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Judge Luis Sepulveda

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7/25/10   A Brave Man Who's Fighting Corruption Elections for All of Us.

 
  A couple of weeks ago, trial started in Sepulveda v. Medrano.  It was a civil trial, and Plaintiff Luis Sepulveda called 140 witnesses who identified some surprising local political big shots as mail-in vote harvesters.  Bringing a lawsuit against powerful people is never easy, not to mention very dangerous and expensive. 

Most people don't have the courage to buck the establishment.  They just lick their wounds and step away from the fight.  Luis Sepulveda is not "most people".  He's a short John Wayne in a town that no longer respects honor or courage.

In April, WFAA's Brett Shipp had a good background piece back on this matter.

 

Dallas vote fraud allegations multiply
by BRETT SHIPP / WFAA-TV, wfaa.com, Posted on April 7, 2010

 
NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS ? Evidence of potential widespread voter fraud is beginning to mount in two Dallas County primary races.

News 8 first reported the allegations early last month. Now there is new evidence of a more orchestrated campaign by so-called "vote harvesters" allegedly tampering with mail-in ballots.

In question are the Dallas County Precinct 5 Constable and Justice of the Peace races. The primary concern surrounds the mail-in ballots cast in those races.

...  Bob Carter of Oak Cliff said it has happened before at election time, and it happened again a few weeks ago. Mail-in ballots arrived in his mailbox in someone else's name.

The same thing happened to his neighbor next door.

Four mail-in ballots were received by the elections bureau from that address from four people who voted in the March primary.

Carter owns that house, and the people who voted don't live there.

"I know none of them," Carter said.  "My grandson lives there;  he, his wife and child, that's it. I've never heard of them."

A few blocks away, Urbano Zamarripa told News 8 two strangers collected his mail-in ballot and even filled it out him.

"I never wrote down anything," Zamarripa said. "They did everything. They filled it out and they took it."

...  "This is fraud," said Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, place 1, Luis Sepulveda. "The biggest fraud I've ever seen in my life. It's unbelievable."

Sepulveda feels he lost his re-election bid because of mail-in ballot irregularities.

...  And for anyone who may dismiss Sepulveda's zeal, they need only recall his days as an activist in West Dallas, taking on the federal government over housing discrimination and lead contamination.

He won then, and he says he will prevail now.

"I fought the lead case," Sepulveda said.  "I'm going to fight this the same way."

Sepulveda has sued his opponent, Carlos Medrano, as well as the Dallas County Elections Administrator, alleging voter fraud.

Medrano's campaign manger denies the allegations and says his organization didn't help anyone with their ballots.

A judge will have to make that determination, and the Texas Attorney General's office has also been called in to investigate.

Unfortunately, the Judge who heard 140 witnesses testify to illegal vote harvesting in the Democrat's primary by the Carlos Medrano campaign and supporters ruled against honest elections.  We may never again have an honest election outside of the North Dallas districts where senior voters are not intimidated and abused by mail-in vote harvesters.

 
Judge rejects Sepulveda's claim of ballot fraud in justice of peace race
By KEVIN KRAUSE / The Dallas Morning News, 7/21/10
A Dallas County justice of the peace's attempt to win a new election after losing in the Democratic primary in March came to an end Tuesday when a judge rejected his claim that his defeat was caused by widespread fraud involving absentee ballots.

District Judge Richard Davis, a visiting judge who was appointed to hear the case, issued his ruling Tuesday after eight days of testimony.

Luis Sepulveda had argued that the results of the March 2 Democratic primary, which he lost by 149 votes, were invalid. Sepulveda, of Precinct 5, accused his opponent, Carlos Medrano, of orchestrating the fraud.

Sepulveda said he plans to appeal the ruling. He said he can only get a fair trial outside of Dallas County.

During the trial, Sepulveda called about 140 witnesses, many of whom testified about how their mail-in ballots were acquired and handled.

"You can't say nothing was wrong when 140 people testified. These seniors were all abused," he said.

Medrano couldn't be reached Tuesday but has denied wrongdoing, saying Sepulveda took the voters for granted while he spent hours reaching out to them. His campaign manager, Ana Casey, said he is excited to have the matter behind him.

...  Sepulveda won the most votes on Election Day, but Medrano received more than twice as many mail-in votes. Sepulveda had asked Davis to disqualify what he called illegal votes that affected the election's outcome.

Randall Wood, an attorney for Medrano, ...  In a legal brief filed Monday, Wood wrote that some witnesses voted "in a manner that was not in strict compliance with the statutes" but that "the law would not invalidate their ballots."

...  Sepulveda said in his lawsuit that all of the 606 mail-in ballots cast for Medrano during early voting were collected with the help of vote harvesters, people who assist the elderly and others who can't make it to the polls.

Doing so is legal as long as campaign workers don't try to influence a person's vote. Sepulveda received more than 200 absentee votes during early voting.

Precinct 5 includes South Dallas, much of Oak Cliff and other parts of Dallas.

For 20 years, I have been complaining about mail-in ballot harvesting in Dallas city and county elections.  It is absolutely vote fraud and voter intimidation.  The people involved in this evil practice are beyond scum buckets.

Unfortunately for me, some of the people identified in the Sepulveda v. Medrano trial as participants in vote-harvesting for Carlos Medrano are individuals I once considered close friends and allies. 

Unfortunately for good government, at least three of the vote harvesters are prominent current and/or former city council members. 

It's one thing to lose an election because your people don't show up on election day.  It's another to get your voters out and lose because people are cheating and a Judge refuses to right a very serious wrong.  My heart goes out to Luis Sepulveda and his family and supporters.

I may not approve, but I understand Councilwoman Pauline Medrano participating in the mail-in vote harvesting because Carlos Medrano is family to her.  Still, it is worrisome for an elected official to be involved in this stuff.

One thing I learned from this trial that shocked me most was testimony identifying former Councilwoman and current candidate for County Commissioners Court, Elba Garcia, as collecting ballots.  That's not the image she had previously created for herself.  Her involvement in this disgusting business speaks volumes about what Commissioner Ken Mayfield can expect in his race against her. 

After what Dr. Garcia did to John Loza because he supported Angela Hunt's campaign against building a tollway inside the Trinity Levees, it shouldn't have surprised me that she and Domingo Garcia would go after Luis Sepulveda when he turned the spotlight on Jaime Cortes' shenanigans.  Because John Loza followed his heart and ethics, she made sure he was removed from the DFW Board when it came time for reappointments.  Other DFW Board members and DFW personnel all said he was one of the best prepared board members.  Dr. Garcia comes across as such a sweet, smart and reasonable woman, but she apparently has a mean streak a mile wide. 

I supported Pauline Medrano in her first race for the city council and would do it again under the same circumstances.  I've been comfortable with most of her votes on the city council.  I am not comfortable with her involvement in mail-in vote harvesting.  As Deputy Mayor Pro Tem of the City Council, she owes it to her colleagues and the citizens of Dallas to stay above the fray.  Certainly, she owes it to us to stay out of mail-in vote harvesting.  It's one thing to endorse a candidate in a partisan race.  It's a whole other thing for the Deputy Mayor Pro Tem to be out collecting mail-in ballots from senior voters. 

It surprised me when the Medrano's turned on Luis Sepulveda.  Ricardo Medrano was the first person to introduce me to Luis Sepulveda.  Riaardo and I marched with Luis on a hot summer day to demand cleanup of the West Dallas lead pollution. 

I never would have expected the Medrano's to side with the likes of FORMER Constable Jaime Cortes.  (Doesn't FORMER Constable Jaime Cortes sound great?)  Apparently, Luis Sepulveda's calling out Cortes' questionable activities was the catalyst for the Medrano's to team up with the Garcia's and turn on Luis Sepulveda.

This is a double-whammy against honest government and a green flag for dirty electioneering. 

  All in all, it is comforting to know there are still men in this town who will fight the good fight, even when the big guns are aimed at them. 

Well, there's at least one, Luis Sepulveda.

sb
 

                                        

    





                            

 

  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8