Dear Voter,

I created this section because, like you, I too have been a voter struggling to learn about a particular candidate, only to tirelessly research and come back with political phrases and buzz words. I am tired of politicians who run campaign slogans such as: Hope, Change, Justice, Conservative, Tough on Crime, etc., but fail to flesh out what they truly believe. As I address below, in the section about being “Pro-Second Amendment,” don’t assume that because a politician says a political phrase such as “I’m Conservative” or “I’m tough on crime,” that they believe the same as you. Political Slogans are great — they can encapsulate a broad idea or concept (like mine, “Good for Johnson County”) — but, if you don’t demand more of an explanation, you end up with politicians like Joe Biden who say that they are Pro-Second Amendment, but really mean they think you should be allowed to hunt deer or something. Johnson County and Somervell County deserve more than slogans and cheap campaign rhetoric.

I believe that if someone is asking for your vote, they should openly tell you what they believe, think, and feel about topics and issues that come within the scope of the office they seek. I hope you find the question and answer section below helpful, and I hope that I can earn your vote.

Timothy M. Good

Tim interview

Why are you running for District Attorney?

Because the people of Johnson and Somervell Counties deserve a choice about who will be their next District Attorney — it’s a choice they have not had for 24 years. I have worked for Mr. Hanna for the past 7 years and I believe that the DA’s office needs a change of leadership. The office is understaffed, recently having difficulty attracting and retaining prosecutors, and the current backlog of cases will only increase as Johnson County is projected to grow 43% in the next 20 years. The office also needs significant technological integrations and upgrades to better meet the demands of criminal prosecution in the 21st century. The current DA has not made this a priority or recognized how far behind the office is technologically, mostly likely due to the fact that he still does not personally use a computer or email during the discharge of his duties at the office. While it was probably common to have District Attorneys who did not use computers or email when he first took office in 1992, it is unacceptable that this remains true today. I also have observed a significant deterioration between the relationships between local law enforcement agencies and the DA’s office; we need these partnerships to be strong to keep our communities safe.

I am not a politician, and running for this position has never been an ambition of mine, but I, like you, am concerned about the path this country is currently on. We either can become fatalistic and accept increases in violent crime and crimes against children as the new normal, or we can act to try to effect the change we want to see in our communities. Running for District Attorney is the action I feel compelled to take for each of us, for our children, and for the future of Johnson and Somervell Counties.

Why should voters care about the District Attorney’s Race?

The DA’s office greatly affects the lives of each and every citizen living in Johnson and Somervell Counties, whether they realize it or not. The DA’s office sets the tone for how felony offenses within Johnson and Somervell Counties will be handled. This tone and approach will either lead to the suppression or increase in felonious conduct within the community. The DA has broad discretion to accept or reject any case filed by police. The reality is, police cannot keep criminals off our streets without having an effective partnership with the DA’s office. Having a close collaborative relationship with law enforcement partners at the beginning of an investigation often yields success in the court room. Further, as we have recently seen across the nation, the DA’s office also has the unique potential for abuse: targeting political adversaries or targeting individual citizens in response to media attention is a severe abuse of discretion.

What is your main criticism of District Attorneys around the country?

The abuse of their prosecutorial discretion. Just as when judges decide to disregard laws duly passed by the legislature and make rulings in accordance with their own opinions (often referred to as “Judicial Activism”), many DAs engage in what I would call “Prosecutorial Activism” under the guise of their office’s discretion. Prosecutorial discretion is a legitimate power given to elected prosecutors to decide whether or not to charge a person for a crime, and which criminal charges to file. This is a broad power that also gives prosecutors the authority to enter into plea bargains with a defendant, which can result in the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge or receiving a lesser sentence for pleading guilty to the original charge. This discretion is a legitimate power but can become illegitimate when a DA refuses to enforce certain laws (absent a constitutional issue regarding the law). For example, when a District Attorney decides to no longer prosecute marijuana cases or certain types of thefts. A DA is first and foremost sworn to uphold the law, and this oath is clearly violated when a DA only enforces the law he or she likes or agrees with. Those in office who are elected to enforce and apply the law cannot disregard laws in the pursuit of their own political outcomes or political opinions, and I’ve seen this occurring more and more around the country.

DA’s all across the country, including Texas, have been relaxing their approach and views on drugs: What is your position?

Drugs and the abuse of any substance is a moral plight on the country at large, and the dangers created by substance abuse are real and make our communities less safe.

I promise to enforce any and all drug laws passed by the Texas Legislature. However, unlike the current DA, I don’t think that drugs are the primary threat to our safety. Again, I want to be clear, drugs will not be tolerated in Johnson County if I am elected. But, violent crime and sexual exploitation of our children are the primary threats the DA’s Office should be targeting, while holding the line on drugs. Johnson County has had a Narcotic Taskforce (S.T.O.P. Taskforce) for decades, but no Special Victims Unit to focus on homicides or sexual exploitation of children, leaving individual agencies with limited resources, and often lacking specialized training, to grapple with the important investigations. The STOP Taskforce was created in response to the knowledge that narcotics investigations required dedicated law enforcement officers with specialized training to effectively combat narcotics traffic across Johnson County. It’s well past time that such a unit was created to address homicides and sexual exploitation of children.

What would be some of your priorities if elected?

First, in order to make our counties safer, I would pursue increasing penalties for violent offenders to prevent violent recidivism, and I would proactively target and prosecute individuals who seek to harm and abuse children.

With the integration of the internet, social media, and children having more access to electronic devices — the criminal and the pervert can reach farther and broader than ever before. Gone are the days where most drug deals are done on a street corner; often, these deals are commenced using electronic communications, apps, and computers. Likewise, many children are contacted and lured away from their homes by messaging and communications they receive through devices or computers in the home.

As your next District Attorney, I would seek longer sentences for violent criminals, particularly repeat-offenders. I also would work to establish a ‘Crimes Against Children Taskforce’ to ensure that every child that is the victim of sexual abuse or exploitation has their case investigated by highly trained and experienced law enforcement officers. I would also seek to collaborate with law enforcement to target those that would seek to exploit our children by resuming online and in-person sting operations throughout our counties.

Second, I would prioritize obtaining and utilizing advanced technological tools and training for the office and for our local law enforcement partners. It is imperative law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office have up-to-date tools and training to detect criminal activity and to preserve and summarize evidence in a manner that can be used at trial — no matter the type of electronic device or app that is used to carry out the crime. Often it is evidence that could be collected on an electronic device that will be the corroborating piece of evidence needed for a jury to find guilt. It is imperative that the next District Attorney not only embrace the integration of technology in the office, but also not shy away from charging individuals with crimes that may involve complex computer concepts.

Finally, I would prioritize educating our community on its important civic duty — jury duty. The District Attorney’s Office cannot fulfill its duty to prosecute crime without the commitment of its citizens to serve on juries when summoned. While it may seem like an inconvenience to some, this role is of vital importance in the pursuit of justice. Only when good citizens are willing to serve in this capacity, are we ultimately able to hold people accountable when they harm others within the community.

What is your position on the “Defund the Police” movement and the “Back the Blue” movement?

I am disappointed in both. The Defund the Police movement is patently ridiculous on its face. You don’t solve the public’s outrage at the police by eliminating the police. We don’t have a policing problem in this country, we have a failure to meet societal expectation problem in this country. Good, bad, or indifferent, the position advanced is that police are not living up to community exceptions. We should first ask where do those community expectations come from: Movies, TV, our own misinformed perceptions of what policing is? I personally think that a lot of the outrage stems from us as a society not “Backing the Blue” as we should. We ask our men and women in blue to go into the dark, dangerous places of our community in order to keep us safe, but we ask them to do it alone. We say we “Back the Blue”, but we don’t demand that they are well trained and well paid. We don’t go to commissioner’s court or our local city counsel meetings and demand that they have what they need to do the job that we each demand. The average citizen would be shocked to know how little firearm, de-escalation, force-on-force training the police actually receive. And yet we are surprised or even outraged when the police don’t meet our expectations. What’s worse is that our  men and women in blue don’t experience any less danger when we as a community fail to properly pay them or ensure that that get the training and tools that they need. The natural byproduct of our failure to truly “Back the Blue” manifests in three ways, (1.) It emboldens criminals and leads to increased lawlessness, (2.) it continues the cycle of police failing to meet our expectations, and (3.) it causes the officers in our community to leave us for employment elsewhere.

Crime will continue to rise in any community until we realize that the men and women in blue are the thin blue line between our families and those that would seek to harm them. Crime will continue to rise until we truly “Back the Blue”. As your elected District Attorney, I will Back the Blue.

Since Texas law says “It shall be the primary duty of all prosecuting attorneys, including any special prosecutors, not to convict, but to see that justice is done”, what does “justice” mean to you?

Justice needs no modifier; however, we often hear phrases such as “Social Justice”, or “Equitable Justice.” But “Justice” means holding individuals accountable when the facts and the law dictate we act, regardless of their status. Justice must not have a goal or agenda other than equal protection and treatment under the law.

While it’s a very hot button issue, what is your opinion on abortion?

I am unapologetically pro-life. After watching my wife get pregnant and give birth to our two beautiful, amazing sons, I can’t see the issue any other way.

How does the issue of Parental Rights relate to the role of the District Attorney?

I believe that the bedrock of society is the family unit. As such, the government should be reluctant to invade the family unit and question how families decide to live and raise their children. Of course, there are and should be limits (sexual and physical abuse of children, spousal abuse). A Texas District Attorney has great prosecutorial discretion in applying broadly worded statutes, such as “injury to a child” (Pen Code 22.04), and with broad discretion comes the potential for abuse. Who is to say that spanking your child could not be charged as a felony under Penal Code 22.04? The answer is that, in large part, it is the District Attorney’s Office exercising prosecutorial discretion that makes the final decision. As your elected District Attorney, I will respect your rights as parents to raise and discipline your children. The government does not have a greater right to your children than you as the parent. And as such, the government does not have the right to second guess the decisions you make in the best interest of your family. I will use my prosecutorial powers of the office for those situations of clear abuse.

What is your position on a citizen using force, including deadly force, to protect themselves or others?

A person’s right to act in self-defense and use force, including deadly force, is a fundamental inalienable right we all possess and is one that is particularly ingrained in Texas culture. We have all seen national and local examples of this right being systematically chipped away by prosecution of individuals who were defending their own life, the lives of their families, or even the lives of strangers. Many times a particular citizen is confronted with such a dire situation to defend him or herself as a direct result of the justice system failing to keep criminals off the streets. How often is the assailant a convicted felon or a person released on a low bond after allegedly committing the same offense? As your elected District Attorney, I will not infringe on your right to self-defense and self-protection, and in furtherance of this, if a case needs to be considered by the Grand Jury, I will allow you and your attorney access to the Grand Jury to present your defense.

You, like many politicians, say you are pro-2nd Amendment: What does that mean to you?

I think this is a very important question, and is one I wish that all those seeking office would be asked. Too many politicians say, ‘I’m pro 2nd Amendment” and just leave their explanation there; One person hearing this might think that the politician is talking about the right to have a rifle or shotgun for hunting, because that matches their level of support for the 2nd Amendment. Another might think this means pistols maintained for home defense, but not a scary black assault rifle.

So, what do I mean when I say I am pro-2nd Amendment? The 2nd Amendment has nothing do with hunting or sport. I believe the 2nd Amendment means that you have the right to keep and bear arms for your personal defense against other citizens that would seek to do you harm as well as to keep your government in check as a deterrence against encroachment on your personal liberties. The 2nd Amendment means you have the right to possess those scary black assault rifles (i.e. AR-15s), those quote “high capacity magazines”.

What does this mean for a District Attorney? I vow to never be a party to a plan to confiscate your firearms or allow the type or number of weapons you own to influence any prosecution decision (particularly when it comes to self-defense cases). The type of firearm you use, the types of ammo you select, or the self-defense shooting courses you take will not be a factor deciding if a “use of force” was legally justified.

What duty do you think each citizen owes to their community and how can each citizen play a part in shaping and protecting their community?

To regularly vote and to be ready and willing to serve on a jury. Regular voting is something I think we all get and can agree on. Voting is how we select those that will represent us — our local mayors who shape the future of our cities, our legislature who passes laws that either protect us or infringe on our liberties, and the Judges and prosecutors who apply the law to a particular case. Jury service is the second half of the voting process, it’s where we the people get to check the work of those we have elected when a particular citizen stands accused. It is where we hold the government to its burden of proof to show that this particular citizen has violated the law. It is also where, when we find that the particular citizen has violated the law, we get to determine the outcome that is best for our community: rehabilitation for those that deserve and need it, or removal from the community for the safety of each and every one of us. In voting and jury service, each of us gets to shape our community and its future — we can’t expect change if we are only willing to do half the job.