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04/26/04  Was Laura Miller ever Sincere?

When Our Mayor began her morph from muckraking journalist to city politician, she joined Donna Blumer, Dave Capps and me in our 1995 war against former Mayor Ron Kirk (Con Jerk), Tommy Hicks and Ross Perot, Jr. 

The 1995 Laura Miller had all the numbers.  She was a great spokesperson for us when she finally got involved. 

When we organized "It's a Bad Deal!!", no celebrities were interested in standing out front of our rag tag group, except former Councilwoman Donna Blumer.  As we got further along and our yard signs started popping up all over town in people's yards (not city parks like Kirk's signs), Laura Miller came on board, but not before it looked like we had a chance to win.      James Northrup:
  
The state law prohibiting the use of sales tax to finance sports stadiums in parks is there for a good reason - there's not much economic incentive to build such a facility if it does not trigger private development in the immediate vicinity. Fair Park is no exception. Dallas can ill afford to add "most expensive hotel / rental car tax" to its other dubious distinctions.
 

We were certainly glad to have her.

We came so close to stopping the arena sales tax travesty.  We spent just under $100,000, and Kirk's gang spent almost $4 Million.  We had no professional political consultants, and Kirk's gang had Carol Reed (Kirk's Large White Shadow) and Rob Allyn (Miller's Chief Guru) and Kathy Neely's gang of vote harvesting thugs.  We appealed to real voters and had over 400 people phone-banking from their homes, and Kirk's gang relied on Kathy Neely to harvest just enough mail-in ballots to squeak by with less than a 51% margin of victory.

For this stadium sales tax fight, we have all the same folks against it, except for Laura Miller.  Kirk's old gang is still in tact, except Ron Kirk will be replaced by Laura Miller.

I've had a year to adjust to the reality of the real Laura Miller vs. the person we thought we were electing.  Actually, I've had 2 years, but I made excuses for what she did to the police and firefighters after they had worked so hard in her first campaign.     Anonymous Observer:
  
Some folks had the Mayor figured out as a matter of first impression.  
  
It's quite simple
      I
t's all about Laura.
           It a
lways was.
 

Not only did the cops and firefighters work hard individually, several of their wives phone-banked for Miller's campaign.  They built and delivered yard signs.  They gave her large campaign contributions.  They let her use their names.  She signed the petition to get their 17% raise on a referendum ballot in May, and then immediately started campaigning against it when she was elected Mayor.

It would have been bad enough had she just said "I have new information, and I cannot support a 17% raise."  That would not have been true, because she had been on the council for two terms and knew the state of the city's financial woes as well as anyone.  It wasn't enough for Our Mayor to turn her back on some of her hardest working volunteers.  She was the primary spokesperson for the campaign to defeat the 17%.  She lied in that campaign, as well.  She told voters if they turned down the 17% raise, the officers would get 3 annual 5% raises.  She knew the 2002 council could not bind future councils to that promise.  Both of the first two installments of the 5% raises were delayed by months.  We are already hearing rumblings about this year's budget problems.    
Citizen D:
  
If you step up to the plate FIRST and admit you were wrong, it's harder for others to criticize you too harshly.
   In a sense, you are right (as usual).  In this case, you are way TOO HARD on yourself.  I am no friend of Laura MillerEven I cannot believe she could lose her mind to
this extent!
  Recent events at City Hall completely defy logic or probability.
  You have been consistently fair and TRUTHFUL.  Most other credible websites and media outlets do not come close your level of fairness and objectivity you show in every edition of your newsletter.  You  print opposing views.
  I cannot think of another  information source (and I read and listen to a lot of them) that goes to the tedious lengths you do to be balanced, honest and fair.
   Laura Miller is lucky your  DallasArena.com was not around when she was a journalist because she would have NEVER been able to get a job here!
   You are doing just great!
 

What she did to the police and firefighters was really awful, but they are nameless working stiffs to her who should be grateful to have a job and happy to put themselves between us and the bad guys. 

There were individuals who worked hard for her in that first mayoral campaign, too.  Almost none of them are part of her current inner circle.  About the only people she has kept close are her Park Cities benefactors. 

She has now turned on one of her biggest supporters, Dave Capps.  There's no point in itemizing how much Dave did for her in both campaigns, but Laura Miller knows.  She knew what the police and firefighters did for her, but look what she did to them.

A few weeks ago, I asked one of the original "Bad Dealers" if he thought Laura would support a sales tax on car rentals for the Jones stadium sales tax.  He said "
Laura will vote for it in some form."  He was very prophetic because look what the Mayor is saying now:

Rental tax illegal for Cowboys stadium site; County officials: Law may also forbid use of hotel levy at Fair Park
11:12 AM CDT on We, 4/21/04 By DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News
   Dallas County officials think the proposed tax revenue that would help pay for a new Cowboys stadium would not be available if the facility is built in Fair Park, potentially delaying the project and requiring changes in state law, officials said. ...  a little-known portion of state law that forbids using rental-car taxes to finance a sports venue that is part of a city park and recreation system.
...  Dallas' Fair Park has emerged as the favorite site for a new $650 million stadium, according to public officials who met with team representatives. But Fair Park, the city's second-oldest park, is part of the park and recreation network and is administered by the Dallas Park Board.
... Stadium opponents have seized the issue as an impediment to tax financing for a professional sports stadium.
   "It looks like it would be a very big obstacle," said Pat Cotton, a Dallas political consultant working with the group No Jones Tax.
... The team and Dallas County could press forward with a referendum, and if voters approve the new taxes, ask the Texas Legislature to validate the election. ...  1991, when lawmakers passed legislation authorizing a half-cent sales tax for construction of The Ballpark in Arlington, which voters had already approved.
...  The team also could ask lawmakers for special legislation that would allow Dallas County to levy hotel and rental-car taxes for projects at Fair Park. ... could mean delaying the referendum beyond Nov. 2, ....
   Dallas County Commissioner Jim Jackson, ...  did not think lawmakers would fit more stadium bills into a special session that is tackling the controversial subject of school finance.
... Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, who has championed Fair Park as a site for a stadium, said she thought the team could clear the hurdle by approaching lawmakers during the session.
   "If the Cowboys are serious about getting this on the November ballot, they'd have to go to the Legislature," she said.

... The legal problems appear to be most obvious in the case of the rental-car tax. The law clearly prevents a local government from using rental-car taxes to finance "a venue project that is an area or facility that is part of a municipal parks and recreation system."
... The law also appears to restrict the use of hotel occupancy taxes, though the language is somewhat unclear, according to lawyers hired by Dallas County. ...
Staff writer Dave Levinthal contributed to this report.

Knowing the history of Laura Miller the politician still did not prepare me for the actuality of Laura Miller, chief promoter of Jerry Jones' sales tax to build his stadium on our public property.

I am totally prepared to support giving Jones land at Fair Park for his stadium on a permanent lease basis where he pays no rent and no taxes because a stadium would be great for Fair Park.  A stadium at Fair Park would be great for the Cowboys, too.

I am totally prepared to support letting Grandpa Jones sell bonds to season ticket holders to finance his stadium.

I am totally prepared to support letting Grandpa Jones tax tickets, tax parking, tax locker rooms to finance his stadium.

I am totally prepared to fight as hard as I can to keep car rentals and hotel/motel sales taxes unavailable for Jones' stadium. 

Dallas residents have paid enough for a fancy sports facility for a couple of billionaires.  No tourists are paying the arena sales tax on car rentals because it only hits car rentals in our city limits.  DFW car rentals are outside of Dallas city limits.
    Bob Smith:
  
I'm a new citizen of Dallas, so perhaps I can provide a fresh look at this Jones stadium problem.  The solution is simple
   
Build Jones' stadium in Highland Park, where Jones and many season ticket holders live.
   The Park Cities crowd can then:
* Pay for the roads to Jones' stadium
* Provide security for Jones' stadium
* Provide traffic control for Jones' stadium
* Tax themselves for Jones' stadium
   I'll vote to impose these expenses on the citizens of the Park Cities.  
  
I'll vote to use the Dallas Country Club as the site for Jones' stadium. 
   The additional car rental and hotel taxes in the Park Cities alone will pay for Jones' stadium.
   During off-season, there will be tractor-pulls, dirt bike racing and rock band concerts.
   I love the Cowboys, but I do not see why this county and city should go bankrupt for a billionaire. 
   The prestige brought to an area by an NFL team does not in itself provide significant revenue.  In the case of Cleveland, OH (no longer a national joke), it wasn't the Browns that pulled the City of Cleveland up, but the city itself.
 

If Laura Miller is successful in getting legislation done during this special session to void the prohibition against taxing car rentals for sports facilities on park land, Dallas residents and Dallas County residents will be the only ones paying Jerry Jones' tax because ALL THE CAR RENTAL FACILITIES AT DFW ARE IN TARRANT COUNTY.

  It is so surreal to know a politician who made her bones opposing a sales tax that only benefited a couple of billionaires and their millionaire jocks is now going to be a cheer leader for the likes of a creep like Grandpa Jerry Jones.  Compound her new fondness for taxing Dallas citizens  with her preoccupation with the Trinity Project, and you have to wonder who took her away from us.  There is no other explanation than she has been possessed by aliens.  
       
  What Mayor Miller is doing is much more evil than anything Ron Kirk ever did.  He never pretended to be more or less than a shill for Our Downtown Betters (the ODB).  Oh, he occasionally played the race card when people got critical of his heavy-handed ways and all the conflicts of interest that were part of his tenure.  We knew who he was and who made the decisions for him.  
       

Who will take Mayor Miller seriously when she goes on the campaign trail for Grandpa Jones?

She really does not understand the limits for her popularity.  She doesn't acknowledge the erosion of her base in North Dallas.  She does not care that former friends and supporters are no longer with her and will never trust or support her again.

So, where will Miller go to promote Jones' sales tax?  The suburbs don't like her anymore than they liked Ron Kirk, maybe less.  South Dallas will not necessarily support anything that Miller is promoting, even if it benefits their own community.  East Dallas and North Dallas and probably Oak Lawn will not support another sales tax that will be the stake in the heart of our convention business.

All the opposition will have to do is let Laura Miller debate Laura Miller by playing tapes of her debates opposing the arena sales tax.  That was only 5 years ago.  We haven't forgotten.




 

                                        

    





                            

 

  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