They're Not Free Tickets. Live Nation's Just Paying Back the City, Silly.
Doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see where this is headed: The Dallas Morning News is reporting this afternoon that after an exhaustive review of documents and e-mail exchanges between city council members and Live Nation staffers, it has determined that council members and their friends and families received hundreds of gratis tickets to Smirnoff Music Centre events (of course, now it's the Superpages.com Center). At the top of the list: Pauline Medrano (66 freebies), with Steve Salazar coming in a close second. Also raking up the goodies: former council members Gary Griffith, James Fantroy, Don Hill and Leo Chaney.
Course, this comes about a month after the City Auditor's Office revealed that Live Nation owes the city $842,970 for lease payments dating from 2001 to 2006. And it comes a week after the council amended the Code of Ethics to "provide further guidance to City Councilmembers regarding the solicitation and acceptance of gifts, tickets, meals, travel, lodging, entertainment and honoraria." Awesome timing, people. Awesome. --Robert Wilonsky