JWP Rally, Making a Judas into a Saint

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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I hate to say I told you so ... no, wait, that's a lie. I love to say I told you so. A week ago I said in column that we were about to see a lot of high opera in the John Wiley Price FBI corruption investigation. The season opens Saturday with Aida.

As Unfair Park has reported, The National Black United Front, a group many Americans have never heard of, will hold a rally in South Dallas all day Saturday in support of our embattled Dallas County commissioner.

The rally will feature appearances by a host of figures in local and national black politics including Willie Ricks, a civil rights movement figure credited by Stokely Carmichael with inventing the term "black power."

I said in my column that both sides -- the government prosecutors and the lawyers who will represent the inevitable defendants -- have been consulting jury experts. The experts I talked to suggested that shaping public opinion before any trials will be an important part of trial strategy.

And don't think it's only about potential defendants trying to poison the pool, although that's got to be part of it. Remember that one of the big milestones in local corruption history was the trial of former city council member Al Lipscomb, whose conviction was tossed out in 2001 when an appeals court found that the judge himself had messed with the jury pool in an impermissible fashion.

When it comes to the jury pool, everybody's doin' the mess around. That's just how it is.

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Via.
We know when the Price opera will end, but what tune will she be singing?The rally Saturday clearly will be an attempt to paint a public picture in which Price is bedeviled by white people because he has been too strong an advocate for black people. Price needs potential black jurors to walk into the courthouse on jury selection day with an image of him on a cross burned into their cerebral cortices.

That picture happens to be the opposite of what the feds are investigating. All signs are that federal investigators are focusing on the Inland Port deal, an area where I happen to have done a lot of reporting. So first I have to make the mandatory declaration: Price has not been charged with a crime. I do not personally charge people with crimes, because I do not personally have a badge.

But I can tell you that the story, the journalistic story, is the opposite of what will be told at Saturday's rally. Far from having been too tough and bold in his championing of the black cause, Price's problem in the Inland Port deal is that he played Judas to his own community, selling his constituents down the river for a handful of no-bid contracts.

That's a story you will never hear anybody black telling in Dallas, because nobody black can afford to tell it. So I'll do it. My own accusation is that he's a fake civil rights leader who has betrayed the interests of his own constituency in ways so insidious and enormous that the damage almost cannot be counted.

I always wanted to be in the opera.

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54 comments
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Joe L
Joe L

Well done.  But one thing that troubles me, why haven't the FBI and Dallas Observer gone after Rick Perry's corruption more aggressively?

The Genius
The Genius

a jury of his peers will never convict him, that's just how it is. they'd have to move the trial to another venue and hope for the best. he could get caught on tape committing a crime and he'd still walk. 

Old Joe
Old Joe

 Nigga goin' down.  Ain't no doubt but dis fool been found out.  Been monkey shinin' in da hood for years and now we 'bout to see what really goin' on.  He shine Perot and them shoes til' they shine like a mirror but crows coming home to roost.  Line them pockets til' the FBI catch wind -- no mo Dallas Morining News to sweep up and cover his butt.  Fed don't play.

Herb Wynans
Herb Wynans

Hmmm.  I've always been a bit of a JWP supporter because I like a guy with cojones big enough to advocate so strongly for his people though it now seems he may have sold out those same people.  Still, I suspect the Black community will rally in his support.  It's a pity that that community is so impoverished of heros that it will lionize even a scalawag like him.

Gary
Gary

Could some of the root cause of Political Corruption be,as in the case of Dallas County Commissioners, A lack of term limits? The longer You stay, the smarter you get. The smarter you get, the easier it becomes to make selfish rules that benefit your cause. You steal because it's easy, in a dysfunctional system. You put yourself on the FBI Radar screen with the help of some of your closest allies. When you get caught, its because you're a Black Leader and the establishment is out to bring you down. Out of desperation,you resurrrect the Civil Rights Movement to put your accusers on a guilt trip.  Give me a break. There is something terribly wrong with this picture.  I hope nobody is buying this Crap.

Bigmac Tony
Bigmac Tony

Can anyone actually describe what this hack's job really is anyway?

Bigmac Tony
Bigmac Tony

His constituency being 'blacks?' Is that it?

Renegade
Renegade

Alas, poor JWP!  I knew him, Jimbo...

Bigmac Tony
Bigmac Tony

It's about time the bow tie brigade showed up

tim_lebsack
tim_lebsack

Hey JWP, call me, send me a note, tell me what I have done to harm black people.

pencil
pencil

How's them legal bills, JWP?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I've been saying this myself..Apperantly many in the community dont like the guy, but the real issue is that theres both multigenerational apathy, not to mention those same people are afraid of the man. In many ways, he and other so. dallas leaders remind me of a ghetto version of the House of Medici, which is to say they have power and influence but actually lack any class in the way they behave.

Jay
Jay

All too true, but lets not lose sight of the fact that the lobbying system in the US is nothing more than legal bribery. Businesses and unions don't spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year because they want good government...they pay to have their agenda enacted. And if not lobbyists, then consider patronage, like Governor GoodHair and his business Development slush fund, doling out our money to his contributors, friends and political supporters. JohnWPrice is playing the same game, but just like Don Hill, he's not bright enough to launder his kick-backs, bribes and tributes legally.

Ralphy
Ralphy

"That's a story you will never hear anybody black telling in Dallas, because nobody black can afford to tell it"

Please expand/explain.

tigger
tigger

JWP may be popular with a lot of black people in Dallas but CERTAINLY not all. I, for one, am amazed it has taken this long to nail him.

onetime
onetime

I have yet to hear the Commissioners response to your accusations.  On the other hand, I wouldn't necessarily think that such a response would be in in order at this stage of the justice process.  The FBI has too much of a reputation for going whole hog and all out to make a case against its' targets regardless of innocence or guilt.  So, when it comes down to making a choice between the attack dogs of the powers-that-be or the freedom fighter for the people, I'm on the side of the freedom fighter every time even if the attack dogs say the freedom fighter is only a part time fighter.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Your analogy would work better if JWP wasn't one of the "powers-that-be".

Arnold
Arnold

Watchu talkin bout Willis??????

Che_Boludo
Che_Boludo

JWP's constituents will keep supporting him blindly.  Their man downtown!  Problem is the bacon he's brought home stays in his home.  Don't do business with this schmuck and his crony Willis Johnson.

Facebook User
Facebook User

Your theory rings true. I couldn't figure out why these sort of rallies were going on until I read your post. Thanks.

george gobel
george gobel

"[H]e's a fake civil rights leader who has betrayed the interests of his own constituency in ways so insidious and enormous that the damage almost cannot be counted."

Well said, but haven't we all known this for quite some time?

Police officers do not charge suspects with crimes.  They arrest, but do not charge. Prosecutors file charges, if so directed by a grand jury.  HOWEVER, at least some county prosecutors I know DO have badges, so perhaps the phrasing still manages to work.

bdkern
bdkern

Yeah, for quite some time...  I suspected that this "city council guy" had to be into "no good", when he drove by me in the early '90s in his bright yellow Lotus Esprit Turbo on I35, window down with his elbow out, and gave me an arrogant, disdainful look, while making sure I knew he was "the man".  I don't think he was admiring my old Monte Carlo.  Well, maybe he just didn't like my car.  I donno...

OutaDaFog
OutaDaFog

JWP is their CROOK Downtown!

LaceyB
LaceyB

delicious column, once again, JimS! The single best soap of the summer (the year?). I didn't really like Dallas that much til this serial came along.

JWP the song (and the movie) sounds like "Carmina Burana" in "Salo", where people eat shit under the control of a fascist leader, and, apparently, enjoy it and ask for more, before bowing their heads in worship (and raising their fists in power).

I get the want to identify with one's race, but, isn't a rally, prayer services, and a bouncy house a bit much? Where's Al Sharpton when a brother needs him?

Gary
Gary

Where's Al Sharpton? The rental fees are too high for Rev Al. They got who they could afford.

Bob
Bob

How sad, that in the midst of the revelation of tragic betrayal of his own community, Price is being clung to as a paragon of virtue.  Sadder, though, is the derision being heaped upon those who naively cling to the facade of righteousness that Price has hidden behind for so many years.

Is it possible to expose, try, and punish Price without further destroying the fabric of the community of his constituents?  Can we give Price his due without further punishing those who mistakenly support him (and I don't mean the "professional" rights advocates heading up this sham of a demonstration), the folks who live in Southern Dallas County and whose faith in Price is now being woefully demolished?

Ms Bookworm
Ms Bookworm

Finally, a voice of reason, moderation and empathy. Yes, Bob, it is possible to excoriate JWP for what one believes to be his as-yet-unproven wrongdoings. But there are those who have truly been assisted in one way or another by this man. There are others who have had no direct dealings with him, but who have seen him vociferously defend the rights of minorities, and who have had no knowledge of what might have gone on behind the scenes. They are true believers, and as such, deserve better than the ridicule so easily exhibited here by the arrogant and self-righteous.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Very nice sentiment and well said.  It's in this spirit that I want to go to this rally.  I want to advocate for those people you describe.  Hell, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Tea Party folk.  I hate sophists, I hate their arguments, the obfuscations, the distortions and distractions.  It really bothers me that the media too seldom do their due diligence and revert to the very lazy practice of simply reporting two (not both, there's usually more that a simple dichotomy) sides.  A democracy can't function under these conditions, and I dare say the evidence is legion. 

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

It is going to be hot on Saturday.  You know you have enough sense not to stand out their preaching to the unteachable.  

scottindallas
scottindallas

sadly, you're right.  I work outside, I sure ain't gonna volunteer to stand out in this crap any more than necessary.  I was hoping for a cool front.  If this were October, I'd be all over it.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Sometimes, the only way to learn not to stick your hand in the fire is to do so, and get burned.

scottindallas
scottindallas

so much for judging a man on the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. 

scottindallas
scottindallas

If he's coasting on being black with his constituents, then he's using his color for his cred, that is a case of his constituents judging him on the color of his skin rather than the content...

I agree that he's burned his people.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Don't think I understand.JWP has coasted on being black to keep getting reelected.Those that do the electing have obviously been burned.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Jim, I'll go to the rally with you, we can carry placards "Judas" and "JWP betrays South Dallas"

I'm serious.  I'm disappointed to see some of these civil rights advocates throw their pearls before this swine.  Too bad the prosecution isn't private, maybe we could get sponsored.

Watching South Detroit
Watching South Detroit

I wonder who's idea this rally was,  I will bet it was JWP or one of his corrupt cornies. 

Holla
Holla

Jimbo, people with badges don't charge people with crimes, the DA does.  The badge wearing guys just arrest you.

Guest
Guest

The D.A.s on Law & Order have had badges in some episodes (ADA Connie Rubirosa got in trouble for flashing her D.A. badge when she was appointed as a public defender on a case).

Also, I watch too much television.

Mike
Mike

In New York prosecutors carry badges and assault on a prosecutor is same as assaulting a police officer.  If it occurs while on the job, it gets the "officer down" tag in the notification and gets the same level of response by the force.  High ranking civilians in the Police Commissioner's office also carry badges.

JimS
JimS

Mmm, not sure you're right, are you? DA can seek an indictment. But if the cops want to hold you, they have to charge you. Are we using "charge" the same way?

Paul
Paul

According to my "law and order" degree ... I think it goes something like this ....

A policeman observes a crime, depending upon the crime observed the policeman issues a citation (ticket) for you to appear in court at a later date ... or ... the policeman can arrest you and take to you to booking ... this is where the charge is filed ... your are then held for an arraignment where the judge listens to the prosecutor's story and determines whether or not sufficient evidence exists that a crime may have been committed (sort of a mini grand jury).  At the arraignment, if the judge decides that a crime may have been committed the charge is entered ... at this point you plead guilty or not guilty ... if not guilty, bail is set and a trial date is set ... if you can post bond or bail you are free to go until trial ...

You can be held for up to 24 hours and then you either have to be arraigned or let go.

In the case of JWP (for reference only after all we have to follow Plato's unitilities of place and time ... 8-D )

The coppers think a crime is being committed, but they have not directly seen the alleged crime committed but someone or something has tipped them off to potential malfeasance.  Since there is a possibillity of malfeasance they are obligated to investigate.  This initial investigation can be talking to people, making plain sight observations, comings and goings, anything that an ordinary person might be able to observe by watching, reading the newspaper, etc.  At this point, if the police decide that there may be a crime going on they have to go to a judge to be able to get search warrants, phone taps, etc.  They have to prove to a judge that there is a need for police intrusion into someone's life (Oh those pesky 4th and 5th amendments).  Once that information is gathered the information is then presented to the grand jury who decides whether or not sufficient evidence exists that a trial is warranted for the charge that is sought by the prosecutor.

It is important to note that the police and the prosecutor do not prevent crime, they can only investigate and prosecute once a crime has been committed.  The police cannot go around monitoring people who "might" commit a crime.

The oft mentioned COINTELPRO was a hideous example of the police (which the FBI is) going around monitoring people who might commit a crime even though there was no reasonable basis for whether or not any illegal activities were committed much less planned.

Notice that "conspiracy" can only occur after the commision of a crime.  It's a Catholic kind of thing, you can think about it all you want, but it is not a sin until you do it of your own free will.

hth

EdS
EdS

Always been a topic of debate.  I think most folks agree that a charge (state charge) has been filed when the DA's intake unit accepts the case for prosecution. 

Ed D.
Ed D.

I'm not a lawyer but "A criminal charge is a formal accusation made by a governmental authority asserting that somebody has committed a crime." The charging document can be a complaint, information, or an indictment. In essence, a motorcycle cop with a radar gun can charge you with speeding (acting on information) but they'd need an arrest warrant resulting from a complaint or indictment to arrest you for a crime to which they are not a witness.

Gary
Gary

Dance,sing,eat an be merry. JWP is a legend in his own mind. Get your autographs while you can. Compelling evidence trumps opinion everytime,when it comes time to face the Feds.

scottindallas
scottindallas

not always.  But, I'd like to think/hope so.

yellowjacket
yellowjacket

Inland port less like Marriage of Figaro and more to Pagliacci.

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