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Don Abbott
Michael Davis
Gehrig SaldaƱa


06/07/07   Mayor's Race is a grab bag of Endorsements and Non-Endorsements.

When Councilman Don Hill endorsed Betty Culbreath in her race against Vonceil Hill to replace Councilman Hill in District 5, I asked if we might be expecting an endorsement of Tom Leppert by Councilman Hill.  Nobody knew.  Yet, Councilman/Mayoral Candidate Ed Oakley has been pretty confident that Don Hill would endorse him.  In a 2 pm press conference at City Hall on Wednesday, Councilman Hill announced his support of Tom Leppert for Mayor.

Hill to endorse Leppert for mayor 
By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, who placed third in the city's May 12 general election, will endorse former construction company executive Tom Leppert for mayor, his former campaign spokesman said in an e-mail.
    The endorsement comes just minutes after Mr. Leppert's mayoral runoff opponent, City Council member Ed Oakley, predicted Mr. Hill would either endorse him or make no endorsement at all.
    "I didn't expect that. It's disappointing," Mr. Oakley said Wednesday afternoon. A formal announcement is scheduled for 2 p.m. Mr. Hill won more than 14 percent of the general election vote and carried several southern sector districts that may be pivotal in the June 16 runoff.
      Meanwhile Wednesday afternoon, Dallas Mayor Laura Miller said she will remain neutral in the mayoral runoff and not endorse a successor. Likewise, Ms. Miller will not endorse any of the several candidates involved in council district runoffs, she said.
     "Been there, done that," she said.
This is a huge endorsement because Ed Oakley must have a huge majority of the Southern Sector vote if he is to be successful in the runoff election.  Without Don Hill's support or at least a non-endorsement of either candidate in the runoff, Ed Oakley's chances are substantially reduced.  Ed's polling must not be going well at all because there is no other explanation for the viciously negative campaign he continues to run after being uniformly criticized by most of the local media for the tone of his campaign.      6/11 Gehrig M. Salda?:
Impressive, best describes Tom Leppert's ability to steer his campaign in a dignified issue-driven manner staying clear of Ed Oakley's missteps of false endorsements, misrepresented attack ads and a shameful willingness to take advantage of his opponent's facial disabilities.
   Outrageous, best describes Ed Oakley's admission to a local media representative indicating he did not provide oversight of the mean-spirited attack ad. This is not a trait citizens would appreciate in their next mayor. Dallas' citizens deserve much better.

UPDATE:  Now, Ed is accusing his former friend and colleague of asking for $750,000 to endorse him.  Really low!

Leppert gets Hill's support ; Dallas: Oakley says he's surprised by decision from council colleague
Thursday, June 7, 2007 By DAVE LEVINTHAL / The Dallas Morning News
Gromer Jeffers Jr. contributed to this report.

... Unexpected move

    The news effectively shocked Mr. Leppert's runoff opponent, District 3 City Council member Ed Oakley, who as late as Wednesday afternoon predicted that Mr. Hill would endorse him or remain neutral.
   "When we talked today, I said, 'Don, I just don't understand. This doesn't make any sense to me,' " Mr. Oakley said. "Don and I think alike on almost 95 percent of what we vote on in the city."
But Mr. Oakley also said members of Mr. Hill's former mayoral campaign approached him last month and explained that they wanted three installments of $250,000 each to join Mr. Oakley's campaign and help him coordinate his southern-sector get-out-the-vote effort.
   "That is what was offered up, and I rejected this. I said there was absolutely no way I could do this," Mr. Oakley said, explaining that Mr. Hill's representatives, whom he did not list by name, implied that Mr. Hill's endorsement would follow the payments.

   Mr. Oakley said he never discussed this matter directly with Mr. Hill, and Mr. Hill could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening. Leppert campaign consultant Carol Reed said neither Mr. Hill nor any of his representatives have any financial arrangement with the Leppert campaign.
    "Not only was an offer not made, but it would not be accepted," Ms. Reed said.
    Mr. Oakley's campaign has been receiving support from some of his vanquished opponents. He's got County Commissioner John Wiley Price, formerly a supporter of Max Wells, coaxing southern-sector voters through campaign mailers and commercials on black format radio stations.
    Mr. Oakley and Mr. Hill have served together on the City Council for nearly six years, and the two men often ganged up on Mr. Leppert during the general election in touting the council's record of innovation and performance. Moreover, both men's political philosophies track left, and they identify as Democrats, while Mr. Leppert is a Republican who espouses relatively conservative ideals.
Although the mayoral race is nonpartisan, Mr. Oakley has earned the endorsement of the Dallas County Democratic Party and is blanketing southern-sector neighborhoods with a door-hanger-style advertisement featuring an unflattering picture of Mr. Leppert's face floating over the text, "Vote against REPUBLICAN Tom Leppert."
It then asks, "What do you really know about REPUBLICAN TOM LEPPERT?" and goes on to list several of Mr. Leppert's purported misdeeds, including joining the "ALL white Dallas Country Club ? the last segregated club in Dallas. No African Americans allowed. How is he going to represent us?"

On Wednesday, Michael Davis furnished a copy of a campaign door-hanger that is being distributed in the Southern Sector.  See Michael Davis:  More Oakley Negative Campaigning.   It's hard to imagine how much worse the Oakley campaign can get, but we still have 9 more days before election day.  I guess the sky's the limit.  Michael says "John Wiley Price is doing radio ads on black stations in which he basically reads all of the mis-information off of the door-hanger.  By the way, Oakley is paying any and all $10/hr to put these flyers out.  That's unheard of!"     6/7 James Northrup:
Oakley smear flyer.
   Cannot believe he'd put his name on this desperate bit of nonsense.     Ed's  becoming an embarrassment to everyone = gays, Democrats, himself. 

The Hill/Leppert endorsement must have sent someone in the Oakley campaign off the deep end because there suddenly was a flurry of news releases and an Oakley campaign press conference event for 6 pm on Wednesday.  To offset the Hill endorsement, the Oakley campaign sent out a news release claiming an endorsement from former Councilman John Loza and the Mendrano family.



Former Dallas city councilman John Loza joins Ricardo Medrano, the Medrano family and District 2 leadership to endorse Ed Oakley at Press Conference 

John Loza, Medrano Family, District 2 leadership Press Conference

Wed. June 6. 6:00 pm.

Pikes Park (Little Mexico)
2851 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, Texas

Appearing with former city councilmen John Loza and Ricardo Medrano, are the rest of the Medrano family, Judge Joseph Ashmore, and District 2 (Little Mexico) Hispanic leadership including Ray Quintilla, Michael Montoya, Maria Diaz (former GDHCC chairman), Josie Orosco (US Mexico Chamber) and others. 

For more info contact: 

Maria Cordoneda
Accurate Strategies, Inc.
214.564.4888  cell

There was a bit of a problem with the press release.  It seems former Councilman Ricardo Medrano is not endorsing Ed Oakley or anyone else in the mayoral runoff election.   Ricardo advised the Leppert campaign that he doesn't know of any Medrano family members who are endorsing Oakley or Leppert in the runoff election, and did not expect his sister, Councilwoman Pauline Medrano to endorse either.

I have never heard of Maria Cordoneda, but it might be a good idea that she not quit her day job, because she sucks as a public relations babe. 

Ray "Quintilla" is Ray Quintanilla, former Treasurer of John Loza's campaigns.  Ray is a great guy who owns a furniture store on Maple Ave. and some stores at DFW, at least he did.   Pretty bad job of a press release when you can't even spell the name of one of your principal endorsers.  So much for "Accurate Strategies".

I'm told Maria Diaz never chaired the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Here's Ricardo Medrano's response to the Oakley campaign's deceptive press release:

With the TV ad running and the other misrepresentations coming from Ed Oakley's campaign, it should be giving some of his supporters pause for thought.  This is the dirtiest mayoral campaign I have ever seen in Dallas.  In the WFAA debate, Gromer Jeffers asked Ed Oakley his campaign going negative.  Gromer said they had discussed the issue right after Ed won the second place spot for a runoff election.  Gromer said Ed got emotional and promised that he would not go negative because he had learned his lesson from when he ran against Craig McDaniel for city council in the 90's.  Gromer said "those must have been crocodile tears."   Ed didn't have much of a response.

are three Gromer Jeffries entries on the DMN blog from Wednesday regarding the endorsements, and non-endorsements:


Don Hill and Tom Leppert

Don Hill's endorsement of Tom Leppert gives the largely unknown CEO a boost in the south. But it's not like he needed one. Leppert, with the help of radio talk show host Willis Johnson, performed well with southern sector voters on May 12. He finished behind Don Hill in numerous precincts and generally never dipped below third.

Ed Oakley can't be happy about Hill's decision. He spent most of the first round telling southern sector voters that he or Hill should be their choice. Hill left Oakley hanging. And his decision says a lot about how fellow council members view each other.

Every sitting council member who ran for mayor has endorsed Mr. Leppert.

Posted by Gromer Jeffers Jr.  at 3:11 PM

More mayoral moves

Later today former council member John Loza and the Medrano family with throw their support to Ed Oakley. The news release does not say if the Medrano family endorsement includes Pauline, a current council member.

Also, District 13 council member Mitchell Rasansky is supporting Tom Leppert.

Posted by Gromer Jeffers Jr.  at 5:03 PM

Re: Mayoral support

Just got a signed note from Ricardo Medrano that states he's not supporting Ed Oakley. A news release from the Oakley campaign states that Ricardo and his family would be at Pikes Park today to endorse Mr. Oakley. Mr. Medrano says he's not endorsing any candidate for mayor.

Posted by Gromer Jeffers Jr.  at 5:35 PM

This Medrano Family misinformation is beyond troubling.  It is pathological.  Did the Oakley campaign think they would embarrass Ricardo and his family into going along with their power play?  Ricardo is a sweetheart, but he's no push over.  He's Pancho Medrano's son.  Had he planned to endorse either candidate, Ricardo would have done so.  I don't know if he had a direct conversation with Ed Oakley or someone in the Oakley campaign advising them he would not endorse Ed or Tom.  I do know Ricardo told Tom Leppert specifically BEFORE the Oakley campaign's press release that he was not endorsing in the mayoral runoff and did not expect his sister, Councilwoman Pauline Medrano, to endorse either.  I am absolutely certain that no one in the Oakley campaign had a direct conversation with Ricardo Medrano before sending out their press release.

Look at Ricardo's note again.

It could not be clearer. 

All of the Oakley campaign's negativism and this outright lie about the Medrano family endorsement smells of extreme D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-I-O-N.  Their polling numbers must be pretty bad.

Lord knows how much money Ed Oakley is spending.  No matter what station I have on my TV, his ad with the "blinking Tom" runs several times.  What happened to those two nice TV ads?  You know the one about bad apartments and the one about Ed cutting property taxes?  Those were very positive ads that gave you a reason to support Ed Oakley.  Nothing else he has done in this campaign has been about Ed's qualifications or plans if elected.  It's all been about destroying Tom Leppert.  It's not working!

Don Hill's endorsement will matter in District 5 and 7 and 8.  He carried most precincts in those districts.  Dwaine Caraway won his seat in District 4 with a 60%+ margin, and he's backing Tom Leppert.  Tom Leppert did surprisingly well in Southeast Dallas precincts.  Two precincts that the DMN map colored for Oakley 3324 and 3328, both Oakley and Leppert got the same amount of votes.  In most of the precincts colored as Ed's, Tom was within 1 or 2 votes of Ed.  In the Southeast Dallas precincts colored for Tom, Ed was within 1 or 2 votes of Tom, except for 3334 and 3335 where there was a much larger margin of difference.  Tom took a couple of precincts in Southwest Dallas where Ed should have cleaned up.  When you look at Tom's margins of victory in North Dallas precincts, like 1119 (TL/164, EO/25) and 1118 (TL/152, EO/64), compared to Ed's margins of victory in North Dallas precincts, like 1105 (EO/94, TL/86) and 1107 (EO/63, TL/61) -- Ed can't be happy. 

Bill Blaydes was supposed to be helping Ed in Lake Highlands.  Ha! Ha!  The DMN map colored 2 precincts for Ed:  2200 (EO/12, TL/12) and 2203 (EO/60, TL/45).  In one White Rock Lake precinct, 2217, the vote was Griffith/147, Leppert/123 and Oakley/69.  Since Gary Griffith is endorsing Tom Leppert, most of those mean old Republicans will likely vote for Tom Leppert.

No one can read numbers better than Ed Oakley.  Just the small sampling I picked out send a pretty chilling message to Ed's campaign.

Of course, it's all about turnout.  Interestingly, the early vote for the runoff is higher for the same days in the general election's early voting.  I don't think those people are rushing to the polls to vote because they were inspired by Ed's negative campaign tricks.  I could be wrong, but I don't think so. is endorsing the following in the mayoral and council runoffs:

Mayor - Tom Leppert for a positive change at City Hall.

District 3 - Dave Neumann for his energy and integrity and track record of community service.

District 5 - Betty Culbreath for her experience and plain speaking.

District 7 - Rev. Don Parrish for his high character and community service.

District 8 - Tennell Atkins for his business experience.

We really have a chance of a better council.  Get yourself to the polls on or before June 16th.  We don't want to wake up on June 17th surprised that a negative and dishonest campaign prevailed.






  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