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October 21st, 2010
Barton challenges anonymous critics to debate him at ‘high noon’


County Judge candidate Jeff Barton today issued a combative invitation to the detractors behind a barrage of anonymously critical e-mails to meet him at “high noon” on Monday to debate, saying “cowards shouldn’t get away with lying about people, their family and their character.”

“I’m challenging these Bert Cobb supporters who have been engaging in cheap Internet fraud and hooliganism to take off their electronic masks and expose their identities to the light of day and to the citizens of the county. When I’ve got something to say, I stand up on the front porch and say it where everyone can see my face. I use my name. I’m happy to have my facts checked. If these people have nothing to hide, then let’s meet for a debate,” the county commissioner said.

Last month, Hays County Democratic Party chair Katie Bell Moore asked the district attorney to investigate an e-mail distributed under the name “Hays County Democrats.” Most recently, e-mail has been sent under the name “Hays County Citizen,” many of them echoing Cobb’s criticism of Barton.

“Some spammers sell fake prescription medicine and fake Rolexes. Some sell fake information about candidates. If they had guts — or true facts — they’d have signed their names in the first place. But I’m giving them one last chance to show a shred of honor. Take off the mask. Be a human being. Make your case in the light and in public.”

Barton said he would be waiting at noon on Monday, Oct. 25 in downtown Kyle at the the corner of Burleson and Center streets.

UPDATED OCT. 22: Cobb’s campaign released the following statement in response to Barton:

“I share Mr. Barton’s frustration with these anonymous e-mails and wish they would stop. To be perfectly clear, when I criticize Mr. Barton’s tax increases and selfish pay hike, I do so openly and with the facts. However, if Mr. Barton wants to face-off with his detractors, I suggest a much larger venue than a street corner. A parade permit is probably in order.”

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12 thoughts on “Barton challenges anonymous critics to debate him at ‘high noon’

  1. I’m fairly certain that my family is not the only one tired to the bone of mudslinging and negative campaigns. How amazing it would be If those involved in these juvenile tactics would spend the time, energy and in some cases money, on worthy things instead. For those with a decent character, it’s virtually impossible to spew negativity, especially when it’s untrue, to the victim’s face. This is just another form of bullying. What happened to being good role models for our children?

  2. Whoa, folks.

    Before we go any further, let’s get it clear that this is a nasty fight within the Democratic Party.

    These critcs are not Republicans. They are the Charles O’Dell groupies, the Wim/Dem supporters of outgoing County Judge Liz Sumter, and the general malcontents that make up much of the Democratic party.

    Anyone who saw the paranoid O’Dell’s ridiculous letter responding to the Austin American-Statesman’s endorsments earlier this week should need no more evidence of this fact.

    Many of the aggrieved are supporting the Republican nominee out of spite over Commissioner Barton’s conflict with Ms. Sumter, which are many and of long standing.

    Sure, Republicans are ardently campaigning for Dr. Cobb and many are aware of some of the messages to which Mr. Barton refers. But no known Republicans are responsible for the catty and irrelevant emails that are getting under Commissioner Barton’s skin. Dr. Cobb has stated that he wants nothing to do with the attacks and will comment no further. He’s campaigning solely on the issues.

    Republicans don’t want anything to do with the squabble. It’s something the Dems will have to solve within their own ever-shrinking tent.

    Instead, Republicans will go on down the road to victory, following the time-honored axiom that you never get in the way when your opponents are in the process of destroying themselves.

  3. Bert Cobb appointed Charles O’Dell to speak as his representative at a recent debate. Guess that means these ridiculous attacks are coming from Cobb’s campaign. Any candidate willing to have a nutjob like O’Dell be his spokesman isn’t getting my vote. Big mistake by Dr. Cobb.

  4. Mary, he did? What debate and when? And could you tell us your last name please? I would certainly hope that the Barton campaign isn’t launching anonymous attacks…

  5. On Monday, I drove over to Kyle to see County Judge candidate Jeff Barton square off against what he calls “the detractors behind a barrage of anonymously critical e-mails” questioning his character, his ethics, and his veracity. What a disappointment.

    What I saw was an arrogant, self-serving, and contemptuous public official surrounded by maybe 25 of his rudest and most vociferous sycophants crowing like a banty rooster and refusing to enter into civil discourse with Hays County citizens who question his qualifications and oppose his candidacy for County Judge.

    Like Steve Harvey, I couldn’t believe that candidate Barton would issue a “High Noon” challenge and then refuse to talk to the people who showed up. Jeff Barton is no Wyatt Earp and the corner of Central and Main in Kyle wasn’t the OK Corral.

    Mr. Barton’s challenge to the “Bert Cobb supporters who [he alleges]have been engaging in cheap Internet fraud and hooliganism to take off their electronic masks and expose their identities to the light of day and to the citizens of the county” never materialized. There were no electronic masks. Real people were ready to engage, but the coward who refused to debate was none other than Jeff Barton himself. Once again, he demonstrated his contempt for the people he was hired to serve.

    Charles O. Walts, Col., USA (Ret.)
    San Marcos, TX 78666

  6. Steve Harvey:
    Barton did not refuse to allow people to speak. He did, however, ask them to wait until he had finished his prepared statement refuting (with documentary evidence) the lies that some people feel the need to circulate in order to win an election for their candidate.

    Rudely interrupting a speaker is not a good way to get a platform. Or support.

    But instead of waiting until Barton was finished speaking, Sam Brannon stomped off. He didn’t even bother to listen to the truth. Truth must make him uncomfortable.

    O’Dell didn’t even bother to step forward and say anything. Although he did stay through the entire event.

  7. Hi Lila –

    That whole thing was an awkward affair. I had some legitimate concerns that I had sent Mr. Barton, and thought they would be addressed since he invited us out to a “debate”. While a couple of of Barton’s supporters were encouraging me to step up and speak my concerns “rather than just hand out your paper”, when I stepped up, other Barton supporters shouted me down. Mr. Barton insisted I sign an affidavit claiming responsibility for the anonymous emails before he would answer my concerns. There wasn’t much left for me to do there since I put no credibility in anonymous emails to begin with, so I left.

    I have nothing against Barton’s supporters. I talked to a few wearing his stickers, and they seemed to be nice people, and seemed frustrated with what’s happening. I think we all are.

    I regularly attend the Commissioners’ Court meetings. If you want to know more about my views on County politics, I invite you to view this video from about a month ago on…


  8. Lila Darling,

    You complain when I speak and now you are complaining when I don’t.

    Guess I just can’t please you.

    I was having too much fun watching the wheels fall off the Barton circus wagon to do anything but watch.

    The high noon theater was pretty desperate, even for Barton. Things must really look bleak for him.

  9. Sam – you interrupted Barton. Repeatedly. And he told you if you would just wait and let him finish – you could speak. But you stormed off like a child. Dramatic. But not a good way to get your message out.

    And yes. Barton supporters are nice people. What exactly were you expecting? Ogres? Sam, we’re all good people at heart. Even our politicians. It is time to stop demonizing them. It only hurts us all because it discourages discourse on the real issues at hand. And prevents us from discovering that we actually hold some beliefs in common.

  10. Barton is a candidate for County Judge… he has, and continues to, exhibit some of the most shamefully poor judgment I’ve ever seen. He also appears to be a very confused individual – unable or unwilling to state the truth concerning facts about which he has personal knowledge. These are not qualities worthy of a judiciary official.

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