By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
All's fair: Well now, that hardly seems fair. Those wily Dallas County Republicans are out soliciting campaign contributions, and they're landing some really low blows to do it. They're accusing county Democrats of behaving like, gasp!, Democrats—that is, being blindly loyal to their own party members whenever they're not busy ripping out each others' throats.
We're talking about an e-mail solicitation from the Republicans that cruelly recounts for some of the Democrats' recent less-than-stellar moments. For example, the e-mail links to news stories about Democratic leaders lining up to support state Representative Terri Hodge, who is awaiting trial on charges related to the City Hall corruption scandal. There's another link to video of County Commissioner John Wiley Price's recent profanity laced tirade about the commissioners court investigation into local Democratic constables. And there is a link to an article about infighting among Democratic judges and another link to battles among county officials, including Democratic District Attorney Craig Watkins, over the constables issue.
Really GOP? Attacking the Dems for having a few family squabbles? To steal a line from comedian Chris Rock, calling them on that is like playing basketball with a mentally retarded kid and penalizing him for double dribbling. They're Democrats. They fight. They backbite. It's the natural disorder.
And county GOP Chairman Jonathan Neerman loves every minute of it.
"There's a lot of good things that can be helpful for us," Neerman says of his opponents miscues, "and I hope they continue to shoot themselves in the foot."
Neerman wasn't certain how much money the e-mail brought into the GOP. (It asks for varying levels of donations. You can be a GOP Eagle for a grand, though Buzz—a Democrat—thinks for that much money you're actually a pigeon.) But the response has been positive, Neerman says, and the e-mail has helped with the party's goal of refocusing attention on local issues instead of the national stage, where much of the Republican action has been lately. The suburbs, where many swing voters dwell, may not give as much notice to the courthouse as voters who dwell closer in, so it could pay to recount the local Dems' foibles by sending out electronic news clippings.
Neerman likens the strategy to a take-away in football. In politics, you play your best game, but "you gotta hope for turnovers too."
He may be right. Speaking of turning things over, Buzz can't tell you who directed our attention to the GOP e-mail, but we will tell you this: It wasn't a Republican.