Looks like 2010 is shaping up to be a really bad year for Dallas State Rep. Terri Hodge, a rather typical Texas Democrat. Not the least of her problems is a March 8th trial on charges of bribery and corruption. Just six days earlier she faces a primary election. Oh, and the state’s humane society is really ticked that she derailed legislation strengthening laws against cock fighting. Oh, and she’s accused of falsifying documents when filing for office this month.

Hodge’s biggest woes are legal, stemming from the Democrats bigger problem of all-out corruption at Dallas City Hall. She faces 14 counts on charges that she accepted a free apartment and other goodies from a builder of “low-income housing” in exchange for her support of his projects.

Among others nabbed was the former Mayor pro Tem and a couple union leaders. Yes, all Democrats.

Dealing with ethically and legally challenged party and elected official must be second-nature to the state’s Democrats by now.

Bexar County’s local Democratic Party found itself $200,000 short on cash after a party big-shot apparently engaged in some wealth redistribution. The former chairwoman has been chastised for not watching the books, and she has blamed the former treasurer. The response of the Democrats? According to the San Antonio Express-News: “lawmakers are looking into legislation to prevent an oversight like this from happening again.”

Maybe they just shouldn’t employ (or elect) hoodlums?

Speaking of which… Remember former State Rep. Borris Miles of Houston (who wants to be a state rep again)? He was the guy accused of waving his gun around at a party and acting like a brute. He was acquitted of “deadly conduct” charges last year, but his legislative record the one-term he served as a lawmaker was certainly thuggish.

And who can forget current State Rep. Hubert Vo, was called a slumlord by the Houston Chronicle.

Back to Hodge. Republicans aren’t running a candidate against her, but a Democrat — Eric Johnson — will challenge Hodge for her seat.

The left-leaning Dallas Observer is running with a story from Mr. Johnson, in which he claims she submitted signatures for her petition-based filing that were actually gathered by a candidate for a different office. Allegedly, the forms she submitted used liquid paper to cover the other candidate’s name. Her campaign operatives claim the forms were incorrectly prepared, no one was mislead, and that it was an honest mistake.

Kind of like taking that free apartment?

Is there honor among thieves? The humane society says Hodge derailed legislation in 2009 that would have made life harder for cock-fighters.

Hodge has been serving in the Legislature for 16 years. Wonder what she’ll be serving later this year?

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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