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Bad Company: Price and Friends Had Plenty of Enablers.

Enough's enough: Buzz has written before about our mother's attitudes about child-rearing and pool halls: "If I ever catch you in that pool hall," she'd tell us, referring to our hometown's only billiards parlor, "I'll slap the living shit out of you."

Mother Buzz, a 4-foot-11 middleweight with a palm like boot leather, wouldn't have a child of hers hanging around persons of dubious character, lest he be mistaken for one of them. Her motto: Lie down with dogs, rise up with a busted head.

Too bad our new mayor, County Judge Clay Jenkins, the execs at Hillwood Development and assorted other firms—all of whom have employed political consultant Kathy Nealy or cozied up to County Commissioner John Wiley Price—never met Mom's hard left hook. After FBI agents searched Nealy's and Price's homes and offices last week, counting them among your pals is the sort of thing that could give a man or a company a bad rep.

But why did it take a bunch of men in black to tell us that? According to testimony in the corruption trial of former Dallas City Council member Don Hill, Nealy, in her role as consultant, recommended that housing developer Brian Fisher employ a security company owned by former city councilman James Fantroy, an apparent payoff for city council's support of Fisher. Fisher says Nealy also vouched for Darren Reagan, who's now serving 14 years for his role in a conspiracy to shake down housing developers.

But even after all that, Mike Rawlings paid Nealy $270,000 to help him win election as mayor, as Jim Schutze reported last week. Jenkins also employed Nealy's services. Both men also enjoy close political relationships with Price, an unrepentant, flagrant bully who, Schutze has long reported, was involved in a clumsy attempt to extract money from the developer of a proposed inland port in southern Dallas. Even Price's erstwhile political ally, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, has told Schutze that Price has a history of "shaking people down."

We have no real idea where the FBI is heading with all this. But whether a federal grand jury ever does diddly, what is known about Price and Nealy should be enough to make them radioactive to any local pol or company. Appearance should count for something at City Hall and the Dallas County Courthouse. It's time for Rawlings and Jenkins and, most important, voters, to stop feeding them and anyone who shares a blanket with them.


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