Dear Jim Leitner

 Posted on March 05, 2008 in Uncategorized

Dear Jim,

By now you've probably read AHCL's blatantly pandering open letter suggesting that you endorse Kelly Siegler in the race for D.A.

I'm sure Pat Lykos's campaign is trying to get your endorsement as well.

I don't know who you'll endorse in the race between Kelly and Pat, or whether you'll endorse anyone.

If you keep quiet, Kelly will be hoping that the people who voted for you were voting for you as an experienced trial lawyer, and Pat will be hoping that the people who voted for you were voting for you as an agent for change. They will both, in other words, see in you the traits that they emphasize in their own campaigns.

Kelly hopes that the people who saw you as a leader will shift their votes to her, and Pat hopes that those who saw you as an agent for change will shift their votes to her.

The truth, of course, is that the DA's office needs both leadership and change - more leadership than Pat has shown any ability to bring, and more change than Kelly has shown any inclination to bring.

You were the best candidate for the job because you would have brought both leadership and change. More importantly, though, you were the best candidate for the job because you are a truth-teller with a deep sense of honor.

(It was that sense of honor that kept you from filing the lawsuit that would likely have removed Kelly and Pat from the ballot, winning the race for you at a stroke. I encouraged you to do so, and when you declined I knew that you weren't going to win this race against a seasoned politician and a popular ADA. I would have felt let down, but it was hard to feel let down by the inevitable result of your finest quality. It is axiomatic that those qualities that make one most worthy of public office also make one least likely to attain it.)

You went into this race with ideas about changing the Harris County DA's Office. Whoever you plan to endorse, you're in a position now to get the candidates to commit to some of the changes that you have in mind. Take some time and think about the power you have to make the Office better. Both Pat and Kelly might now be open now to committing publicly to some of the things that you think are most important.

Still a supporter,


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