The John Wiley Price Affair: Suddenly, a Few People Are Looking a Whole Lot Smarter

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Last week I was talking to a very well-known Dallas television investigative reporter about the Dallas County federal corruption probe. I won't name him here, because it was a personal call to discuss something else. But he made a point that kept coming back to me all through the long holiday weekend.

Forget who's wrong for a minute. What about the people who may have been right?

Ever since an FBI probe went public one week ago today with a raid on the office and home of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, people have been speculating about who will be found with dirty hands. But what about the people vindicated by the probe, at least in terms of their having insisted there were things here worth investigating?

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Via.
The TV reporter spoke about former Dallas County Judge Jim Foster, who insisted for two years that somebody needed to take a look at Price, the Inland Port, constables and bail bonds -- all the things the FBI is now looking at.

The FBI looking at it doesn't make anybody guilty of anything. No one has even been indicted yet. But the FBI looking at it means Foster wasn't crazy to say somebody should look at it.

I think of other people. Dallas County Commissioner Maureen Dickey has gotten nothing but criticism for the last week because she was exuberantly pleased when she got the news that Price's offices had been raided.

Well, yeah. She's been praying for a raid for two years. She thinks the guy is a crook, a bully and a dictator. Why is she the bad guy? Why is everybody worried about whether she's treating the accused with sufficient gravitas and respect? What are we, French?

I also think of Larry Duncan, who ran against Clay Jenkins for the Democratic nomination for county judge last April. Duncan's basic platform reads like a rough draft of the FBI search warrants: He said Jenkins was the hand-picked hey-boy of a cabal of insiders headed by Price who betrayed southern Dallas on the Inland Port deal and were fisting various cookie jars all over the county.

Drooling for money from the trial lawyers, the Dallas County Democratic Party trashed Foster, their own incumbent, and slammed the door on Duncan, a seasoned former office-holder who should have had top credentials in the party.

Maybe you give the Democrats a pass for savaging Dickey: She's from enemy territory and brings her own knife to the fight. But Foster and Duncan were their own.

Foster looks more and more like an honest guy who was smarter than we gave him credit for, didn't like what he saw and thought something should be done. Duncan fits the same profile.

Part of what looks bad in this is who looks good. The clean hands are almost as interesting as the dirty ones. Notice I said "almost."

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toro
toro

The Democrats 'Big Daddy Government' giveth and taketh. Personally who cares what possessions or wealth JWP has obtained. If he did indeed snooker his sheeples out of their money and they are happy dupes then so be it. However let not them complain when the Dems BDG they vote for comes knocking on the door--and with brother Barack as President no less. You get the government you vote for. So then the Dems BDG giveth and the Dems BDG taketh away too.  The Democrat Party leadership is happy to turn its back on God and His Word yet the Black sheeple voters (most who believe God) keep voting for their godless Dem leaders.  Why?  because the Dems BDG has got them addicted to the goodies and the tribe mentality of sheeples dare not vote otherwise.  Praise God in the churches but the Dems godless BDG gets worshipped at the ballot box. So whats the problem when JWP's Dem BDG is applying a little discipline---his fellow blacks voted Dem and so this is the result. I say leave JWP alone if his sheeples don't care but the Dems BDG has other ideas. Like I said, you deserve the government you vote for---you listenin' black folks still stuck on your masters the Dems?

bighenwontben
bighenwontben

When did Ms. Culbreath become an expert in JWP saga, she is a bitter old lady that has lost her way!!! She has been busted down from various position in the county, now bitterness has taken hold on her. (Mad diary of a black woman) explains her better!!!

Joe Lindsay
Joe Lindsay

Kudos.  I have been following this closely, and it looks to me like you have got this exactly right here.

I was at a county Democratic meeting right after the firing of Bruce Sherbet, and it seemed as if the vast majority of attendees were very opprobrious of John Wiley Price, Clay Jenkins, Elba Garcia and John Ames.  We Democrats have made a big mistake.

It is outrageous that Democratic County Judge Jenkins was bankrolled by rightwing extremists like Bob Perry.  How blatant is that?

I have not been back to the Dallas County Democrats since that night.  Darlene Ewing seemed upset also, but she doesn't seem to have done any thing.

Maurine Dickey was quite justified in her exuberance at this vulgarian crook getting busted after the way he had treated her.

Democrats should be ashamed of the riffraff we have installed, and should pressure them to resign.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Well, tell us what kind of meeting it was, and maybe some of us ticked off ones can come express our questions, displeasure, our general sense of W T H???

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

To an outsider (not active in local Democratic Party activities) it seems to me the control of the party is in the hands of people whose main priority is accumulation and consolidation of power and more power. Inserting themselves in campaigns and backingcandidates and projects that will require political payback and loyalty regardless of the value to their constituents and the local area is the MO. Rank and file may havea voice but they have no say.  Be careful what you ask for.  

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

Foster's reputation is getting better every day. I'm reminded his quote from the end of my profile on him:

"My legacy, when it's over and done with, will be thatI stepped to the plate and said, 'We're going to clean up Dallas Countygovernment,'" Foster says. "And I'm the first person that has everdared to tackle it."

http://bit.ly/peMvFZ

md
md

Good article.

"In a press conference held shortly after the report was released, Price said all security personnel at Kwanzaa Fest worked on a volunteer basis and no one was paid."

Let's see if they come up with a receipt for security when they try to account for that $930,000 in "other expenses."

Rooster
Rooster

On a completely unrelated note....Sam, if you visited the Sportatorium while Richie was on vacation, it wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings....

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Quite true.  I was impressed with the DMN's uncharacteristic haste of championing the removal of this incumbent (something they tend to do with great reluctance).  As I recall, they criticized him as being "ineffective."

He came in, saw the stench of something unbearable, and tried to do something about it-- knowing full well he'd be trashed in the process.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I am glad this is happening now, because there needs to be a MAJOR SHIFT in the Dallas County Democratic Party mind-set. A good friend once said that rich people in Dallas may be Democratic or Republican, but above all, they are RICH, and they take care of each other--by using us. I tried to not believe that. I worked hard for Democratic candidates, giving what money a teacher's pay would allow. I drove people to the polls, walked precincts, held up signs, put out signs, worked the polls, and spoke to fellow teachers about candidates at union meetings. I went to celebration parties, I heard speakers---but like so many others without means or a law degree, some od us were always on the perimeter... but what a point of view it gives one. When I asked the DCDP to intervene, to speak out against Dallas Achieves and the IFL and the Road to Broad, I was ignored. Not even a letter back from the chair, whom I respected. When I saw what they did to Larry and Jim, I became disenchanted. When I hear candidates tell me how they fear speaking out against the old-guard, I was gob-smacked... Many of us will be paying attention now---and you know what? Are you READING THIS, DCDP???? We just might not vote your way in 2012. Let the GOP have the county back. They own it anyway, and you let them with the cronyism, the dismissiveness, etc... TEACHERS always come out to vote, and where are you now? The Mayor wants yet another group of rich folks to tell us our jobs. Where are you now that our pay will be cut? Not one darn peep from you. When South Dallas WAKES UP, this will stop, because a few thousand on the North Side cannot carry an election. The power of the people can outperform a checkbook, if the brain is engaged, the soul is willing and the choice is clear.

Keep digging, FBI. Like Obi Wan Kenobi, you are our only hope.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Diane, I completely agree with you and there certainly are some elements of the DCDP that have spoken out against corruption.  For example, in the recent Bruce Sherbet affair, the DCDP executive committee passed a resolution in support of Bruce.  If you have other issues that need to be brought to the executive committee's attention you are always welcome to come to a quarterly meeting and raise the issue (meetings are posted on the website).  Letters to the chair won't get much done, bring it to the larger body (although all they can do is pass a resolution).   The truth is that the DCDP as an organization has little to no "control" over its candidates and that sometimes the candidates themselves even deceive well-educated voters.  I am sorry to say I voted for Clay Jenkins because despite his connections he seemed competent and I thought he did some good work with Obama Dallas group.  Never again; there's one vote I wish I had back.  Should have voted for Larry Duncan.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I'd be willing to bet that many of these so called black liberal Democrats in Dallas County are majority funded by white conservatives on the north side of the Trinity.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Duh, ya think? What do you think Lipscomb's trial was about? Let me tell you one other thing I have noticed over the years---those with private businesses seem to do pretty well south of the Trinity.... Fantroy, etc.... Even on the DISD Board of Trustees, one former member found out what life was like when their business took a hit when they did not vote the way the Oligarchy wanted them to....

Gman
Gman

Yeah, the ole famous saying, "follow the money -  it always leads to the rich white man across the railroad tracks."

Likeicare
Likeicare

Add me to the list - I've wondered about extortion ever since I started reading your columns about the Inland Port.

Bart
Bart

Oh come on...no story on Mike Rawling's lawyering up....Guilty.

Rooster
Rooster

I do wonder if Clay Jenkins will continue to be JWPs houseboy after all this, or if he'll start to distance.

W W
W W

'All you white people can go to Hell..'.UNBELIEVABLE, that he Is  __________. ( you fill in the blank)

Dusty2
Dusty2

Don't worry Pastor Christian. There will be Justice for John Wiley Price. Pray for the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI for a thorough investigation into the Political Corruption that is destroying the very fabric of the Community. Pray for the Federal Grand Jury and the Trial Jury that they consider only the evidence presented. And FinallyPray for the Federal Judge that he/she will hand down a fair Jail Sentence for those people found guilty. When these prayers are answered ,the community can get back on the right track of achieving Unity and Restoration

Really?
Really?

do you seriously believe a jury of 12 "peers" will ALL vote guilty on JWP?

Yaddie
Yaddie

Yes, here we go all the "Good Old Boys" are coming to the plate. Let a black man get alittle ahead and they are ready to knock them back down to there so called place. You suggest Mr. Price is a "crook, bully, and dictator. Why because he stood up for the black community all these years and hasn't backed down to the white "Good Old Boys".

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

John Wiley Price hasn't done shit for the black community. He talks a lot of shit for the people- like you, apparently- who love to hear him talk shit, but his deeds are a long history of doing little to nothing for the advancement of African-Americans in Dallas while enriching himself and his wealthy white overlords.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

Yaddie there are plenty of Folk who have been hurt by John Price's bulling and dictatorship, and when they tried to report abuse no one believed them.In 27 years there are lots of bodies buried with pain and damage.No one cares about John having a house and cars he had those before being elected.White people are the ones funding John Price look at his campaign statement.White business people helped create the Monster John has become.

Watching South Detroit
Watching South Detroit

When you say "no one", you are wrong.  First, he got many of those cars AFTER he has been in "public service".  So many, including myself cares and I did NOT appoint you to speak for me.  So speak for yourself and don't presume to say "no one cares" about anything. 

Bob
Bob

Only Betty Culbreath (former JWP protege) could find a way to blame the JWP Monster on White people.  Simply amazing.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Not to split hairs here, but the teacher in me wikll interject. An employee is not a protege by default, only if they follow in the footsteps---she didn't.

Bob
Bob

She used to work for him.  He was her boss.  She was his protege.  Are those facts straight enough for you?

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Yeah!  How did he ever trick all those poor, benighted white people into voting for him?

cp
cp

How can she be a "former JWP prtotoge"? She's older than he is, she's been in politics in Dallas longer than he, and she's a Republican. Can you at least get some facts straight?

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

Ms. Culbreath and a few other commenters write of misdeeds and intrigue regarding JWP but do not provide any names or other specifics. Is it because they fear blusterousretribution and libel suits (what I call the Jim Mattox factor)? I appreciate Ms. Culbreath and would really love to hear or read a candid interview with her. Mr. Schutze could write it all up as a fictional tale that would rival his fellow Detroiter Elmore Leonard. He should include Sandra Crenshaw too. Where has her voice been lately?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Go look at JWP's campaign finance statement--- by far, most of his financial support comes from North Dallas.  It's the who's who of the Dallas white power elite that continue to fund him--- lots of familiar names from the Dallas Citizens Council.

Same with EBJ.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Pray that Federal Law Enforcement gets ALL the bad guys, no matter what color they are.

JimS
JimS

Yeah, but she's right. I blame white people for not being smart enough to get it.

Fatty Arbuckle's Tub Stopper
Fatty Arbuckle's Tub Stopper

The black community is certainly thriving under Mr Price's watch, aren't they? He fought off those darn carpetbaggers that wanted to resurrect slavery at that Inland Port. But he did secure the black community some jobs as porters, housekeepers, and bellhops at that new city owned hotel. Now that's what I call progress!

Montemalone
Montemalone

Don't forget the uniforms. Hotels always have nice uniforms.

MattL1
MattL1

What has he actually done (not just said) to stand up for the black community?  27 years in power, there should be some concrete accomplishments that you can cite to defend his record.  The evidence shows that he has probably done more for the "Good Old Boys" than he's done for those he purports to represent.  

Montemalone
Montemalone

He's increased the population of black Bentley owners.

observist
observist

Wasn't Bentley the white guy on The Jeffersons?  I didn't realize he was actually a slave.

Montemalone
Montemalone

What can I say? I'm a river half full kind of guy.

MattL1
MattL1

Hey, that ain't nothing...

Robert WIlonsky
Robert WIlonsky

Let's save the Main Street Garden chatter till tomorrow -- I will have a post on the subject, after having spoken with Hunt and Willis Winters in Park and Rec this evening. (Winters was, matter of fact, in the park when we spoke.) So now, to the topic at hand.

Kimindallas
Kimindallas

Why not mention EBJ as one of JWP's detractors?  Your own tapes even prove she should be highlighted.  There are lots of African-Americans in Dallas who agree with her yet none of them made it into this article.  Shameful.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I suspect EBJ's anger over the Inland Port is more a matter of sour grapes.  JWP, Willis Johnson and Sen. Royce West may have been trying to cut her out of the deal, and that could have pissed her off.

Clifford Carpenter
Clifford Carpenter

If you look hard enough, everything is racist in someone's eyes.

CLANCEY
CLANCEY

EBJ  lost whatever claim she had to integrity and honesty with she met with Dept of Justice officials to persuade them to remove Danny Defenbaugh as Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas FBI,  'cause he was investigating African American police chief Terrell Bolton.   Her theory was TB was a role model for African American kids,  just give him a chance.

Irony,  Danny,  now a private investigator,  looked into some of the Constables shenanigans.

Yea,  EBJ got all kinds of ethics.  If I don't like the investigator,  fire 'em.

Aggravated Stupidity no longer a crime,  TB got out of Dallas just in the nick of time.   He did put together his own collection of stolen cars,  that was in Atlanta.

Guest
Guest

What follows is a rather interesting quote from JWP in one of Schutze's stories on the Al Lipscomb trial:

"He is charged with corruption.  He isn't charged with taking money. If you're asking me if Al Lipscomb takes money, I'll say, sure, Al has always accepted money. Most civil rights leaders in this city have probably always had beneficiaries in the white business community who could not afford to be identified. That comes all the way from the era of the Underground Railroad.  But if the question is, Was Al Lipscomb corrupted by that money? then the answer is definitely no. Al Lipscomb was never corrupted."

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

Will JWP push this angle if anything ever comes to trial?

taxes
taxes

I think they will end up getting him for failure to report and pay taxes on the money he took

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

What is your definition of "is"? 

And Schutze...what is it with the French?

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