John Wiley Price: "Y'all Wanted a Code of Conduct, You Got a Code of Conduct."

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Photos by Sam Merten
A protester across the street from the Dallas County Administration Building this morning.
The Dallas County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a new code of conduct for commissioners this morning in response to Commissioner John Wiley Price last week telling several audience members to "go to hell" after pointing out that they were all white. None of the commissioners voiced their opinions in open court about the new rules, which replicate the long-standing policy that applies to citizen speakers.

Price told reporters after today's meeting that the new guidelines are likely to stifle his voice, but he voted for them because citizens demanded a code of conduct that applies to the commissioners.

"Y'all wanted a code of conduct, you got a code of conduct. You can't have it both ways," he said. "You're either gonna let us say what we want to say and they say what they want to say or not. When you restrain it, you restrain it all the way around."

Dallas County Fire Marshal Robert De Los Santos, Sheriff Lupe Valdez and dozens of fire marshals and sheriff's deputies were on hand to control the crowd. Approximately 25 folks with signs reading "The Price is Not Right" (written in the same font as the TV show The Price is Right), "Honk if it's time for John Wiley Price to go" and "Replace Price with integrity" protested across the street from the courthouse, and countless others stood outside in the hallway because the courtroom had reached capacity long before the meeting began at 9 a.m.

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Sixteen citizens spoke before the meeting adjourned, with eight voicing support for Sherbet, four addressing the need for the new rules, three supporting Price and one alleging discrimination at Presbyterian Hospital. Judge Clay Jenkins asked three of the speakers to return to their seats before their time expired after warning them about his plans to strictly enforce the policy in place for public speakers, and he had a woman removed from the room because she clapped.

Jenkins told us that court actions can be criticized, but he won't allow speakers to make "personal, impertinent, slanderous, boisterous or profane statements."

Pastor Stephen Broden, who ran unsuccessfully last year for the U.S. House seat occupied by Eddie Bernice Johnson, told commissioners that the Sherbet issue called the court's integrity into question.

"Confidence in this court has been shaken by the appearance of impropriety," he said.

Broden was warned by Jenkins about personal attacks after he quoted Proverbs 29:2: "When a wicked man rules, the people groan."

While speaking to the media, Price refused to express regret for his comments last week.

"Unless you are under the GEICO rock, I am not apologizing," he said. "End of sentence."

Price also admitted the new policy restricts free speech.

"I think everything hurts free speech, but you know what happens with so-called free speech. Are you allowed to go into the theater and yell fire?" he said. "Somebody felt like I yelled fire last week. I don't think so. I was just talking about the alarm."

Jenkins stresses he inherited the current policy and aims to enforce it until it's changed. And as long as the citizens are expected to follow the rules, he says the five members of the court should too.

"I want the members of the public to know what's good for the goose is good for the gander -- that we are going to have a level of decorum, civility and respect for one another and a level of decorum, civility and respect for them," he told Unfair Park.

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38 comments
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Go99
Go99

AFLAC called, they think JWP's "Quackers!" and Flo wants to know what all this flibbity flab and mumbo jumbo is all about.

Go99
Go99

Same ol' John Wiley antics been goin' on fer years. Remember him and his gang high steppin' on Laura Miller's sidewalk? Good times.... good times.....

One ADAM-12
One ADAM-12

Clay's "code of conduct" is as lame as he is. Besides one already exists. It's called the Disorderly Conduct statute: http://tinyurl.com/45q9vsh But, don't count on Sheriff Lupe to cut JWP a citation. After all, she was the first sheriff to flunk her TCLEOSE exam. Let's face it, Clay's pendulum has swung off its rope and he's inviting a Free Speech federal lawsuit which will only cost us taxpayers more Benjamins. It's a shame to see our tax dollars at "work", now trampling the First Amendment. Bravo Commissar geniuses! Elba, Maureen and Mike -- representing the only remnant of sanity in that court room -- had better help 'ol Clay swing back the other way... and fast!! The clowns have already made Dallas County a laughingstock across the nation, but if those 3 band together, they can ease DALCO back from the brink. Just don't listen to the crowd below yelling "jump"!

cp
cp

So... Broden recited an eight-word proverb and Jenkins whacked his gavel and "warned" him? Of what? Is Jenkins really this stupid? If so (and all indication are that he is) then it's just going to be bad for the next four years.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Jenkins claimed Broden's comment was a personal attack on Price.

cp
cp

In the "belt buckle" of the Bible Belt, when you are a pastor who gets gaveled down and warned about saying this passage, "When a wicked man rules, the people groan", we have a problem.

And I'm not a religious person!!!!!

Neutrino69
Neutrino69

John Wiley Price is the most racist person in the Metroplex, and has been for many years.

quellepotat
quellepotat

"Idi Amin Dada Does Dallas." Your bleeding heart liberal Dallas Observer and the newly re-invented liberal DMN are responsible for the current dictatorships on the CC and DISD as well as south Dallas congressional district and DAs office. Good luck fellow tax payers.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Did anyone see ron price's comments on the news last night. He was outraged at what JWP said and even more dissappointed in the court sensoring speakers. His best point was, look at the people of Egypt, they are fighting for a right to have a voice in their governmnet, and Dallas County is taking those rights away here at home!!!!

Sybil
Sybil

I watch with amusement as folks in Dallas county continue to be outraged by JWP's behavior. You'd think that after a couple decades people would figure it out. It's pure political theater, Price isn't apologizing, he isn't leaving, and he will get re-elected with 70-80 percent of the vote in his district. Keep your moral outrage under control, and just enjoy the spectacle.

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

80%? Them's dictator numbers!

Drinkupjohnny
Drinkupjohnny

If a white commissioner said "all you black people go to hell" that commissioner would be unemployed, not refusing to apologize. This is an embarrassment to the city of Dallas.

CrackDaddy
CrackDaddy

Where do I get my very own black card?

c.r.
c.r.

I know your readers want to rant and read rantings. But, Sam, I think the Court took some good actions today. Afterall, we, the taxpayers, need to get the work done we need them to do on Tuesdays. A lot of that work has been swept asiude the past 4 weeks. Now, maybe we can move on and get on with the business at hand.

I personally know Clay Jenkins, his wife Chrissy, and his wonderful mother, Joanne. I feel so sorry for Clay and the pain he is suffering with the recent fractured leg. I understand he is in extreme pain every minute. Yet, even in all that pain, he is there at work, doing his job.

Kevin
Kevin

Once again, somehow this Court has managed to screw things up! The Code of Conduct should apply only to the commissioners and county judge (although, let's face it, in reality it's only meant to try to keep Price's big mouth shut), not to the citizen speakers. Part of being an elected official and drawing a public servant's salary from the taxpayers is that you have to sit and contritely listen to the citizens voicing their concerns, even if it involves "personal, impertinent, slanderous, boisterous or profane statements." You sit there, you take it, you keep your mouth shut, and you do not respond like a racist imbecile, as John Wiley Price did last week. If you don't like it, resign so that decent people can be elected into your positions.

scottindallas
scottindallas

quaint thought, gov't by the people, of the people, for the people. President's Day was Monday--what, is your brain still on vacation?

The Dark Side
The Dark Side

Personally, I would rather John Wiley Price his true opinions at the Commissioners Court only because, when he opens his mouth, he tends to stick his foot in it. Mental illness is apparently a 24 hour, 7 day a week party in John Wiley Price's head, and the Dallas voters should see what a crackpot they have put in office. It's a shame to stiffle that kind of insanity from the public forum. Kind of sweeps the issue of mental illness under the floor when it should be right in the public eye, especially with a man so obsessed with racism and delusions of racial persecution that he'll bring it up in the most innocuous and inappropriate situations (e.g. the incidents with the black holes, devil's food cake vs. angel food cake, mullahs, white voters coming to the commissioners court, etc.)

JWP has pretty much earned and solidified his title as "our mullah downtown."

RS1963
RS1963

Broden!??!?! What the heck is he doing there? Talk about someone jumping on any bandwagon in town. Maybe he thought they were doing abortions or something in the Commissioners Court.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

I think that JWP and the Carraways are clear cut racist. There is no ifs ands or butts.

These jerks are bigots of the worst kind. They makes Tea Baggers look sane.

I hope they don't think there are doing any good for Dallasites of ANY race.

Fake Conrad
Fake Conrad

You only use the term tea baggers cause you're gay, now STOP IT YOU! But seriously, it's a nice change of pace to see a little consistency from a left-winger for a change.

scottindallas
scottindallas

It's not because he's gay, he's like a militant gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, though it will offend some, as intended. I used to listen to his show occasionally. Jack-e can get carried away sometimes but jumping on "Tea Baggers," man, pick your battles, or you'll be so up Jack-e's ass he might start to think you like him.

Coleman
Coleman

oh fuck off, being sick of bad politicians is not a partisan trait.

Kdowe
Kdowe

John Wiley is a hoot. He should come to the court in a clown suit and step out of a VW (sorry, FERRARI) with his clown shoes. "Commissioner" must pay a lot of money these days.

fred
fred

Somebody should get his windshield wipers.

Bob
Bob

Just asking... is there Asperger's on the court?

DallasBA
DallasBA

What if I am under the GEICO rock? Can I infer from JWP's statement that I will have earned an apology?

Jose
Jose

Good gawd, please don't let the advanced clowns in the Texas Legislature in on this deal. They'll have everyone in court packing heat.

Rooster
Rooster

Clowns on parade....

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Is JWP now doing GEICO product placements! 15% and equity!!

Bob
Bob

So is his 15% Federally protected? Snitches get stitches?

Shaggy
Shaggy

Also, ... Hey, Schutze, your suggestion from the other day to "give Price a taste of his own medicine" I think was probably lost on the TEA Party folks. They are very new to local politics and many of them, more than likely, are unaware of the past picketing tactics of commissioner Price. You might need to provide them with some historical context. I'm just sayin', the TEA patronizers I've met openly acknowledge being new to this local politics stuff.

JimS
JimS

Man. What a bunch of wusses, Next they'll do drive-by dirty looks at the building.

MattL1
MattL1

"Confidence in this court has been shaken by the appearance of impropriety," he said.

Really? I was under the impression that there has never really been any confidence in this particular court. You cannot "shake" that which never existed in the first place.

Shaggy
Shaggy

T (tail-wagging) E (evangels) A (of Armey) Party. The TEA Party folks would be folksy and colorful ... and believable ... if they weren't such blatant examples of the tail wagging the dog. Ruff-ruff. Sit! Stay! Be good doggies, now.

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