On May 17, 2015 there was a violent altercation in the parking lot at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, TX. Several biker clubs were meeting at the restaurant that day. While still an active crime scene, the elected District Attorney Abel Reyna insisted that every biker on the premises be arrested—including those who had been inside eating lunch, using the bathroom, or who assisted bystanders and the wounded.
Peterson set these bail amounts, in his words, to “send a message.” The only message this should send is that he doesn’t care about people’s rights, justice, or the Constitution.
To make matters worse, Justice of the Peace Peterson set each biker’s bail at an astronomical one million dollars. The purpose of bail is to ensure a defendant’s presence at their trial. For perspective, people accused of non-capital murder in Houston usually have bail set at or around $50,000. Peterson set these bail amounts, in his words, to “send a message.” The only message this should send is that he doesn’t care about people’s rights, justice, or the Constitution.
When someone is in jail and bail is set, they normally have to come up with at least 10% for the bail bondsman before they can be released. In thise case 10% of one million dollars is $100,000. Naturally, many folks can’t come up with $100,000 cash, so all but one of the bikers remained in jail, unable to afford this brutal bail payment. While in jail, many bikers lost their jobs, faced financial ruin, and struggled to care for the needs of their families.
The 8th Amendment of the Constitution protects Americans against "excessive bail" because our founders wisely knew that excessive bail ruins lives. It is grossly unfair and should not be allowed. Yet that is what happened to nearly 200 bikers in Waco.
When I learned it was my precinct’s JP that set these unconstitutional and oppressive bail amounts, I was horrified. When I realized no one was planning to run against him in the next election, and that Peterson could win by default if unopposed, I was outraged. I could not stand by while other people's rights are trampled or ignored. Voters deserve another option -- someone who believes that everyone's rights matter. So I decided to run for JP.
The rights of all people matter, all the time. There are no exceptions.
My slogan is “Because Everyone’s Rights Matter.” As you can see from his actions, the incumbent believes that some people’s Constitutional rights don’t matter. We must not tolerate this. The rights of all people matter, all the time. There are no exceptions. When our elected leaders severely violate people’s rights, we need to replace them.
There are only two options on the ballot for this race in November — Peterson and myself.
I am running as a Libertarian. Regardless of whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or independent, I hope you'll consider voting for me and supporting my campaign. If ever there was a race that merited crossing party lines in the name of better government and justice, this is it.
Please join me in my campaign to replace Peterson as JP in McLennan County and to protect the Constitutional rights of all citizens.