By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Free the weasel
Hey, the Dallas Observer really called that Paul Fielding thing right, huh? If you'll remember, and we're sure you do, columnist Laura Miller, in a lengthy investigation into former councilman Paul's business dealings, found him to be unethical and basically a weasel, but innocent of any real criminal offense--unless there's a federal law against being greedy and stupid. As a solution to the mess, she called on Fielding to resign his council seat.
And he did! Right before he pleaded guilty to federal charges of extortion and mail fraud. Ouch.
Don't worry about what the feds are going to do to you at sentencing, Paul. Someday, somewhere, you're going to have to face Laura Miller. Lord have mercy on your soul.
We did enjoy the way the Fielding debacle brought out the worst in human nature. Besides seeing campaign signs abruptly come down in Fielding's Northaven stronghold, we got to see his opponent Lois Finkelman's signs pop up like mushrooms after a rainstorm.
Fielding's longtime nemesis, Councilman Chris Luna, showed his class--and not a little bitchiness--in statements to The Dallas Morning News. "Ding-dong the witch is dead," Luna says he sang when he heard about Fielding's plea. Whoa, Chris. If you believe in Karma, and you ought to, there's a spiritual steamroller heading your way.
Best of all, tape recordings at the trial linked Councilman Al Lipscomb to Fielding. Buzz must point out that, to date, Miller remains the only journalist in town who's had the guts to expose Lipscomb's sorry history of selling out his council seat. Even after being spoon-fed dirt on Al at Fielding's trial, the rest of the Dallas media remain too scared of the potential backlash to subject Lipscomb to anything approaching scrutiny.
And while Buzz will toss snowballs in hell before Big Al gets indicted, at least it temporarily shut his yapper at the most recent council meeting.
Think class-action suit
You can scratch one from the list of Life's Great Frustrations.
You always told your Southern Methodist University-matriculated friends that SMU was a Mickey Mouse school. Now you've got the hard numbers to back you up.
You'll find what you need in the more-ridiculous-by-the-month landmark Hopwood vs. Texas case that struck down university affirmative-action programs. According to Texas Lawyer, plaintiffs are tallying their damages for having been rejected from the University of Texas because they are white.
Of interest to us is plaintiff Douglas Wade Carvell's claim. After being bounced by the University of Texas law school, Carvell continued his dream of becoming a lawyer by attending SMU and graduating last year. He's making $60,000 at a Dallas law firm. But here's the good part: According to an economic expert, Carvell's economic-damages claim of $705,886 includes $654,000 in salary he'll lose over his career because he attended SMU and not nationally ranked UT. (He's claiming another $1.5 million in damages for emotional stress--presumably only part of that is to cover the effects of conversations with SMU undergrads.)
And it only cost him $40,000 more in tuition for the honor of being an SMU alum.