By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
"Elephantitis," by Sam Merten, December 4
Come home, GOP
As a county chair of a local political party, I read with great interest Sam Merten's "Elephantitis" outlining the recent setbacks of the Dallas County GOP and their chair's plans for getting them back on track. I've been watching this implosion of North Texas' GOP and can tell you that Merten's observations are fairly on target.
However, one thing that Merten failed to mention is the exclusion and derision heaped upon the "Ron Paul Republicans" by the old-line leadership of the GOP. This group, which more closely reflects the roots of the Republican Party's philosophy of smaller, less-centralized government, sound fiscal and monetary policies, peace, low taxes and social tolerance has been given "The Heisman" by the leadership of the local GOP.
As chair of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party, I've noticed a mass exodus of the GOP to either our party or, maybe more likely, not voting altogether. Doing some cursory number-crunching after the election, I noticed some interesting trends: In Tarrant County, total voter turnout increased by almost 65 percent over last presidential cycle. Looking at a party's metric of success, the straight-ticket votes, total Libertarian Party straight-ticket voters increased by almost 72 percent. Total Democrat Party straight-ticket voters increased by nearly 30 percent. Interestingly, total GOP straight-ticket voters DECREASED by nearly 4 percent.
Was there an Obama effect? In Tarrant County, the answer is yes. In my county, there was a greater voter turnout by a long shot. And while Libertarian voters actually outpaced the increase in total voters and Democrats increased (yet not keeping up with total turnout's rate of increase), the GOP is obviously losing voters to either our party or apathy. In fact, the Libertarian Party's candidate helped to dethrone Kim Brimer in the state Senate in a hotly contested race in District 10.
The GOP cannot "increase the size of their tent" until they realize their rejection of constitutional conservatives as well as their affiliation with the religious right, pro-war neo-conservatives, nanny/daddy-state busybodies and private-sector bailout proponents are alienating voters by the millions.
John Spivey, chair, Tarrant County
Editor's note: We made a mistake in "Elephantitis" concerning Judge John Creuzot's history on the bench. We're sorry about that, and we'll let him explain where we got it wrong:
You guys keep printing that I became a judge in the 1980s. I was appointed to the bench in 1991 by Ann Richards, elected as a Democrat in 1992, as a Republican in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and as a Democrat in 2008. In my contested elections, whether primary or general, and regardless of party affiliation, my vote totals have increased over the years. In 1992 I won the general election with 50.03 percent of the vote. In a contested Republican primary in 1996, I won with 58 percent of the vote. In 2008 I won a contested Democratic primary with 68.4 percent of the vote. In 2008 I won the general election with 58 percent of the vote.
Judge John Creuzot, Dallas County Criminal District Court No. 4
"Sweating Equity," Jim Schutze, December 11
Money for Nothing
Price is doing no favors for the citizens or his race. He is a narcissistic, egotistical, racist thug who only continues to be an embarrassment to Dallas. I mean, he sells his own BOBBLEHEAD? He poses and sells his own CALENDAR? Give me a break! If it's not for his direct gain, he will stifle it any way he can. When the opportunities and work is offered and yet the minority-owned companies or business owners show no interest, it only looks like one thing. They want something for nothing. All he is doing is perpetuating stereotypes that fuel the fires of racism. He is dancing around it because he wants some money under the table. How is it he has never been investigated for shady dealings?
Bewildered, Dallas, via dallasobserver.com
Correction, Part 2
Jim Schutze has this to say for himself regarding an error in his column "Sweating Equity":
In my column last week I said that the North Central Texas Council of Governments had not responded to an important question. I reviewed my notes and regret to say that I was wrong. Lara Kohl and Michael Morris of the NCTCOG did respond to all questions I put to them. The misunderstanding was my fault, not theirs.