Static: Wednesday, November 19, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Taking it to the Streets

Static hears that local members of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and other civil rights leaders are planning to march on the Tarrant County courthouse next week to protest the failure of some judges to take a required oath of office. The demonstration is the latest development sparked by the case of Jesus Rivera Cantu, a Fort Worth businessman now exiled in Mexico, who spent almost five years in state prison for what he says was a wrongful drug conviction. The visiting judge in Cantu’s case, veteran jurist Howard Fender, did not — according to Cantu’s family and a LULAC official — take the oath mandated by the Texas Constitution when he was appointed to preside over the trial. (Fender has said that the oath wasn’t required for every appointment he accepted as a retired judge.)

Cantu, meanwhile, was deported after being released from prison earlier this year and is asking the federal courts to overturn his conviction. Joe Guerrero, a local LULAC leader, asked the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct to act on the case. The commission refused, but an official said Cantu’s conviction was among about a dozen around the state being challenged over the oath issue. Guerrero says the march planned for Monday at 9 a.m. is designed to draw public attention to the problem. “We hope we can get a little fire going and one day have a super blaze,’’ he said.

Nipped by the Gipper

This is why Static tries to stay out of the crystal ball business. Earlier this month, Ken Parish Perkins was right there on the Star-Telegram’s Page One predicting the outcome of the most important battle of the week: Ronnie and Nancy Reagan’s militia vs CBS. Perkins’ winner: CBS! All that right-wing wrath that had been unleashed against the conglomerate to stop its upcoming made-for-tv movie about their dearly beloveds would backfire, Perkins pontificated. “Bad publicity,” he wrote, “doesn’t exist in Hollywood.” The studio bosses would never cancel — they would just sit back, watch the publicity push the movie ahead in the sweeps, and enjoy “the sweet sound of cha-ching.” Hmmm. Perkins’ next column on the subject — not on Page One — was titled “Cancel one for the Gipper.” His picture didn’t show the egg on his face.


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