The dynamic this morning at city council, as they debate that city-owned convention center hotel, kind of tells the whole story about how things work in Dallas. Speaking in favor of the hotel was an all-star line-up of business and political leaders, everybody from State Sen. Royce West to former utilities mogul Erle Nye. It also happened to be a cavalcade of every suck-up who stands to make a buck off this deal. The other element is this: an elaborate plan to make sure the minority community is cut in on the deal through "fair share" contracting agreements.
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Noting wrong with any of that, but it effectively precludes consideration of the arguments somebody like Mitchell Rasansky would have made, had he not been silenced by a bogus conflict-of-interest allegation: that a city-owned hotel is not in the public interest. In effect, the public ain't even in the room. They will decide this in moments, when they reconvene from a lunch break. --Jim Schutze