Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

—  admin

Rawlings campaign staffer declares victory

It doesn’t take a CEO to decipher these numbers. Mike Rawlings chats with campaign staffer Paula Blackmon on the patio of the Meddlesome Moth a few moments ago.

Just arrived at the Meddlesome Moth in the Design District, site of Mike Rawlings’ watch party. Despite the heat, there’s quite a crowd here on the patio, where Rawlings was making the rounds as I came in. Rawlings campaign staffer Paula Blackmon told me he’ll be speaking at 9 p.m. When I noted that early voting results look pretty good for Rawlings, Blackmon replied, “It’s over.”

—  John Wright

In A Single Remark, Meghan McCain Declares Her Father Completely Ineffective At His Job

"Yeah, I do," Meghan McCain told Lawrence O’Donnell last night. "I think my father will filibuster [the DADT repeal bill] probably. And I think that this will probably pass, and I think gay marriage will pass in this country." Way to have confidence in your pops being able to set the national agenda, Meg. [via]


Permalink | Post a comment | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , ,

Queerty

—  admin

Federal Court Declares “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Unconstitutional

Yesterday Federal District Judge Virginia A. Phillips declared that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of due process and free speech.  This landmark decision highlights the need for timely action for repeal by the U.S. Senate.

HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:

“This federal court affirmed what the vast majority of the American people know to be true – that it’s time for the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law to be sent to the dustbin of history.  With this legal victory in hand, Congress is in a perfect position to strengthen our national security by ending a law that has discharged thousands of capable service members.  With House passage already secured, the Senate can and should vote in the next few weeks to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and allow every qualified man and woman the chance to serve with honor.”

The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), a national organization of lesbian and gay Republicans, brought a challenge to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law on October 12, 2004.  Following years of tackling procedural questions and preliminary motions, the district court heard LCR’s challenge this summer, where the testimony of six discharged service members and seven expert witnesses was presented to the trial court by LCR.  After considering this evidence, Judge Phillips determined that DADT violates the due process and free speech rights of LCR’s membership.  Judge Phillips will issue a final judgment, which may block enforcement of the DADT law nationwide, in the next few weeks.  The government may appeal her decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  HRC applauds LCR for its commitment to overturning the unconstitutional and discriminatory DADT law.

While the constitutionality of DADT continues to be litigated in the courts, Congress is moving forward with repeal legislation.  On May 27th, 2010, with support of the President, the Senate Armed Services Committee adopted an amendment to the Senate FY 2011 Defense Authorization bill to repeal DADT.  The amendment was offered by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Carl Levin (D-MI).  Later that same day, Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-PA) offered an identical amendment to the House FY 2011 Defense Authorization bill that was adopted by the House of Representatives by a vote of 234 to 194.  The House passed its Defense Authorization bill on May 28th, 2010.  HRC’s members and supporters from across the country are calling for the Senate to vote on its Defense Authorization bill before the November elections and send the DADT repeal language to the President’s desk for signature.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Montana House GOP Candidate Declares ‘War’ on the Gay Community Over Tea Party Leader’s Removal

Kristi

Kristi Allen-Gailusha, a GOP nominee for a Montana House seat and secretary of the Big Sky Tea Party Association, has left the latter group, angry that its president, Tim Ravndal, was forced out following revelations that he posted remarks condoning violence against gay people to his Facebook page.

Allen-gailushas Ravndal, in a Facebook posting dated July 23 and since removed, expressed his views that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The post was in response to an ACLU lawsuit in Montana brought by seven gay couples who want to get married.

In the post's comment thread, Ravndal expressed support for a commenter who (in apparent reference to the Matthew Shepard murder) said, "I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions."

In response to the Ravndal controversy, Allen-Gailusha posted a comment to her Facebook page declaring "war" on the gay community (see screenshot above).

The Helena Independent Record reports:

"Allen-Gailusha said Ravndal wasn't even referring to the Shepard case, and that his comments were taken out of context. She said she would submit her resignation from the association at Tuesday night's meeting. She may have also been heading for trouble with the group’s board, following the revelation of one of her own Facebook postings that takes aim at gay people."

Allen-Gailusha is the Republican nominee in House District 82.

(top image via montana cowgirl blog)


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

BIG WIN FOR EQUAL MARRIAGE: Federal Court Declares California’s Proposition 8 Unconstitutional

In a historic decision for equal marriage, today a federal court ruled Proposition 8 — California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples — to be unconsitutional. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, declared that the amendment to the California Constitution adopted in November 2008, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

The real heroes here are the plaintiff couples Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo & Kristin Perry and Sandy Stier. These two committed couples decided they would not be silent while Proposition 8 declared their relationships unworthy of a marriage license.

Please take a moment to thank them for all that they’ve done.

HRC President Joe Solmonese released the following statement:

“After hearing extensive evidence in support of marriage equality, and essentially no defense of the discrimination wrought by Prop 8, Judge Walker reached the same conclusion we have always known to be true – the Constitution’s protections are for all Americans, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We thank the courageous plaintiff couples, the American Foundation for Equal Rights, and attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies for their tremendous efforts leading to today’s decision and their ongoing commitment as the case moves forward on appeal.  The battle for marriage equality continues, and we must all continue our work – in courthouses and statehouses, in church pews and living rooms – until equality is reality for LGBT people and our families everywhere.”       

In response to a 2008 decision by the California Supreme Court ending marriage discrimination in the state, anti-equality forces succeeded in placing a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.  Despite over 18,000 same-sex couples having married, California voters adopted the amendment, known as Proposition 8.  After the California Supreme Court determined in 2009 that the adoption of Prop 8 did not itself violate the California Constitution, two plaintiff couples — Kris Perry and Sandy Stier and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo – filed suit against the State of California in federal court, represented by attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies and supported by the American Foundation for Equal Rights.  The proponents of Prop 8 intervened in the case to defend the constitutionality of the amendment.  Judge Walker held a historic trial in January, in which the plaintiffs presented substantial testimony and evidence to show that Prop 8’s only purpose is to discriminate against same-sex couples.  Both sides have previously indicated that they would appeal Judge Walker’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the case may ultimately be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright