Buzz got a peek at the slick mail-out put together by the pro-arena Yes! For Dallas Committee, and we must say it's a...um, piece of work. It's sort of the intellectual equivalent of a Rice Krispies treat: tasty, but low on nutritional value. You've got your simple-minded charts, your promise of more jobs and lower taxes, and all the good things that average citizens see whenever they funnel millions of tax dollars to some of the richest men in Texas.
It's even got Roger Staubach, a grin plastered across his kisser, calling the arena a "critical victory." Mayor Ron Kirk is pictured opposite, finger raised, calling the arena (you guessed it) a "critical victory." Of course, the mail-out doesn't say critical to whom, and Ross Perot Jr.'s and Tom Hicks' names and faces are curiously absent. Generally, the brochure is long on hype and short on analysis. Or, as arena opponent and Councilwoman Donna Blumer puts it: "It looks like every slick brochure that's ever come down the pike put together by the well-heeled."
The well-heeled vs. the shoestring
Information on exactly how well-heeled the Yes! For Dallas Committee is wasn't available by Buzz's press time, but it's a safe bet that the pro committee has deeper pockets than its opposite number, the It's a Bad Deal!! Committee.
Anti-arena committee treasurer Sharon Boyd provided Buzz with a copy of its campaign finance report for October 17 through December 15. The committee spent $35,849.89 and raised $39,5557.07, with most donations from individuals who gave $100 or less. The largest single contribution was nearly $21,000 from Capp's Van and Car Rental, which Blumer said paid for billboards. The group also spent around $10,000 for It's a Bad Deal yard signs.
"We're just going along on a shoestring," Blumer admits.
Shoestring or no, Blumer is fairly sanguine about the arena foes' chances at the polls in January.
"I think we have a really good chance of beating this," she says. A defeat for arena forces in Dallas, she adds, could get attention nationally. "It could stop this sports blackmail that's going on around the country."
Can we talk?
Is it just Buzz, or has the weirdness level around President Clinton's "national dialogue" on race reached new heights in Dallas?
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First, there was the Dallas meeting on racial issues with U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater earlier this month. Its organizer, Municipal Court Judge Vonceil Hill, closed the meeting to everyone but 35 invited black community leaders--Hispanics, whites, and media need not apply. Some dialogue. What is the sound of one hand clapping, judge?
The following week, The Dallas Morning News reported that Dallas was rejected as the site of the president's first town hall meeting on race because the city's racial problems were "too big a mess." Now, as a general rule, a good strategy in fighting fires is to send the pumpers to where the flames are. Of course, this is Washington we're talking about here, folks.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams
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