By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
We'd like to say it was a deliberate April Fools' joke, but even Buzz, with our sometimes--ah--imaginative interpretation of the facts, can't carry that one with a straight face.
Well, Lazarus had a relapse, so to speak, less than 12 hours after the Observer hit the streets. Jones' case was dismissed. Oops. Chalk it up to the constraints of being a weekly.
Wes Holmes, a member of Jones' legal team, says they will appeal the dismissal (see "Tough enough?" on page 14), but believes there's only a 10 percent chance the case will be reinstated.
Not to wish harm to the president, but we hope Holmes is wrong--not just for the vindication it might provide our story, but for the sheer entertainment value a trial might provide the nation. Besides, we just love the phrase "drop trou and kiss it."
In the meantime, we hope none of our fellow journalists in other Dallas media suffered any painful muscle pulls from laughing too hard at our dilemma.
Trouble in paradise
Passion beating in the bosoms of Dallas County Republicans? Who would have thought it?
Yet things have heated up enough that a move is afoot by some conservatives to fire party Executive Director Tina Peyton. Peyton isn't likely to go down quietly, judging by some correspondence faxed to us anonymously.
The rumble started February 6 when Bruce Bishop, a party member from Mesquite, objected to the allocation of delegates to the local convention in State Senate District 16. He fired off a fax calling the numbers calculated by party headquarters "a mess." (Bishop was chairman of the convention.)
Peyton responded. And how. "Your abhorrent behavior is neither welcome nor will it go ignored...You, Mr. Bishop, are not as powerful and certainly not as well thought of as you apparently think," Peyton wrote.
Abhorrent? He was talking about convention delegates, not proposing sexual congress with sheep.
Peyton says the fax was just the capper on a string of communications, and that the delegate count was done according to party rules. "Mr. Bishop is not a team player," she says.
Bishop, who states flatly, "I am from the right wing of the party," says the fighting goes beyond number crunching. Some party conservatives believe Peyton isn't giving them fair representation.
A resolution circulated among district conventions backs him up. It calls for Peyton's firing and referred to a "divisive, hostile, and antagonistic environment fostered at Republican Headquarters," particularly toward conservatives.
Being unconservative ourselves, we thought divisive, hostile, and antagonistic pretty much was part of the GOP platform. Still, Bishop says he expects a showdown over Peyton's job to come April 16, when the county executive committee will canvass votes.
Peyton says she's not worried. The resolution calling for her ouster "was all done very secretively in back rooms...It's all a bunch of bald-faced lies."
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams