Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fists of fury fly in Falls County GOP dust-up

Former county chair, committewoman fight

Marlin - There is hope that the Republicans can keep two of their key players – a man and a woman - out of municipal court for fisticuffs that erupted after a long, loud, drawn-out meeting of the minds in this city.

If the honchos at Austin will only dismiss the lady from her position on the State Executive Committee, the former County Chairman says, he will not press charges.

It depends on whose story you listen to, but the facts are pretty clear when it comes to the eyes of Texas in the key of law and order. The local gen d'armes consider fussing and fighting neither fitting, nor proper inside the city limits of Marlin, Texas.

Janet Jackson and friends were just leaving a stormy Republican brouhaha when former Falls County Republican Party Chairman Robert Ford allegedly followed her outside and grabbed her by the arm.

That's when the District 22 Executive Committeewoman either slapped or punched him in the eye in an emphatic bit of body English heavily accented with Victorian overtones, a well-known phrase, one that means, “Unhand me, sir!” in any dialect or lingo known to man.

They are both charged with the Class C Misdemeanor of “disorderly conduct-fighting” in Marlin's Municipal Court and face a hearing tomorrow, an event which Mr. Ford's attorney, a Houston lawyer related to him by marriage, hopes to postpone.

The judge has recused himself. He will be replaced by a visiting judge from Killeen Municipal Court.

Surprise. Surprise.

Just about everyone involved has gray hair, many of them affecting blue rinse. I mean, like, these folks are old enough to know better.

It all started on August 30 when Mr. Ford's wife got the nod from the Republican Party Executive Committee. They named her Republican Party Chairwoman over the objections of Mrs. Jackson, who lives in the trendy Bosque County cowboy art mecca and private shooting lodge community of Clifton, a Republican stronghold.

When she, fellow District 22 Executive Commmittee member Jimmie Kerr, a refuse hauler from Waco, and others in their cuadrillo attempted to leave the meeting in protest, said Mr. Kerr, Mr. Ford followed them outside and grabbed Mrs. Jackson by the arm.

Mr. Kerr is on record saying he saw Mrs. Jackson slap Mr. Ford. Mr. Ford has told folks she punched him in the eye. He also says she began to swear at him after he mentioned the continuing saga of mutual antagonism between Mrs. Jackson and long-term Republican officials in McLennan County. Her husband Rowland Jackson operates an insurance brokerage in Waco.

Mrs. Jackson's attorney, former 10th District Court of Appeals Associate Justice Felipe Reyna, told newsmen, “The only thing my client did was defend herself.”

Mr. Ford had pictures made of his bruised eye and entered a complaint at the city police department. He told newsmen he will not press charges if only the Republican Party of Texas removes Mrs. Jackson from the State Executive Committee.

A little rhumba to go with your high tone Republican rumble:

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