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11/07/05  Councilmen claim they are not as dumb as they were (or we think they are).

Did you get the Yes! Stronger Dallas flyer?  It has to be the funniest campaign piece I've seen in a long time.  Talk about brass balls!  Carol Reed waived a red flag at two charging bulls who are so mad, they are running in circles and forgot what chute they were in last Spring.  Is this a new "Mad Cow Disease"?

Carol Reed is doing the campaign for the Committee for Responsible Change.  I don't know when she did this flyer, whether it was BEFORE Non-So-Texan Bill Blaydes and FlipFlop ED Oakley did their about face on the stronger mayor charter amendment that they wrote.  Before or after, Ms. Reed listed Bill Blaydes, Elba Garcia and Gary Griffith as council members urging voters to "Join Us & Vote Yes".  Don't know about you, but I laughed out loud when I saw it.  Guess Carol Reed was not impressed with all the hot air that Blaydes has been huffing and puffing for the last several weeks.

I wasn't in to hear it myself, but my husband says we were treated with a recorded phone call from Not-So-Texan Blaydes claiming he was disheartened about Reed's mailer.  That's how those of us who supported Blaydes over Greg Haliday feel these days.  We would have to get cheered up to be disheartened.  Blaydes took us all in.  One very smart lady warned me Blaydes was just a little too casual with his conflict of interest recusals relating to DISD real estate deals when he was on the P&Z.   Cowboy snake - Click image to download.

The word from Lake Highlands these days is that homeowner associations are no longer enamored with Councilman Blaydes.  They say he shows up at community meetings unprepared, with his opinion predetermined.  He doesn't ask for community input; he tells them what he has decided to do, whether they like it or not.

But, about the flyer -- the basic message from Not-So-Texan Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley:

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   "We didn't know what we were saying or writing or doing last April, but now that we've forked over $6.3 million to Ray Hunt, we're a whole lot smarter.  We put some deal killer stuff in the charter amendment because we never wanted it to pass.  Mr. Hunt's people tell us that the polls show Prop. 1 will pass and a whole lot of people are really ticked that we voted to raise your property taxes before we gave our new best friend Ray a $6.3 million tax abatement."

It's pretty simple.  These two guys are not straight shooters. 

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   They have been all over the place this year.  Last Spring, they asked Dallas voters to turn down Blackwood's proposal so they and the rest of the council could put a better charter amendment for a stronger mayor on the ballot this November.  We did what they asked, but they lied to us.  Don't tell me they changed their mind because they have new information in October that they didn't have in April.  They just flat out lied to us.

Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley lied to voters last Spring, and they are lying to us now on the eve of the election.

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   Over the Mayor's objections, they doubled the Mayor's salary from $60 K to $120 K.  Their flyer asks "Is this the time to give a 100% pay increase to the mayor's office, right after they raised our homeowner property taxes?"  It was NST Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley who pushed for the property tax increase.  It was NST Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley who pushed the hardest to give Ray Hunt a $6.3 million tax abatement.

Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley pretend their opposition to Prop 1 is because they don't want Laura Miller to have any more power after she exposed their tax give away to Ray Hunt.  Wrong lyrics for the song they now sing.

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   They made Proposition 1 not effective until June, 2007.  If Laura Miller is not re-elected, she would never have the new powers or new salary.  Yet, the opposition campaign's flyer lists one reason to vote "No" because "Proposition 1 puts Dallas on hold until 2007."  The flyer says "Nothing will get done until after the next city election, which is in May, 2007".  And who's fault is that?  Why that would be NST Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley.

Obviously, they expect Mayor Miller to win again in 2007.  Certainly, neither one of these flipfloppers can beat her.  What a couple of cry babies!  At the Ray Hunt give away, FlipFlop Oakley looked like he had taken a public speaking lesson from Nikita Khrushchev.  I fully expected him to take off his shoe and pound the table with it.

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   They voted to raise our property taxes, but gave a $6.3 million tax abatement to Ray Hunt.  Yet, the opposition's flyer says "... homeowners will continue carrying more than their share of the burden for city services ....  Only by increasing the business tax base can we get relief from high property tax bills."  So, why did NST Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley give a Billionaire a $6.3 million tax abatement?

The entire premise of the opposition's campaign is based on a big, bold lie that was perpetuated by Bob Stimson, Oakley and others last Spring as we asked voters to turn down Blackwood's proposal, so the council could put something better on the ballot for November. 

Dallas voters had every right last Spring to assume the council would not spend $1 million of our tax dollars on an election if they didn't believe they had drafted a good plan to change the way things work at City Hall and strengthen the mayor's powers.  We certainly couldn't have expected them to campaign against their own work product. 

Whether you call it side-stepping or two-stepping, it's not straight-shooting.

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley lied to us last Spring, but they expect us to believe them now?  Neither one of them know what think.  They just respond to whatever sticks to their finger when they stick it up in the air or elsewhere.  They have no core.  They have no integrity.  Can't wait until they turn on each other.  Neither one of them will be willing to walk in the other's shadow. 

I want Proposition 1 to pass because it's a start in the right direction of bringing some order to City Hall.  Things have not been working well for years.  Part of it has been personality driven with outright crooks serving as City Manager while acting as agents for Robber Barons rather than Dallas taxpayers who paid their salaries. 

I opposed Blackwood's proposal for multiple reasons: 

1) It was a coup d'etat by a handful of Park Cities fat cats with Ray Hunt's boy Wick Allison leading the charge.  Allison doesn't even live in Dallas.

2) It did away with Civil Service.

3) It gave the Mayor power to make all board and commission appointments, rather than council members.

4) It was a word-processing product, not a workable solution that had been reviewed by the City Attorney.

Our council, including Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley, wrote Proposition 1 and the City Attorney has reviewed and approved it. 

Cowboy man - Click image to download.   There are several provisions in Proposition 1 I wish were different, but then I didn't write it -- Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley did.

Blackwood's proposal was a radical change from the way City Hall is run.  Proposition 1 is just a step in the right direction to bring some accountability to City Hall.

The Dallas Managed News printed a letter from me, which they edited dramatically.

Letters for Saturday
Status quo isn't working
Re: "It's the Mayor, not Miller," Wednesday Editorials.
   Every Dallas City Council member had a representative on the Coalition for Open Government, which successfully opposed the Blackwood proposal. (I represented Steve Salazar.)
   Former council member Bob Stimson was the coalition's treasurer and knows that over 95 percent of our funding came from civic groups that demanded a positive statement of "turn down Blackwood's proposal, so we can have a better plan to strengthen the mayor's position on the ballot in November."
   For Mr. Stimson to oppose Proposition 1 now is as hypocritical as what Bill Blaydes and Ed Oakley are doing.
   Mr. Blaydes and Mr. Oakley want us to trust them when they say they were only kidding last spring when they drafted the language in Proposition 1 and voted to spend $1 million to put it on Tuesday's ballot. Mr. Oakley is the council member most responsible for the worst provisions in Proposition 1. He intended for it to fail.
   I totally support Proposition 1 for a stronger mayor. It may not be a perfect solution for the chaos at City Hall, but it's a start. The status quo is not working.

Sharon Boyd Wallingford, Dallas

Here's the letter I originally sent:

First time in a long that I completely agree with a DMN editorial. 

As Councilman Salazar's representative, I was a member of the Coalition for Open Government (the group that successfully opposed the Blackwood proposal).  Councilman Salazar told me the group's goal was not anti-strong mayor but anti-Blackwood's proposal. 

The Coalition's entire campaign was "turn down Blackwood, and let the council put a better stronger mayor proposal on the ballot for November".  Over 95% of our campaign funding came from civic groups who demanded that position, and the Coalition approved that position by a hand vote.  We opposed the Blackwood proposal, not to making City Hall more workable by giving the one person elected citywide more power.

Every council member had a representative on the Coalition, including the African-American members who refuse to support Proposition 1 now.

Former Councilman Bob Stimson was the Coalition's Treasurer and chaired every meeting.  For him to oppose Proposition 1 is as hypocritical as what Councilmen Blaydes and Oakley are doing now.

Councilman Ed Oakley was at most Coalition meetings and never objected to the Coalition's consensus position.  Oakley is the council member most responsible for the worst provisions in the current charter amendment to strengthen the mayor's office.  He intended for it to fail.  He has been on a mission of revenge against Mayor Miller since she endorsed his opponent in 2003.  He gives his personal vendetta priority over the good of Dallas.

Bill Blaydes and Ed Oakley have proved themselves to be dishonest by their own recent actions and statements.  These two guys voted to raise your and my property taxes but led the charge to give $6.3 million in tax abatements to a Billionaire.  Now, they want us to trust them when they say they were only kidding last Spring when they drafted the language in Proposition 1 and voted to spend $1 million to put it on the ballot for November 8.  Every council member who voted to put Proposition 1 for a stronger mayor on the November 8 ballot has a duty to support it or at least keep their mouth shut.  Apparently, honor, honesty, integrity and duty are foreign concepts to these two council members publicly opposing Proposition 1 after spending $1 million of our tax dollars.

As the town's top aginner, I totally support Proposition 1 for a stronger mayor.  It may not be a perfect solution for the chaos at City Hall, but it's a start and the status quo is not working.
We need some accountability at City Hall.  The amendment changes will not take effect until after the May, 2007 mayoral/council elections.  That's when you should vote for or against Laura Miller.

That's still my position.  Some differ with my perspective of the Coalition's position.  They are just playing with words and technicalities. 

  Regardless of this little weird dance Blaydes and FlipFlop are down now, last Spring, they asked you to turn down Blackwood's proposal and give the council a chance to put something better before the voters.  60% of Dallas voters took us at our word.  Some opposed strengthening the Mayor's Office at all, but many voters (myself included) voted against Blackwood's proposal -- not against changing things at City Hall.  No one said last Spring that the status quo was working.

We have several council members under FBI scrutiny, and rightfully so.  There's nothing we can do about who the voters in other districts send to city council.  We can only vote on our district representative.  The Mayor is the only citywide elected official at City Hall and should be more than a ribbon cutter.

If you don't want Laura Miller to have more power, then don't vote for her in May, 2007. 

Please don't vote against bringing order to City Hall, because you don't like the current mayor or worry that a former mayor might run again.  City government is not about individual office holders.  It's about running our city effectively. 

  This little song and dance act of Blaydes and FlipFlop Oakley is as phony as their concern for Dallas taxpayers.  They promised you one thing last Spring.  You need to hold them to their promise.  These two urban cowboys are not ready for prime time.






  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