Grand Old Police Blotter: Racist Texans Not Named Ron Paul Edition
Last week, we introduced you to Harris County District Attorney Charles Rosenthal Jnr., the Texan cretin who used his office e-mail to make creepy plays for his secretary. Turns out that was the least of his alleged sins:
In an office e-mail message on Aug. 20, 2007, to his staff, Mr. Rosenthal, a Republican, wrote, "I'd like to kick off the 2008 re-election campaign with a barbecue in early October."
Another, under his name from Sept. 28, said: "If you want to take the day off from work, come out and help, we will definitely find something for you to do."
Section 39.02 of the Texas Penal Code makes it illegal for a public servant to use government property, services or personnel to obtain a personal benefit, and Texas politicians over the years have been prosecuted and convicted under the act.
Penalties range from the lowest category of misdemeanor if the misuse amounts to under $20, to a first-degree felony if the loss is valued at $200,000 or more. A first-degree felony can be punishable by up to life in prison.
But Rosie the Republican wasn't just using his official e-mail address to support his own reelection, he was using it for personal amusement:
Not all the political messages involved himself. On Aug. 14, Mr. Rosenthal forwarded to friends a message attacking the record of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, and calling her "a disaster for all Americans." His name appeared on messages comparing her to Karl Marx. And one of the images turning up as an attachment was Mrs. Clinton as a nutcracker.
Mr. Rosenthal also forwarded to a friend a mock study of flatulence and a series of jokes making fun of University of Texas football players after several were arrested on various felony charges. He also forwarded the image of a sign saying "girls and fish have a lot in common" with graphic sexual references.
Other material that was in Mr. Rosenthal's e-mail but did not contain his name was a photograph, titled "Fatal Overdose," of a black man lying on a sidewalk amid watermelon peels and Kentucky Fried Chicken containers.
Texas justice at its finest. If the story is accurate, Mr. Rosenthal and fish may have a lot in common.