Fellow Travelers

What's to become of the Internet gadflies?

Now that Laura Miller has climbed to the top of Dallas' greasy political pole, what, Buzz wonders, will happen to some of the little people who helped hoist her up there? Specifically, what will become of Web masters such as Sharon Boyd (www.dallasarena.com) and Avi Adelman (www.barkingdogs.org), who turned their popular community Internet sites into unpaid advertisements for Miller's mayoral campaign?

Both have a long history of being what Adelman gently describes as "strident." (Boyd in particular is about as strident as a flamethrower when it comes to city council members she doesn't like.) Now that Miller, who is pretty strident herself, must find a consensus among her fellow city council members to put her agenda to work, will she hold the gadflies at arm's length? Will she one day call Boyd and say, "Ixnay on the itchinessbay. I need to make nice to get these folks' votes?"

Nope. No way. Not a chance, Adelman and Boyd tell Buzz.

We asked Adelman jokingly what it's like now to be inside the tent pissing out--as LBJ once put it--rather than the other way around.

"I don't see myself having a bucket or a private urinal at City Hall," Adelman says. "...We're all independent. I'm not changing...but I'm going to have a lot more fun with it, please, God."

Of course, Adelman also notes that his Web site tends to be less scorching than Boyd's, which routinely applies mean, sometimes personal, nicknames to council members, such as "Con Jerk" for the former mayor.

Boyd admits that some suspect that Miller has written anonymous diatribes on dallasarena.com, but says that's not the case, and we believe her; Miller has never been shy about putting her own name to her opinions. But that suspicion shows how closely Boyd and Miller are linked in some minds.

They're not quite that close, Boyd says. She may have Miller's ear, but she's not part of any Miller kitchen cabinet. If something offends Boyd at City Hall--and no doubt something will--she'll trot out the nicknames as she sees fit.

"Everybody was saying that Rush Limbaugh would have nothing to talk about if George W. got elected," Boyd says.

Both Adelman and Boyd say their pro-Miller stance was simply support for the candidate who takes their issues--code enforcement, better neighborhoods--seriously. Adelman says that Ron Kirk had his own circle of supporters, men with names like Hicks and Perot. Now it's the little peoples' turn.

As for consensus building, Boyd points out that Miller won most precincts and polled well even in those she lost. As a council maverick, Miller was often criticized for not being able to count to 14 and figure out how many votes she needed to win at the council table. The rest of the council, however, may calculate that 55 percent--Miller's margin of victory--is much more than 45 percent, and realize that being an obstructionist to a popular mayor is not politically wise.

And if not...well, let the fun begin.

 
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