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Gehrig SaldaƱa
Stan Aten

                             

10/29/07  It's going - but it's going very slow.

Some people are voting early, but most people are not.  That's good news for the Trinity Vote Yes! crowd, because they have committed voters who signed petitions.  It's really bad news for the Vote No! gang.

Stan Aten went to vote on Sunday and had this to say:

What if they held an election and nobody came?  I just got back from voting at the Subcourthouse in Oak Cliff.   I have seen livelier cemeteries.  I was the only voter for the 9 clerks to help.   I don't think they had 100 voters all day.   Not a good sign if the NO is looking for a big turnout on election day.  It could be less than the usual 5%.  Stan Aten

There was no "Super Sunday" effort in South Dallas, as there has been in past elections.  The Vote No! gang is spreading around lots of money to get out the vote in South Dallas, but apparently the $$ are not making much of an impact.  The "Black leadership" is split over this election. 

This past mayoral/city council election really splintered what had seemingly been a unified, if not monolithic, Black voter block.  In the past, Our Downtown Betters (the ODB) bought a handful of power brokers and/or preachers (in some cases, one and the same), and the Southern Sector vote went one way.  Several former lieutenants of the power brokers have decided to step out of the shadows for their direct link to the ODB $$ to be had.  So, you have competing cliques offering their services and promises of success.  Only problem, none of the cliques have enough of a following to matter much at the polls.    
10/30 Darryl Baker:
  
The lesser of two evils still leaves us with evil. 
   I totally agree with your admonition to Mayor Leppert that he nor Ed got enough votes to represent a "majority" of Dallas.
   The mayor has a lot at stake with this referendum, and Dave Neumann has placed himself in a very dangerous trap by trying to hold a one-sided debate in a City-owned facility.

  
We could not create fiction any more bizarre than this! 
   Stay tuned!
 
 

I'm telling you, things are different in South Dallas these days.  For one thing, Black voters live all over this city now.  Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove and other areas of the Southern Sector have large Hispanic populations, many of whom are voters -- not very regular voters, but voters.  It will be tough for the next redistricting commission to carve out 4 "safe" Black council districts because of the dilution in their population and the increase in the Hispanic population.

It will be hard to keep District 2 a "safe" Hispanic district because of all the new upscale housing in the Uptown/Oak Lawn area.  The thousands of new people occupying those new apartments and condos are mostly White.

With all the people moving into Oak Lawn, Uptown, East Dallas and Downtown, South Dallas is not experiencing that growth.  I'm talking about the Fair Park area - not the entire Southern Sector.  Council districts have to factor population -- not voters.  The commission can do lots of tweaking and dissecting, but they still have to find people.  The current district lines are horrible and do not represent one-man/one-vote.  The far North Dallas districts have thousands more residents and voters than poor little District 6 (NW Dallas, West Dallas, Arcadia Park and parts of Oak Cliff).  The North Dallas districts are fairly compact geographically.  The Southern Sector districts run like ribbons East to West.

Joe May and Mad Maxine Aaronson dominated the last redistricting commission.  Their devil work left the city chopped up and voters disenfranchised and disinterested. 

So, here we are.  We have a huge election in progress, and likely only 10% or less of eligible voters will bother to participate. 

You know what?  I think it's OK that uninformed and apathetic voters aren't bothering to show up at the polls.  Not just OK, I think it's preferable.  If you don't know or don't care to find out about the issues, you should stay home.

We know our Trinity Vote Yes! people are going to the polls.  We are fired up.  We circulated and signed petitions.  We have been working hard since to educate Dallas voters about what is at stake if we build a honking toll road in the Trinity River Floodway.

You know what else?  People who have been paying attention understand our message and they agree with us.  They are the ones who are straggling to the early voting polling places.  They are the ones who will be voting on November 6th.

All the expensive mailers that the Vote No! have done have been big, flat duds! Saying nothing!  Even after I pointed out how few votes Mayor Leppert and all the council members put together (
Sharon Boyd: Trinity's Vote yes group anything but small:  More people signed Trinity Vote Petitions than voted for you, Mr. Mayor., Dallas Morning News Viewpoint, 10/16/07), the Vote No! gang sent out flyers to every district with Mayor Leppert on one side and the respective council member on the other.  In Angela Hunt's District 14, they sent out flyers with Princess Velveeta Lill pictured where Councilwoman Hunt should have been.  Princess Velveeta never was as popular as Angela Hunt, and never really had an opponent in any of her races.

This is no time for the Trinity Vote Yes! crowd to get complacent, but there must be panic over on the Vote No! side.  That's why they are having one-sided debates in city owned facilities this next week.  Jim Schutze says the Vote No! gang do well in front of Chamber of Commerce zombies, but we know they bomb in front of actual Dallas voters.  One-sided debates are really desperate moves that indicate high anxiety in Mayor Leppert's gang!

I am personally very disappointed in both Dave Neumann for sponsoring the Park in the Woods Rec Center's one-way debate and in Mitchell Rasansky for abandoning his role as the taxpayer's watch dog on the city council.  It was just last year that Councilman Rasansky circulated a mailer in his district about the waste involved with the Trinity Project and detailing how much of the city's budget was being diverted to Trinity Project related items.  Councilman Rasansky has never explained to former allies what new information he has that made him take such a reverse position.  His dramatic about face has caused obvious speculation from former supporters and opponents alike.

Councilman Neumann has put himself in a no win situation with his one-sided debate at the Park in The Woods Rec Center, 6801 Mountain Creek Parkway (Monday, 10/29, 7-9 p.m.).  Hopefully, several people will be there to protest his inappropriate use of public property for a campaign rally.  If unchallenged, Neumann's actions will set a dangerous precedent for future political campaigns in Dallas.  We can expect incumbents to hold "townhall meetings" in rec centers during future council elections with city staff conducting power point presentations lauding the incumbent's accomplishments (true or fictitious), while challengers are excluded from the campaign event.  An outgoing incumbent can handpick successors and make city owned facilities and city staff available to their anointed, making it impossible for other candidates to compete.

Mayor Leppert doesn't seem to understand we did not elect him Emperor.  He spent a lot of ODB money to get elected and he won with a substantial margin of victory, but neither Tom Leppert or Ed Oakley got all that many votes.  The Mayor's arrogance is not based on true city wide popularity.

The low voter turnout in this early voting phase is pretty indicative of just how small Mayor Leppert's personal following is among Dallas citizens.  He might want to start practicing a bit of humility, rather than continuing to bully council members into submission and assimilation.

sb
 

                                        

    





                            

 

  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