Sandra Crenshaw, Mental Illness and the Race for the Texas Legislature.

Categories: Legislature, Media

SandraCrenshaw.jpg
Sandra Crenshaw, talking with Schutze when she was on the City Council. during the Don Hill corruption trial in 2009.
No one who knows former Dallas City Council member Sandra Crenshaw would dispute her intelligence or obsessive dedication to public service. It's her long and well-documented history of erratic behavior, the most recent case involving the alleged theft of a rental car, that raises questions about her fitness to hold public office.

Suffice to say that pretty much everyone was flummoxed when The Dallas Morning News endorsed her in the race for Texas House District 110 over the weekend.

Weirder still, the editorial offers only glancing allusions to Crenshaw's past antics. She "has her own shortcomings," the paper writes, and is "no stranger to handcuffs." But if she is able to "slow down and focus," she will do a far better job than incumbent Toni Rose.

See also: Former City Council Member Sandra Crenshaw Indicted for Theft of Rental Car

In an email to Unfair Park this morning, Morning News editorial page editor Keven Ann Willey explains the editorial board's decision to smooth over Crenshaw's rougher edges.

"We felt that by noting her erratic behavior we were signaling to voters her occasional irrationality without getting into the details of various diagnoses," she writes. "Those diagnoses are best disclosed by Ms. Crenshaw."

Besides: "We could not, in good faith, recommend Ms. Rose."

The Morning News' reluctance here is understandable, but surely readers deserve a more direct explanation of why the paper thinks she's not going to do crazy stuff once she's elected. Even if the paper thinks Rose is godawful, it could have endorsed no one.

Crenshaw is apparently ready to offer such an explanation. Yesterday evening, D's Tim Rogers published a letter she'd written in response to his earlier Frontburner post citing court documents calling her "mentally ill."

Crenshaw's response is remarkable: impassioned, lucid, and honest. In it, she admits that she's struggled with mental illness (she doesn't specify what it is, and she hasn't responded to our request for an interview) but writes that "cognitive behavioral therapy has helped me to slow down but my focus is never more clear."

It was through my family tree research, that I discovered that mental illness runs on my maternal side of my family and that I have a different father from my four siblings who are or have been functional alcoholic and drug addicts. We were raised by a physically, mentally and verbally abusive mother and my siblings have been accused by the state of abusing their children. This discovery was devastating. My maternal grandfather died in a mental institution in South Texas. My mother died in 2009 of cirrhosis of liver after drinking to self medicate.

In 2008, after the horrible public humiliation that my family and I suffered from the coverage from this publication and your posters about the Texas Two Step, my nieces and nephews were teased and harassed, not by their friends but by the adult staff at Singing Hills Recreation Center. The city took action against the staff, but I realized then extent of the toil that my activism had taken on my family who predisposed to mental illness. They did not choose to have their lives disrupted by my public life. As I began to see manifestations of personality disorders from their life experiences, I found myself at my most vulnerable moments. I could not protest their plight away. I couldn't litigate it, I could not get petitions to help them. I voluntarily submitted myself for help in order to help them and fight against the bullies who take advantage of the poor. Generations will continue to suffer if politicians and the media do not stop stigmatizing mental illness. No one will get help if they have to humiliated as I have here by the DA and the Frontburner.

It's the kind of statement that makes you stop chuckling and gaze down at your toes, ashamed. It also serves as a reminder that there's a huge stigma around mental illness, and that Texas has a woeful record on mental health funding.

Crenshaw will without doubt be a vocal advocate on such issues. Given that she appears to have mental illness in check, why not send her to Austin?

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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32 comments
GatoCat
GatoCat

Impassioned? Perhaps. I can't speak to the honesty of the quote. But "lucid" it definitely is not. The elusive main point seems to be that whatever is wrong is the fault of her insane family members. As to the statement "...my focus is never more clear", well, isn't that the cause for concern? It would have been more reassuring to read "...my focus is more clear."

awash1
awash1

Someone needs to bathe or shower her on regular basis


Truth101
Truth101

She is crazy and she was forced into an institution because she physically abused her mother. That is the real truth. As a family member we hope she gets the help she truly needs.

smichaelclark591
smichaelclark591

No one knows what's up with Toni Rose?  What does DMN know that we don't?  Is she under investigation?

dc005
dc005

DMN should get a Pulitzer for adding a new phrase to our political language:


"No stranger to handcuffs!"

smichaelclark591
smichaelclark591

Why would the DMN not endorse Rose????  What did she do????

smichaelclark591
smichaelclark591

Sandra Crenshaw may have her problems as we all do.  But the one thing I can say about her from personally working with her for the last 8 years is she is "HONEST".  Can't say that about very many other Dallas leaders.

ruddski
ruddski

"... slow down and focus..."

That's code for "put down the crack pipe"

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Every ballot should have "none of the above" as a choice.

That's the only way to change anything.

A lot of people just pick the lesser of two evils and then we get the government we have.

A few elections with "nobody" declared the winner, and maybe some better people will step up.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

OK, where are the people who have claimed in the past that "such and such candidate" was not qualified to be in office?


'Splain, theeess one Looooccy!

Anon
Anon

Having your mental illness in check will not be an asset in Austin. You have to already be insane to have even a whisper of a chance of doing anything in the state capitol.

I agree with the DMN this time, as shocking as that is for me. I think Sandra would do a fine job in Austin. I've never questioned her intelligence, and her brand of honesty might just refresh the place.

HeywoodUBuzzoff
HeywoodUBuzzoff

Why is the Obsever assuming that the Dallas Managed News endorsing a 'nut' is unusual.  Frankly they have promoted a lot of 'nuts' over the years and any signs of metal stability on their part is purely coincidental.


* please note by 'nut' or 'nuts', I used the common term for someone of less than optimal mental health to the point where it impairs their lives.  I do not want Schultze and his 'pro legume' crowd reacting excessively.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Truth101 Hum, I couldn't find anything about this on the google machine. Care to cite?

wcvemail
wcvemail

@smichaelclark591  And she was honestly going to take all those precinct ballots to be counted by someone equally honest. That's why she was speeding from the cops with the ballots, because she was honest.

JFPO
JFPO

You don't even try to not sound racist anymore. Why didn't you just use your whiteguiltlibtarddivershitty alt login?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Montemalone  

The last election in my precinct where Ms. Velleeta Lill (sp?) was up for reelection was very telling.  Of all of the ballots cast, some 30% (IIRC) did not have a vote for either candidate.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@HeywoodUBuzzoff  Please refrain from slandering the pro-legumers. You are clearly and anti-legumite.  Look at your calendar, man... it's 2014.  You need to take your 1960s social views elsewhere.


Also, get off my lawn.

ruddski
ruddski

Your social media profile blamed your mental condition on meningitis, and when you failed community college math, you blamed the teacher. I forget what or who you blamed for losing your DISD "Assistant Substitute Teacher" gig, but it wasn't you or your crazy-ass history on the net.

When you were banned and scrubbed from the Examiner.com, you blamed right-wing forces, and when your tires were flattened, you blamed me, and threatened me. When I warned you about consequences for your actions, you threatened to assault me. Then you slandered me in this venue, causing my lawyer to drool, again.

The same lawyer, incidentally, who is responsible for the sudden disappearance of your online buddies who won't be seen again.

You accused Steve Eager of being an "online predator", and you've accused several people of engaging in online child pornography.

Sanders Kaufmann, are you crazy? It sure appears so. The question is, with your wild accusations and threats, should more people other than my lawyer be monitoring your online activities?

ruddski
ruddski

JFPO, how long have you been a weak-minded blithering racialist moron?

wcvemail
wcvemail

@bvckvs @Montemalone  Yeah, she stood up with courage and led those primary ballots right under her arm and out the door before they could be counted.


And she had the character to demand a boycott of Korean wig merchants. Yeah, that's advancing the cause with character.

ruddski
ruddski

Ghk, May I be the first to say, awwwwww, poo po baby. Be a good little boy, and sit and spin with JFPO, he needs the company.

ruddski
ruddski

JFPO, You're not only an idiot, and a coward, you're not very intelligent. Take a hike, anonymous wahoo.

ghkyluhhje
ghkyluhhje

@ruddski -You're exhibit A of why conservatards statistically score low on IQ tests. It's that damn liberal bias that facts and math have.

JFPO
JFPO

Cowards like you are the worst. You deliberately make subtle racist cracks because you know using the n-word will get you banned (on most sites, anyway). Then you get all butthurt when called out on it. Typical chickenshit. If you're not diversity guy, you should hook up with him and get married. Legality may vary by state.

ruddski
ruddski

JFPO, then you're an idiot. There's not much else I can say. I have no idea why referencing crack is racist. Are you suggesting only blacks use crack?

I hereby give UP my permission to analyze my various originating IPs of the past months up to today, which span about 14 or more states - none of them in Texas - to see how I can post from, say, Canada or Florida, while this other guy posts from Texas.

As for you, I think you're actually Myrna, based on similar vacuousness. And you're equally racist/racialist, so there it is, amigo, sit and spin.

JFPO
JFPO

@ruddski I've long suspected you were celebratedivershittywhiteguiltlibtard CAPSLOCK guy. You just can't control yourself anymore with your regular login, can you?

wcvemail
wcvemail

@bvckvs  Now I consider myself properly diagnosed by an Internet shrink, who doesn't hesitate to proclaim diagnoses of all politicians. Do you practice clearing your throat and knocking the dottle from your pipe as dramatic props?

Where she stole the ballots, in her trusted position as precinct judge, was in a direction that was prohibited by law. It wasn't just me, it was the law. Since you can't grasp that, you shouldn't be grasping at straws of easy diagnoses, Dr. Fraud.

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