In Fight Over Dallas' Racist Housing Policies, HUD Threw the Whistleblowers Under the Bus

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Wait. How do you know when you have the right Castro?
If the editorial in The Dallas Morning News this morning has any credibility, and I am sure it does, HUD has agreed to throw the whistleblowers under the bus in the Lockey/MacKenzie racial segregation complaint against the city of Dallas.

It's not a surprising outcome, because paying off the two developers who first accused Dallas five years ago of having a secret racist housing policy has always been the city's sticking point.

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Rick Perry, Second Coming or Poker-Cheating Cannibal? Who the Hell Knows?

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Governor Rick Perry, demonstrating the number of minutes it'll take to beat the indictment against him.
This is a first. In an editorial this morning The New York Times is defending Rick Perry. Sort of.

They offer major caveats, calling him, "one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America, having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office."

But then they say, "bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony," leading them to conclude that, "given the facts so far," Perry's recent indictment on criminal charges, "appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution."

They're actually willing to give the Perry indictment a little more credibility than I have been. Based on reporting I have been doing on an unrelated Austin story, the impeachment of Texas university system regent Wallace Hall, I figure it's not possible to come to any conclusion at all about the legitimacy of anything that happens in Austin, good, bad or interplanetary.

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The Story in Ferguson, Missouri, Hits Close to Home

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Somewhere between Neighborhood Gardens and Ferguson, Missouri, chapters are missing.

Something in the Ferguson, Missouri, story I keep looking for, waiting. My dad's family is from St. Louis. Sorta. So anyway today I found an op-ed piece in The New York Times that maybe gets to part of it or somewhere in that general direction.

Jeff Smith, a professor of urban policy at The New School in New York and a former Missouri state senator, begins to weave the story of Ferguson back into the longer narrative of St. Louis. That's what I wanted to know.

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While Dallas Leaders Talk about Paying Back HUD, the Feds' Real Payback Is on its Way

Categories: Schutze

Scott Griggs wants to know when Dallas owes HUD money. Vonciel Hill, not so much.
The other day, I was talking here and Rudy Bush was talking in The Dallas Morning News and Scott Griggs and Philip Kingston were talking on the city council about the $810,000 the city had to pay back to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). I just want to point out before the moment passes that the $810,000 pay-back story is not jack. It is a joke, in fact, next to the real story.

The real story about Dallas and HUD, the real drama, is the "voluntary compliance agreement" that Dallas is negotiating with HUD right now behind closed doors. That may be hundreds of millions of dollars but, worse than the money, a deal with HUD may require Dallas to concede it has been practicing deliberate racial segregation as a secret City Hall policy for more than a decade.

You think Ferguson, Missouri looks bad? What about an official policy of racial segregation in one of the nation's largest cities? Try that hat on for size in the 21st century.

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The Cops in Ferguson Are Wrong, but That Doesn't Make the Arrested Reporters Right

Categories: Schutze

If anyone in this vehicle asks you a question, your answer must include the words "sir" or "ma'am," and if you're not sure which, say, "Your Honor."
The cops in Ferguson, Missouri, come across as a bunch of untrained, undisciplined bubbas, but that doesn't put the two reporters arrested in a McDonald's restaurant last night in the right.

These issues: The cops spoke first with the manager of the restaurant and then began to clear and shut down the restaurant, so we don't know if the manager acquiesced in the decision to clear the place. Probably he or she did agree to it.

If not, if it was a police decision alone to clear the place, the question whether the police have a right to shut down a restaurant is a good one for moot court in law school. But when the cops are dealing with a riot and they tell people to get out of a restaurant, everybody has to get out of the restaurant right now. Fast. Quick-step.

The reporters weren't asking the cops questions. They were arguing with them. "Please don't wave your gun at me." Oh, please. Shut up.

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Dallas Councilwoman Vonciel Hill Believes That What Happens at City Hall Stays at City Hall

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In the strange world of Vonciel Hill, Dallas City Hall has something in common with Vegas. Guess.
I now take you back inside the strange world of Dallas city councilwoman Vonciel Hill, who spoke yesterday on one of the most important tenets of her belief system -- that public information should never be shared with the public.

Explaining why she did not want -- repeat, did NOT want -- the city manager to inform the city council of forced repayments of misspent federal money, Hill said this:

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Steve Blow Is Right About Sex Offender Laws, and Dallas Should Pay Attention

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Always the same uplifting debate. Who's dumber? The media or the public?
The debate about media sensationalism and moral panic concerning sex offenders is always a tough one for me, mainly because I think most news media chase the public's interest in stories more than we create it. Our rule usually is that the biggest story is the one the most people will read. In that sense readers tell us what to write more than we tell them what to read.

But, yeah, that is what I would say, isn't it? When I see somebody else in my craft bringing a sound against-the-grain argument on a terribly inflamed topic like sexual victimization, the least I can do is salute, which is what I'm doing here to Steve Blow.

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Michael Morris Is the King of DFW Politics, and the King Says the Highways Stay

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Michael Morris arrives at City Hall to deliver his annual address, "Musings and Meditations on How We Shall Get About."

Michael Morris, the Dallas Forth Worth area's No. 1 regional transportation planner, guru and playuh, was back in the news over the weekend and today for his decree that knocking down an overhead freeway in Dallas ain't gonna happen, no matter what the hippie wingdings think (not his precise words).

Morris, director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments ('splain later), gave The Dallas Morning News a kind of airy wave-of-the-riding-crop quote: "There's not much our office is going to be able to do to help them and there's not much [the state highway department] will be able to do," he said of various groups studying demolition of I-345 on the east end of downtown.

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Republican Presidential Latino Strategy Raises Loose Nuts and Bolts Question. Again.

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Library of Congress
Oh, boy, another Republican presidential primary contest is heating up, and what can be more entertaining?

Today The New York Times tells me that, while Republicans in the Congress continue to paint the kids at the border as an invading horde of knife-wielding lepers, Republicans with presidential aspirations are maneuvering to win over Latino voters.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will journey to Mexico next month to meet with the country's new president, court its corporate titans and mingle with its cultural leaders.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is about to set off for Guatemala, where he will put his ophthalmology training to use by treating local patients with eye disorders.

And Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is pleading with the government of Mexico to open a first-ever consulate in his state.

But the Times also reports that, "There are no plans for Mr. Christie to visit the United States' southern border with Mexico, where Central American children are now pouring into Texas."

Earlier this week I visited with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins for a story I'm working on about the refugee children at the border. He described going there himself and finding siblings locked up in drunk tanks, separated by age and sex. He remembered in particular one very young child reaching through bars sobbing for an older sister who was across the way in another pod.

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Is Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez Running One Big Roach Motel?

Categories: Schutze

Dallas City Hall Roach Motel: assistant associate assistant city managers check in, but they don't check out.

Déjà vu, that French term meaning "already seen," the feeling you get that you've been here before, it can be creepy, right? You start investigating your memory to find what it is you're remembering.

I got that feeling when I read about Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez's so-called shakeup of top staffers at City Hall. Big shakeup. New people come in. But nobody goes out. Nobody gets fired. And then it came to me. Oh. This is a Dallas Times Herald shake-up.

We used to call it a Black Flag shake-up, after a TV ad nobody will remember now: "Kill roaches without poison, unpleasant odor or mess. Black Flag Roach Motel Trap. Roaches check in, but they don't check out."

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