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Rene Matus

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05/16/07   Mayor Ed?



Just a few notes?.mental babbling?..thoughts....nothing noteworthy, just grumbling and typing as I grumble.


After reading your latest, Weird Dallas politics, I have pretty much the same thoughts, just a south-side perspective.  My love-hate relationship with Dallas elections continues.  Yes, I did get off my cynical and apathetic derriere and actually voted

When the results of the mayoral race began to creep across the bottom of the TV screen, I recalled my dad remarking wistfully after another election that the loser must have been the right man for the job.  He introduced me to a quote by Talleyrand ? ?Party politics insure that the right man for the job will never get it.?  I felt the same pangs when I saw Darrell Jordan?s numbers the other night.  Bet you did, too.


Now that it?s between Tom and Ed, my money and my vote is on Tom.   I don?t know much about Tom other than his mother brought him up alone and he claims to be a political outsider.  I know he has some ODB ties and their endorsement.  I don?t know how any of that qualifies him to be mayor in any way, but in light of the untrustworthiness of his predecessors, I?m willing to go on a little faith here. 

Gosh, Dallasites have suffered from trust issues with their mayors since Annette Strauss.  "Conflict of interest" is a concept that Dallas mayors never seem to trouble themselves with.  Dallas mayors have been irresponsible stewards of both the money and the best interests of Dallas and its citizens.  They have been wholly incapable of entering into an agreement that actually benefit the shareholders, Dallas taxpayers

Ron Kirk sold us down the river to finance a new arena for his millionaire buddiesLaura Miller blossomed into an ODB big ticket cheerleader and rah-rah girl, shifting her focus from fiscal responsibility to chasing rainbows and befuddling her supporters and detractors alike. 

Dorothy, there?s no place like the Mayor?s office, where the Great and Powerful Oz is not only the Wizard, he or she is also a patient.


I talked with Ed Oakley as we put a sign in my front yard during his first successful campaign for councilman (the only one that actually qualified as ?grassroots?).   When the quality of life in my neighborhood was discussed, I pointed to a decaying Section 8 apartment complex down the street and said, ?Those apartments.  They?re killing us.?  Now that he has come out swinging against aging apartments at this late date, I can only assume Ed?s brain might be a tad slow at digesting information from his constituents

I?m also sure Pinnacle Park could have and should have been done without apartments.  By going ahead and keeping a ticking time bomb like inner city apartments in the plan, Oakley chose to perpetuate a problem he now claims to be against.  Unfortunately, it?s not just older apartments that are problems.  Relatively new complexes suffer from many of the same problems as do older ones.  Dallas simply does not need any more apartments.  The harsh truth is that a majority of apartment dwellers rarely make the same investments in their communities as do homeowners, yet they require a concentration of far more city resources.  It is an imbalance that cries to be addressed, but the City Council keeps approving more of them. 


Jim Schutze has pointed out that Ed could have been more forthcoming about his ownership of certain investment properties near the Trinity.  At the very least, it is a troubling sign that Ed was trying to fly under the radar on this one.  In a worst case scenario, no one really knows how much riverside property Ed is actively pursuing or may actually own through other parties or shell companies.  All in all, it just doesn?t pass the smell test, and I wish he had been more candid at an earlier date. 


Ed may or may not be aware of this, but his original first term supporters do not comprise much of his current base.  The district change and subsequent shenanigans, when Ed allocated his discretionary fund from District 6 and spent it in District 3 (evidently trying to woo potential support for the next election), has not been forgotten. He may be entrenched in District 3, but he is not trusted by his former constituents and supporters.  Perhaps this could explain why he?s resorting to the lowest common denominator in his Southern Sector flyers. 


Ed also lost the trust of much of his original power base when he endorsed Al Lipscomb to be a member of the Police Review Board.  During a nomination speech that almost caused me to projectile vomit, Ed gushed that it was Al who gave him a start in politics and he felt he owed him this chance (in spite of the fact that Al did not meet the criteria).  While that may be so, many who gave Ed their vote and support felt betrayed by this.  Ed considered his personal debt to one person to be more important than the best interests of his many constituents as well as the standards of the PRB.  Now, the many have an opportunity to respond to that betrayal at the polls.  I think he?s gotten all the votes he?s going to get.

Interesting stats from election results:  In Ed's home precinct 3103 where he resides and his following is apparent, Ed only garnered 50% of the vote.  That's telling isn't it?  If he were doing that great a job, don't you think he should carry his own neighborhood 70% or more?  Or is 50% sufficient? 

From the stats, he does better in Latino neighborhoods than one might think, although that's still not a lot of votes because they don't vote.  Of course, Oak Lawn turned out for him.  That's it.  I don't think Leppert has much to worry about, because North Dallas actually votes.
I don't want it to sound like Ed has has absolutely no support over here, because the statistics show that's not the case.  I just know some of Oakley's former supporters, myself included, and a few others who worked on his campaigns and were appointed to a few committees here and there who have lost faith in his judgment.  To some of us, Mayor Oakley is a pretty scary thing.


Ed underestimates North Dallas voters.  Since it?s essentially North Dallas money that funds 90% of Dallas, they are keener observers than most Southern voters and watch the dollars and cents the city spends more closely.  Donna Blumer will forever come to mind when I hear the term ?fiscal watchdog?.  She really was something, wasn?t she?  North Dallasites have observed Oakley throughout his career as a councilman, so they have certainly witnessed his penchant for endorsing both big ticket expenses and tax abatements for companies owned by fat cats.  I?m pretty sure everyone north of the Trinity knows better than to trust him.  


And southern voters?  We've been there, done that and own the ill-fitting t-shirt.  There?s no doubt Ed Oakley is a likable man, and he has accomplished some good things.  In person, he can be charismatic and personable.  But, he always knows better than his foolish and unsophisticated constituents.  He likes his Dallas lavish now that he has to impress all his new millionaire friends.  He would like us to smile and pay for the champagne and caviar he ordered when the waiter arrives with the check.  Of course, afterward you?ll have to walk to the car in the dark without security.  After all, the dinner and show were so expensive that there simply isn?t any funding for valet parking, lighting or police.  This is Ed Oakley?s Dallas, where flash is king and glaring fundamental needs are largely ignored.


What goes wrong with some people once they drink the water at City Hall?


I've babbled enough....back to work.

Rene Matus






  Ward politics is the Devil's key to the soul of the city council.  It is how some council members got themselves in trouble in the past.  It is the bait that will get others in trouble in the future. 4/6/8