Louisiana lawyer gets involved with Sabine County wet/dry vote

When driving into Hemphill, it doesn't take long to notice that the biggest issue may not be the race for the presidency.

When Sabine County voters go to the polls next Tuesday, one local issue will take center stage. Propositions 1 and 2 are aimed at the sale of mixed drinks at restaurants and beer and wine at stores.

"This covers jp precinct 1. That would be hemphill, milam and the Thomas Johnson community, said Janice McDaniel, Sabine county clerk.

It goes like a card game between two parties.

The first party includes those for the propositions.

"I believe it would pick my business up 25 percent", said Clay Mathis, owner of Big Daddy 's country store.

The second party includes those against it.

"If people vote for it, it's going to be there choice of course, but we believe it's not going to be a good thing for our community at all," said Wayne Mote of the Free Methodist Church of Hemphill.

But this Texas showdown has a third party.

Supporters of the propositions say Scott Kendrick, a Louisiana lawyer has started to run ads against the propositions and believe he doesn't have a moral issue with the proposition. He just wants to keep Texas money in Louisiana.

"I have a real heart burn with any trial lawyer from natchitoches, Louisiana, shreveport or wherever coming over here running ads in our paper trying to affect our Texas election, when it's to benefit the people in Louisiana," said Mary Greer, treasurer for the "Keep our tax dollars in Sabine County" committee.

In one commercial Kendrick claims that Texas Petition Strategies, an Austin-based company that was hired to help file the propositions, is only in it for the money and does not care about the safety of local residents.

In an email sent to KTRE, TPS said:

"Clearly Mr. Kendrick doesn't know much about Texas alcohol elections, because had he done some research he would know: law enforcement officials from all over Texas have reported that crime did not increase after voting wet. So general claims that communities that sell alcohol have higher crime and accidents is just simply a lie."

KTRE reached out to Kendrick, who admitted to being behind the ads played on the radio and put in the local papers, but Kendrick denied our request for an interview.

The ads have not set well with local supporters of the propositions.

"I just think that the tax dollars would help our county more than what it would in Louisiana, cause we need to keep our tax dollars at home," said Mathis.

Mary Greer believes this election should be left up to Sabine county voters and has one simple phrase for Mr.Kendrick.

"Quit meddlin', don't mess with Texas elections, we'll handle our own elections in Sabine County," said Greer.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.