Tom Leppert and the Young Republicans Solve the World's Problems

Tom Leppert with Young Republicanss.jpg
Photo by Anna Merlan

If you happened to stumble upstairs at the Londoner last night, you might have wondered just what the hell was going on. Why were so many of these men wearing suits to the bar? Is that a sweater vest in the corner? Everyone's throwing the word "santorum" around with such enthusiasm -- have we stumbled upon some sort of bizarre fetish club? And good Lord, is that Tom Leppert?

Yes it was, in fact, dropping by the monthly meeting of the Dallas County Young Republicans.

"I know I'm interrupting the beers and the conversation," Leppert said. (He really was. The lone Ron Paul guy in the room, who was wearing a name tag that read "Wesley Snipes," was in the middle of telling Greg and me what an "insufferable douchebag prick" Rick Santorum is. It was getting interesting.) But this country, Leppert continued, "is in a real dire position." In a 15-minute sort of greatest-hits package, Leppert and the YRs fixed that right up.

"I'm not much of a politician," Leppert said, with apparent sincerity. "But I am a business person. A conservative business person. I was never able to solve a problem with a sound-bite."

Instead, Leppert touted his "30-page, detailed, comprehensive economic plan," warned that within six months Iran will probably get nuclear weapons and try to kill us all, and gave a couple of quick nods to both democracy and Jesus (he's strongly in favor of both).

Leppert even found time to defend his stances as mayor on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the city-owned Omni Hotel to Ron Paul Guy, who wasn't a fan of either. "Those are your only significant accomplishments as mayor," he told Leppert. They'd obviously had this conversation before. "A giant bridge and a government-run hotel."

"The bridge was done before I ever got there," Leppert replied. He claimed it was largely funded by private money (Really?). "People can spend their money any way they want," he added. "And we had to have a bridge there, from an infrastructure standpoint."

"The convention center hotel," he added serenely, "I'm usually criticized for that." But it was pretty straightforward, he said. "None of you are paying for it. You pay less taxes because of it. ... And it made a million dollars over projections in the first year it was open. If there was another way to do that, I would've done it. And it was voted on by people too."

After a brief detour into his back-story (single mom, public school, bootstraps, etc.), Leppert got into the social issues, when one of the YRs asked him what the government's role is in helping "the poorest of the poor."

"There has to be a safety net," Leppert replied, to our mild surprise. "My wife views me as right of Attila the Hun, but there does have to be a safety net." But people shouldn't get to stay in it too long. "My mom taught me you'd better work to get it. All of you are here because you're ready to work hard and get ahead in your careers."

The Young Republicans nodded. Leppert nodded. They all agreed that abortion was a bad idea, marriage was between a man and a woman, and that Social Security was a doomed sinkhole. Finally, just before everyone returned to their beers, someone asked Leppert what issues he was willing to compromise with the Democrats on, and which ones he wasn't.

"In running the city of Dallas and in business, I've done a lot of things," Leppert replied. "But I never compromised my principles. I brought people over to my side instead."


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29 comments
Mary
Mary

What a great group of Young Leaders! Y'all bring in established, informative speakers as well and contribute to the community. 

Mervis
Mervis

There are young republicans?

JRinDallas
JRinDallas

so, to the right of Attila the Hun. if there's one thing Mayor Leppert can say he accomplished is he might have proved some kind of corollary to Godwin's Law.

Montemalone
Montemalone

You need to invite Wesley Snipes to write a guest-blog.

Guest
Guest

Leppert never compromised his principles, meaning that he still believes that the government should own businesses (the means of production) and compete with private enterprise and that massive, wasteful spending projects are more important that providing basic city services.

Stan
Stan

When Reagan was president, the Young Republicans could fill a large hotel audtorium.   My how they have run off people with their extreme views.

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh

Let's see, a group of folks all listening to a "government can fix it all" guy and then agreeing on what forms of liberty should or should not be granted to citizens.

Was the Ron Paul guy there because the beer was free? If not, I'm not sure what he's doing in that room other than forming a migraine.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

["The bridge was done before I ever got there," Leppert replied. He claimed it was largely funded by private money (Really?). "People can spend their money any way they want," he added.]

An easily disprovable lie. 

The bridge cost $187 million; private money amounted to $12 million of that. 

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

["The convention center hotel," he added serenely, "I'm usually criticized for that." But it was pretty straightforward, he said. "None of you are paying for it. You pay less taxes because of it.]

An easily disprovable lie. 

He used $42 million in taxpayer money to buy the land, then arranged for $249.1 in Build America Bond interest subsidies and pledged $212.9 million in city and state taxes towards the property's operation, as well.

Not being satisfied with that, he continued to hammer DART to reroute a new light rail line to make a stop at the hotel, notwithstanding the fact that it would cost a whopping $824 million--- something that caused everyone else to back away.

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

[And it made a million dollars over projections in the first year it was open.]

An easily disprovable lie.

The hotel opened in November, 2011... a full year hasn't passed yet.

["In running the city of Dallas and in business, I've done a lot of things," Leppert replied. "But I never compromised my principles. I brought people over to my side instead."]

...and then, once his big spending ways (remember his "buckets of money"?) were no longer convenient for his personal advancement, he simply abandoned them and those who had come over to his side, chasing new friends who were in a better position to help him continue to get ahead at any cost.

jdub1772
jdub1772

"But I am a business person. A conservative business person. I was never able to solve a problem with a sound-bite."

is a sound-bite...      

DaTruth
DaTruth

Young conservatives that believe marriage is only between a man and a woman are a good example of why abortion should remain legal and available.

Aaron Brown
Aaron Brown

Yup. And we want to end all of the wars and shut down our foreign military bases. Ron Paul 2012.

RTGolden
RTGolden

There are.  And, by and large, they are dissatisfied with their Party.  They were probably meeting in the Londoner to drown their sorrows at the pitiful display of inadequacy the Republican Primary race has become.  Somehow, the most socialist of American politicians found them and interrupted a well-deserved round of drinks.

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

Not a bad plan, actually. We'd have to make sure he drinks like seven beers first, though. 

Mervis
Mervis

Because Reagan was a moderate.

tbone
tbone

I think you mistook ability to solve problems with sound-bites with "I never use sound-bites."

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

 True, but in this instance his campaign is the problem and that sound bite won't fix it, so for once he is telling the truth.

Guest
Guest

If you're not a man/woman couple who may possibly merge your genes and have kids, then get a legal civil union. The state (Federal or States) can give a civil union the same legal status as a marriage if they want to. But the covenant of marriage exists to provide stability and identity for the next generation. If we debase that covenant, it's our own fault. We should at least attempt to uphold it.

DaCorrection
DaCorrection

Right, so we can cull douchebags like you early on in the process.

RTGolden
RTGolden

And this comment is the perfect example of what is wrong with both liberals and conservatives in this country.  Each should be reaching out to the other and meeting somewhere in the middle (where the vast majority of the population actually is).Instead, we get trivial social issues, which should, by all rights, remain under the sovereignty of each individual citizen, exploding into key components of the political dialogue.Gay marriage, personally, it's not for me, but who am I to bitch if two people want to make that LEGAL and MORAL committment to each other.  For that is what a marriage is; a state-sanctioned legal contract establishing a moral committment between two people.  I don't think it matters what gender either or both of the participants are.  I've witnessed plenty of heterosexual marriages that were far from what I would define as 'moral'.  But then again, I'm not in those marriages, so is it within my scope to define the morality of them?  I think not.Abortion?  It's legal.  If you're morally against it, don't have one.  Seems pretty simple to me.Contraception?  If you don't use it, I think you're an idiot.  Kids are friggin expensive.  I don't think your employer should be forced to pay for it if doing so presents a moral dilemma for them.  Sorry liberals, you can't have it both ways.  People have a choice, if you believe your employer's Health Care plan should pay for contraception, don't work for a church.  Don't go to a Church sponsored college or university.  Again it's pretty simple.  you get to establish your own morals, you don't get to expect others to abide by them.

Here's the kicker.  I'm basically a conservative. I just happen to believe, politically, the Constitution trumps the Bible.  This country encompasses people of all races, all religions, various degrees of education, wealth, opportunity and advantage.  The Bible, or Koran, or Talmud attempts to push all these disparate people into one single defining character.  The Constitution, work of genius that it is, is written to encompass all these people, with all their differences.  It is written to be able to grow and adapt to changing demographics and advancements in understanding and humanity.  One of these has a chance of working as a governing document, and one of them doesn't.

Sa
Sa

I'm agreeing with you again...what's up with that?  Checked with my doc about my meds, so maybe it's something in the air or water??

Guest
Guest

 By which, of course, he meant that he simply never solves problems.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

Does ignorance and intolerance run in your family?

AfroZ
AfroZ

 I have to give a lot of credit to Jarrod, having worked with him in the past.  He does see the issues at a global level, and I've seen him bring very disparate people together for intelligent debate to get on the same page.  People that still misinterpret the Ron Paul movement don't quite understand the strength of it because he is preparing young citizens to lead the country for the long-term after he is gone.  Of all candidates, he speaks the most truth.

Anna Merlan
Anna Merlan

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply you were inebriated, Ron Paul Guy/Wesley Snipes. I just think you'd be even more entertaining if you were.   

Rangers100
Rangers100

Yeah... you should stop doing that.  Cults are creepy.

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