Wherein We Step Gingerly Into That Whole Sandra Crenshaw "Imbroglio"
OK, so ... deep breath. No doubt many of our Friends also read the FrontBurner, which means many of you are very, very familiar with the story of former city council person Sandra Crenshaw, who's spent several weeks defending herself against allegations that on March 4 she absconded with Precinct 3549's sign-in sheets before the precinct caucus. (Crenshaw is the precinct chair, but of course.) There ain't enough virtual ink in the blogosphere to recap the tale, so for newcomers late to this riveting tale, which includes threats of protests and legal action, I'd advise you to read all the FrontBurner posts, which began with a single comment Unfair Park also received on the night of the Texas primary.
All that said, the story continues -- especially as Saturday's senatorial district conventions approach (Crenshaw's will be at the Ellis Davis Field House, for those in need of plans this weekend). Moments ago, Crenshaw sent out a riveting media release in which she writes that Precinct 3549 election officials, among them Sandra Crenshaw, are asking "for extra police protection" this weekend, as she insists the Dallas County Democratic Party is planning on challenging the delegation's credentials. Only, not so much: "The county party isn't challenging anyone on anything," says Bill Howell, the former Dallas County Democratic Party chair who's now the temporary chair of the 23rd Senatorial District, in which Precinct 3549 falls.
Howell tells Unfair Park that "because of the imbroglio," Crenshaw's precinct didn't even elect delegates. Which means there will have to be one question answered before the senatorial district convention: "Who do we seat as delegates?" And right now, it's unclear whether any delegates from that precinct will even be seated. But Howell says of Crenshaw's release, which is below, that "it's either an attempt to mislead or a complete misunderstanding of the process."
Enjoy. --Robert Wilonsky
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PCT 3549 ELECTION OFFICIALS ASK FOR EXTRA POLICE PROTECTION DURING TEXAS SENATORIAL CONVENTION CITING FEAR OF RETALIATION FROM OBAMA SUPPORTERS SUSPECTED OF PUBLIC CORRUPTION
The Dallas County Democratic Party will challenge the credentials of the delegation from Pct. 3549 at this weekend's senatorial convention citing lack of minutes and incomplete information according to delegate hopeful and longtime neighborhood activist Amelia Wheeler. With a rash of unexplained car bombings , death threats on Obama's former pastor scheduled to appear in Dallas this weekend, and the mysteries surrounding the deaths of a former city official Precinct 3549 chairman Sandra Crenshaw and 3549 election judge Ruth Steward have asked the Dallas Police Department for extra police patrol this weekend around their homes "The officials have been blamed by Obama supporters of voter fraud that led to the credential challenges. We reported the allegations to the Department of Justice and both the US Attorney's office and the FBI advised us to turn our safety concerns over to the Dallas Police Department" said Ms. Steward who was awakened at 1:00 a.m. the morning after the precinct convention by DPD investigating the Obama complaints of voter fraud. Security cameras have been installed in their homes and the occupants are armed reports Crenshaw.
Both Crenshaw and Steward recall appealing to the FBI and ATF in 2004 to investigate the firebombing of the home and vehicles of a neighborhood association member who complained about the re-zoning of the property adjacent to 66 homes in Pct. 3549. The fires were set at 5:30 a.m. the morning of the zoning case at Dallas City Hall. The DOJ also had to respond to complaints that the same developer later bulldozed ( without notice ) the only street from their neighborhood to the polling place the evening before a Dallas City Council election. The county sheriff and Secretary of State were dispatched to the site where the developer was required to create a makeshift road or path to the polling place. The DOJ was again notified in 2004 when the Ms. Steward was removed from the City Housing Board and was replaced by an appointed election judge who moved the precinct convention to a local restaurant without proper notice of the change in violation of the voting rights Act to protect voters from discriminatory voting intimidation tactics. This is all so disheartening because of all of the black on black attacks using tactics that our forefathers fought against. It is my understanding that the Obama delegation is crying foul because the party officials challenging them are white and the challenged delegates are blacks. Crenshaw opines " It is so ironic that the rules were written to protect black participation in the process before anyone had ever heard of Obama and the black Obama supporters feel their infractions should go without challenge simply because they are black. This is sad..
"'The 2008 sign in sheets and required material was snatched out of my hands so many times by Obama operatives that I don't know what was where and what all happened and what did not happen, said Sandra Crenshaw, a Clinton supporter who was at the helm of the precinct convention. " I cannot account for anything except that I was trying to confer with the secretaryto determine if the signors had voted in the primary and that the packet containing the materials were confiscated from me by the Dallas Police Department after I complained to them that I was being followed to my home by two white attorneys." I remember some of the faces but few names of those who signed in. I also recall a black female Clinton supporter telling me that she was prohibited by Obama supporters from signing up as a delegate. I told the police that two strangers had earlier entered into the convention at 9:45pm announcing that they were from the New Mexico Obama Voter Protection Campaign. According to Crenshaw, the duo accused Crenshaw and Steward of voter fraud and directed the Obama supporters from the African American neighborhood to take possession of the delegation list and force Crenshaw against her will to deliver the lists to the " Elections Department' by 10:00p by telling them that if late their votes would not count. crenshaw refused to go to the elections department. At 10:30p I could not get the group back in order, so i informed them that I could not complete the information needed without confering with the secretary and the party office I announced that I was going home and would call them the next day if the secretary certified. their names. The delegates were given a handwritten copy of the names on the delegate list for verification that the names were submitted to the party. The attorney then e-mailed photos of Crenshaw to CNN and other media outlets and blogs accusing Crenshaw of voter fraud and going berserk after she learned that all delegates were to be allotted to Obama. The allegations further stated that Crenshaw left the convention to change the delegates to Clinton
Both Crenshaw and Steward are neighborhood leaders who have complained of violations of their property rights with dirty dealings by state and local officials surrounding the zoning and development of property adjacent to their homes and in other locations all in 3549. At least three dozen citizens were investigated in a federal probe surrounding land in 3549 Some of the officials and the developer are under indictment for bribery. At least four of the individuals indicted or accused of wrong doings are residents of Pct. 3549 and were present at the convention. During the investigation, Steward reported to the FBI that an operative of the indicted developer tried to bribe her to vote in favor of the developer for $25,000. The real estate dealings that are part of the federal probe are in 3549 and were opposed by the community. Complaints in other real esate dealings by Obama supporters in 3549 have been forwarded to city,state, and national officials including UNT, DART, and the Highway Department.
Fearing violence the attendees began making phone calls to the Dallas police as bedlam broke loose when Crenshaw instructed the temporary secretary, an Obama supporter to record the signatures of those who did not want to attend the convention but wanted to sign in for their preference for president on spiral notebooks. The attendees were told by several Obama operatives that the notebook paper was not official and that they were going to take charge of the convention and snatched the microphone from Crenshaw. According to the directions, that Crenshaw received as a precinct chairman, if attendees fail to comply by the rules, any party may proceed with those who are in compliance as long as the group follows the convention rules any aggrieved were directed to present their concerns at the senatorial convention. From: Sandra Crenshaw Dallas, Texas 214-XXX-XXXX