9/22/9 Don Hill
and Lynn Flint Shaw sold us out!
Last year, when Rufus Shaw killed his wife, Lynn Flint
Shaw, before committing suicide, we were all in shock and disbelief. For
several weeks, there had been one shocker after another regarding Lynn's
reckless efforts to stay ahead of her creditors and keep up her image as a
connected member of the Dallas artsy fartsy community.
Although she and Rufus were in desperate straits, it didn't seem justification
for murder and suicide. After all, this is Dallas where everyone lives
above their means. Even a billionaire (or former billionaire) like Tom
Hicks gets behind on his bills. Lynn's situation was a little
more delicate since she had forged our Bail Bondsman DA's signature to a letter
and got caught.
I knew Lynn for years, but we were hardly friends. I wasn't as
impressed with her as some people, but she was a powerful woman in this town
during her good years. She and I were on the same side in the Strong Mayor
Campaign. I represented Councilman Salazar on the
opposition committee with her. I opposed the first strong mayor proposition because it came out of the
Park Cities and was not well conceived. The thought of another Ron
Kirk/Con Jerk character as Mayor with the powers of that proposition horrified
me. So, I worked hard and showed up at several debates: one between Mayor Miller and Councilman Hill, and another between
Mayor Miller and Lynn Flint Shaw. Don Hill whipped Laura in their debate,
but Lynn was completely out of her league up against Mayor Miller. Lynn was
clueless, and I was shocked and disappointed.
I had mixed emotions about 14-1 when Czar Buchmeyer threw out a city election
and imposed it on us. I worried about ward politics. All my
fears have been realized and none of my hopes for it have been fulfilled.
The anticipated corruption was a major underestimate. We almost rival
Detroit for indicted and/or convicted city officials.
Under 14-1, our city has become raggedy and shabby. There are affluent areas where
the homeowners or businesses can afford to buy private security to keep them
safe. There are other areas owned by tycoons like Ross, Jr. and Tom Hicks
where the city lets the property owners keep a big hunk of their property taxes
and spend it fixing the streets and sidewalks in their area. The rest of
us pay our taxes and get not much in return because our taxes get wasted on arts
and social services.
Under 14-1, our city leaders have ignored the basic necessities for Joe
Taxpayer's quality of life while building monuments to the elites' egos, like an
opera house. Sadly, under 14-1, this city's true jewel, Fair Park, has
been systematically robbed of its major museums. All are being pulled away
and moved Downtown. Instead of improving South Dallas, 14-1 representation
has all but turned out the lights around Fair Park.
Don Hill should have been fighting to bring new development and business to the
Southern Sector. Commissioner John Wiley Price should have been fighting
to bring new development and business to the Southern Sector. State
Senator Royce West should have been fighting to bring new development and
business to the Southern Sector. Instead, they have treated the area under
their watch like an old oil field, draining every drop for their personal
benefit and power while fighting any effort to bring new land use and
opportunity to the Southern Sector.
During the Hill trial, the best blogging was done by Jim Schutze, hands down.
But Sam Merten did a great job, too. Both were on the DallasObserver.com
blog, UnFairPark. The day that really shook me was Thursday, Sept. 10.
It brought back all the sadness from last year, and really put things in
perspective. The transcript of the phone conversation between Don Hill and Lynn Flint Shaw
is beyond shocking.
O.K., now Busch is off on a new tack. He must think he?s done enough damage here. He wants to get Hill to talk about a tape played a couple days ago in which Hill is talking to the late Lynn Flint Shaw, chairwoman of Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert?s political fund-raising committee. Shaw was the political broker between the black community and the wealthy white arts community.
This is very important, if not to the trial, then to the city. Everybody in the white elite knew and agreed, when Laura Miller was leading the strong mayor charter reform movement for Dallas, that this was a badly needed reform to counteract the flaws of single-member districts.
According this phone call, Shaw, who was one of Leppert?s top political allies, was working to persuade the rich white culture vultures to sell out and betray the strong mayor movement in exchange for black votes for a major taxpayer subsidy for their new playthings in the arts district.
Good of the city? Who gives a shit? We only care about parties.
Busch plays a surveillance tape of Hill talking to Shaw on the phone:
Shaw says, ?I think that you know I am going to have to call some of these white council people like Gary Griffith and I am going ? these white folks sitting on the sidelines and the white consultant we have hired and are paying this money to doesn?t want to say anything to Gary.
?I am going to call and say, ?Look, Councilman, we need to you to be real pro-active on this, because the word I?m getting, a lot of people in your district are going to vote for this, and we can?t afford this.?
Hill tells her, ?There?s no need for him (Griffith) to sit on the fence, because Laura is going to shoot him in the butt anyway.?
A while later Shaw tells Hill, ?When you and I ask the same people for money we need to tell each other we?re doing that so we don?t get crossed up.? She then goes on to say, ?I had a come-to-Jesus with the people in the arts community. I told them, ?Y?all need to give us some money.??
Hill says ?What do they not understand??
She says, ?Bill Winspear and all the rest of them are giving in to her because she bats those damn eyes at him, and they say, ?Oh, she?s so attractive,? and that, Charles Wylie and all the rest of them? This is their pet project and she ain?t trying to do anything for it.?
Hill tells her, ?Let me add a little addendum no your message. The arts community doesn?t give me no money.?
She says ?Now, they have told me in the past they have given you some money.?
?No.? Hill goes on: ?I?m just saying to you, I went to three churches yesterday, and we had good response. But one of those damn preachers was talking about you have to chose between revenge and forgiveness, and I?m struggling with that. Laura says we have to pass this, and then these folks step in and come from behind, and, no, no, it?s not going to be like that, and they need to understand that.?
Hill tells Shaw, ?They need to get $50,000 to $100,000 and get it to you by the end of the week, because if I don?t see no money I?m not voting on no maintenance contract.?
I am now ashamed to ever have been involved with the
opposition. What a bunch of sleazeballs! The night of the election,
when we were winning by a landslide, I was at the victory party. The
overhead TV showed Laura Miller being interviewed and conceding. Lynn
Flint Shaw said something nasty, and I felt horrible about being there with that
mean crowd when my friend was someplace else pretty much alone.
That was then. Jim Schutze followed up the 10:58 am entry with what is the
best synopsis of all that is wrong with this city:
The stuff above about Bill Winspear, Charles Wyly, et. al., is about the development of the arts district. There is a syndrome here that goes back to the Meyerson, in which committees of rich people keep piling on levels of luxury finish-out ? more marble! More teak, more tapestry ! ? until they wind up with a building they can?t afford to maintain. They pile all the money into show, and they don?t have enough endowment left for upkeep. So they want to off-shore the upkeep onto the city.
This is a city that can?t mow the grass in its parks. Nobody who was sitting on that council and paying attention would agree, absent other factors, that the public should get stuck with major maintenance for the play-things of the arts-fatarties.
You also have this factor: Laura Miller was fighting the good fight for the one reform all of these same people believed in ? a charter reform to create a strong mayor system and clean out the dark places in the existing system where corruption occurs.
But it was more important to them build their pleasure domes. And they wanted the city to agree to take on fat annual maintenance payments so they could do it.
The go-between is Shaw, the mayor?s top political operative for black Dallas. Remember: she?s the one whose emails I published lecturing Leppert that he was to deal only with ?the inner circle? in black Dallas, headed up by her.
The deal is that the rich folks kick money in to Don Hill?s campaign to defeat Miller?s charter proposal at the polls. In exchange, they get black votes on the council to subsidize the arts district.
So the white folks screw the city to get what they want. And black leadership screws its own constituency, saddling the city with expenses that will come straight out of the budget for street repairs and clean-up, in order to protect the back-room.
This is the bone structure of the Old Plantation in Dallas politics. Right there, full view, on the table. Read it and weep.
Jim says "the white folks screw
the city to get what they want". The problem is that many of the artsy
fartsy crowd who want the arts district and want it safe away from Fair Park
don't live in Dallas. They live in Highland Park, University Park and
other northern suburbs. They will get all the benefit of the arts
district, but it will be maintained by property taxes paid by Dallas residents
who can't get their streets repaired, whose children can't find a rec center
open after school.
I didn't attend any budget town hall meetings this year because they are always
packed with the artsy fartsy and library crowd, who tell us nothing is as
important to this city and our quality of life as the arts! Bull! If
you want to see an absolute waste of money for the arts, drive down Walnut Hill
from Marsh toward the East. We have a beautiful new fire station with 3
big ugly rocks out front! The firefighters wanted exercise equipment so
they can stay in shape during downtimes. They did not want the 3 big ugly
It's not the "white folks who screw the city to get what they want", it's the
elite of all color and their puppets of all color who screw the city taxpayers
and waste our money on things we don't want or need.
Don Hill and Lynn Flint Shaw sold us out. Lynn's gone, and Don Hill needs
to go to prison.