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August 25th, 2009
Boling says bankruptcy doesn’t impact party, bid for judge appointment

Managing Editor

Former Hays County Democratic Party chair Anna Martinez Boling says her pending petition for personal bankruptcy protection will not impact the party’s finances.

Two Frost Bank accounts totaling a little more than $500 in the county party’s name are listed as property held for another person in court documents. Boling and her husband Mark E. Boling filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court in Austin on June 25, a little more than a month after she resigned as the Hays County Democratic Party chair.

Boling said she was required to list the assets because she had control over them within 12 months of filing for bankruptcy. Control of the accounts have since been transferred to new party chair Katie Bell Moore, Boling and Moore said.

“There is no relationship” between her personal bankruptcy and party finances, Boling said. “We just had to list all the assets we controlled going a year back.”

According to court documents, the Bolings owe $35,721 in unpaid federal income tax for 2007 and 2008. In addition, they owe $66,246 in two mortgages and $132,186 in other debt, mostly credit cards and student loans.

Boling said she and her husband came into hard times when they took 15 months off work in 2004 and 2005 to be with their newly adopted daughter and when her husband’s furniture and art gallery business failed. She said her law practice is solvent and has never lost money.

“We never in a million years thought we would find ourselves declaring bankruptcy and we went through a lot of anguish about doing it — it’s not something we took lightly. After a lot of discussion, we decided this is a mechanism in place for people who find themselves in these unexpected bad spots and we decided to file,” Boling said.

With the public backing of County Judge Elizabeth Sumter, Boling is considered a strong contender for an appointment to fill the rest of the late County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Howard S. Warner II’s term. Boling said her bankruptcy does not reflect on her ability to serve as a judge.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s being used against me but I don’t think it affects my ability to be a good judge. I trust that my resume is a good one and whatever they decide, I have no animus toward anyone,” Boling said.

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4 thoughts on “Boling says bankruptcy doesn’t impact party, bid for judge appointment

  1. When Anna Martinez Boling’s husband’s business failed, they ended up filing for bankruptcy jointly because Texas is a community property state so the debts are community property as well. Despite the uncertain economy last fall and winter, Anna’s law practice continues to be profitable. I think that reflects well on her practice and I feel sure has a lot to do with what a terrific person and scrupulously fair lawyer she is.

    The portrayal of Anna and Mark as taking off 15 months from work with their adoptive daughter is not fully accurate. They cut back their hours and worked from home so they would be available for their little girl and not have to put her in day care. That is different than both just not working for that period of time.

    I admire anyone who has the courage to start a small business, as Mark did, but not all businesses make it for any of a variety of reasons.

    So many others I know have had a similar experience and had to start over. Bankruptcy gave them a chance to work out a payment schedule to pay back what they owed, as Mark and Anna’s is doing for them. Bankruptcy is coming clean and getting things in order to set them right – not walking away or skipping town leaving debtors holding the bag. Let’s get some perspective on this. My brother-in-law and sister had something similar happen to a business they started in the early eighties. It was a hard time, but they came through, got that debt paid back, and have started other businesses that have been successful.

  2. I am taken aback at the fact that Anna Boling and her supporters are minimizing her bankruptcy filing and insinuating that it has no bearing on her candidacy. Although I take no pleasure in another’s misfortune, it must be pointed out that filing bankruptcy by definition is “releasing one of their financial personal liability”. According to the article above, $35k Ms. Boling’s debt relief was for income tax. Please note the word income. One must first earn the income in which the taxes are due. Therefore, she did earn the income but apparently was not responsible enough to plan ahead and set aside money to pay her taxes like the rest of the local business owners. This illustrates poor decision making, lack of planning and irresponsible business sense to me. Definitely appalling and certainly not traits that earn the title of “Judge” in Hays County.

  3. Bankruptcy is a legal and accepted means of trying to give oneself a fresh start. It is done all the time and if Mrs. Boling were the head of GM or Chrysler or AIG, she would be getting a fat bonus for shepherding her company through Chapter 11, not being condemned.

    In this day and age when the country’s major automakers, banks, accounting houses, insurance companies are going completely belly-up, the effect on individual American families that this is having is hardly news. Here is your “trickle down”.

    Many American families are falling on hard times and this should not preclude a citizen from seeking to hold public office. When only the wealthy (or those with really good accountants) can hold public office, we are all in trouble.

    I cannot countenance trying to equate appealing to legal remedies to try to straighten out one’s finances with the circumstances of Mr. Pape’s past as regards family violence.

    Does not compute.

  4. Sent to Commissioner Barton,
    (cc’d to Judge Sumter, Commissioner(s) Ingalsbe, Conley, Ford,and CCL # 2 Judge Rodriguez)

    For the past 22 years I have served as the Court Reporter for the Hays County Court at Law, Nos. 1 & 2. For twelve of those years, I have been a constituent in your precinct, Commissioner Barton. I write to you on the eve of your decision to name a replacement for Judge Warner’s position with a heavy heart both for his absence and for the manner in which the debate over this appointment has been conducted.

    Unfortunately, the dialog concerning the two leading contenders for the office, James “Jim” Pape and Anna Martinez-Boling, has concentrated more on mud-slinging campaign tactics than on establishing their credentials
    to sit on the bench. You are well aware of the breadth of cases tried in our two courts and that the majority of those proceedings are criminal in nature.

    Mr. Pape, an attorney licensed with the State Bar of Texas since 1968, is a true statesman respected by many in our county and the surrounding region. He has been a solo practitioner in criminal law here in San Marcos since 1979.

    Mrs. Boling was licensed in 1994 and her experience in criminal law cited on her resume indicates only a two-year stint at the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office from 1996 to 1998. Since that time, her solo practice, and continuing legal education courses with the Texas State Bar, have primarily focused on family law.

    Mr. Pape has appeared in CCL #1 and #2 innumerable times in the last two decades, whereas Mrs. Boling has hardly been seen. The vast gulf in the experience of these two candidates has compelled me to appeal to you
    before the unenviable decision you must reach tomorrow.

    My hope is that you will, in your own wisdom and judgment, look beyond the unfortunate allegations and slurs that have characterized this contest and focus solely on the matter of qualifications where Mr. Pape is clearly the best choice to fill this important position.

    Thank you for your time and consideration in allowing me to express my views in this matter.


    Sandra D. Jackson

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