What a mandate

By an overwhelming margin, a strikingly insignificant fraction of Dallas residents believe city council member Donna Blumer should remain with us a bit longer.

Blumer, you may recall, exhibited rare political courage recently by vowing to "lay down my life" if necessary to prevent the city from selling WRR-FM 101.1. The city's wholly owned, badly run, scarcely profitable, hardly-worth-the-effort classical music radio station might be worth as much as $38 million, and could probably be sold in less time than it takes WRR announcers to mispronounce Tchaikovsky.

But supporters of the only government-owned commercial radio station in the country don't want the city to unload its broadcasting orphan, arguing that an international city like ours needs a classical station, no matter how bad.

Last week, the Dallas Observer put it in the hands of readers, calling for a plebiscite on the future of Blumer and the radio station.

The good news for Blumer is that 74.5 percent of those responding believe the city should keep WRR, and that Blumer should not be forced to lay down her life. The bad news is that only 47 readers have an opinion on the matter.

Official tallies show 35 votes for keeping WRR and letting Blumer live, eight votes for selling WRR and making Blumer keep her word, and four votes for Blumer to go regardless of what happens with the radio station.

The turnout represented .00018 percent of the 260,000 Observer readers eligible to vote.

Exit poll analysis indicates that Blumer may have swept to victory on WRR's coattails. One voter--less dedicated to the cause than Blumer--said he would be willing to lay down on the council chamber floor to save WRR.

Blumer herself responded to the initiative (see this week's Letters column), but, modestly, did not actually cast a vote. Of Blumer's colleagues on the council, only councilwoman Mary Poss weighed in; or at least someone in her office sent a fax. Poss voted to keep the radio station, and spare her colleague's life.


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