Big D Dirt: Dec. 19 – 25 in Dallas Politics

Welcome to another edition of Big D Dirt, hope y’all had a merry Christmas. Now back to politics.

The Justice Department has officially approved Dallas’ redistricting plan, even though Hispanic leaders fought hard against the plan saying it did little to account for Dallas’ growing Hispanic population. The new map will now go into effect for the 2013 city council election unless successful litigation stops it. The biggest battle coming out of the new map will most likely be between current councilmembers Scott Griggs and Delia Jasso, who both represent North Oak Cliff and were drawn into the same district.

Dallas County Commissioners are now trying to call a stop to a practice that allows convicts to shred thousands of sensitive documents. The little-known practice has gone on for more than a decade, and allowed parolees and probationers to shred documents such as medical records, birth certificates and Social Security cards to serve out community service. A private company is currently filling the void until the court can pass a permanent local ban next month. The practice was only stopped after WFAA released their investigation of it last week.

The city has responded to efforts by private landfill owners and waste haulers to stop the new “flow control” plan. Flow control, which would route all city trash to the McCommas Bluff landfill in South Dallas, is being opposed on grounds that it is “an anti-free-enterprise action by the city that is contrary to both state and federal law.” So opposed in fact, that an injunction has been filed to stop it. The city responded to the request for an injunction saying “contrary to Plaintiffs’ contentions, there is no constitutional right to operate a landfill. This lawsuit is Plaintiffs’ attempt to accomplish through litigation what they failed to accomplish through the political process” and cites a U.S. Supreme Court case that left waste management to the city.

A judge has ruled that Kathy Nealy, a longtime Dallas political consultant, owes American Airlines Center almost $200,000 for failure to pay for a suite she licensed in 2009. Nealy, who does some consulting work for AAC, allegedly stopped paying for the lower-level suite and never responded to demands to do so. When a lawsuit was filed, she continued the trend of not responding, and last week a judge ruled she now owed $187,573.56, plus daily late fees and attorneys fees. Oh, and an annual interest rate of 18 percent. Oops.

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert addressed his religion and his politics last week on a local radio show that takes a “Christ-centered” look at the news of the day (find it on your dial at 100.7 FM). He said he was “not a politician” (I guess leaving your office as mayor to run for the U.S. Senate doesn’t count) and, “My identity is a Christian. My identity is not being mayor or head of a large company or anything else.” He also said the Founding Fathers were evangelicals. Clearly he’s trying to work the evangelical right vote. …Too bad he’s only polling at 5 percent. Listen to the full interview here.

Props to Eric Johnson, Texas House Representative for District 100. Johnson was recently selected as one of 10 rising leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL, a recently launched national network that is committed to highlighting innovative ideas from state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives.

To celebrate Christmas, here is a video of Dallas Deputy Marshal Julius Bryant dressed up like Santa and dancing like James Brown. Yep. Evidently he had done this for three years at the Senior Care Health and Rehab Center on MLK Boulevard to entertain the residents. He even went on a chase and arrested a suspect dressed as Santa. Props to him. If I ever dress up like Santa, I hope I remember to James Brown it up and cuff someone.

Posted by on December 26, 2011. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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