What timing. Just as the trial of Texas' voter ID law kicks off in D.C., a new analysis by the Associated Press has found that such laws in other states have led to hundreds of ballots being rejected, both in 2008's general election and in the primaries this year. The Associated Press looked a ... More >>
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down much of Arizona's illegal immigration law Monday morning, leaving its most controversial, show-me-your-papers provision standing, and that only provisionally. Experts say the decision provides a road map to federal courts evaluating immigration laws enacted in plac ... More >>
Turns out, the people of Dallas don't care much for voting -- Dallas County ranked fourth in the state (out of 254 counties) for the fewest ballots cast among voting-age people. Even Harris County had a slightly better turnout, which unfortunately means the Asshole of the Universe, has us beat at so ... More >>
President Barack Obama announced Friday afternoon that the Department of Homeland Security will no longer attempt to deport young undocumented immigrants brought here as children, signaling a compassionate shift in an immigration policy whose hallmark was aggressive enforcement and record-shattering ... More >>
New laws in dozens of states could take out Barack Obama this fall.
A hostile Supreme Court. A feckless Obama administration. America's war on Mexicans has gone too far.
It was Dallas city council member Tennell Atkins who, during yesterday's discussion of the city's still-far-off gas-drilling regulations, posed the million-dollar question. "Do you think that it's safe to drill in the city of Dallas?" he asked task force chair Lois Finkelman. Finkelman was noncommi ... More >>
With Mayor Mike Rawlings' support, only deep pockets can thwart the $2 billion river-ride.
The Republican presidential candidates all agree on one thing -- the same mantra between all their lines. They all want us to believe that the extreme polarity of rich and poor in this country is an expression of natural law. The super-rich just have to get super-richer. Everybody else, sadly, must ... More >>
So, you're an undocumented immigrant. Your great hope is to stick around, make a living and, some day, become naturalized. Unfortunately, our immigration laws are a tangled morass of inscrutability, insensible to the realities of a globalized world. You may have watched last week's Republican deba ... More >>
Last month, you'll no doubt recall, City Manager Mary Suhm told the city council that 2012 bond program, which we'll vote on in the fall, will be a fraction of a shadow of a hint of its mammoth '06 predecessor, which appears to be the gift that keeps on giving. 'Round $450 to $550 million, she sa ... More >>
Mayor Mike Rawlings has a closed-door, no-press-allowed meeting this morning with 25 LGBT community leaders to discuss something that's become, say, a small issue for him in the last week: his refusal to sign the "Mayors For Freedom To Marry" Pledge. Earlier this week Rawlings also elected to back ... More >>
Perry and Tea Party make a blue Christmas for needy kids.
Ethics: They're hidden somewhere in City Hall, and it's a tough case to crack.Since becoming Mayor, Mike Rawlings has been consistently passionate about a few key things: South Dallas, DISD, pizza, economic development, Halloween, ethics reform -- not necessarily in that order. On Rawlings's ... More >>
In one of America's wealthiest suburbs, an unlikely band of drilling opponents helped drive away the world's biggest energy companies. Did they save the town or ruin it?
Last night, Mayor Mike Rawlings hosted a community forum at Cedar Crest Golf Course, billed in the invitation as an "update on the City of Dallas." Backed by council members Dwaine Caraway and Tennell Atkins and a large supporting cast of other city officials, he tried to reassure the crowd: City Ha ... More >>
Photo by Chris HowellAt the end of business yesterday City Hall sent that memo from City Manager Mary Suhm and that letter from First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers. Both said more or less the same thing: Occupy Dallas has till 5 p.m. Saturday to clean up its mess behind Dallas City Hall, o ... More >>
In my column in this week's paper, I talk about that "flow control" deal, which has to do with how much trash gets trucked into southern Dallas. As usual, some of the responses I'm getting are from people mad about the way it came out who think the answer is to fire City Manager Mary Suhm. E ... More >>
Photos by Anna MerlanIt would appear the council got a standing o for appearing, briefly, at a lecture about ethics.Ethics reforms, or at least the earnest discussion thereof, are in the air over at City Hall lately. Mayor Rawlings won his seat, after all, at least partially based on a "pro-e ... More >>
Photos by Anna MerlanFrank Lutz addressing the council yesterdayThe Degolyer Estate at the Dallas Arboretum is a beautiful spot, a big house set back from a broad lawn, edged this time of the year with pumpkins and purple flowers. In the library, retreating Dallas City Council members and various ... More >>
Photo by Anna MerlanDomingo Garcia and, sitting to his right, Scott Griggs at last night's meeting over the map in Oak CliffLast week we sat through a very long, very ugly city council meeting, which ended with the members narrowly adopting a new redistricting plan. At that time, council member D ... More >>
Friday evening, two groups of protesters, Occupy Dallas and Occupy the Federal Reserve, lined opposite side of N. Pearl Street at Woodall Rodgers in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. "We got sold out, Feds got bailed out!" Occupy Dallas protesters shouted in unison on the west side of Pea ... More >>
Rick Perry's Texas is a job-making, low-taxing oasis of prosperity. It's also pure fantasy.
Yesterday afternoon, around 5:30, as a tiny audience sat in the city council chambers, former Mayor Dwaine Caraway came by and declared to Unfair Park, "I think we got something." That's right. A final redistricting map. Finally.Caraway spoke about three hours too soon, though. Last night at 8:30 ... More >>
The voter ID law passed by Texas lawmakers in May continues its circuit among activists, lawmakers, academics and social commentators as a discriminatory, unjustified and absolutely necessary measure, depending on who's yelling. Words like "voter fraud" on the right and "disenfranchisement" o ... More >>
Chris Christie, the seriously-non-president-running governor of New Jersey, recently pulled the plug on $420,000 in government subsidies for Jersey Shore, calling the tax incentives "wasteful spending" on a show that poorly represents his state. Texas Governor Rick Perry's office? It sees no such w ... More >>
The old Rick Perry -- back before he discovered the Tea Party -- would have swept into Dallas on a white horse shootin' his Ruger and kickin' up dust to defend the embattled Medrano family, accused of faking a family member's voter residency in a justice of the peace election. In fact, I just ... More >>
Forget what I just wrote below about council members turning in their redistricting amendments by 5 p.m. today. I just got a call from someone at City Hall informing me that, no, that deadline was just changed -- at the request of the mayor's office. The Redistricting Commission office confirms: ... More >>
Photo by Erin WaltersThe North Texans for 9/11 Truth-ers riding in the 2009 MLK Day Parade down Martin Luther King Jr. BoulevardWith the decade anniversary of 9/11 almost here, there's been a run of stories in every media outlet, major and minor, about both the September 11 attacks and the decade th ... More >>
Federal Reserve Bank of DallasSeveral Friends of Unfair Park, including a grumpy one below, have asked if we'll make mention of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Fisher's speech given in Midland yesterday. Sure, absolutely, happy to. Because, first, I'm ... More >>
Photo by Mark GrahamMayor Mike Rawlings's office confirms: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on August 2 he's throwing a dinner for the city council -- a sort-of get-to-know-me BBQ-flavored wingding in advance of the council getting back to work. Problem is, that conflicts with one of only two public hearin ... More >>
In the little towns outside of Dallas, publisher and aspiring politician Joey Dauben is on a crusade to expose abuses of power, civic mischief and -- most of all -- himself.
To keep his promise, Dallas' new mayor will have to distance himself from the city's political machine. Good luck with that.
Photos by Leslie MinoraAngela Hunt was asked whether it's likely Dallas will be sued by gas drillers awaiting their SUPs.Mayor Mike Rawlings took the mic before last night's Observer co-sponsored Gasland screening and told the audience of council members, activists and concerned locals, "I wi ... More >>
This was Dwaine Caraway's last day as temporary unelected mayor of Dallas. He is now the former temporary mayor or FTM. But he thinks he's prime material for full-time elected mayor at some point in the future. That's not true. The reason why it is not true may not be what everybody thinks. ... More >>
Photos by Patrick MichelsLois Finkelman was among the City Council members, past and present, who reiterated their support for Mike Rawlings today. Even casual campaign watchers will not be surprised to hear that Mike Rawlings has the support of all but a few current city council members, and plent ... More >>
Here's hoping the next guy is just as bold and bumbling.
Patrick MichelsMayoral hopeful David Kunkle, backed by his squadron of crime-fighting supporters. Backed by a new group of law-enforcing backers calling themselves "Crime Fighters for Kunkle," former Dallas police chief and mayoral hopeful David Kunkle took a minute this morning to cast himself as ... More >>
Two years after passing tighter ethics rules, City Hall tried to loosen them on the sly. You won't believe who blew the whistle.
State Rep. Burt SolomonsAs the Texas Tribune notes today, in the wee small hours of the morning, the state House passed Carrollton state Rep. Burt Solomons's HB 12, the so-called "sanctuary cities" legislation deemed an emergency item by Gov. Rick Perry. As the Trib's Julian Aguilar sums it up, t ... More >>
Last June, we took a look at some moneymaking brainstorms Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm presented to the city council, which Suhm hoped would offset some of the $131-million budget shortfall with which she was faced at the time. Among them was one in particular that didn't get very far, or so it ... More >>
City council members Angela Hunt and Vonciel Jones Hill are kicking ass at today's contentious hearing on the city council's recent unethics reform, which is about to wrap up. (Or not.) The council voted last April 13 to gut its ethics policy and allow political contributions from representatives ... More >>
Oh, now the city council has decided it needs to revisit its vote weakening the ethics rules on donations to city council members. Maybe they've decided to have themselves re-virginized. We pointed out here a thing that seems to have slipped past most media eyes: The council voted two week ... More >>
Photo by Sam MertenRon Natinsky and Mike Rawlings at an early mayoral candidate forumTwo weeks ago, Schutze noted that the city council -- very quietly, very nonchalantly, very consent-agenda-y -- loosened up its own restrictions governing when and how developers with zoning cases at City Hall co ... More >>
Photo by Sam MertenCaraway and Natinsky at the candidate's endorsement press conference last monthMoments ago, during Robert Ashley's show on KHVN-AM, an ad ran attacking mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings and his ties to Ace Cash Express -- though it never mentions Rawlings by name. The speaker: no ... More >>
Ah, wait a minute. Wait a minute. I call "rubber meets road" on the school district issue in the mayor's race. Candidate Mike Rawlings has been getting himself some political mileage on the hustings by saying that, as mayor, he will help fix the city's beleaguered public school system. I hav ... More >>
Photo by Sam MertenRon NatinskyIn our cover story about the mayoral race, perhaps you read the section about council member Ron Natinsky and noticed a glossing over of sorts when it came to his public comments during the contentious 2007 Trinity River toll road referendum. As is often the ca ... More >>
Welcome To The Dull House
The polling location in disputeBy week's end, District 2 council candidate Billy MacLeod expects to file in state and federal court a lawsuit over the city's decision not to remove Esperanza "Hope" Medrano Elementary School from its list of polling locations for the May 14 election. As you're no ... More >>