How Mayor Rawlings Saved Face, Kept Some Black Friends and Screwed Some Hispanic Ones in the Process

Categories: Schutze

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Oh, wouldn't you know it? Leave it to me to get all gooh-gooh-eyed and sweety-feets about things. Then cruel reality comes crashing in. It's because I'm just too innocent of heart.

Just yesterday, I had my zither out singing softly to you about how the mayor had done the right thing in the municipal judges fracas. He changed his mind at the last minute and voted against a plan to create two bogus full-time judge jobs for a couple of lawyers who are wired to the minority wing of the city council.

And, look, I still think Mayor Mike Rawlings did a good thing. It's a question of how good. Maybe it was good but not quite as good as I said. And perhaps my head was turned a bit by the fact that the good thing he did was the same good thing that was urged upon him only the day before here on this very page by my favorite writer, my own self.

I wrote about how the city courts are a mess because they're run under the table by small cabal of traffic-ticket lawyers. Let's not go back into all that. It's weird, and it's complicated.

Anyway, the mayor said at the council table Wednesday that he was very concerned about these traffic-ticket lawyers, so he was going to change his vote and vote against the bogus jobs for the two judges who appear to be closely associated with one of the biggest traffic-ticket kings.

Yeah. He did. He voted against. But I missed a few details. Luckily for me, I have lots of people out there who have my cell phone number who are really good about calling me up and telling me about stuff I got wrong. So many I almost don't want to even answer my cell phone some days. Yesterday I did.

So here's what really happened. The black council members had recruited the Hispanic council members to create a seven-vote bloc to do the dirty and create jobs for the two judges -- one black and one Hispanic. The mayor, a white guy, was the swing vote to create an eight-vote majority. Originally, he voted with the minority bloc in favor of the whole deal.

At some point the mayor obviously decided he needed to vote against something because of the ticket-lawyer issue. And, truth be told, he may never have seen my item here. The person who really stirred that issue was council member Angela Hunt. She was in his ear telling him that the ticket-lawyer issue was very dirty, and he was going to be in a big mud puddle if he blindly supported the seven vote minority bloc.

So here's what went down. The mayor comes in late to the meeting Wednesday trailed by black council members Dwaine Caraway and Tennell Atkins, the trio of them looking all smirky like they've been hiding out behind the gym smoking cigarettes. The mayor votes against the two judge jobs for the black and Hispanic lawyers, citing his concerns about the ticket lawyers. Council votes. The two-job deal goes down eight to seven with the mayor the swing vote against. Bang. No judge jobs.

Two seconds later, Atkins proposes a one-job deal, just for the black judge, Cheryl Williams. Monica Alonzo, a Hispanic council member -- thinking something must have slipped Atkins' mind? -- says, "I would like to, if they would accept a friendly amendment, add Mr. Gonzalez (the Hispanic judge)."

She wants Atkins to amend his motion. Since this is all about a minority bloc, black and Hispanic, and since Atkins is trying it again for some reason, she wants him to put her guy back in the deal, too.

Atkins says, "I'm just going to do Cheryl."

That would be no. He will not accept her amendment. If the Hispanics want their guy back in the deal, they will have to do their own motion separately. So Alonzo makes a separate substitute motion to add her guy back in.

Council votes on the black judge. The mayor, who has already flipped once on this deal, flips again and votes for the black lawyer. All the minorities vote for the black candidate. It's eight to seven in favor. Bang. Black judge got a job.

The black council members all look like cats that have just swallowed canaries, except for Carolyn Davis, who, as usual, looks adamant but confused.

Then they vote on the Alonzo motion to put the Hispanic guy back in. All the minorities vote for the Hispanic. Bang. But the mayor flips again (third flip), this time against. Eight to seven, motion fails. Hispanic doesn't get a job.

So what's the box score at the end of the day? The mayor gets points for being concerned about the undue influence of the ticket lawyers. The black council members get their judge. The Hispanic council members get the shaft. Played. Not squat. And now they all look sort of furrow-browed like Davis, like, "What just happened?"

How about at this point I just shut up?


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29 comments
timdickey
timdickey

I listened to the "straw vote" hearing, and from that, understood that the slate of three judges had not gone through the standard judge selection process. Then, I called my council representative and was told that the judges being proposed had all been approved previously. Anyone know what's what?

roo_ster
roo_ster

See, this sort of baloney is why I am reluctant to move into Dallas's city limits, despite some incentives to do so.  My own city council is no band of angels, but they are rank amateurs in the corruption game relative to Dallas's.  It is no wonder that the 'burbs are expanding to the Oklahoma border and more business & industry choose to build their physical plant outside Dallas city limits, too.  Heck, outside of Dallas County, after JW Price gets into the act.

ceepee
ceepee

Double-U. Tee. Eff. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Well, I guess that we don't have to worry about race riots for a few months .... at least South Dallas ... Oak Cliff and East Dallas I'm not so sure .....

 

I'm shocked, ... I'm shocked to find that there is corruption in local government.

Gangy
Gangy

Maybe Carolyn Davis often looks confused because she doesn't partake in the backroom dealings?

rdfry1
rdfry1

Keep Angela Hunt and sack every one else. No wonder the city is so mismanaged.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Well, perhaps it was a lesson learned by the "Hispanic Bloc" about the pitfalls of playing politics based on race instead of policy.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

And these were judges previously determined to not be worthy of those positions based on prior experiences, correct?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @Gangy Maybe she looks confused because she's dumb as a post.

ceepee
ceepee

 @Gangy No it's because she's an idiot. Remember, Occam's Razor.

1dailyreader
1dailyreader

 @Gangy I don't think she could keep up with the flipping and flopping and who's gonna vote for who and why.

1dailyreader
1dailyreader

 @Scruffygeist I'm lost now.  Of all the judges that were going to get booted, does this mean only the Hispanic lost his position?

whiteguilterssuck
whiteguilterssuck

@JimSX @JimSX if white people suck so bad, then why did you white-flight from Detroit to Dallas, which was a white-majority city back then? You are the ultimate hypocritical white liberal journalist archetype, the absolute example of "do as I say, not as I do". "Ignore my draft-dodging, ignore my white flight, now I will spit on whites while demanding that the draft be reinstated.". It is a wonder anyone but the ten libtards who regularly read your crap take you seriously at all. Oh wait most of them don't. Move back to 82% black Detroit you white-guilter hypocrite. If you need black government dysfunction for a subject to write about there is far more of that in your hometown of Detoilet.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @1dailyreader  @Gangy

 If t had been an Olympic event, the judges would have been holding up all 10s for the mayor.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @1dailyreader  @Scruffygeist No, there were five full-timers in all bounced. Don't know full ethnicity count, but I believe three were white.  Actually only Cheryl Williams, who is well known to be black, got back on. Another little scene I just did not have room for here. Sheffie Kadane tried to get the council to hire back a guy named Tony Martin to be a part-time judge. The black council members apparently do not know Mr. Martin. Carolyn Davis muttered something about, "Now you want to get the white ones back on," and the black council members all voted against said Mr. Martin. Joke is that said Martin in fact is black. But it's kind of like the tree falling in the forest deal: is a man really black if the black city council members don;t know he's black? Apparently not.  

raymondcrawford
raymondcrawford

 @marianagriggs  @JimSX yeah, how about that $50,000 piece of chump change some guy chipped in to make South Dallas feel better about itself? I find it insulting. I bet there's guys in Preston Hollow whose 3 month water bill equals that.

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

 @JimSX My favorite was last week, when the Black Council Members voted down a Dollar Store in an area of town because it was "Saturated" with Dollar Stores. I agree, but how did all of those other stores get there? What was the point of saturation? Someone of a different cultural/ethnic background trying to open a Dollar Store? At any other time the store would have been praised as economic development, so listening to them sounded strangely suspicious. Luckily there are other things to occupy my time or else I'd go bananas. Next time I'll tell you about Nexbank, Rawlings, the Dallas Asian Population and Grow South. I often think I'm spinning tales, but the worst keeps coming up.  :(

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

 @JimSX I like that you are so upset about this. It's obvious, but we keep watching the drama...like any good entertainment.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @1dailyreader  @Scruffygeist If you are black and have business before a black city council person, send a photo of yourself. If you are white, send a photo of a black person and say it's you.

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