News for Public Officials and the People They Serve

Alleged Conspirators Respond to Foiled County Takeover

In November of 2005 Texas Rangers notified Libertarian Larry Pendarvis that he and other Libertarians were wanted for 'knowingly making a false statement on a voter registration application'. The charges could be upgraded to conspiracy. Pendarvis responded with charges of his own.

In emails to his supporters, Pendarvis,, a computer specialist who disdains government control, responded by outlining his plans for Loving County. He claims that county officials conspired with Western Abstract & Title, Yellowstone Mortgage Company, and Doug Caffey Associates to foil his plans for his group to take control of the least populated county in America.

One of Pendarvis's emails (with excerpts from the Committee to Restore Freedom to Loving) follows:


Edited Pendarvis email

Tx Libertarians in Trouble

This is a matter of official corruption aimed at denying libertarians
their voting rights in a Texas county.

My name is Larry Pendarvis. I have learned that there is a warrant
from Loving County, Texas, for the arrest of me and two of my friends, for
the crime of "knowingly making a false statement on a voter registration
application".

I am a libertarian. I and some other libertarians have tried to register to vote in Loving County.

"We are looking for ways of restoring freedom to Loving County, Texas. The primary emphasis will be on a libertarian philosophy with pro-choice. The focus of discussion will be on practical matters of restoring freedom (To Loving County)."

Source: Committee to Restore Freedom to Loving

I formed a Texas Corporation (LibHome Corporation) to handle the eventual subdividing into 10.1-acre lots of 126 acres of land. We put a "Motor Home" on the land and acquired a Mentone (Loving County) Post Office Box. We spent considerable time on the land, including overnight stays in the motor home; and we decided to make Loving County our principal residence from that day forward.

We relied on a Texas Secretary of State Opinion:

"The meaning that must be given to it [residence] depends upon the
circumstances surrounding the person involved and largely depends upon
the present intention of the individual. Volition, intention and action are
all elements to be considered in determining where a person resides and
such elements are equally pertinent in denoting the permanent residence or
domicile.... Neither bodily presence alone nor intention alone will suffice to create the residence, but when the two coincide at that moment the residence is fixed and determined. There is no specific length of time
for the bodily presence to continue."

"The essence of our plan is to register
enough of our voters to win, even if all the current registered voters vote against us".

Source: Committee to Restore Freedom to Loving

This was based on Mills v. Bartlett, 377 S.W.2d 636, 637 (Tex.1964).
 (2004 opinion) There have been federal cases too that support the eligibility of, for example, students to vote where they go to college.

A few weeks ago Bobby Yates Emory and I applied for a Texas ID card,
and we put a checkmark in the box where it says "Do you want to register to vote?"

We had already determined to live in Loving County. A few days later,
Don Duncan did the same thing.

On the night of 11/1/05, my telephone answering machine received a
message from a Texas Ranger who said that Bobby, Don, and I were the subjects of a Criminal Investigation. On 11/3, Don talked to that Ranger ("Brian") and learned that we were being charged with "KNOWINGLY MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT" on a voter registration application.

Ranger Brian said that soon they were going to up the charge to CONSPIRACY (which I assume will make it a Felony), since three of us did it. (If three people drive drunk back from the same party, is that a Conspiracy? Even assuming we LIED, in furtherance of what criminal attempt was that? It would simply be three separate acts, in furtherance of a LEGAL GOAL.) Here is a copy of the Wanted Poster - I put it on one of our web sites: http://LovingCounty.org

Our goal has been to gather together in one place where libertarians can have control over the priority in which Texas Laws are enforced; so that preference is given to REAL CRIMES, and what we consider to be "Victimless Crimes" will be given low (VERY LOW) priority. It is our belief that this is within the legal powers of a Texas County Government, at least as far as how the resources of the County Officers are to be prioritized.

We have been trying to buy land in Loving County since the end of 2004. I have, on several occasions, won the bid on land that was being sold on eBay, but when the seller found out it was I or my Corporation, they reneged on the deal.

In January of 2005, Doug Caffey, the head of all the companies engaged in the eBay sales, told me in a long conversation that they were asked by the County Judge (or the Sheriff, I cannot remember which one he said) not to sell to any of us, since "the powers that be" in Loving County had already learned that we were libertarians and they didn't want us there.

More recently, The St. Petersburg Times did an article about my intentions. They interviewed Sheriff Hopper and quoted him as saying that they didn't want us there. (Times article)

(BTW, I did subsequently sell the island - for a lot more than I had
hoped.)

A few months ago one of our group (Susan Hogarth) also bought one of
the lots on eBay. This time they didn't realize it was our group, at first, and so this time they accepted her down payment. They cashed the check.

Then they sent her a coupon book to make monthly payments. Then she made a monthly payment. They cashed that check too. Then she asked how much the payoff would be, and she sent them a check to pay off the entire amount and get her warranty deed, as they had said in their eBay ad. They cashed THAT check too! But about that time they realized what was happening, so they never sent her the deed.

She kept calling and they kept telling her it was being processed in the Loving County Courthouse. Finally she stopped dealing with them and tried talking to Western Abstract & Title, in Pecos. They are the ones who were handling the transfer, and they were the Trustee named in the "Deed of Trust" that Susan had signed and notarized and sent them with the down payment.

It is my understanding that that Deed of Trust has to be Recorded in the County Courthouse. But on 11/3 Susan was finally told by the Trustee that they never filed the deed! A few days before that she had called the courthouse and was told that nothing had ever been filed under her name.

Now the seller (Doug Caffey, again) tells her that he made a mistake,
and that this other guy had owned the land for a year, and they shouldn't
have sold the land that they did not own.

It is obvious to me that they DID own the land, and they just didn't
want to sell to her. I further SUSPECT that a Deed of Trust WAS recorded, and the Official Government Records have since been altered. They claim that it is common practice for them not to file the Deed of Trust until after 5 or 6 payments have been made since so many people default and that makes it easier to repossess the land.

IF TRUE, that in itself sounds like a violation of Texas law. But it is not true; some of the correspondence with Susan stated that they had mistakenly put the wrong person's name on the deed, and were working toward correcting that scrivener's error.

Overall, I believe that it is a case of fraudulent conversion or embezzlement, among other things - but of course I am not a lawyer.

Now they want to give the money back and forget the whole thing, but we
have refused. You can't embezzle money, or knowingly sell something you
don't own, and then when caught give the money back and thereby avoid
punishment, can you?

All of these real estate shenanigans by the companies of Doug Caffey
Associates and Western Abstract & Title have been aimed at keeping us
from acquiring land where we can live and vote in Loving County; this was at the behest of Sheriff Billy Hopper and the County Judge, who have access to the Official Government Records and have altered and/or destroyed some of them.

The immediate problem is the arrest warrants for me and Bobby and Don.
We need to have them quashed, if possible. If not, we need a lawyer to
help us get "booked" and immediately bailed out, as I saw happen to Tom DeLay in Texas recently. And we must NOT be turned over to the Loving County Sheriff, who is the perp in this case! That would be dangerous to our health.

Even if we are deemed not to be residents of Loving County, it is
nevertheless true that we THOUGHT we were, based on the above Secretary of State Opinion; and so we did not KNOWINGLY make a false statement.

We even had a signed, notarized lease agreement from Susan Hogan (who had just made the final payment on the land and had confirmed to us that her payoff check had been cashed by Yellowstone Mortgage Company) at the time of the statement, and we honestly thought that our motor home, on our leased land, entitled us to register to vote.

Even if we are, legally, SQUATTERS, we ought to be allowed to vote! Heck, I think even homeless people are supposed to be allowed to Vote, aren't they?

Here is the Texas Attorney General's Official Opinion on that subject:

"We emphasize that it is not a criminal offense in this state if an
applicant for voter registration believes, however mistakenly, that the
applicant is a resident of the county in which the applicant seeks to
vote."


The State of Texas is under Federal Voting Rights Act supervision.
Therefore they are not allowed "to employ test or devices in determining a person's eligibility to vote in any Federal, State, or local election.

The term test or device means any requirement that a person as a
prerequisite for voting or registration for voting (1) demonstrate the ability to
read, write, understand, or interpret any matter, (2) demonstrate
any educational achievement or his knowledge of any particular subject,
(3) possess good moral character, or (4) prove his qualifications by
voucher or registered voters or members of any class."

Sheriff Billy Hopper has said that he doesn't want us in Loving County
because of (3) our unacceptable moral precepts (3), which include not
allowing a government to use force to punish people who prefer not to
wear clothing, or who choose to marry more than one wife and/or husband, or who gamble with their own private property, or who engage in consensual competitive games such as dueling and bumfights.

Loving County is 100% white (including some whites with Hispanic
surnames). They are using extraordinary means to ensure that NO ONE other than relatives of current residents (that means, no blacks or libertarians) can move there and Vote. (This was admitted to one of our informal group, Don Duncan, in a conversation with a Texas Ranger on 11/3/05).

I hope that you can help us find an excellent Texas attorney who is
able to help us. Although the immediate need is for a criminal lawyer for the
warrants, we also need a real estate lawyer to handle the land
transactions, and the fraud against us.


Sincerely,

Larry Pendarvis