How John Wiley Price (Allegedly!) Sold Dallas

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OK, I've got my idiot coloring book out again. Sorry. Just have to do this. I just want to help people not get totally lost in the delicious detritus of the FBI affidavit released yesterday in the Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price corruption probe.

The details are delectable -- a web-work of girlfriends and bag-ladies through which Dallas County's most powerful official is alleged to have to put the arm on everybody from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to the powerful Perot clan.

But there's a bigger, simpler, much more significant picture looming above that junkyard of tits for tats. This whole city got sold out. The Price case may or may not show how. Time will tell.

I hope the federal criminal case against Price will help us get this down right. It's important at so many levels. I saw Radio KHVN ("Heaven") 970 talk-show host Robert Ashley on the TV news last night talking about how black Southern Dallas officials have been victims of "selective enforcement."

For decades, Ashley has been an even-handed, wise head in his role as a journalist covering Southern Dallas politics. His remarks express the pain of an entire community confronted with terrible accusations against a revered and trusted leader in Price.
Price has not been indicted. The affidavit released yesterday was part of a civil matter about money, not a criminal accusation. But on the first page of my coloring book, I'm going to take my fat red Crayola and scrawl the name of the accusation, just so that we all know what it's going to be when the inevitable federal criminal indictments come down.

JUDAS.

On page two, I'm going to take my blue Crayola and make a bunch of little circles with polka-dot eyeballs and frowny mouths. I'm going to take a pencil and write names under them. The Perots. The Dallas Morning News. The North Central Texas Council of Governments. Tom Leppert. Mike Rawlings. Then I'm going to take my black Crayola, go back up to the top of the page and write, "ROMANS?"

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That's one level -- not the top level -- of what this story either will or will not be about. The real accusation against John Wiley Price will be that he masqueraded as a champion of his people when in fact he was betraying them.

The top level is worse. It's on page three. Guess who's on the middle cross? Not Price. The city itself. The largest accusation here is that Price was only a henchman in a campaign to deeply wound Dallas.

We'll see. That's a tough case to make. But there are some indications in the details that this very top-most picture of the real situation may emerge from the inevitable criminal trials.

This has everything to do with Richard Allen's Inland Port project in Southern Dallas, which should have been the single best thing to happen to the city's beleaguered, racially segregated southern hemisphere since Reconstruction, and might have been the biggest shot in the arm to the citywide economy since the building of D/FW International Airport.

But the Inland Port was a direct economic threat to a competing project, Alliance Airport, developed in Fort Worth by one of Dallas' most powerful family, the Perots.
Beginning in 2005, Price began acting as a henchman in a concerted campaign to torpedo the Inland Port. He was joined by the editorial page of The Dallas Morning News, with a major assist from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, supposedly an objective planning agency.

Allen, a California investor, had spent five years lining up all of the planning and permitting he needed to start leasing space for his gigantic shipping and warehousing center. In 2005, the real estate market was still good. It was exactly the right take-off moment for Allen.

So guess what? At exactly that moment, Price started insisting that the whole project needed to be put on hold so he could do more planning for it, and so the legislature could set up a new layer of local government through which Price, not Allen, would run the project.

Guess what again? The editorial page of The Dallas Morning News took up the cudgel against Allen in support of Price and accused Allen of being a racist because he wouldn't hire a bunch of Price's buddies as "consultants."

Guess what again? The NCTCG started hectoring the hell out of Allen, holding up money for key infrastructure and demanding that he provide all kinds of race-based documentation about his staff and his contractors, even though none of that was called for by law, and even though Allen had a far better record for minority participation in his projects than anybody in Dallas.

And then Tom Leppert, our former mayor who spent so much time promising to bring economic opportunity to Southern Dallas, joined the effort to shut Allen down.
This was Project Judas, a deliberate campaign by so-called civic leaders to slit the throat of the city. That's what to look for in the delicious details of the federal government's case.

Price told me at the time that he didn't even know Ross Perot, Jr., and had never spoken to him that he could recall. But one of the details from yesterday's affidavit is an allegation that Price personally intervened with the Perots to get an associate of his hired as a decorator for one of their projects.

That tells me the Perots may be talking to the feds. We already know the feds have been talking to them. If they are, that's a good thing, as far as my coloring book is concerned -- an indication that the big picture may come out.

Mike Rawlings, our current mayor, is on the edge of the page in my book. He was a political neophyte when the Dallas Citizens Council dubbed him to become the next mayor. He put himself in their hands. The affidavit shows the campaign pushing all the old buttons for Rawlings, including money paid to political consultant Kathy Nealey, which became money paid to Price, which bought Price's endorsement of Rawlings.
If the accusation in the affidavit turns out to be true, will that make Rawlings a bad guy? I don't know. I guess at one level it will depend on how people feel about a mayor who, perhaps unknowingly, bought a key endorsement from Judas.

At that higher level I'm talking about, it will pose a very disturbing question for Dallas. Why was an endorsement from Judas worth all that money?

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178 comments
dabears
dabears

Rawlings true colors are now showing and he's a POS.  Price has been a POS for as long as his name has been in the papers.  The Dallas Morning News continues it's decline.  Really bad when you wish for the Times Herald because it would be more conservative than the News. Political consultants are lower than Whale crap.  Our Country has lost its way.  Good news is that some two bit attorney like Brad Lollar will jump up and defend these creeps.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Sheeeeeiiiiiiittttttt  There is something so "The Wire" about all this. You know what I mean?

Rosemont girl
Rosemont girl

One thing that doesn't quite fit here is Price's bankruptcy. Any particular reason for the bankruptcy? And did the corruption start after bankruptcy? Seems people are saying this has been going on for decades.

D0mmerdog
D0mmerdog

They're checking him for bankruptcy fraud.  He declared BK in 1996 which was discharged in 2001.  They're looking to see if he lied about his assets on his bankruptcy forms.

Jjb
Jjb

Ok idiots, Its all abiut the money and how many corrupt ways you can create to get it. Polititans suck, government sucks,Its legal robbers here. Pice will say one thing until he gets offered a buy out to put his greedy hands on. All he wants to do is cause racial issues among the dallas society. Hell is it not true we are all minority here now that our borders are wide open. If you have money you have power! All the politians are crooks that make promises til the price tah is where they want it to change their mind of another lucrative offer arises and then they jump ship.

Mrs Cook
Mrs Cook

Maybe Dallas County turned a blind eye to Jerry Jones because he wouldn't pay consultant fees-wasn't interested in that scene. Jerry J knows why he went to Arlington. It is very interesting to note the competition with AA and Victory.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

The AAC contract with the City of Dallas gave it--gives it, first right of refusal. ANYTHING that comes to Dallas has to go there first. Soooo, a Cowboys Stadium at Fair Park would be empty 6 days a week, 40 or so weeks a year. Hardly worth the money, but what were we told? JOBS! JOBS! Just like Victory Park. Yea, how many jobs there? How many overpriced shops or restaurants have closed there?

Laura Miller was an outsider, a non-Dallasiste. She never drank the Kool-Aid that stadiums bring in money---because they don't. Look at Fair Park area and look at Irving. Reunion? Gone. Now that Texas Stadium is gone, what is left? Fair Park is a jewel, but God forbid, freaking millionaires dont' have skyboxes to party in.  They actually FEAR going there. I love the place. Was over in that area just last week.

engmofo
engmofo

Pity Bar"O"Soap went nuts up ...........Meridian Room still rules.......

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I know Rawling was told and warned about using Ms. Nealy's due to her involvement in the Hill case,American Airlines was also warned.People have always wanted to Blame Laura Miller for Jerry Jones taking his Cowboys to Arlington tip of Iceberg, Dallas County was in charge of funding the Sports Authority and collecting tax,not City of Dallas.Dallas County did not work with Jerry Jones every proposal he presented they turned a blind eye.Who's development would compete the most with AA Center and Victory if it had come to  Downtown Dallas? Jerry's World.Laura Miller you have been cleared you did not do it. Big Bad Wolf did, it was slated to go into District 3 same District as Hillwood/AA/Victory and etc.

Mother Mary
Mother Mary

Betty, Why do you think Carol Reed's name is not being mentioned In connection with JWP? This is truly puzzling.

MBO
MBO

Because she "rolled" for the FBI. 

Cujo
Cujo

So why did Jones demand 425 million from Laura/City of Dallas and then later ask the Dallas County Commissioners for "only" 325 million? Of course there's the part of the puzzle that Jerry needed an answer in a month from the DCC. That's negotiating in bad faith on the face of it, so the easy answer that he had Arlington in his back pocket doesn't quite jibe with your claims.

Of course my information could be all wrong but that's how I recall it being reported. As I recall, Jerry wanted Fair Park and lots of other concessions so even if Laura takes the "blame" for this, I still think telling Jerry to piss off, whatever the reasons, was the right call for the taxpayer.

So I'd love to hear more about this from your perspective, Betty.

Royce Williams
Royce Williams

There is no doubt that had Cowboys Stadium been built in Dallas County, a sizable chunk of the total cost to build Jerry World would have been paid in "consultant fees" that would have made John Wiley Price and his posse multi-millionaires.

Cujo
Cujo

 That's why it's puzzling that Jerry's deal wasn't grabbed and further embellished with giveaways that would be tacked on later. (This is SOP for sports teams and stadiums, see Indy, Cincy and out own arenas but the NFL has taken it to a new art form.)

Excellent Poynt
Excellent Poynt

The rebuffing of Jerry World was a lot more complicated. Many of you forget that Dallas voters would have considered the stadium in November when Pete Sessions and Martin Frost were vying for their newly combined district. Why would Pete Sessions want to increase voter turnout with a stay-jum on the ballot?

Royce Williams
Royce Williams

I'm glad Dallas didn't knuckle under to the pressure to foot part of the bill for Jerry World.  I'm against using taxpayer dollars to fund luxury options at any sports facility and that includes the many multi-million dollar high school venues across the state with artificial turf, indoor practice fields, top of the line training equipment, and plush locker rooms.

Royce Williams
Royce Williams

After reading the 62 page affidavit by FBI Agent Sherman, a normal criminal would get that sinking "Oh no, I'm fucked" feeling, but the South Dallas street hustling variety of criminal like John Wiley Price will continue to deny, lie, and cheat to the very end while playing all the race cards left in the deck with indignant screams that he is an oppressed victim of THE MAN trying to keep a brother down.  Then he will call on his constituents to loot and burn their own neighborhoods.  JWP has operated with impunity for over two decades and it boggles the mind that it took this long for such a thinly veiled unsophisticated bribery,extortion, and money laundering scheme to unravel.  It also boggles the mind to comprehend how many economic opportunities have passed Dallas by rather than submit to such an in your face shake down scheme run by a racist gang of low IQ street hustlers.

Gangy
Gangy

W's Justice Department wasn't about to mess this up for their friends.  Things are happening now because it's Obama's administration.

Royce Williams
Royce Williams

Nice try Gangy, obviously you didn't take time to read the affidavit or gather any facts before throwing out the lame yet predictable liberal argument that blames everything on George W Bush.  Fact is that JWP operated with impunity during the Clinton administration as well.    

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I disagree. It takes a high IQ to shaft your own people for decades. But yea, you  STILL take the fall when the ones behind you, the other guys from across the river, get off scot free.

Royce Williams
Royce Williams

Go back and read the affidavit Diane.  The unsophisticated scam used methods to move the money that left a paper trail as wide as 635 leading straight from the ho's back to their pimp.  You're giving them way too much credit by assuming that the willingness to screw "your own people" is somehow attributable to a high IQ.  JWP is at best a clever thug who relies on criminal instinct and a good street hustler aptitude to bully his way to moderate wealth while daring society to do anything about it.  The years it has taken for the criminal enterprise to be brought to justice has everything to do with gangsters sticking together while guarding their secrets, and nothing to do with high IQ's.

Royce Williams
Royce Williams

You are absolutely right, those who submitted to the extortion and bribery racket operated by John Wiley Price need to be held accountable.  There is no excuse for the high rollers who opted to take the path of least resistance to avoid disruption of business ventures by paying chump change to the low IQ street hustling racist thugs in the JWP posse. That being said, the lack of intellect and imagination in the criminal enterprise makes JWP no less culpable. Make no mistake, John Wiley Price is a big fish in a medium sized pond, and the attempt to use the tired excuse that THE MAN wants takes down a brother while letting the masterminds off scot-free is weak and pathetic.

JBone
JBone

"The years it has taken for the criminal enterprise to be brought to justice has everything to do with gangsters sticking together while guarding their secrets, and nothing to do with high IQ's."

Completely overlooking the fact that you are a so-called "conservative" you are dead right, here. They have to take down the entire group, not just the street pusher, JWP!!! 

All areas of Dallas Politics needs to be cleaned out, especially City Hall. 

GAA
GAA

Fuck JWP and his greedy conspirators. 

pencil
pencil

I wonder how much singing willisdacrooner will do when his nuts are in the fed vise.

Gonna be interesting to see who sells out to save their ass.

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

I imagine theys all gonna step to save their ass!

Mrs Cook
Mrs Cook

The loss of jobs for South Dallas and the unfair treatment of Mr Allen of the Inland  port are theconcerns I can't make go away. Also, the idea of bringing in a state senator on the SALT deal...yes, that was unethical, TX Ethics Committee! Downtown development is fine-cheating others is not.

Mrs Cook
Mrs Cook

re: Inland port + Perot Museum possible trade off:  I see, Jim S, the old museum was at Fair Park-so that is a double assault to the black community, and to all of us who value Fair Park and would like to see it thrive again. Downtown with its toll road is the main deal now...

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

Oh don't forget the BRIDGE TO NO WHERE!

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

It's a dam shame the Soviets did not drop the big one on Dallas, maybe you would not have these morons around then , oh; then no one would be here  :-) picture a rolling grassland in place of Dallas.........works for me..

Mrs Cook
Mrs Cook

The downtown Perot museum was a trade off for the inland port?

JimS
JimS

Very strong school of thought out there -- a Leppert deal, backed by Price. So Price, "Our Man Downtown," uses his position to help kill Southern Dallas's single best hope ever for economic self-determination and then, for dessert, helps gut Fair Park.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

ROBERT ASHLEY: YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.  NOW is the time for black journalists to rise above the race-baiting and the same old, same old in Dallas. THE MINUTE a black politician in this town gets caught--or is suspected of something, throw up the race card!!! It does not work anymore. Nope, nope, nope.

Her is a bit of advice:

1. Disown and cut off the alleged corrupt black officials. Call a rally --not in support --but in condemnation of---corruption. Why keep supporting, both in word and deed,  the very people who probably, maybe--sold out their own people? Make it known that if we even think you are doing something wrong, you are--on---your---own.

2. Try to explain how ANY race or issue brought to the voters in Dallas always seems to have North Dallas and South Dallas voting lock-step. Go ahead, try to explain it, without using these recent facts. Seriously, otherwise, you can't, without making voters in South Dallas look stupid. Who votes, over and over, for projects which will CERTAINLY make North Dallas and HP/UP businessmen richer, while South Dallas is rarely given some, if any, crumbs form the table? AAC? Trinity recall peittion? Strong mayor idea? Leppert and Rawlings campaigns? Big Old Bridge over a ditch?

3. Do a piece on how that AAC vote helped South Dallas. How many jobs? Trinity toll road? How many South Dallas residents will use it? Any new real development come to that part of Dallas under Mayor Leppert? Rawlings yet? Let me make it plain: The Boones who own the Container Store plunked down over $15-20,000 in the DISD board elections. How many of their stores are in South Dallas? They seem to care about DISD a LOT to get Nutall re-elected, but not enough to actually place a store in Buckner Terrace, Fair Park or South Dallas. So much for caring---buy our stuff, but we won't place a store near you. And yet, not a peep from South Dallas.

4. I am with you on one thing, but not for the reason you are: I hope to God some rich, white North Dallas businessmen and politicians get busted on this. I am sick of them and THEIR agenda. As one man recently said to my face, "We are in control of the conversation. We aren't going anywhere." Who appointed THEM as our Gods?

5.  In any government entity in Dallas County--ANY--you will find corruption. You would just think that the segment of our city which depends on government programs: schools, hospitals, police, buses, trains, etc... They would want BETTER use of money, better and honest people running the show. So go talk to God, Sir, and think what He would ask when you are before him: "When it was time to stand up for integrity, did you?"

JimS
JimS

Corruption here very much includes black media. Price personally directs the placement of most political advertising on black radio. He also controls the flow of political money to black churches. This will come out in trial. Look for instances when Price's signature is actually on checks supposedly coming from other entities. That means both black media and black churches look to Price himself as their main source of politics money, which is very important revenue. "Our Man Downtown" is really "Our Man with the Money." Don Sherman isn't taking down one man. He's taking down a machine, a network. Everybody who gets paid by that machine will wail and moan and sooner or later talk about Jesus. But Jesus didn't sign no checks. 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I have been hearing about "walking around money" for years. I have been told and then actually overheard a phone call where one politician was basiaclly being shaken down for money or their name would have been mud in the black community.

When I first brought this up at a teacher union meeting about an unrelated topic, I was called a racist by some black members--and a truth-teller by the older ones, who actually knew what was what. My name was flung far and wide, but I stuck to it---just right before Hodge's's stuff went down, before Hill's stuff went down. People forget about the Shaws' deaths a few years ago....

The part that upsets me more than any of it are the ministers. Dammit, I was raised that the black church was the soul of the community, and that the schools were the heart. Look at how it is with our schools---lack of community support and all, and look at some of the biggest, most monied churches.... Camel, meet needle.

So, this old white woman will keep saying it until somebody in the black community actually stands up and says, "ENOUGH!"  Still waiting to see people actually walking with signs---not at a gas stattion, but on MLK Blvd, demanding transparency in politics. I want ot see people call B S on the ministers who stood in front of City Hall and were used to call Harlan Crow, "Jim Crow." That man, so I have heard, was so offended, so shocked. And yet, someone reminded him, "Hey, this is what it feels like to be on the receiving end of this thing." Anyone hava photo from that day, that press conference about the Omni Hotel vote? Give that to the FBI, too.

I just do not know how these people can sleep at night. One thing to do wrong, but quite another to do it to your own.

Daniel
Daniel

You mean how much was in JWP's pockets.

Churchlady
Churchlady

You are "telling the truth",the clergy has sold out southern Dallas(may they get what they deserve)I remember the "Jim Crow" day and the ministers there,againMAY THEY GET WHAT THEY DESERVE!

D0mmerdog
D0mmerdog

Who can the people of South Dallas trust?  They've been socialized to believe it isn't anybody white.  That leaves them vulnerable to the influence of those who they believe care, and they believe those people care because who else is there. 

D0mmerdog
D0mmerdog

Diane, the churches call the shots in South Dallas.  If they called it for JWP, they were paid to do so.  Were it not he, it would be someone else.  One would like to think better of the ministers, but one would be naive to do so.

justafewfacts
justafewfacts

DISD used to ooze walking around money that was handed out from ghost employees especially during the days of Harden and Gonzalez.Has no one figured out that Bernadette's pile of northern donations were going straight to JWP to get out the vote. He showed to swear her in. Has anyone checked on where those checks from that $50,000 that just poured went? All the mayor's buddies were directing donations to the north-sotu circuit to line up school board support to keep things going the way things always do. How much of Nuttall's cash is in JWP pcokets.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Its going to take years and countless dollars, but cleaning the crooks oout on the city/county/state levels needs to be done. JWP is an embarassment to his district and all good people in that part of town, he's no better than a 2-bit pimp hustler in my eyes, too bad his district didnt get out and vote as they should've..

FwMystic01
FwMystic01

 People like you helped create JWP. I think South Dallas is tired of having "you people" telling them how they should vote.

Clifford
Clifford

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Dommerdog
Dommerdog

Coupla things:

1) Jim, I'd been wondering if you'd be addressing DMN consternation over Leppert's failure to show better in North Texas on election day.  Ed board leader seemed seriously perplexed over it, which perplexed me since North Texas has watched Leppert's involvement in the Inland Port fiasco, among other things, during his whirlwind involvement with our city.  Seems the DMN wrote it all off as resulting from his flip flopping with the gays and something that would make him stronger.

2) When Byron Harris broke this story on News 8 the other day, he indicated that Brett Shipp had the story ready to publish before the election but that WFAA held the story in order not to influence the election.  Sounds really noble, although what seems more plausible is that the story was held until after the election because how would Dallas look when JWP won the election (which he would have) even after this story broke. 

JimS
JimS

All good questions. I know Brett Shipp ain't afraid of nobody, certainly not Price, but Belo is still absolutely terrified of him from back in his slow-walking days. Also, in the absence of competition and with no other daily across the street to worry about, they seem to have decided that they should strive instead for their own personal best in political correctness. Maybe they were hoping by not treating it as a scoop when they got it, they would win the Mylar P. Milquian Award for Journalistic Niceness, which they probably will.

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

A pattern emerges: good enough for Dallas, not good enough for Texas; good enough for Texas, not good enough for the US.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Two thoughts (quotes): “May the wheels of justice grind slowly and exceedingly fine.”     And  “Indite (kill) them all and let the jury (God) sort it out”    A little artistic modification.     To the FBI and the prosecuting attorney (when appointed):  Do not forget the north Dallas Players roll in this shameful scam.

Helen of Troy
Helen of Troy

As the Dallas Political Machine continues to unravel, I can't help but notice that Carol Reed's office was not raided, nor has her name - unlike her peer, Mari Woodlief - been discussed in connection with JWP. She has worked with him, right?

Has Carol Reed been working with the Feds and did she throw Mari under the bus?

JimS
JimS

I suspect both Reed and Woodlief started throwing everybody they could think of under the bus the day the feds showed up at Woodlief's office.

Canaries
Canaries

Yep, they were signing so loudly they broke glass!!!

Oak Cliff Cellar
Oak Cliff Cellar

I have suspected that Carol Reed has been a source of information for the media, including our favorite cranky, shot gunning wielding columnist. It seems plausible that Reed would throw her collaborator-rival under the bus to save her part of the patronage.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

 Interesting question.  I'm almost sure I know of instances of Reed hiring Nealey.

JSD
JSD

Bump! 

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