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  • My last word on this subject,

    "The Police Association’s total membership as at June 2010, stands at 11,690, comprising 76% males and 24% females. This total figure represents 99.18% of all police officers in Victoria."
    "Police officers in Victoria were not only the lowest paid police in Australia"

    Yeah in Victoria Australia. talk about doing research.... geez.

    November 2, 2010 at 6:27 p.m.
  • Somebody...WHEN did a Victoria police chief molest anybody, regardless of age?

    November 2, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.
  • "The VPOA represents 55 officers and civilians from the Victoria Police Department and is committed to serving the community, protecting the peace and holding offenders accountable."

    Herschel E. Buck Jr., president, VPOA, Victoria


    I guess the VPOA president was incorrect in his letter to the editor.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:30 a.m.

    November 2, 2010 at 8:07 a.m.
  • Nope, just asking. Interpret however you like.

    October 31, 2010 at 5:51 p.m.
  • SpeakUp1968 commented that "But with the recent Victoria Police Officer's Association endorsement of Deborah Branch, That Silent majority HAS SPOKEN!
    The VPOA is made of of a majority of Victoria Police officers. In order to endorse a candidate the members took a vote. The formerly silent majority has spoken."

    Which in fact is not true, VPAO, claims 55 members, some civilian.
    The VPD claims 110 officers, (none civilian), and 40 support staff.

    I agree that the non-members of the VPAO do not automatically support Tyler over Branch.

    But, you know, there is a lot of political spin going on, to claim that the VPAO represents a majority of officier is untrue.
    And to say that a majority of the VPAO voted to endorse Branch, only means that at least 28 memebers of VPAO, some of them civialians, voted to endorse Branch.

    IMO, the endorsement of Branch by the VPAO, is much ado about nothing that really means much.

    And I do think the VPD is doing a excellent job.

    October 30, 2010 at 6:39 p.m.
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    October 30, 2010 at 6:24 p.m.
  • JustinTyme: The correction you mention is related to a story that published on B1 Thursday. The above story published on A1 Friday. There are no corrections related to this, the above, story. -- Gabe

    October 30, 2010 at 11:24 a.m.
  • JustinTyme: that was a completely reckless and false statement. Just because the other employees are not paying members does not mean "They All" don't want Branch. Take an informal pole my friend, and I guarantee you that the large majority of the VPD wants Branch in office. I will agree that there are a select few that don't, but these are mainly the same old same old, disgruntled, mad at the world, "I'm overworked, and under paid", moaner and groaners, "administration is doesn't understand", employees. You know who they are, and don't act like you don't know who I'm talking about.

    I have read your post, and you seem to be in that circle. If you don't believe in team work, the overall spirit of cooperation, having integrity, and you are not loyal to your administration, your city, and your department....... and especially to your brother officers, then you need to look for another job pal, because you are certainly in the wrong line of work. Scary my friend, absolutely scary.

    October 30, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.
  • mikespace- nice try. The endorsement is completely legal. The Assoc. are not listed as a "non profit". Like most Police Associations State wide, the VPOA decided to endorse a candidate this year. Nothing illegal at all, but good try buddy.

    The reason the police and general public should support anyone other than Steve Tyler is quite clear. He is not an honest man. If your DA is not honest, it doesn't matter how "great of a prosecutor" he may be. He compromised his integrity, the integrity of the office, the ethics he swore to embody, and has repeated this trend all throughout this campaign. Most of you who post in support of this man, seem fairly intelligent, but what do you think about his repeated and blatant lies?

    Example: He rates his overall cooperation with law enforcement as a "9" on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest? That is an absolutely insane comment. Nobody, not even his supporters, would ever make such an assinine statement. Why would he publicly state this? All of his supporters have said time and time again, they don't care if he "gets along", so what would compell a man with a sane mind to make such a ludicrous statement?

    He stated that he only spent $2,000.00 of tax payer money on the Ratcliffe case, and then the subsequent prosecution of 4 city officials. Again, not one person in their right mind would ever state something such as this. How much? Did he mean 200K? Was that just an overly tired Steve Tyler who must have mis-spoke? A responsible, sane and reasonable person would have never stated this. Bold face out and out lie.

    Those are just 2 examples of serious integrity flaws. If a Steve Tyler supporter can clear either of these points up for all of us I would love to read your post.

    If you would like other examples we should just open this forum up to law enforcement only and have them post the countless lies and untruths this candidate spews freely with no regard or respecct for such an important office. How can someone in good faith with good intentions support a man with no integrity?

    Also, why is anyone surprised that a Newspaper can't lean one way towards a candidate? Wake up! In the real world, and not in your tiny little myopic world of fantasy land (Victoria) most newspapers and media outlets lean one way or the other? Again, why are we angry about that?

    October 30, 2010 at 11:07 a.m.
  • It's amazing how many of you poor souls are so lost here in Victoria. The Victoria Police Officers Association does have 55 members and the Victoria Police Department has approximately 110 officers and 40 support staff. Thing about it is my poor friend is the 55 members of the VPOA have a paid membership to be a member, so lets see, and correct my math if it's wrong, that means the approximately 95 other people who WORK at the Victoria Police Department are not paid members, hence, THEY AIN'T IN THE BLUE BLOOD CLUB! That also probably means THEY ALL DON'T WANT BRANCH IN OFFICE! Nuff said on that, check your facts next time bucko.

    And another thing that everyone should remember, the only people belly aching about this whole Tyler hates cops things is the Victoria Police Department!!! There's never any mention of complaints, any numbers or stats on cases involving the Victoria Sheriff's Office, DPS, TABC or Parks and Wildlife. Hmmm, makes you wonder about the real conspiracy going on in this town, between the mayor, the police department and the local newspaper. I never hear any of these problems mentioned on the local television station, maybe their the real media in this town.

    It's also kinda of hard to believe everything is correct in the advocate, heck, they had a correction on line today because Gabe reported something wrong about the mayor in the article above, which leads me to believe there's many other things wrong with his story, but then again, those won't get corrected, at least until after the election.

    October 30, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.
  • I fully agree: I would rather have someone in office who is going to do his best to keep criminals off the streets. It doesn’t matter if it is a gang member off the street or a local politician, if they commit a crime, they should be punished. Facts: how many of our city officials who have been accused, with numerous evidence aganist them have in fact been prosecuted? PROSECUTE CRIMINALS whether gang bangers or lcl city officials.
    Relationship with the community and law enforcement is irrelevant? How can this be irrelevant? Isn't the community the ones you swore to serve n protect? N isn't law enforcement the ones you need to get the evidence to prosecute?

    October 30, 2010 at 10:42 a.m.
  • With all due respect, I wish The Advocate would just report on the candidates and their campaigns without leaning one way or the other. Isn't that what news reporting should be? I'm disappointed with the way this story, and so many others lean.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.
  • I think it's safe to say we need a politician and a prosecutor; Tyler should have done more to work with the other law enforcement departments rather than making their hard job even harder.

    October 29, 2010 at 7:42 p.m.
  • So NOW, the issues are Gabe Semenza, the quality of the Advocate, the owners of the Advocate, Deborah Branch got a desired conviction but the sentence was not enough, and now, the cops association's tax status? Seriously? I'm sure the Advocate would correct in print any inaccuracies or wrong facts found in the article, just let them know. *crickets chirping due to absence of sound* That's right, it was factual.

    October 29, 2010 at 7:04 p.m.
  • I don't know mikespace, the only thought I had about the VPOA, was that their endorsement says they have 55 members, some civilian.


    The last I heard the VPD has 110 officers and 40 support staff.


    Interesting stuff, talk about spin.

    October 29, 2010 at 7:03 p.m.
  • Is the Victoria Police Association a non-profit? If so, isn't their endorsement illegal?

    October 29, 2010 at 6:46 p.m.
  • Southtexas....glad to see you're back out supporting Stevie. Your comment regarding the photo taking is quite intriguing. Has trivial of information that it is, isn't that information that can not be discussed outside the grand jury room? I'm sure those officers read these posts and should the officer you mention read that, he may challenge your ethics. Then after Steve loses, maybe you can hire him to defend you? You will support Tyler no matter what because your head is in the fog or maybe it hidden somewhere else........

    October 29, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Vet, I would assume that means someone stole something from the guy who stole it originally........hehe and by the way. Did you know that when someone breaks in and ramsacks your house damaging many many dollars of stuff, including some things that might be borrowed by the home owner, unless they take something it isnt burgulary. In our case, Lucky us the took a pet mouse out of spite so a $6 pet mouse made all the difference in the world.

    October 29, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.
  • Debra Branch prosecuted a lot of cases where children were involved. she prosecuted a felony injury to a child case in which my daughter was a victim. I constantly recieved letters from George Filley, the defendants attorney address to my minor child stating facts that had nothing to do with what he did and threatning to make my kid get on the witness stand. (He had no clue that my child dont intimidate) She seems to do nothing to get it stopped. She wanted to plea bargin and kept asking me what would be acceptable. I told her, PRISON TIME. This defendant was using both cocaine and alcohol at the time of the assult. after several hours of back and forth, I realized she wasnt going to defend us in the manner that I wanted and wished Id hired a private attorney to assist me. The guy didnt walk but got a lot less than what he should have leaving me and the other mother to pick up the emotional pieces of the assult. I was not impressed. As for the childs father. yes he was involved, not because he is the custodial parent, only because he was in his possessory weekend with my daughter when the incident took place. He is the one who talked to the officers and agreed to press charges.

    October 29, 2010 at 2:03 p.m.
  • "What Semenza, who is more of a mouthpiece for the owners of the paper then a serious reporter, doesn't bother to tell you is that ADA Heinold has been a felony prosecutor in Victoria County since MAY OF 2010. Before that, she supervised misdemeanors and handled juvenile prosecutions."

    You're only emphasizing the point that gabe was making...assistant DAs do much more than prosecute felony jury trials. It doesn't make sense to measure their effectiveness by that alone.

    October 29, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.
  • How ironic is it that this so-called "reporter" added this quote at the end of the article: ""The overall pattern we see from nearly every campaign ad is they take a germ of truth and exaggerate it or twist it in some way."

    Compare that to earlier in the article when he stated "Assistant district attorneys, of course, don't spend all their time prosecuting felony jury trials. Vanessa Heinold, one of Tyler's assistant district attorneys, boasts only six felony jury trials in Victoria County."

    What Semenza, who is more of a mouthpiece for the owners of the paper then a serious reporter, doesn't bother to tell you is that ADA Heinold has been a felony prosecutor in Victoria County since MAY OF 2010. Before that, she supervised misdemeanors and handled juvenile prosecutions.

    So, that begs the question, who exactly is taking a germ of truth and twisting or exaggerating it in some way?

    The Preamble to the Society of Professional Journalism's Code of Ethics states:
    "...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility."

    Once again, Semenza and the Advocate have shown their abject lack of professional integrity, and thus their journalistic credibility.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
  • The Victoria Advocate has morphed into a newspaper that has no center today. There are no proof readers, fact checkers or editors overseeing how well the article reads or if it even makes sense.

    Todays "Police & Courts" a person was arrested for "theft of stolen property". Really? What does that mean?

    There is a big world out there but here in Victoria we need to have 50% of the front page about anything that can use large photos and very little news. I do miss the Houston Cronicle.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:48 a.m.
  • To the Advocate:

    It is clear you support Branch and not Tyler in this year’s election. I was under the impression that the local media was supposed to report unbiased news. It is very obvious that you did your research to support your candidate of choice and then looked no further.

    Here’s the deal, I don’t care how friendly and compassionate Branch is with the community or local law enforcement. As former law enforcement, I would rather have someone like Tyler in office who is going to do his best to keep criminals off the streets, no matter the repercussions of the community and local law enforcement. It doesn’t matter if it is a gang member off the street or a local politician, if they commit a crime, they should be punished. That being said, I believe TYLER IS THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB.

    Tyler’s relationship with the community and law enforcement is irrelevant, HE IS NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS, HE IS HERE TO PROSECUTE CRIMINALS.

    October 29, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
  • PS_ By the way, I see past that and voted for you DA Tyler.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.
  • Justataxpayer:
    I agree with you on The Advocate; "..she was a grand and non-biased
    paper in the not so distant past."
    Back in the late 50's-60's and even early 70's The Advocate was
    one of if not the best small town newspapers in the State of Texas.
    Not so today!
    One more thing...
    In the courtroom it is known as 'self incrimination'.
    So it goes on the campaign trail.
    The moment you say"Not a politician" you just became one!
    Hopefully not, but that in itself may be what loses the DA's race.

    October 29, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.
  • You Tyler supporters apparently could and would not admitt to having your noses stuck in dog dukie if it was dripping off your noses. If it smells and looks like it ...it must be dog dukie. Tyler looks and smells like DA dukie. Hes done and I myself can not wait.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:51 a.m.
  • @stexas Discussing confidential grand jury testimony? Nice! True Steve Tyler supporter in joining him in displaying situational ethics. Why would we have ANY doubt that this is the truth? My head's a little dizzy from all the "spinning" in the Tyler camp.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:26 a.m.
  • Let's see now...according to Gabe, Tyler's ads "claim" while Branch's ad "suggests". While the Advocate vendetta against Tyler seems endless, at least it should be kept on the Opinion page.

    October 29, 2010 at 9:19 a.m.
  • You need to serve on a Grand Jury to truly appreciate Steve Tyler. He is for saving our tax dollars and holding law enforcements feet to the fire by requiring that he have a winnable case before taking it to court. Again and again during Grand Jury proceedings when the police are questioned about details of the case, i.e. evidence, pictures, fingerprints etc....things have been lacking. One case the officer said he did not take pictures because his camera was broken but then could not explain why he did not borrow a fellow officers camera. Taking cases to court that cannot meet the inspection of the D.A., the person who is trying to prosecute the bad guys is a waste of time and money. You can bet if the D.A. finds evidence lacking a defense attorney is going to have a field day. I could care less about Mr. Tyler's attitude or demeanor.....I want a D.A. who gets the job done and I voted for Steve Tyler.

    October 29, 2010 at 8:49 a.m.
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    October 29, 2010 at 8:09 a.m.
  • I have been present in a trial that the present DA was prosecuting and during the presentation he was corrected several times by the Judge. Does this sound like someone that comes to trial prepared? Now he starts mudslinging a desperate move by someone that is suppose to be so confident in his position. Mudslinging is done when someone is starting to hit the desperate button. I for one is going to vote for Branch. I do not want the court system to be depending on a non team player that goes out after of all people the Law Enforcement. Victoria it is time to bring a team player in and give the boot to a self appointed I am the best DA ever and oh yea duhhhh I am prepared to prosecute this case, I have done my homework.

    October 28, 2010 at 8:17 p.m.
  • "Without an audio or video recording of the exchange between Branch and the father, the Advocate is unable to independently verify this claim."

    The father is a local police officer. Branch denies what the father said, basically calling him a liar. So...she thinks she will get along with the police department better than Tyler?

    And, besides...I thought VPD officers always told the truth, right?

    October 28, 2010 at 7:58 p.m.