San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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October 28th, 2010
Barton: ‘The truth is, we’re in trouble’

In an e-mail to supporters yesterday, County Judge candidate Jeff Barton said too many people who would vote for him think he’s already won it. “The truth is, we’re in trouble,” Barton wrote.

It’s close, really close. It looks like we’re slightly behind, with significant numbers of voters still undecided. There’s less than one week left.

Supporters suffered mudslinging attacks on their past. Lying emails from people and groups with fake names continue to go out to thousands of residents every few days, distorting some things about my record, fabricating other “facts” from thin air. They even challenged where I was born.

I don’t like asking for your help, but I need it. Sure, we could use money – we can always use money – but over the next seven days we need people power.

We need everyone who gets this to reach out to just one or two friends: ask them to vote for me. I need each of you to send a short, blunt email to your social network, telling them this race matters.

Bert Cobb, my opponent, ducked the last two debates, presumably because the debates before that went so badly for him. He is woefully uninformed on the issues facing Hays County. He’s on record in favor of unlimited commercial pumping of our aquifers, saying it’s a “property right” to take water from the ground – even if it dries neighboring wells.

Cobb has no plan to fix traffic or address budget challenges. He frequently gets facts wrong about taxes. He spouts clichés about cutting services that would mean longer waits for EMS and cuts in services like libraries and the battered women’s shelter – all without really saving the tax rate.

All around the county I find people who think I’m going to win this race easily. They say the choice seems obvious. And in fact our polling indicates I am way ahead with people who are tuned in, people who follow county government, who know the candidates.

Our imprecise late polling indicates we’re trailing because of straight-ticket voting and low projected turnout among supporters – people who think it doesn’t matter, people who assume I’m going to win. Truth is, we’re in trouble.

It’s time to rally up those of us who believe in common ground. It’s time to take back the public sphere from hate mongers at both political poles who want to tear down instead of building bridges, who are so far gone they can’t tell the difference between loud-mouth smears and solutions.

I’m all in – 15-17 hours a day. Every day. Cyndy and I loaned the campaign $5,000 from savings this week. We believe in what we’re doing. We believe we can win. We believe we’re in it together, like we have been from the first, with each other, and with you.

Thanks for everything you’ve done. I need more – six days worth of more: all you’ve got, all you can give. Call (512) 663-1719 or reply to this email to get involved and push us over the finish line.


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14 thoughts on “Barton: ‘The truth is, we’re in trouble’

  1. Brad,

    This is the kind of nonsense that turns voters off Jeff Barton.

    For example, “Bert Cobb, my opponent, ducked the last two debates.”

    Why not be honest about this. You and Jeff Barton both know the reason Dr. Cobb miss the last two debates.

    Dr. Cobb underwent surgery to repair a back injury he suffered playing racket ball, and was attending debates using a walker. Dr. Cobb issued written statements of regret as to why he had to skip a couple of scheduled debate at the insistence of his physician who was concerned Dr. Cobb wasn’t giving his back enough time to heal.

    You, Jeff Barton and I know this because the written statements were read at the events Dr. Cobb had to pass up.

    What a pitiful and desperate attempt to generate voter sympathy with this email. I guess when it showed up in the RoundUp, Barton, your boss, had to print it on your Mercury.

    Just more whining and whimpering. Not the sign of leadership voters are looking for in a county judge. I’ll take a healing Cobb over a whining Barton anytime.

  2. As you know Dr. Cobb called in sick to the Wimberley League of Women Voters debate the afternoon of. However, he was still well enough to go to the Belterra debate the same night. He apparently chose you to represent him in at the Wimberley League.

    Had he been at the Wimberley debate one assumes he might have been asked why he opposes the Legislature giving counties more authority to guide growth in unincorporated areas. As you know, the issues facing Hays County are real, this legislation is fundamental to solving those problems and it has bipartisan support. Had Cobb gone to the Wimberley debate, he might also have been asked about his unequivocal support for the rule of capture in water law. Anyone who cares anything about preservation and smart growth in this county ought to be horrified by Cobb’s position in these areas.

    You are selling out the future of this county for a personal vendetta and the voters will see through it.

  3. “He apparently chose you to represent him in at the Wimberley League.”

    That statement is false. My wife and I attended the candidate forum held at Belterra to hear ten candidates for five public offices speak. Neither my wife nor I attended the Wimberley League forum, and I have NEVER been a representative of Dr. Cobb.

    I and others have heard Dr. Cobb say that “Where the Rule of Capture applies its the law, and I obey the law. But I realize the Rule of Capture does not apply in Hays County because there are three Groundwater Conservation Districts that trump the Rule of Capture.”

    That kind of Barton misinformation about Dr. Cobb and the Rule of Capture is just like Barton saying that he was born in San Marcos and is a native of Hays County—when the truth is that Barton was born in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

    You can’t believe anything Barton or his supports say because they will say anything if it suits their purpose.

  4. You can’t believe anything O’Dell or his candidates say because they will say anything if it suits their purpose.

  5. Jeff Barton gets my vote even though I think this whole showdown thing was a bit unseemly. Watch the League of Women Voters debate. Bert Cobb clearly doesn’t know anything about the issues and resorts of tired cliches about cutting government. Watch for yourself. I dare you to tell me this man is prepared to lead our county government. I believe in citizens from varied backgrounds serving in elected position but only if they can be bothered to learn about the government they want to lead.

  6. I saw that debate too, and it was very clear Barton understood the issues and how to handle growth. Cobb went on about “that sounds like more government.”

  7. Does publishing a pre-election plea directly from a candidate suffice as journalism these days?

    I bet Barton has a better handle on government — government is all he does. I usually decide on who to vote for by common philosophy and leadership, not who is the best encyclopedia. And since when is smaller government a tired cliche? We haven’t ever tried it.

  8. John,

    At the county level, we need regulation of the Austin growth southward, especially due to the sensitivity of the environment here, not to mention traffic, infrastructure, etc… that is already stressed. Barton CLEARLY had a better handle on that. Regulating growth so that we don’t have future problems is not big government.

  9. Also, we did try small government. It was called the Gilded Age. Weak government, powerful businesses, depressions every 10 years that make our recession look like peanuts. People of libertarian persuasion think the market will act rationally, but it won’t. Something or someone will fill the gap if government is slashed. At the county level, it would probably result in unsustainable growth.

  10. Charles O’Dell was one of the two appointed representatives for Bert Cobb at the Friendship Alliance debate. If a candidate selects someone like O’Dell to speak on their behalf at an official event they automatically lose my vote.

  11. Again, can you give us some evidence (and perhaps a last name)? Barton’s sounding pretty hypocritical; attacking anonymous e-mails on his campaign, but turning a blind eye on anonymous attacks on behalf of his campaign.

  12. Griffin, I don’t have evidence as in a tape recording or anything but it certainly happened. O’Dell spoke on Cobb’s behalf at the Friendship Alliance forum.

  13. @Mary and Money Bags,

    You just made that up.

    Bert has never appointed me to represent him. As a former FA board member I suggested that Dr. Cobb attend the forum and when he couldn’t attend for medical reasons, Dr. Cobb sent a statement of regret in which he thanked me for suggesting he participate. Dr. Cobb’s statement was read by a young high school student from west of Dripping Springs.

    Let the record show that I said not one word regarding Dr. Cobb.

    I did ask a question of Jeff Barton but I repeat: I said not one word regarding Dr. Cobb and neither Mary or Money Bags can name one person who was there and who will say that I did. I can name a dozen people who will verify that I did not speak on behalf of Dr. Cobb.

    Make no mistake though—I voted for Dr. Cobb as did thousands of other voters who are not appointed representatives of Dr. Cobb but who believe Dr. Cobb will make a fine county judge.

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