The dynamic this morning at city council, as they debate that city-owned convention center hotel, kind of tells the whole story about how things work in Dallas. Speaking in favor of the hotel was an all-star line-up of business and political leaders, everybody from State Sen. Royce West to former utilities mogul Erle Nye. It also happened to be a cavalcade of every suck-up who stands to make a buck off this deal. The other element is this: an elaborate plan to make sure the minority community is cut in on the deal through "fair share" contracting agreements.
Noting wrong with any of that, but it effectively precludes consideration of the arguments somebody like Mitchell Rasansky would have made, had he not been silenced by a bogus conflict-of-interest allegation: that a city-owned hotel is not in the public interest. In effect, the public ain't even in the room. They will decide this in moments, when they reconvene from a lunch break. --Jim Schutze
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