By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Who says Buzz can't be helpful? Why, just this very day we've done our part to contribute to the city of Dallas' democratic processes. How did we do it? With a threat, of course.
Hey, whatever works.
Here's the deal: Candy Marcum, a candidate for the District 14 council seat, issued a campaign update recently that stated her position on the strong-mayor ballot proposal. Or rather, it stated her non-position. "Recently, the strong mayor proposal has been a major topic of conversation and debate around the city. I believe it is important for Dallas to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a strong mayor form of government, and I understand that many of my neighbors in District 14 have strong feelings on both sides of the issue," Marcum wrote.
In other words, she's forgainst it. Or maybe she's afor it. Her campaign update also included a heading that read "Strong Leadership for a Greater Dallas."
"Great," we thought, "another irony-impaired politician. What fun."
We called Marcum to let her know that we planned to describe her position as "Kerry-esque."
"Oh, boy. I hate that," Marcum said. "Well, let me see if I can Bush it up a bit."
Turns out that Marcum is actually against the ballot initiative that would greatly strengthen the mayor's powers. (One of her District 14 opponents is Beth Ann Blackwood, who sponsored the petition that placed the measure on the ballot.) "There's not enough checks and balances," Marcum said. "[And] I don't think there's enough diversity on boards and commissions if you have only one person appointing them."
Buzz can't take all the credit for putting a little starch in Marcum's spine. She said that political consultant Pat Cotton, a leader of the strong-mayor opposition, had called her after her campaign material came out and suggested that she should take a, shall we say, less nuanced position.
"I can take a stand," Marcum said. "But it's not what I want to talk about." She's more concerned with neighborhood issues, she said.
So there, Buzz was able to clear up one mystery. Marcum was even sort of grateful. She says after this column comes out, maybe the folks at www.strongarmmayor.com will take her name off the undecided list.