When plumbing the depths of the irrelevance of the Texas Democratic Party’s leadership, one pretty much hits rock-bottom with an event this week to “celebrate” former legislator Terri Hodge. She confessed to tax fraud: not reporting as income the bribes she accepted.

The Dallas County Democratic Party held an event from 3pm to 6pm on Thursday (June 23) at the home of another (apparently unconvicted) former Democratic state representative.

Dallas’ Democratic Party officials curiously say the welcome-home event is being held to “celebrate” Felon Hodge’s “continued compassionate service to others.”

Compassionate service? So that’s what they call an abuse of power and the acceptance of bribes from the developer of a low-income housing project?

Remember: she confessed to these crimes so as to avoid a trial that no doubt would have revealed not only deeper malfeasance but resulted in an even longer term in jail. As it was, she has just spent a year behind bars. And she wasn’t the only one; a slew of Dallas’ local Democratic office-holders were caught up in the scheme revealed during a federal investigation.

You’d think the Dallas Dems would have learned their lesson about dealing with this particular felon. Pre-Convict Hodge loudly proclaimed her innocence, inspiring all of the Dallas area Democrats to support her nascent 2010 primary re-election effort when being challenged by reform-minded Eric Johnson. It should have been pretty embarrassing for them when a month before the primary she suddenly confessed her role in the crime and abruptly resigned from office.

Fortunately, Mr. Eric Johnson was elected to replace her.

Out-of-touch Democratic Party officials just don’t understand most Texans find politicians accepting bribes to be rather abhorrent.

Rather than welcome her home with a party, Dallas Democrats should just be glad she is forbidden from holding office in the future. Instead of “celebrating” her release, they should reflect on the poor oversight and lack of accountability that allowed so many Dallas area Democrats to become ensnared in the scheme.


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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