Buzz

Definitely not resting in peace
D Magazine writer Jim Schutze sheepishly phoned former city councilman Max Goldblatt last week to ask his forgiveness. In Schutze's April cover story on the Dallas mayor's race, he had mistakenly referred to the retired Pleasant Grove hardware store owner as the "late Mr. Goldblatt."

"No wonder nobody came to my funeral. Nobody knew about it but you," Goldblatt good-naturedly replied.

Goldblatt hadn't actually seen the article until Buzz called. Then, the colorful former councilman reacted less good-naturedly to some other things Schutze called him--including "transparently racist."

"The truth is, I've been a greater friend to blacks then he has," Goldblatt says. "I began the original lawsuit that brought about single-member districts. It went all the way to the Supreme Court."

Goldblatt also takes issue with Schutze's characterization of him being "in favor of many weird things."

"What's crazy about a monorail that 55,000 citizens of Dallas also wanted?" asks Goldblatt. "I wanted to start a recycling program. What's weird about that? I also asked city hall to turn off one-third of the lights it burned in every room. They said they couldn't, because there was only one switch per room. I told them to take out the light bulbs then. And you know what? It saved the city $100,000 a year. I'm really weird, huh?"

Man in the middle
The misguided move to soften Texas' legendary no-pass, no-play rules--the symbolic heart of a decade-old education-reform package masterminded by Ross Perot--has put former Perot consigliore Tom Luce in a sticky situation.

As Perot's right-hand man, Luce served as chief of staff of the blue-ribbon state committee that drew up and pushed through the reform package in the mid-1980s. But now he's an advisor on public education to Republican Texas Governor George W. Bush--who's publicly refused to rule out signing the education un-reform bill into law.

Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes says Bush supports no-pass, no-play in principle--but will consider the arguments of principals and coaches who favor halving the six-week penalty for students with a failing grade (they claim it prompts sidelined jocks to get into trouble and join gangs).

What does Luce, who helped develop Bush's proposals on home-rule schools and has just published a book containing his prescription for education reform (Now or Never: How We Can Save Our Public Schools), think about this assault on his landmark legislative legacy? "I hope they leave no-pass, no-play alone," he tells Buzz, before adding diplomatically: "I can't speak for the governor."

Buzz us at 757-8439 (voice) or 757-8593 (fax) or via Internet at observer@mcimail.com. Or put pen to paper and send the tip to P.O. Box 190289, Dallas, 75219.

 
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