Return to sender: You may remember this term from All the President's Men: "rat fucking." It's the practice of little dirty political tricks designed to harass your opponent, such as whisper campaigns, telephone harassment or sending out fake memos written on stolen campaign letterhead. It's politics at its pettiest and nastiest.
But enough about Karl Rove. Our question this week is: Was Dallas school board President Lois Parrott, who's seeking re-election this spring, the victim of rodent fornication? Last week, the DISD offices received a package of assorted gewgaws from a Nebraska company called Oriental Trading Co. The package was sent to the attention of Parrott, and it included an invoice for $319.36, which the district paid by check. Parrott says she didn't order it, and she quickly sent a letter off to Superintendent Michael Hinojosa saying she had sent the package back.
Those of you who remember former Superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez and her felonious habit of buying home furnishings on the district's dime can understand why this is a touchy subject.
"It's troubling because someone is buying things in my name," Parrott told Buzz. "Because of the real possibility of wrongdoing, I immediately brought the matter to the superintendent and the rest of the board. I have no idea right now what is going on, but I want to get to the bottom of this."
Now, Buzz isn't saying there was some underhanded politicking here. If you wanted to embarrass someone running for office, you wouldn't send candy, two "patriotic canvas tote bags," 15 "patriotic stovepipe hats" and assorted goodies decorated with smiley faces. You'd send her something humiliating, like a giant vibrator, an inflatable man-doll or a subscription to D magazine. It was probably just a screw-up.
Nevertheless, we called Parrott's election opponent Leigh Ann Ellis to see if she knew anything about the mysterious package. She didn't. "It sounds kind of goofy...The real question is why did DISD pay for it."
Good question. We'd like to have asked DISD, but we were on deadline and DISD's policy of press non-cooperation makes it impossible to extract any information from district headquarters unless you wait two weeks and have an express order signed by God and all His angels.
Strangely, though, getting checks out of them seems to be a snap.
--Matt Pulle and Patrick Williams
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