Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mike McCrum for Bexar County DA?

Let me first state, I have no idea who Democrats will nominate to run against Susan Reed for Bexar County DA.

Having said that, I'm going to just throw out a suggestion: attorney Mike McCrum.

First, who is Mike McCrum?  According to his legal website:

Michael McCrum is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney who is known for his successful representation of business executives, public officials, physicians, attorneys, law enforcement officers and everyday people in high-profile and high-stake matters. With more than 25 years of experience, Michael focuses the majority of his litigation practice on white-collar criminal defense, federal and state government investigations and federal commercial litigation. His practice also includes directing internal corporate investigations and representing targets of complex narcotics and money laundering investigations, and false claim and qui tam litigation.

Michael has been recognized in “Best Lawyers in America” every year since 2006, and by “Texas Super Lawyers” from 2007-2011. He was recommended by the Texas Democratic U.S. Congressmen and both Texas U.S. Senators to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, but a year later opted to withdraw his name from consideration.

Prior to opening his own law office, Michael helped open the San Antonio office of the international law firm of Thompson & Knight LLP. He is a former federal prosecutor, having served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas as the San Antonio Division’s Chief of the Major Crimes Division, Chief of the General Drug Division, and Chairman of the Western District Federal and State Health Care Fraud Task Force.
As noted above, he was nominated by President Obama to be a U.S. Attorney.  Because of GOP obstructionism McCrum ended up withdrawing his name.  From the Washington Monthly:
Republicans didn't block McCrum specifically, they just slowed down the entire process for confirming anyone for anything, and McCrum's nomination just withered on the vine. After more than a year, McCrum could no longer keep his life on hold -- he hasn't been able to take any cases, and his law practice has "dwindled to almost nothing" -- so he withdrew himself from consideration.

Reading a story like this, there's a temptation to focus on how unfair it is for Michael McCrum and qualified nominees like him, who are getting royally screwed by the GOP decision to break the Senate. And to be sure, it is unfair, and I feel for these nominees and their families.

But it's also unfair to you, me, and the rest of the country. We benefit when we have a functioning government, with accomplished, honorable patriots willing to work in the public sector on our behalf. When they say, "To hell with it, I can't wait for conservatives in the Senate to stop playing games," the whole country pays a price.
Second, he's willing to challenge both the DA and the Sheriff, accusing offices of witness tampering and obstruction.  Yet at the same time, he can end up defending the DA.

Third, when he says high-profile he means it.  He defended former Bexar County Sheriff Ralph Lopez.  In January of 2012 former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears players Sam Hurd hired him.  In February of this year, he was hired as Mikal Watts' attorney.  When one of the most successful trial lawyers in the state hires you, I think that says something.

Of course, the downside to being a defense attorney is your going to inevitably be defending clients who aren't always the cream of the crop.  But personally, I'd like for my DA to have experience in defending clients who are both reputable and not-so-reputable.  While Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg shouldn't have been drinking and driving, I hope that having gone through the criminal justice system gives here some great insight.  While Susan Reed went after Democratic nominee Nico LaHood in 2010 over his previous time in jail, I'd say, depending on the charge, I'd prefer a DA who has experienced the criminal justice system first hand and has been on the other side of the table.

Fourth, on the political side of things, he seems to have the right connections to be able to raise the money necessary for a competitive race.  Nominated by the President for a U.S. Attorney job?  You must have done something right or at least know somebody.

Is McCrum running or even planning to run?  I have no idea.  I've never heard his name mentioned as a possible candidate.  I'm just throwing out a suggestion.  LaHood may end up trying again.  As a Democrat, I don't like having both a Republican DA and a Republican Sheriff.  Hopefully 2014 will at least be a neutral year so Democrats won't be dragged down by a Tea Party wave.

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