By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Lies, lies, lies
This is in response to Laura Miller's article, "Politics makes strange enemies" [February 1]. One of the reasons so many people dislike politics is not only because of the negative campaigning, but also because of trash columns like that of Mrs. Laura Miller-Wolens.
For those of you who don't know Mrs. Laura Miller-Wolens, she is married to state Rep. Steve Wolens, who has been in office for over a decade. Why is this important? Well, you see, I ran against Mr. Wolens on two occasions, and Mrs. Miller-Wolens actively campaigned against me. To have the Dallas Observer let Mrs. Miller-Wolens do this story is like letting the fox into the hen house.
For the record, the column was done with malice and with an attempt at political character assassination. Not only that, but Mrs. Miller-Wolens intentionally lied in order to destroy a potential political rival to her husband.
1. I did not endorse Mr. Alonzo at my Christmas party, and the Hispanic paper which printed the story is running a retraction and my response. She knew this when she ran her story.
2. I never made any negative comments about Mr. Alonzo, and in fact told Mrs. Miller-Wolens that I would not consent to an interview because of her well-known prejudices.
3. All of Mrs. Miller-Wolens' alleged quotes from the selected Hispanic media came from those who openly endorsed Mr. Alonzo; Luis De La Garza; Sergio Puerto, whose office is down the hall from Mr. Alonzo's; and El Hispano, which Mr. Alonzo's wife used to work for. In other words, it was a rigged deal.
Of course, the real deal is that Mrs. Miller-Wolens is not a journalist who checks the sources or even tries for a balance.
Editor's note: Laura Miller's marriage to state Rep. Steve Wolens, whom Domingo Garcia ran against, is no secret. We've disclosed it in the two major stories since 1991 in which Miller has written critically about Garcia. It is also worth noting that Miller covered and commented on Garcia's actions as a Dallas city councilmember for four years--in most cases, approvingly--without complaint.
Readers may choose to discount Miller's reporting and perspective because Garcia ran against her husband; but we have made a point of revealing that history in print so they can make up their minds for themselves.
It is also worth noting that Roberto Alonzo--the presumed beneficiary of Miller's alleged grudge-driven journalism--worked actively against Wolens on Garcia's state-representative campaigns.
As for the purported "lies":
1. As Miller and the local Hispanic press have reported, Roberto Alonzo has a different account about Garcia's Christmas-party statements. Miller's column noted Garcia's denial that he had promised to support Alonzo. The management of the Hispanic paper that "is running a retraction" says it has no intention of doing so.
2. Garcia may have initially "told" Miller that he "would not consent to an interview." The simple reality--notwithstanding Garcia's brazenly misleading statement--is that he did grant Miller an interview, as her column makes clear. The two, in fact, spoke for an hour on Wednesday, January 24, in Garcia's office. It is during that conversation, as Miller accurately reported, that Garcia made the disparaging comments about his opponent's mustache and ethnic origins. Miller also spoke to him briefly at his press conference the following day, and a third time, on the telephone the following Monday for another 30 minutes, to get his response to some of Alonzo's comments.
3. Garcia can talk about a "rigged deal" and "alleged quotes" all he wants. The reality is that the people he is disparaging for criticizing him were, in many cases, his own allies--until he decided to run against Roberto Alonzo.