Gosh, We're Just Too Trusting, or: The Dallas Morning News's Embarrassing Confession

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Oh, well, who the hell knows? Who will ever know why The Dallas Morning News turned into an Iron Curtain-style propagandist Pravda sheet in 2007 when it was so eager to see Angela Hunt's Trinity River referendum defeated?

Now they say they were seduced: "This newspaper -- and likely plenty of voters -- took leaders at their word," an editorial states in today's newspaper.

I've been in the newspaper business too long. This is what? A major metropolitan daily newspaper is claiming to have been taken advantage of by local pols? It's like Anthony Weiner sobbing and telling me, "These women played me like a flute."

Stop talking right now, or I may have to hit you.

leppert_hotelpointing.jpg
Liar.
But, like I say, who knows? In 2007 Hunt led the campaign to stop the city from building a high-speed limited access highway along the Trinity River in the area between the flood control levees, out in the zone that floods twice a year.

Nobody had ever voted for the highway. The highway would have ruined the park that we did vote for. The highway threatened the city's flood safety system. But here's the big one: glug glug glug. The highway would have flooded twice a year.

The people who wanted to keep the highway out there anyway piled up a huge war chest and managed to line up just about every high-dollar haircut in town, with the exceptions of Hunt, former council members Sandy Greyson and John Loza, and a brave but small band of others.

Now everybody has 20/20 hindsight. As The News admitted in today's editorial, former Mayor Tom Leppert misled voters when he vowed repeatedly that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had "signed off" on building the toll road between the levees -- his personal assurance that the Corps had given final approval. Not true. Now four years later the Corps is less "signed off" than ever.

Leppert also misled voters when he said the road was fully funded. The road project is deeper in the hole than ever.

But we have to remember this. Leppert was only the tenor soloist. The entire Dallas establishment was singing the same hymn with him. And, gosh, it sure seems like the choir director was The Dallas Morning News editorial page.

They painted Hunt as a nut and a bitch. "Ms. Hunt's camp is busy crafting conspiracy theories," The News said in an editorial on October 14, 2007.

They accused her of lying. When Hunt pointed out that the highway would cut off access to any park in the flood-zone, The News said there would be lots of access, a claim we now know to be false. In an editorial September 23, 2007, The News said Hunt was the one telling a fib: "Ms. Hunt and other opponents of the planned tollway know this. But 'We don't want a well-designed road along the far reaches of our park' just doesn't have the same ring to it."

On May 11, 2007, The News' editorial page painted Hunt as crazy, a wrecker who was out to trash the entire Trinity River project: "Ms. Hunt is yanking on a single thread in this carefully crafted project. If she succeeds in forcing a referendum, the entire plan could begin to unravel."

The irony there is that if any of the original park plan gets saved, the credit will go to Hunt and certainly not to The News.

The really stomach-turning aspect of The News' coverage was its lock-step consistency from editorial page to news columns, all designed to paint Hunt as a shrewish outsider, the bad girl at the party, just another Laura Miller who did not know how to behave, perhaps because of regrettable wants in her upbringing.

In this, the editorial page always led the choir: "As maverick council members before her learned," the editorial page said on May 3, 2007, "throwing rocks from the bleachers is the easy part. The hard part is ironing out flaws from the inside."

Hunt is a graduate of the Rice and UT law school. She's tough, but I don't think anybody has ever seen Hunt behave ungraciously. You'll never hear her say the stuff I'm saying here today. Never. That's one reason why I'm saying it.

Nevertheless, on October 8, 2007, in what was supposed to be straight news coverage, reporter Bruce Tomaso both misrepresented and caricatured her objection to the inside-the-levee route, falsely reporting that she was against any route for the toll road: "Since she started gathering signatures for the referendum last spring, Ms. Hunt and her group, TrinityVote, have sought to keep their message simple: We don't need no stinkin' toll road."

They never said that.

On July 29, 2007, Tomaso wrote a "profile" of Hunt, more like a hit job, painting her history of activism in her own neighborhood as proof positive that others found her obnoxious: "If such reactions bother Angela Hunt in the slightest, she doesn't admit it. In defending her position, and criticizing that of her opponents, she strikes a populist tone that may reflect her blue-collar roots."

Remember, by the way, that this ostracizing of Hunt was enforced at City Hall by Mayor Leppert, who stripped Hunt of all committee leadership assignments. Of course, Leppert was only following the prior example of former Mayor Laura Miller. In April, 2007, Miller kicked Hunt off the board of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, of which Hunt was vice chair, a position to which Miller had appointed her.

Miller said openly it was payback for Hunt's disobedient stance on the toll road. At least Miller, unlike Leppert, was honest about it.

Now that more truth is emerging about the toll road, there is understandable curiosity about what was behind the scapegoating of Hunt. Commenters here have demanded to know who owns the land along the river and who stood to gain by making a pariah of Hunt.

As time goes by, I am less and less sure that's where the answers lie. I look back, and the people who were really on the muscle about the toll road project weren't the land owners. The real strong-arms were the public works construction and engineering companies. They were the ones who sent out their own employees in droves to campaign against the referendum.

And think about it. Could landowners profit from a new road alignment? Sure, maybe, 10 years down the road. Or 20 years. But who gets some serious money in his hand right now? The guy who builds the thing.

Does that make those guys and women wicked? I don't know about that. It makes them contractors. It's their business. If they see a big fat job coming their way in otherwise hard times, something that will keep the wheels on over some rough road ahead, why wouldn't they fight for it? For them it's not about public policy. It's business. Screw public policy.

But if that's what happened -- if it was the public works sector of the business community turning the screws behind the scenes -- then the Morning News still isn't coming clean. They would rather blame elected leaders, because the last thing they have the guts to do is blame the business community.

I get that. Elected leaders don't buy ads. Business leaders buy ads. Or don't.

But I still have a serious issue with a newspaper even claiming to have been seduced by elected leaders, whether it's true or not. I can't feature saying that in public, even as a lie. It goes back to my having been in the business too long. In the version of the newspaper business I grew up in, you would never ever "take leaders at their word," as the News now says it did.

A newspaper? Takes leaders at their word? That's the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do. It's the opposite of the role the founding fathers envisioned for a free press in this country.

To do it is one thing. Bad enough. But to offer it as an excuse? It's like an elementary teacher saying she forgot to grade the kids' papers last week because she was on a week-long toot. You know, unless you're ready for a new line of work, you need to keep that kind of stuff under your hat if you can.

If they say that's what happened to them, and if it's true, then why shouldn't they tell the truth about it? Yeah. I guess you can make a case for that. But then I try to walk a mile in that shoe myself. And you know what? I believe I might just keep right on walkin'.

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88 comments
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Joe L
Joe L

Is Hunt your secret lover?  Paying you? Seems I remember her saying some pretty coarse, untrue things in the Trinity fight. Her contentiousness was why she ended up isolated, not her righteousness.

Informed Citizen
Informed Citizen

Dallas will never be a world-class city until it gets a world-class daily. (World-class weekly taken care of already).

Gailalong
Gailalong

Finally the truth comes out.

Vickums
Vickums

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  As a life long resident of this city, I have been against this from the beginning - primarily due to costs.  And this hit the nail on the head - it's the engineers and the NTTA pushing this, but they have had help all along from the elected masses and the "talking heads" of the business community who run this town.  Angela Hunt has fought a brave, uphill battle and I'm truly glad she has not given up.

Watching South Detroit
Watching South Detroit

The DMN days the voters were lied to but they never mention their role in the lies.  The DMN does not recall the editiorials and stories demonizing Angela Hunt.  The DMN does not mention that they did no actual reporting - just got the talking points sheet from Leppert's people and wrote a story.  The DMN does not say anything about their major role in misleading the taxpayers and their role in this fraud.  Jacqueline Floyd in a column also omits these facts. 

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I worked for TrinityVote and never  believed Leppert or The Dallas Morning News.  I always believed that Councilwoman Angela Hunt did her homework and knew what she was talkng about.  Thanks Angela and the others that lead TrinityVote.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Some of us follow you and knew your information was correct and Angela has always been a working Council Person who does her own research on all City issues,she does not rely on staffs every last word we all know they leave out the fine print. Thanks for your good work in the interest of Citizens of Dallas.

Bruce Tomaso
Bruce Tomaso

Mr. Schutze,

On Aug. 2, 2007, you wrote that my July 29, 2007, profile of Ms. Hunt was "well-written, fully reported, and balanced."

Your words:

"Last Sunday—the day the city secretary had to announce her findings on certification—the News ran on its front page a well-written, fully reported and balanced story by Bruce Tomaso profiling city council member Angela Hunt, who has led the TrinityVote effort.

"I just can't over-emphasize what an important shift that is. It means that Hunt and her group have demanded and received respect from the News after months of goofy derision and slights...."

http://www.dallasobserver.com/...

How did that very same profile become "more like a hit job" and an attempt to show "that others found her obnoxious"?

Bruce Tomaso

JimS
JimS

What a shock, to meet myself coming around the corner of time. I can't remember now why I would have been so effusive back then. I haven't changed my opinion of the great body of your coverage, of which the other article I cite is the better example. At the time I must have caught some whiff of fairness in your piece that surprised me, given the rest of what you had written, which was crudely biased and propagandistic.  I didn't catch the same whiff when I re-read it this morning. It seemed crudely biased. But you do offer a plain written record of my having said the contrary at the time. If I had to choose between the two opinions, I guess I'd trust the one that was more contemporaneous, in which case I owe you an apology for calling your story a hit job. Lot of water under the bridge since then. Maybe I was thinking of Rudy's story about me, which he and I have agreed to forget. That's not an excuse. I do apologize for calling your story a hit job. I guess it was a mainly well reported fair story that had a couple little slaps in it, and I'm hardly the guy to call that kind of kettle black.

Joanne R
Joanne R

well, well, well,I was wondering if your slimey face would appear.  I was a 60+ hour a week VOLUNTEER during TrinityVote months--long months.I remember with much revulsion your nasty, twisted articles.I distinctly recall that you were unable, literally, unable, to print the words "down BETWEEN the levees".  You kept trying to confuse the public with phrases like, "near the levees" even once printing "outside" or "on" or anything else you could dream up, but never "down BETWEEN the levees" Your lies won't work here, in the truth paper, the Dallas Observer.So, go crawl back inside your cave.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Angela was right when she called out city hall back in 2008 for taking that $34 million bribe from the gas industry. She's been right ever since. Keep your eyes on who gets appointed to this gas drilling task force. This gas drilling saga will be just as big of a story as the Trinity River toll road. It's got all the same players with Tom Leppert as head cheerleader for the gas industry. Back room deals, and a lack of transparency only scratches the surface.Theres a word for his role in the citys whoreish behavior and I can't seem to think of it. Keep June 29th open to be at The Texas Theatre.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

I think the Trinity River Project is a splendid idea! Sorry folks..I forgot to take my meds today:)

Paul Burrough
Paul Burrough

Jim -

You consider writing for the Observer as being in "the newspaper business"...?

Shyeah.

keep it real
keep it real

This is why kunkle needs to be Mayor. He's not afraid to speak up unlike rawlings. Oh and Ms Hunt, what are you waiting for? Endorse kunkle already.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Let's review some of the reasons why Angela would not want to endorse Kunkle:

1.  He never even bothered to vote 4yrs ago when we had the TrinityVote issue.

2.  His BFF is Laura Miller.  The same Laura Miller who staunchly opposed TrinityVote and campaigned hard to defeat it.

Oh, sure, now that he's running for Mayor, and, re-inventing himself into this anti-tollroad in the trinity person, and reinventing himself into this HUGE animal rights activist (never heard of him involved with that in the past), and re-inventing himself into just about anything else he can lasso....

I've always known Angela to have very strong principles, and very strong convictions and opinions. 

Oh, and Angela and her one-and-only-husband are both, still, on their first marriage.

Homma
Homma

Tell us about Mike's first marriage and why that ended. Funny, we seem to keep skipping over this juicy tidbit.

Cake=EatIt2
Cake=EatIt2

Angela Hunt is still constitutionally incapable of working with other people to advance anything ... unless we should be getting DNA samples from the baby and Schutze.

Guestie Guesterson
Guestie Guesterson

Hunt can't work with anyone to pass anything?  Like the bike plan that passed the council unanimously yesterday (co-chaired with Kadane)?  Or the Lower Greenville PD that passed the council unanimously (with Medrano)?  Or the gas drilling task force that passed the council unanimously (with Koop)?

Dumbass.

John McClelland
John McClelland

Myself and some friends once ate at a now defunct mexican restaurant. The waiter dropped our container of tortillas on the floor and said "sh*t my bad", promptly placing them on our table. That sounds like the DMN's apology.

Matilda of Tuscany
Matilda of Tuscany

It's been so hard not to pull out my old yard Trinity River sign and paste, "I told you so" across it.  Sad to say our City's sheep believe DMN editorials, columns, and reporting, followed up with a good shot of WFAA News.  Well, shame on them for being led to the slaughter.  Unfortunately, common sense and discerning reading/watching are not taught in school or most homes.

When my DH quotes me something out of the DMN, I give him the "eye roll" to remind him that I only believe the Food and Garden Sections and Obits in there.  Pretty sure the only good use for the rest of the Dallas Morning News is for worm composting.

Unfortunately, it's hard to laugh when it's a shame for all of us taxpayers. 

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

It didn't take Angela Hunt, or even the Corpse of Engineers to determine that building a road, any road, in a floodway is a preposterous, plain STUPID, idea. Flood plains and Floodways are both susceptible to "FLOODING". It's even a terrible idea to plan to put parks, soccer fields, birdwatching areas, jogging trails, and the list goes on........in a "flood prone" area (by definition, the levees on both sides of the river "contain" the rising river waters; therefore, the area between the levees is a "Floodway" which is very "Floodprone"). This whole TRINITY PLAN is the biggest folly and waste of money ever for the City, County, State, Feds, and anyone else who has "contributed".

Matilda of Tuscany
Matilda of Tuscany

I think some Riverboat Restaurants and Floating Businesses are what I would propose.  How many times do we have to be reminded of Nature's power before people get it?

Nmlhats
Nmlhats

I wish Angela hunt could remain my councilperson forever.

Couch Potato
Couch Potato

Then I want to warn you:  Do not be fooled by Jim Rogers, who is moving quietly to make a run for 14 in two years. 

This is one really mean, arrogant, guy.  He is hand-picked by Neil Emmons.  Jim was an avid supporter for Natinsky for Mayor.  Does that tell you anything?

We need to be looking about now, to find someone to run for 14.  Because it takes at least 9months to stage a campaign for City Council.  And the next election is 23 months away.

Everybody needs to get out there and find someone good who is willing to run.

Larry
Larry

Dallas seems to have a hard time with big projects. In 1967, Dallas voters rejected the bonds to build Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. In 1998, they barely approved the bonds to finance the American Airlines Center. Both times we heard the same arguments we hear today: It's a waste of taxpayers' money. Only a few fat cats will benefit (in the airport's case, Lady Bird Johnson supposedly owned the land it would be built on).

"They" – whoever "they" are – were not telling us everything. Yet where are those critics now? Who wants to argue that these projects have not enriched our city?Wick AllisonPublisher, D MagazineOct. 21, 2007http://www.quickdfw.com/sh...

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Although DFW Airport has been a plus for North Texas as a whole, it's impact on the City of Dallas has been less clear.  When DFW Airport was established, the City of Dallas was hosed (or hosed itself) at nearly every turn:

1)  It failed to annex any of the land around DFW Airport--- as a result, four entire real estate "submarkets" (and all the taxes they pay), relocated away from the City (these submarkets were airport related hotels, industrial users, multi-family and office users).  The stock that remained in Dallas declined into a quasi-slum for years.

2)  All of the relevant parts of DFW Airport itself (the parts that pay taxes) are located entirely within Tarrant County:  the terminals, hotels, conference center, golf course, rental car facility, etc.  Dallas County got the "junk" (one extra runway, administrative facilities, sewer treatment plant, etc.).

3)  Over 80% of the commercial land that has been developed at DFW has been on the Tarrant County side.

4)  When it suits their purposes, Tarrant County, American Airlines, etc. have used the joint operating agreement to bash Love Field, arguing that it should be closed, Southwest Airlines should be banished, etc. (when the agreement calls for no such thing).  At the same time, they built Alliance Airport, further robbing cargo-related economic activity from DFW (and indirectly harming Dallas)-- something clearly prohibited by the agreement.

Throughout all of this, the DMN acted just as they have on the Trinity--- at times, failing to investigate or call out obvious lies-- simply parroting propaganda; and other times, serving as co-collaborator, running editorials masquerading as articles, etc.

The Columbia Journalism Review actually called the DMN out on this stuff (basically serving as a promotional arm of American Airlines); the DMN did much the same on the Trinity (and the Convention Center Hotel).

elbueno
elbueno

DFW airport is not even in the city of Dallas and has done nothing to help the city of DALLAS. It has worked wonders for DFW as a whole, but I'd argue it being right up there with the highways as being a huge contributor of suburban sprawl...

Similarly, the AAC, has done very little to actually impact real vibrancy and bring sustainable value to the downtown market place. People come down for a game and then whisk back up to Plano or Frisco to go home.

The toll road would have had the exact same negative value, benefitting the suburbs at the expense of Dallas proper.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

Money quote - forgive me for thinking it's slightly misogynistic "Consider the kid who begs for an Xbox for Christmas. After hemming and hawing, mom finally hedges, and says, 'Let's ask your father.' The kid declares victory."

This is offered as an excuse."Proponents of the toll road, it seems heard what they wanted to hear."

Funny (not really) how the tone of the editorial is finger pointing only at the "city leaders", of which they do not include themselves, when it's really a mirror the editors need to be writing to.

JimS
JimS

Maybe they should say, "All the other kids were doing it."

Catbird
Catbird

The tragedy here is that it didn't have to go like this.

We all could have been on the same side and the thing would have been wonderful for Dallas and probably nearly finished by now.

We started off that way back when were "dancing for change" with Ron Kirk; hanging out at the Dallas Institute with Gail Thomas and Larry Alums (Salon on Friday evenings was the best) but something happened. Something mean. Something greedy. Something that has a squirmy sideways quality to it that I truly don't have the vocabulary to name.

I lament this, because being all on the same side, working for a better Dallas was wonderful...truly wonderful.

JimS
JimS

It was right after the bond election in '98. Victoria Loe Hicks at the News got it and reported it. The  money in the Trinity River Project tilted way away from the park and way over into the road. Pretty soon Hicks wasn't at the news any more, and everything went darkside. I know Gail Thomas didn't start out meaning to get on this train. But she didn't jump off, did she? Then you have Mary McDermott Cook. Somebody sold her the Brooklyn Bridge. That can't feel good.    

Catbird
Catbird

I spoke with Victoria Loe Hicks a few years ago and she told me she is a potter in North Carolina I believe...said she doesn't miss DMN or Dallas. Gail, I loved Gail then and still do I guess but the thing with the river, whatever happened, well, I was opposed to the road then and never changed and that's when I stopped being a real person to that group. Do you think there could a reconciiation? Somone has to figure out what to do now. Maybe?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

It truly is sad we werent on the same side.  All the money the city wasted, all that bond flushed down money the river, to never be accounted for again, or until the Observer wins the right to all the info the city is hiding.  I know everyone wants a better dallas, but that toll road thingy issue wasnt it

Fred
Fred

The DMN is a whorehouse selling illusions and disease and its employees are whores, period. They may not be happy whores, taking Belos money to screw the public, but they know what they're doing and are content with their pact with the Devil.

jcs
jcs

When did Dunia Shive take over the DMN?

NewsDog
NewsDog

Wait a minute, wait a minute… I’m getting a psychic message… can’t quite get the name… Whorewell???... wait… it’s getting clearer…  The Dallas Morning News has never been in favor of the tollroad in the levees… The Dallas Morning News has always been against the tollroad in the levees. To suggest otherwise would be unpatriotic.   …wow that was weird. I must have swallowed some Trinity water when I was kayaking the closed whitewater rapids.  

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

For some reason, I was reading the wikipedia article on defamation and found this lovely quote:

"Thus a surveyor who states a house is free from risk of flooding has not defamed anyone, but may still be liable to someone who purchases the house relying on this statement."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

The universe is funny.

El Rey
El Rey

A front page retraction and an apology for the attempted character assassination is what the DMN owes Councilwoman Hunt and the people of Dallas.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

It seems to me that the Morning News is in the process of eating their foul words.   It is never pleasant to be eating what you spewed out to the public who looks to you for the truth when you were purposely lying though your teeth. Let’s be clear –with the exception of Hunt all of the city council members (past and present) have been on board this pig tying to put lip stick upon its foul face.   The word is RESPONSIBLE.   The city council and their staff are responsible for this with the DMN as cheerleaders every step of the way.    I can well recall that the Pegasus project (to fix the mix master mess) just had to have, (and they said it was vital) a toll road in the Trinity as a key component.     So what do we have now?---no money for the Toll Road (thank God for that) but no money for Pegasus either. It seems to me that the Dallas Morning News, the city council and mayor Leppert and Miller, the city staff OWE the tax payers the monies that went to constant efforts in studies to keep this “road kill” alive.  They should pay the tax payers back for the waste they incurred on behalf of their “political keepers”.

Watching Sotuh Detroit
Watching Sotuh Detroit

The Dallas Morning News has selective memory and does not mention its major role in this fraud, does not acknowledge its editorials and biased stories.

jamal
jamal

"...former Mayor Tom Leppert misled voters when he vowed repeatedly that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had "signed off" on building the toll road between the levees -- his personal assurance that the Corps had given final approval. Not true. Now four years later the Corps is less "signed off" than ever."

I still want to know why in the hell the Corps never stood up and said Leppert was putting words in their mouths.  You'd think if someone was out recklessly telling everyone you'd vouched for something so fucking ridiculous, that you'd stand up (with arms waving to get everyone's attention), and say he was full of shit.  They never did that. 

JimS
JimS

It's all sort of c.y.a., both for the Corps, the toll road agency and the News itself. Lindenberger, the News reporter who covered a lot of this, will be able to go back to 2008, after the election, and dig up stories in which Corps officials and even tollway officials seemed to be expressing skepticism. Some of it is stuff Lindenberger and the News knew about before the election but sat on until afterward. Even the stuff published afterward is always buried in a cheerleader story about how Tom Leppert, by golly, is puttin' this thing on the fast track. I call it c.y.a. coverage, because it's in print, so the News can claim they reported it, but it's buried and written so that no regular reader would see it or get what it's about. The thing the Katrina investigations have shown is that the main order of business at the Corps is the preservation of the Corps. Did you know it is  older than the nation? Created at Bunker Hill, before we had a country. The Corps is very loyal to the Corps. You kind of have to know that about them in order to know how to listen to them when they speak. 

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Jim -- to me what is most amazing is that the News was privy to the exact same information Angela was able to obtain and review prior to pushing forward with the petition drive.  They had it, or could have had it.  And I'm betting the merry band of Dealeys did have it.  The Corps, even though internally is about as political a govermental organization as there is (after all, it is a part of the Pentagon), they will not take a public stand on anything, same as all those military officers running Iraq and Afghanistan (can you say Wikileaks).  I understand why they didn't say publicly what they knew at the time -- yet that doesn't condone their actions. But the Morning News has absolutely no out on this one.  And for the lead editorial to try to claim "we were mislead!!" (along with the most stupid analogy to an X-box Christmas gift ever) just reinforces the perception that DMN is irrelevant.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Don't forget. The Corps said the levees in NOLA were fine before they weren't.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

As to one of those contractors, I'd be curious to know if Halff Associates has any clients that are not (1) the city of Dallas; or (2) persons/companies directly doing business with the City of Dallas Economic Development or Development Services Depts? 

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

You mean like the dozens of shady, quasi-incompetent professional services firms that hang around public Dallas county and/or city related entities like fleas on a dog?  The firms that would not exist but for the contracts they are awarded outside the normal competitive bid process by the likes of DISD, the DFW Airport Board, the City of Dallas, Dallas County, Parkland Hospital, DART, etc.?

Start digging too far into that unholy stew, and there's a halfway decent chance you"ll end up with a bullet in your head.   In all seriousness.... there's simply too much money at stake (and too many unscrupulous characters involved).

JimS
JimS

Halff was arguing at one point that the lakes and the park features would be paid for with the dirt the city would sell to the Corps for fixing the levees. I worked on that one for weeks. In order to pencil out, the dirt had to be worth more per pound than a Honda. 

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