnered in all his years on the Legislature or from his life experiences.

I was 23 once and I can tell you, I would not have known how to even run a campaign, nor would I care to. I would want to be having fun and doing the things 23 year olds do and one of the would not be trying to beat Mr. Madden out of his Representative seat.

Maybe this is what Daddy wants and "baby fact" can not say no to the money machine.

Look again, ethics are in Austin and certainly not in DC.

Prisons already take all the money that could be used for rehab and to pay teachers, we all had teachers and some of us could use some more of them.

If Mr. Cole were smart, he would withdraw from the Primary and just learn how to enjoy life at 23.

Anonymous said...

All these buffoons on this website picking on Cole with personal comments make me inclined to urge his election - they are simply over the line.

From his website I see he is running an issue oriented campaign and the comments posted here are anything but that.

And as I recall, Sam Rayburn was 21when he was elected to the Texas House, Ben Barnes was 22, Tom Craddick was 24 and Patrick Rose, one of the rising stars among Democrats, was 24 when he was first elected.

Whether you agree with the men mentioned above or like or dislike them, they certainly prove that age is no barrier to success, wisdom or skills in public life.

So people posting here ought to lay off the ridiculous comments about age because it is a personal attack that only makes people angry and discredits your legitimate arguments - assuming you have any.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Over the line compared to running negative push polls and falsely accusing Jerry Madden of supporting "Liberal Drug Decriminalization"?

That's not an "issue oriented campaign," that's just a smear. And a lie.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, it's back to the "good '0le boys" club. I have heard this before when Jodie Laubenberg ran for state rep. She started out with no experience and yet worked hard to win and proven she is up for the job. With a little experience she has become one of the very best state reps down in Austin. Jon Cole is young and inexperienced but so what. Give him a chance. Maybe we need some new blood down in Austin to get some good things done for a change. I don't think Jerry has a very good record for his votes according the polls that I have seen.

Anonymous said...

Well, Lucy Lu, where are you reading and how old are you? Mr.Cole needs to grow and and learn to play clean. The comments about him are in relation to the ugly things he has said and phone calls made to try to humiliate Mr. Madden. Grown men to not act this way and I don't see one derogatory statment that can not be backed up by Mr. Cole's own web site.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cole will have many years of learning to get through before he can be effective in any way in the State Legislature. Jerry Madden is an experienced committee chairman that knows the ropes,and how to get things done. Mr. Cole is promoting dreams he cannot deliver upon. The voters of Collin County are much smarter than Mr. Cole thinks they are.

Anonymous said...

I've written Madden on a varity of state issues and never once has he had the decency to reply!

I'd vote for Ronald McDonald just to get that bum out!

Anonymous said...

You who says you never hear back from Mr. Madden, need to give your name and addres for him to answer your letters. He is very good to respond to questions and he is a very busy man.

His staff are sure he reads all mail and answers letters unless they are slaps of insults. Which did you send.

Yes, I do know Jerry Madden and he is what I would say trust worthy, honest and does a wonderful job.

Mr. Cole one day, maybe will be a good representative of Collin Co., but now, he is too inexperienced to even work in the law field, it appears he feels safer working for Daddy.

Mr. Madden is highly respected by all who know him and have worked with him and to even think of replacing him with Mr. Cole and losing the position he holds makes me ill.

Anonymous said...

Jerry Madden is a solid representative for Plano. He is not your typical slippery pol. I have been directly impressed with Jerry balance and concern for what needs to be done for Texans. When Cole went negative, so did I about Cole.

Anonymous said...

The solution to the crime problem is obvious... cheaper prisons.