Here is where we indulge our inner-Freeper (which requires copious amounts of SlimJims, a can of Kryolan, and a paperbag) and go all Vince Foster on Cheney’s ass (forget what I said below…I’m in Freeper mode, remember?). Ready? Hang on….
You all remember when then-Governor George Bush ducked out being called in a whistleblower suit involving the Texas Funeral Service Commission? Sure you do.
Okay. You don’t. Here you go you big history-began-on-9/12-baby:
HOME: SEPTEMBER 3, 1999: NEWS: BURYING THE PAST
Burying the Past
Funeral Board Resurrected
BY ROBERT BRYCE
photo of George W. Bush
George W. Bush
photo by Jana Birchum
It’s been a tumultuous week for the Texas Funeral Service Commission. On Monday, Travis County District Court Judge John Dietz ruled that Gov. George W. Bush won’t have to testify in Eliza May’s whistle-blower lawsuit against the agency. On Tuesday, the old TFSC board was dismissed. On Wednesday, the new board, headed by Austin lawyer Harry Whittington, took over the struggling agency. The moves are the latest developments in the ongoing drama surrounding the funeral regulatory agency. And while the new board should bring some stability to the tiny agency, the biggest development in the funeral scandal came when Dietz, a Democrat, ruled that lawyers for May, the former executive director of the TFSC, did not prove that Bush has “unique and superior knowledge” of the facts in the case. The ruling came after an all-day hearing rich in hyperbole.
Texas Attorney General John Cornyn, who appeared in court on the governor’s behalf, told the court during his opening argument that “the eyes of the world are on Texas and this court to see if Texas believes in frontier justice or in the rule of law.”
Cornyn explained that his rather unusual appearance in the courtroom was motivated by his desire to “defend an important principle.” He said the state of Texas is sued about 10 times a day and that if Bush were required to testify in the lawsuit brought by May, “then this governor and future governors will have little time to do anything else.”
After hearing testimony from three witnesses — May, SCI attorney Johnnie B. Rogers Sr., and SCI spokesman and political operative Bill Miller — Dietz ruled against May’s efforts to get Bush’s testimony. He cited Texas case law which requires that before plaintiffs are allowed to depose heads of corporations and other entities, they must show that person has information that is not available from other, lower-ranking people in the company. Cornyn argued that the same, or higher, standard should apply to the governor. Dietz agreed.
Dietz’s ruling is the latest development in the whistle-blower lawsuit filed six months ago by May, a former treasurer of the Texas Democratic Party. May sued the state, Houston-based SCI, and SCI’s CEO Robert Waltrip, alleging that she was fired after she and other agency employees found numerous violations of state law by the company’s funeral homes. As a result of the investigations done by May, the agency recommended that SCI be fined $445,000. So far, the company has not been required to pay the fine.
May, who was fired by the TFSC’s board in February, claims that state legislators and Bush’s office interfered with her agency’s investigation in order to help SCI, the world’s largest funeral company. Waltrip is a longtime friend of the Bush family and has contributed at least $45,000 to Bush’s political campaigns; CNN reported recently that Waltrip and his associates have contributed nearly $62,000 to Bush’s campaign.
The ruling was a big win for Bush, who has called May’s lawsuit “frivolous.” The state and SCI deny that May was fired for political reasons. And during the hearing, the attorney general’s office released affidavits from five TFSC commissioners, all of which said that May was terminated because they had lost confidence in her. The affidavits deny any political motivation. They also claim May failed to collect licensing fees, failed to properly supervise employees, and had “a general lack of accountability.”
As he was leaving the courthouse, Cornyn told a large group of reporters that May’s efforts to depose Bush were “not about a search for the truth,” and “could have something to do with the fact that he’s running for president.” Cornyn added that there are “50 other people” who know more about the case than Bush, and that it is “unlikely that the governor will ever be deposed” in May’s lawsuit.
Whittington “came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn’t signal them or indicate to them or announce himself,” Armstrong said.
“The vice president didn’t see him,” she continued. “The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good.”
Whittington has been a private practice attorney in Austin since 1950 and has long been active in Texas Republican politics. He’s been appointed to several state boards, including when then-Gov. George W. Bush named him to the Texas Funeral Service Commission.
McBride did not comment about why the vice president’s office did not tell reporters about the accident until the next day. (my emphasis)
So why did Dick Cheney attempt to pop a cap in Whittington’s ass? And why did he wait a day to admit to what he did? And can we call this Cheneyquidick? And why did Bush use Cheney for the hit when he could have had Condi smother Whittington in his hotel bedroom after meeting him in a south Texas bar and offering him a little “brown sugar”, if you know what I mean and I’m sure you’re just as repulsed by the idea as I am.
Here we invoke Noonan’s Law which states:
Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.
So get out your speculums and have at it…
(Added): Might I just say that, while bad for Mr. Whittington, this has been great for bloggers. Because when God closes a door, He opens fire.
Or something like that.