Fear-Mongering Amongst the Mayoral Candidates. And Don Hill Has a Economic Plan. Didn't Say it Was a Good One.
A few mayoral-race notes this a.m.: First, in this morning's in-box was a missive from a Friend of Unfair Park instructing me to look at Allen Gwinn's Web site, specifically yesterday's item titled "Mayor Candidate Gary Griffith: Truth? Ethics?" Therein, Gwinn, breaker of the DISD credit-card scandal, suggests that Griffith takes credit for things he had nothing to do with, promises things he would have no authority even as mayor to deliver and likes to play both sides of the "truth" when it comes to some important issues -- which makes him, by our estimation, like every other politician in the history of ever.
But Gwinn's posting did send us back to Griffith's Web site, where, once more, we were confronted with Griffith's taste for cheese. On GG's blog, which he started posting to on February 5, there are 10 items; the man has a lot to say. One is an introduction, one is a thank-you to a couple who hosted a campaign shindig, one touts his interview on Dallas Blog with "one of the deans of Texas political journalism, Carolyn Barta," one's about losing the Cotton Bowl, and another pimps another campaign event hosted by Burton Gilliam ("star of Blazing Saddles and the Rodeo Ford commercials that I can't get out of my head"). Yesterday, there was an item on releasing folks from county jail to make a little more room; it concluded with the odd, "Gary Griffith would like to know how you feel about this topic."
Apparently, Griffith is scared shitless by "the deadly heroin mix called cheese." It's "a critically important issue." "It's cheap. It's a killer. And it must be stopped." "If we don't have the courage to fight this battle using every thing we have, we are staring at defeat." And all this was before yesterday's TV ad. We're but at the tip of the Jarlsberg.
Amazingly -- and how did we miss this? -- Griffith's TV spot appeared the same day Darrell Jordan began running radio spots warning folks that Dallas is the scariest place in the world. (At least, that's how the missus took it when she heard it yesterday. "Scared the shit out of me," she said this morning. "Can we move?" That worked out well.) Yesterday, Jordan also posted to his Web site his crime-reduction plan, which is about as no-really? as it gets. (In his release, Jordan says: "Until crime is brought under control in Dallas, it will continue to limit the economic opportunities available to our citizens, hinder our teachers' efforts to educate our children, and prevent our neighborhoods from being truly quality places in which to live and raise our families.") So far, Gary Griffith's against cheese, and Darrell Jordan's against crime. Controversial stuff. Will this race ever get interesting? Or informative? Or are they just trying to scare us into voting for them?
Also yesterday, Don Hill sent out his "Economic Platform," which we'd link to...if it were on either Hill's Web site or his MySpace page. Instead, he's still touting the Dallas Country Club story and listing his endorsements. Guess we'll do it for him down below. And if you do read it, answer me this one question: Is Hill seriously considering using city dough to loan small businesses up to $5,000? Because that's working out real well for the South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund. --Robert Wilonsky
From Don Hill:
CAMPAIGN OF COURAGE!--more-->
Economic Development Platform
An Economic Development Policy for the City of Dallas must have many facets and goals. Namely:
Encourage investment in the inner city;
Increased wages for the lowest level worker to the most skilled employee;
Increase the city's tax base; and
Grow new and existing businesses
To accomplish these goals, current strategies must be continued and new ideas discussed and implemented. As Mayor, I would propose to enhance an economic development strategy that embraces the following core principles funded by tax revenue of the city and no new property taxes:
Starting new and growing existing businesses
A city wide small business empowerment lending program in partnership with the city of Dallas. This program can be established by a qualified non-profit or a for profit entity with the express purpose of growing and establishing new small businesses. The loans would not exceed $5,000.
Adoption of a procurement program in which minority and woman owned businesses is selected for work on the 2006 Bond Program on a consistent basis in order to build business capacity and create economic empowerment.
The living wage for Dallas citizens is expanded to apply to all economic development projects where the city participates financially.
Increasing tax base
As a policy matter, the City of Dallas seeks profit participation in every venture in which the city participates at a $5 million or above level.
Adopt a southern sector retail recruitment policy wherein city financial incentives would be available for retailers entering the southern sector market.
Inner City investment
"Cap" for tax increment financial districts (TIF) is increased from 5% to 8%.
Adopt a policy implementing residential tax abatements in selected areas in order to make financially feasible mixed use/mixed income development a reality.