What? a Riot?
Gehrig & Gwinn
majority of the council condones corruption.
What a sad day this has been for Dallas! I
don't want to hear that Mayor Miller should not have pushed for D'Angelo Lee's
removal from the Plan Commission, that she should have waited. That's just
There was no reason for the council to have delayed this decision for three
weeks. However, Bill Blaydes did partially redeem himself by filing a
complaint with the City Ethics Commission.
When a parent learns an adolescent is doing drugs, should the parent ignore the
situation just because the kid refuses to talk about it and there's been no
trial? What about a parent who learns someone in the neighborhood is
selling drugs to an adolescent, should the parent ignore the drug trafficking?
D'Angelo Lee took a $5000 consulting fee and then voted on a related zoning
case. There is no dispute about this. Dr. Beverly Mitchell-Brooks (a
beautiful African-American woman) confirmed paying Lee the fee and added that
Lee wanted her to put him on a $5,000 monthly retainer to get her organization
(Dallas Urban League) more service centers in several subsidized apartment
complexes. She would have had no way to know in advance that Lee would
vote on the case related to his consulting fee.
Now, that there is an
opening on the Plan Commission, I want on.
I want a Beemer, a free office in
City Hall, and a 'ho for a wife like other Commissioners.
When Fantjoy and Maxine Thornton
Expressway are termed out, I want one of their
safe Black seats.
I want to play the race card 12 ways
to Sunday. I want some of that funky Council stuff !
Short of FBI, INS and IRS
intervention, how does one clean up City Hall ? Complete overhaul of Charter
would be a good place to start.
also help if Council would not rubber stamp zoning changes in a
At worst, that would put more BMW's
in the City Hall garage.
Mayor Miller told the council today: "The public does not want to think
that you are voting a certain way because you are getting a $5,000 consulting
fee or luxury cars to drive." She's right!
Some Black man named MT called Mark Davis Wednesday morning about all this.
I suspect Davis expected MT to go all racial on him, calling the FBI
investigation and Mayor Miller's efforts to remove Lee a conspiracy against
African-American leaders like Joyce Foreman claimed in her statements to the
council. I sure expected MT to go that direction. I thought wrong!
The guy went off on the drug dealing and prostitution in District 8.
He had a litany of complaints about the lack of leadership from the
African-American elected officials.
Just like I said in
Political Mafia, these 4 African-Americans on the council and D'Angelo Lee are not typical of the African-American community in Dallas.
They are aberants.
I can't lump James Fantroy in with Hill, Brain-Dead T-Reese and Shakedown
Chaney. Councilman Fantroy is a very sick man who did all of us a huge
favor by fighting off Al Lipscomb. That might be a major
rationalization, but that's just the way it's going to be.
8/17 Ralph Goin:
I never would have expected to hear a public official make a
statement like James Fontroy did Tuesday: "They're
going to make the L.A. riots look like a picnic".
Does he really think Mayor Miller can
say "Jump" to the FBI and they will say "How Far"? At
the least, it's irresponsible, and at most, borders
on inciting a riot!
throws out the race card. Does he forget Paul Fielding? When there is a
possibility of corruption, it has nothing to do with the color of your skin.
It's directly related to what you do.
Many citizens of diverse backgrounds
are sick and tired of race being consistently used as
weapon against being criticized. That worked years ago, but it
Most of us judge others for what they
do, not for what they look like. Continued rhetoric like
Fantroy's keeps us divided.
If I was in his district, this would
be the last straw. I would want him to take a leave of absence until this
investigation runs its course. If he doesn't, how about a recall. Can't
his district come up with a better candidate?
If Al Lipscomb or James Fantroy were to seriously
call for rioting in the streets, what we would have would be a bunch of aging
activists with gray hair and walkers taking to the street. The majority of
Dallas citizens, regardless of ethnicity, would not tolerate any violence or
destruction. It would be like throwing a party and nobody showing up.
Blacks skeptical, but riot threat is silly
10:49 PM CDT on Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Just one more idle political threat ? or
promise, depending on which side of the fence you're on ? that didn't come
That's why the assistant restaurant
manager isn't going to sit around and wait for the big riot that Dallas City
Council member James Fantroy alluded to Tuesday.
... George Bridges, a patron at the diner where
Ms. Chandler works, said he never took Mr. Fantroy's riot remark seriously.
... "If they try to tear down what it took decades
to establish, that could be a problem."
... Most folks said they just know the basics: The
FBI is investigating low-income, tax-credit housing projects in Dallas.
... This much is clear. Mr. Fantroy is right about
the high level of skepticism in the black community. It's real.
But he's wrong about folks being so
worked up about the FBI inquiry that they are, in his words, "going to make
the Los Angeles riots look like a picnic."
... "Oh, there won't be no riots," said Linda, a
62-year-old woman at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center who didn't
want her last name used. "If there were no riots in Dallas when we were
coming up, there won't be any now."
... It hardly sounds like we need riot gear.
Is it just me, or has anyone heard anything from
County Commissioner John Wiley Price?
As I scanned the local media webs, there was a story about protestors in South
Dallas trying to rid their area of prostitutes.
Protesters urge prostitution crackdown
08:27 PM CDT on Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Dallas residents gathered Wednesday morning to call for a crackdown on
prostitution in the area.
The protestors' specific target is
the Interstate Motel at Overton Road and Interstate 35E, which they say is a
haven for prostitution. It is located near two DISD buildings, South Oak
Cliff High and the Nolan Estes Plaza.
... "We're gonna shut down this motel, OK? (We
want to) keep it away from schools and the community," said protester Dwaine
Caraway, a local activist and former City Council candidate.
The motel's special-use permit comes
up for renewal before the City Planning Commission on November 10, and they
don't want it to be renewed.
"This motel and other hot-sheet
motels ... get rid of 'em," Caraway said.
Dallas ISD officials told News 8 the
district sides with the homeowners, and wants the motel to close.
Representatives of the Highlands and
Cedar Crest Village neighborhood associations said the kind of customers the
motel attracts puts children at risk. However, the
owner of the Interstate Motel, who declined an on-camera interview, denies
there's a crime problem.
... Caraway likened the motel to
sexually-oriented businesses that have been shut down in other parts of the
city; he said the same should happen in this case.
... Caraway said his group plans frequent protests
in front of the motel until the Nov. 10 meeting.
See, these are regular people trying to do something
FOR their community -- rather than trying to figure out how to enrich
themselves. Regular people who don't want prostitutes in their
Former Chair of the City Plan Commission, Betty Culbreath spoke out today on the
Mayor's behalf. She said the African-American community deserves honest
officials, and those who violate their fiduciary responsibilities should be
removed from office.
The problem is we see the same people at the podium pretending to speak for the
African-American community, when they only represent a political mafia.
Joyce Foreman criticized Mayor Miller for going after African-American elected
officials. Ms. Foreman, why haven't you made some effort to clean house at
City Hall? Ms. Foreman, why do you think the African-American community
should only be represented by crooks and grifters? Ms. Foreman, why do you
defend a man who another African-American woman has confirmed took a $5,000
consulting fee on a P&Z case and then voted on the case?
Split council delays Lee's removal vote;
allege bias in FBI probe; Miller cites corruption, not racism
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
... "Today was our chance ... to assure the public
we do not put up with corruption," Ms. Miller said after the meeting. "The
majority of the council did not send that message today."
... Since Friday, Ms. Miller has argued that Mr.
Lee should either resign or be removed from the City Plan Commission ? not
because of the FBI investigation alone, but because of allegations that have
surfaced against him in the last two months. She said these include voting
on zoning cases in which he was being paid as a consultant for one of the
parties, and not reporting a vehicle that was "given as a gift." As of June
20, Mr. Lee also owed the government nearly $20,000 in personal income
taxes, according to a notice of a federal tax lien filed by the IRS.
... "Even if there was no FBI investigation, we
would have this vote, because we have standards of behavior at City Hall,"
... "We're not voting here to convict him of a
crime. We're not voting to give him a fine," Ms. Miller said. "We're voting
to say simply that this man no longer has the public trust and shouldn't
serve anymore in a position of public trust."
... Council member Steve
Salazar said he wondered why, if Mr. Lee's infractions are so serious, no
one has filed a complaint.
"If none of us have initiated a
complaint, it just means it hasn't risen to that level. Where's the fire?
Show it to me, and I can move on with it," he said.
"If a tree
falls in the woods and no one heard it, did the tree not fall?" Ms. Miller
fired back. "Because your vote today will say loud and clear that it's OK
that that happened. And it's not."
... Council member Angela Hunt, who also
supported the mayor's motion to remove Mr. Lee, said the City Council has an
obligation to uphold the ethics code and "keep our own house in order."
Council member Ed Oakley made the
successful motion to delay the vote for three weeks, saying he wanted to see
if Mr. Lee reapplies for the post or if anyone files an ethics complaint.
... Ms. Miller called Wednesday's discussion
"the most telling conversation that I have been involved with in my seven
years on the City Council," and said she wished she was still a journalist
so she could watch "the embarrassment that's being played out among the 15
"You are what you vote," Ms. Miller
said. "You either condone this behavior or you don't."
Well, someone has filed an
ethics complaint. After the contentious hearing where he flip flopped and
voted against Mayor Miller, Councilman Bill Blaydes filed a complaint with the
Ethics Commission. See
effort to remove plan commissioner fails for now, reveals
Thursday, Jesse Diaz will also file a complaint with the Ethics Commission:
LULAC Council 4496
Jesse Diaz, President 8127 Bruton Road,
381-7777 Cellular: (214) 228-6778 Fax: (214) 381-9897 Email:
August 17, 2005
Filing of ethic?s complaint against Dallas City Plan Commissioner D?Angelo
Lee by Jesse Diaz, President of Dallas LULAC Council 4496.
public release of this press release, Jesse Diaz, President of Dallas LULAC
Council 4496 will file an ethic?s complaint against Dallas City Plan
Commissioner D?Angelo Lee to the City of Dallas Ethic?s Commission at Dallas
City Hall, Friday, August 18, 2005 at 10:00am.
be reached for comment at 214-228-6778.
Jesse Diaz, President
Dallas LULAC Council 4496
There were some heroes at City
Hall today. Angela Hunt spoke out and stood strong when she said: "the
City Council has an obligation to uphold the ethics code and keep our own house
in order." Very
encouraging that she would stand up.
We got to see Laura Miller at Wednesday's briefing. Firm, controlled and
righteous! No making nice, no backing down! She didn't lose!
She stood up against wrong doing. Unfortunately, NINE council members did
not stand with her.
We need to remember the good guys: Councilman Mitch Rasansky, Councilwoman
Angela Hunt, Councilwoman Linda Koop, Councilman Ron Natinsky and Councilman
Tuesday, she was on with Mark Davis. He asked her why not call for Hill's
resignation, too. She said "he's an elected official". She has been
careful not to criticize Don Hill, who deserves a big kick in the rear for being
criminally stupid. Councilman Hill has not been reticent about criticizing
Mayor Miller. He kept bringing up campaign contributions she has gotten
from Potashnik (one of the developers targeted by the FBI along with Hill and
Fantroy). They were campaign contributions, duly reported on her
financial reports. Mr. Hill doesn't understand that much of his problems
would not exist if he just reported all of his "assistance" received as campaign
contributions or taxable income on his IRS returns -- like the use of a BMW.
One very smart man about town pointed out to me that conflict of interest can be
very one-sided. He said there doesn't seem to be any illegality about
working for one developer and voting against his competitors on other zoning
This just gets messier and messier. We need to completely change the way
the P&Z operates. Let's split it into 3 panels of 5 like the Board of
Adjustment, and make it quasi-judicial so that no one can lobby any
commissioners. Let's do away with all those P&Z subcommittees and get it
back to a one-day per week commitment. If the panel is split like the BOA,
then each commissioner would only be at City Hall one day per month. That
would make service on the P&Z more attractive to people with REAL jobs who
aren't looking at it as an income opportunity.
To have D'Angelo Lee sitting on the P&Z for three more weeks is wrong.
Everyone who helped make that happen should be ashamed of themselves.
Those who voted against the Mayor have made it clear they do not respect their
positions, they do not respect their fiduciary responsibilities and they do not
respect the citizens of Dallas. The only good news is that Hill, T-Reese
and Shakedown Chaney are termed out. No matter what, they ride off in the
sunset in 2007. Unfortunately, they have proven they can do a lot of harm
in 22 months.
One last item, some of the same people who went against Mayor Miller's efforts
to remove D'Angelo Lee from the Plan Commission also thwarted her efforts to get
control of the South Dallas Slush Fund, which has been mismanaged and ill-used
for too long.
If Mayor Miller does nothing more than keep the light on the cockroaches
scurrying around at City Hall, then she will have done what we elected her to
do. It is ludicrous for Councilman Hill to try to turn his problems around
by blaming his own stupidity on Mayor Miller.
The lame explanations he has made about the BMW he drives are just flat out
embarrassing. For a lawyer to not have his car properly registered is
really puzzling. If the car isn't registered to him, who pays the car
insurance on it? Is Councilman Hill driving an uninsured vehicle around
There is so much that needs to be done at City Hall. Unfortunately, the
city's business will likely take a back seat to all the shady business that is
being exposed on a daily basis.
Removing Lee would have been a big step in the right direction toward restoring
citizens' faith in the integrity of our elected officials. Unfortunately,
the votes made today say that NINE council members condone Lee's unethical
behavior on the Plan Commission.