What do you do when you're branded?

By The SE Texas Record | Sep 4, 2010

Scorned as the one who ran.
What do you do when you're branded,
And you know you're a man?

A cavalry captain wrongly cashiered for cowardice, Jason McCord was obliged to defend his manhood in every episode of the TV show "Branded," which ran for two seasons in the mid-1960s. The viewers, of course, knew that he was innocent and shared his outrage at the aspersions cast by truly cowardly detractors.

Anxious to see Rick Perry drummed out of the governor's office, Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn has resurrected the story line and attempted to cast Perry in the McCord role played by Chuck Connors.

Mostyn is the incoming president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the man with the money behind the Back to Basics Political Action Committee, which has run full-page newspaper ads throughout the state labeling Perry a coward for refusing to debate his Democrat opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White.

Like Connors/McCord, Perry faces the challenge of defending himself against a charge he knows to be false, but he can count on fair-minded Texans to rally to his side. Like the fans of "Branded," they, too, will question the motivations of men like Motsyn.

Motsyn made millions in mold-related lawsuits and is now looking for new windfalls from hurricane litigation. It's only natural that he would back fellow trial lawyer Bill White for the governorship, in the hope that his attorney friend can reverse the legal reforms that have made Texas a better workplace for everyone but lucre-loving litigators.

"Mostyn's agenda is to overturn Texas' successful tort reform so that he can keep filing lucrative lawsuits," said Bryan Preston, communications director for the Republican Party of Texas, "and trial lawyer Bill White is only too happy to help out with that."

It's certainly true that Texans don't like cowards, but Gov. Rick Perry has stood up courageously against the business-bashing broadsides of certain trial lawyers, and Motsyn's cowardly attack is bound to backfire.

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