Dear Jim Leitner

Dear Jim,

By now you’ve probably read AHCL’s blatantly pandering open letter suggesting that you endorse Kelly Siegler in the race for D.A.

I’m sure Pat Lykos’s campaign is trying to get your endorsement as well.

I don’t know who you’ll endorse in the race between Kelly and Pat, or whether you’ll endorse anyone.

If you keep quiet, Kelly will be hoping that the people who voted for you were voting for you as an experienced trial lawyer, and Pat will be hoping that the people who voted for you were voting for you as an agent for change. They will both, in other words, see in you the traits that they emphasize in their own campaigns.

Kelly hopes that the people who saw you as a leader will shift their votes to her, and Pat hopes that those who saw you as an agent for change will shift their votes to her.

The truth, of course, is that the DA’s office needs both leadership and change — more leadership than Pat has shown any ability to bring, and more change than Kelly has shown any inclination to bring.

You were the best candidate for the job because you would have brought both leadership and change. More importantly, though, you were the best candidate for the job because you are a truth-teller with a deep sense of honor.

(It was that sense of honor that kept you from filing the lawsuit that would likely have removed Kelly and Pat from the ballot, winning the race for you at a stroke. I encouraged you to do so, and when you declined I knew that you weren’t going to win this race against a seasoned politician and a popular ADA. I would have felt let down, but it was hard to feel let down by the inevitable result of your finest quality. It is axiomatic that those qualities that make one most worthy of public office also make one least likely to attain it.)

You went into this race with ideas about changing the Harris County DA’s Office. Whoever you plan to endorse, you’re in a position now to get the candidates to commit to some of the changes that you have in mind. Take some time and think about the power you have to make the Office better. Both Pat and Kelly might now be open now to committing publicly to some of the things that you think are most important.

Still a supporter,



0 responses to “Dear Jim Leitner”

  1. It’s a shame that someone doing what they think is the right thing doesn’t get rewarded.

    Jim could have easily beaten Perry and be the nominee right now. The fact that he chose not to file a lawsuit says something about his character.

    It’s also why he would have been the best person to be the next D.A.

    Jim, I don’t know you, but I’d vote for you again.

  2. Jim, I hope your voters do not support Kelly or Pat for the reasons Mark has mentioned. I didn’t want to vote for Bradford but I’d rather roll the dice then vote for someone I know will not seek justice.

  3. Don’t feel bad, Mark. He clearly didn’t listen me, even though I was apparently pandering!

  4. That’s right, Mark.

    You, I’m sure, are just truly devastated, aren’t you?

    Because there is just no way that you want Lykos to win, right?

    Of course, let’s look at the bright side of this, shall we?

    If Lykos wins…well, then the top layers of talent are removed over there, right?

    How much easier would you have it? You could actually win more often! Yay!

    Pretty cool, huh?

    So don’t cry for Kelly’s lost endorsement, Mark Bennett.

    This just might be the best thing going for ya!

  5. anon c,

    Don’t try to read my mind. You’re apparently not very good at it, and I’m wearing an aluminum foil helmet.

    In the felony cases — the cases that might be affected by a change in the top layers of talent — I really couldn’t win much more often. I mean, it’s not numerically possible. [Knocks loudly on wood.] And if the Harris County DA’s Office were a pushover, I might win a little more, but it would be less fun and I would make less money. You don’t get the same pay for playing in the minors as for playing in The Show.

    But you’re sorta right: I’m not devastated, and I’m not crying. I’m still on the fence about Lykos / Siegler. A Lykos Office appeals to the anarchist in me. A Siegler Office appeals to me because I like some of the people who will lose or leave their jobs if Lykos is the boss.

    Jim’s backhanded endorsement of Pat actually makes me a little more comfortable with the idea of Pat as DA.

    Even so, if Jim intended to give Lykos the “Holmes Endorsement” in the end, his hand could have been played a little more profitably. In the final analysis, he’s much too straight a shooter to go anywhere in politics.

  6. Mark,

    Not very surprising at all that a “backhanded” endorsement would make you feel more comfortable.

    And I did read your mind…despite that silly hat.

  7. Mark, I think Jim would’ve done a lot better if he’d had the kind of support from the defense bar that Kelly had from prosecutors. As for Jim not “endorsing” Lykos, recall that in 2000 Jim endorsed Lykos over Chuck and it made no difference.

    ACHL, I don’t blame you for pandering. I do charge you with blogging while intoxicated.

  8. J,
    You might be on to something with the blogging while intoxicated. However, that’s not all that unusual for me, so I guess I’ll just have to stick with the admission to the pandering.
    By the way, Mark, I think you are going to get grieved if you keep wearing your aluminum foil hat during trial

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