Houston Chronicle

Op-ed from October 30, “Poll workers don’t despise poll watchers. They educate them.”

Electoral judge Lauren Summerville, a Kingwood resident who has worked on elections in the Greenspoint area since 2018, told us she had already met with a poll watcher and a poll supervisor, both of whom came away better informed about the process. of voting.

The state-sponsored observer, for example, was a Texas Department of Transportation employee who gave ‘rave reviews’ of the Summerville polling station and told him everything he had learned from his visit. . “He was adorable,” Summerville told us. The poll watcher who showed up was, she said, “very low-key and just a bit curious about the process.”

This is not to downplay what Summerville still viewed as a scaremongering tactic on the part of the state, but, she said, to reassure voters that on the ground, when they present to vote, the electoral officers are ready to assist them throughout this process with competence and professionalism. Her main goal, she says, is to demystify the process for voters who might be inclined to see the slightest glitch as a sign that their vote isn’t counted. She is a Democrat; his alternate is a Republican. The workers are divided, 50-50.

So far, Summerville said, this election has gone more smoothly than some in the past at its location.

We hope it will stay that way. And we’re encouraged by similar reports in other states, including that of Republican Clerk Carly Koppes in Weld County, Colorado, who told NPR that her interactions with observers were also focused on the education: “I literally had a watcher get on their lap and follow my sons just so I could prove to them that it’s a closed network, that it’s not connected to the internet,” she said.

—Houston Chronicle Editorial Board

Dallas Morning News

October 31 editorial, “Texas Law Protecting Churches Who Report Sexual Abuse Needs Clarity.”

Texas state lawmakers passed a law in 2019 aimed at protecting charities, including churches, from liability when they share information about sexual abuse allegations against their employees and contractors. . Southern Baptist Convention officials, facing its own sex abuse scandal after a damning report in May, backed a resolution this year encouraging lawmakers across the country to pass legislation like the one Texas approved.

We believe that the law could benefit from clearer language on the scope of liability protection. Nonetheless, the legislation is a welcome step to protect congregations from predators who for too long have moved from church to church with impunity.

The Texas law, known as House Bill 4345, was sponsored by state Rep. Scott Sanford, R-McKinney, and drafted with input from Bart Barber, a Farmersville pastor who was recently elected president. of the SBC. It states that charities acting in good faith are protected from liability when disclosing to current or potential employers “information reasonably believed to be true” regarding allegations of sexual offences.

If the case involves child abuse, the allegation must have been reported to authorities, as required by state law, for a church to be protected from liability by disclosing the information to an employer.

Based on our conversations with attorneys familiar with Texas law, opinions differ on whether it protects churches in cases where a sexual abuse allegation has not been reported to law enforcement. For example, consider an allegation involving an adult victim who did not call the police, or someone who comes forward to allege abuse that happened years or decades ago.

—Dallas Morning News Editorial Board

Fort Worth Star Telegram

Op-ed from October 28, “Children are in danger. But the Tarrant County Juvenile Board in no rush to address detention issues”

We already knew that the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center was struggling due to overcrowding. Incredibly, the situation has escalated because those in charge who could make changes refuse to see the seriousness of the problem and want to pass the blame on to someone else.

A recent meeting between Tarrant County commissioners and judges who sit on the Tarrant County Juvenile Council proved futile, but telling: The judges refused to do anything about overcrowding.

Worse still, when Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, who presides over the Commissioners Court, asked the Juvenile Council to find solutions to overcrowding and other issues, District Court Judge Robb Catalano, who heads the miners’ council, said it was the first time the council had heard of Whitley’s request. How the hell did he miss the news, including several stories in the Star-Telegram?

In the end, the Juvenile Board played the adult version of musical chairs, pointing out that the upcoming election will bring several new members to the Court of Commissioners. Board members have washed their hands of the problems they are there to solve, contenting themselves with using the excuse of a transition. Perhaps “Doing Nothing Juvenile Counseling Does Nothing” should be our title.

If it’s true that there will soon be a changing of the guard in the county, there’s no reason the Juvenile Board hasn’t thought of ways to reduce overcrowding to supply the next batch of memes. ideas or a helping hand. They saw the results of a county-ordered exam and have known about the issue since August. Surely someone must have been surprised, disappointed and determined to solve it. Or, unfortunately, maybe not.

—Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board

San Antonio Express-News

Nov. 2 editorial, “The attack on Paul Pelosi was a clear act of political violence.”

Debunking this and all the other lies was DePape himself, who told police that because Nancy Pelosi was the “pack leader” of what he called the lies told by the Democratic Party, he was going to hold her down. hostage, break her kneecaps, then get her into Congress. He compared himself to the founding fathers of the nation fighting against tyranny.

Federal authorities have filed attempted kidnapping and assault charges against him. The San Francisco District Attorney also announced charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening death or grievous bodily harm to a public official.

Monday evening, after the charges were laid, Senator John Cornyn first and only tweet during the assault, there were questions about whether the Biden administration would deport DePape, a Canadian who overstayed his visa.

Is that what makes Cornyn comment on the case? Not the trauma of another human? Not a prayer for healing? Just another chance to make a point on immigration?

— San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board