Lorlee Bartos, well-regarded local political consultant (she managed Harriet Miers' sole political campaign, for a Dallas city council seat), sends this response to this morning's post about Pat Cotton's comments regarding Darrell Jordan's mayoral bid. Bartos and Cotton worked with Jordan when he ran for mayor against Ron Kirk in the mid-'90s. Note that Bartos mentions the potential candidacy of David Biegler, the former TXU vice chairman who only last week was appointed to the Southwest Airlines board of directors (wonder where he comes down on the Wright Amendment).
Biegler's name has been floated often in recent weeks--despite the fact he lives in a million-dollar Highland Park house, which would make him a carpetbagging candidate, at best, should he move into Dallas just to run for mayor. Biegler also brings with him a lot of baggage he might not be prepared to move to the city: In 2002, he was a co-defendant in a federal class action suit brought by TXU stockholders who accused Biegler, TXU chairman of the board Erle Nye and TXU executive vice president Michael McNally of misleading TXU investors about the company's viability in order to artificially inflate the company's stock prices. (Much of it had to do with TXU's European operations.) According to legal documents, the case dragged out for years and involved settlement discussions and agreements, dozens of interviews conducted with past and present TXU officials and a review of "hundreds of thousands of pages of documents." Last November, the court OK'd a $150 million settlement to stave off the "lengthy and complex litigation" likely to take place should the suit go to trial. The defendants always maintained no wrongdoing, but the plaintiffs had a pretty good attorney: former federal Judge Joe Kendall. Just something to keep in mind. Anyway, Lorlee, the virtual floor is yours:
"Interesting that Pat used to be a big supporter of Laura's...One wonders what happened.
She and I worked for Darrell on his first go round. He had moved from the Park Cities only recently, which was a big problem, and there was this 'It's time for a black mayor' drumbeat going on. Also, since he had never really been involved in Dallas politics, [he] often didn't have a clue about the issues. I had to keep scheduling briefings to bring him up to speed. Nice, honest, well-meaning guy. His secretary had worked for him for 24 years--that says a lot about someone.
I hear David Biegler also is considering moving from the Park Cities to run--he too will be beaten like a drum.
I think they all underestimate Laura--she has a core of support, and they are all fighting for what's left.
Even in a runoff it would be hard one on one.
Heck, but there are a lot of consultants out there who are making money by encouraging pipe dreams."
Like I said below, if this ain't shaping up to be the best mayoral race ever, then I will eat Big Tex's hat. --Robert Wilonsky