True truisms

Hanging with a bad crowd

True truisms: Good writers eschew clichés, but this is Buzz, so we're giving you two to ponder right off the bat: "Lie down with dogs and rise up with fleas," and "A man is known by the company he keeps." With those in mind, ask yourself how you'd like to be an innocent person sitting on the Dallas City Council these days as the FBI conducts a very public investigation into possible financial corruption that involves four of your fellow council members? Yep, it'd be pretty bad to be left twisting in the wind, tarred with the same brush, waiting for the other shoe...you get the point.

Councilman Bill Blaydes, whose home, office and car has not been searched by the fibbies and who has not been named as part of the agency's investigation into the cozy relationship between subsidized housing developers and members of the council and City Plan Commission, doesn't like it one bit. Blaydes says he and other council members were particularly unhappy with a recent disclosure statement put together by the city's bond counsel. The statement, which notifies lenders of any matters that might affect the city's bond issues, noted that the city and some of its officers were the subjects of the FBI's probe. It didn't get much more specific than that, Blaydes says, and that's what bothers him.

Four of the 15 council members have been named in subpoenas or search warrants issued during the investigation: Don Hill, James Fantroy, Leo Chaney and Maxine Thornton-Reese, according to news reports. Now, a cynical person--not us--might suggest that the FBI's batting average is a bit low here, but that's exactly Blaydes' point.

"Any time you're painted with a broad brush, it leaves you somewhat upset when there's no validity to that broad brush," Blaydes says. "Once something like that gets started, it's very hard to stay separated." The unfair taint might be especially hard to bear for someone like Blaydes, who's in the real estate consulting business.

"I gotta eat," he says. "I'm not a rich man. Anything that impugns my integrity or my fiduciary responsibility, I take seriously."

Again, a cynical person--not us--might suggest that maybe it's not such a good idea for someone like Blaydes to run for city council, in the same way nuns shouldn't join motorcycle gangs, but that's also part of Blaydes' point. "It's very frustrating. It's what's keeping good people from running for council. " --Patrick Williams

 
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