Sep 8, 2009

Layoffs

Philip R. Klein confuses cause and effect while beating another of his dead horses in his latest article on the Southeast Texas Political Review:
Well, things are secure at the Jefferson County Courthouse. This morning for example - you had to wait in a line that stretched around almost a block? Why? Well it seems that four staff members have been laid off!
Klein's statement is a classic example of an elementary logical fallacy, post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Even before the security devices were installed, long lines regularly formed at the courthouse ingress, depending upon many factors. For example:
  • First business day of the month after a long week-end
  • Time of day
  • Number of citizens reporting for jury duty
  • Number of cases on court dockets
Philip asks:
Remember the promise - little or no lines?
Not true.  No public official has ever stated unconditionally that lines would never form.

Philip provides no supporting evidence, but in truth, commissioners were concerned about the lines. From the Southeast Texas Record in September 2008:
Although still in favor of enhancing security, some commissioners expressed concerns that the new measures would worsen courthouse congestion, especially since up to 500 citizens responding to jury summonses pass through the courthouse doors from 8 - 9 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.
Continuing up Klein's slippery slope, he provides dubious evidence that the amount spent on courthouse security led directly to the workforce reduction:
Sources that are close to the courthouse security system tell the Review that work hours have been cut and that four employees were cut.

So we dug around a little - and we found a source we have used in the past regarding courthouse security. And sure enough - they tell us that : "They blew the budget on cloths, on equipment and on training. Now they have to layoff some of us. And they did," said the source.
Klein's source is either manufactured or misinformed. The Beaumont Enterprise explained the real issues last July in this story and this editorial.

I'm reminded of some of Philip's past statements about security in the Jefferson County Courthouse:
"Second, we believe this courthouse security plan is the most ill deceived plan we have ever seen. In fact, it is embarrassing."
Ill-deceived?
The million dollar security system is working just fine, thank you.
The full cost, including increased staffing, is half of what Klein claims.

Here's my favorite: inconspicuously disguised as "The Review," Philip spent a day sneaking in and out of the courthouse:
Two times the Review was able to make access into the building unquestioned and through the front doors of the old courthouse by doors left open by employees. In fact, one time, a citizen that was leaving the courthouse held the door open for the Review and two other people walking into the courthouse to do business.
Let's put this into context of the top 20 counties in Texas by population. Which has no courthouse security?
  • Harris: 3,935,855
  • Dallas: 2,366,511
  • Tarrant: 1,717,435
  • Bexar: 1,594,493
  • Travis: 974,365
  • El Paso: 734,669
  • Collin: 730,690
  • Hidalgo: 710,514
  • Denton: 612,357
  • Fort Bend: 509,822
  • Montgomery: 412,638
  • Cameron: 387,210
  • Williamson: 373,363
  • Nueces: 321,135
  • Brazoria: 294,233
  • Galveston: 283,987
  • Bell: 276,975
  • Lubbock: 260,901
  • Jefferson: 241,975
  • Webb: 233,152
Philip has never commented on this.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

I thought Fat Boy was all for laying off govt. workers. You know, "trimming the fat" so to speak. Seems like he is for cutting govt. workers then he's not. What a total idiot. If they hired more employees he would gripe about that too.

Anonymous said...

Today was jury selection, I believe.

Anonymous said...

I saw him the other day at that new hamburger place. He definitely needs to hit the gym.

Anonymous said...

Klein's more about complaining about Jefferson County. It don't matter whether its a real issue or not...Klein just wants to complain.