Donald Trump’s claim that he would have won the popular vote but for the millions of people who voted illegally finally got some legs last week. Yep, Texas found someone who voted illegally – but not in 2016. Rosa Maria Ortega was convicted in Fort Worth last week on two felony counts of illegal voting over allegations that she improperly cast a ballot five times between 2005 and 2014. Ortega was a legal permanent resident who was brought to the U.S. as a baby and mistakenly thought she was eligible to vote. And she foolishly voted Republican, including for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office helped prosecute her. That’s gratitude for you.
Ortega received a harsh sentence of 8 years – likely due to the hubbub caused by Trump with his claims of widespread voter fraud. Ortega has been in the U.S. since infancy and has four teenage children. Since this is a felony conviction, Ortega will likely be deported after serving her sentence. Another example of the pro-family policies of the GOP.
Red is just waiting for the 4,999,999 other cases of illegal voting that would establish Trump could have easily won the popular vote – but he is not holding his breath.
There may be some small bit of justice for the victims of Ethan Couch – the so-called Affluenza teen who killed four and seriously injured two others in a drunk-driving crash in Fort Worth. At the time of the wreck, Couch has a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit – from drinking beer stolen from a Walmart. At his juvenile trial, Couch’s defense team claimed that the 16 year-old was not to blame for his reckless actions because his parents were – well, bad parents. Couch was apparently allowed to drive himself to school as early as age 13 and already had a nasty drinking habit by age 15. The defense was probably correct about Couch’s worthless parents, but the nation was outraged when Couch avoided any detention time. The outrage grew when Couch violated the conditions of his probation by drinking and then escaped to Mexico with mother Tonya to avoid further criminal sanctions.
Since being returned to Texas, Couch has remained in jail and today, a Texas judge finally held Couch accountable for his actions. Couch appeared in regular court for the first time since he turned 19 on Monday and it did not go well for the young man. State District Court Judge Wayne Salvant initially indicated that he would not immediately rule on how much longer Couch would spend in the Tarrant County jail. Judge Salvant abruptly changed his mind after hearing an argument from prosecutors that Couch should be sentenced not to 120 days in jail for the crash, but to 180 days for each of four counts of intoxication manslaughter under a separate part of Texas code.
But before we praise Salvant too much for finally holding Couch truly accountable for his heinous actions, it must be noted that Salvant indicated that he may reconsider his ruling after further briefing from legal counsel. Now if they would only put Tonya Couch away for a good long while . . .