A few weeks back, millionaire Dallas Democrat Richard Fisher publicly challenged his old nemesis, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, to follow the lead of former President George Bush and resign her much-touted membership in the National Rifle Association.
Neither Fisher nor Hutchison's constituents ever got an answer.
Bush was outraged by the NRA's description of federal agents as, among other things, "jack-booted thugs."
Fisher, who unsuccessfully challenged Republican Hutchison in 1994, faxed her--and the media--a letter asking if she intended to resign her membership too.
A follow-up Dallas Morning News item, which noted that Hutchison had received campaign contributions from the NRA, extracted a statement from the senator that Fisher's letter was an attempt to score some "cheap political points"--but never addressed the issue of what she would do.
Fisher tells Buzz he was disappointed but not surprised that the senator dodged his query. "During the campaign she was very pro-NRA and bragged that she carried a .38 on her," Fisher says. "If she supports the NRA and its leadership, she ought to take a stand and say so."
When Buzz pressed Hutchison's Washington office for a more on-target answer, a spokesman replied that Hutchison is still an NRA member and has no intention of withdrawing her membership "at this time."
As happy as we are that Dallas has finally exited the 1950s to elect its first nonwhite mayor, we couldn't help but be appalled at how, in typical Big D fashion, everyone promptly went overboard.
Amid tears of joy, flag waving, and the Turtle Creek Chorale belting out "We Shall Overcome," everyone at Ron Kirk's swearing in-cum-pep rally seemed to have forgotten that he is a former state bureaucrat (a less-than-flattering label these days) and lawyer-lobbyist (at times for the liquor business, no less). Worse, he has yet to disentangle himself from some un-sightly conflicts of interest with the business community.
More significantly, in a city-manager government, he has but one vote, along with 14 City Council members who make the Balkan states look harmonious. Lest anyone forget that point, at Kirk's first council meeting, the horror began anew. Charlotte Mayes and Chris Luna got into a catfight over who would be--ready for this?--deputy mayor pro tem. It ended after a closed session of arm-twisting (so much for a dawning of open government under Kirk) with Luna winning out and weeping for, ahem, joy .
As Ron has found out--or surely will--it's still Dallas. Saying "the blame game is over" doesn't necessarily make it so.
Maybe Donna Halstead summed up the city's curious mixture of cynicism and hope best a few days before Kirk's swearing in. When asked by KRLD talk-show host Jody Dean how long the honeymoon between Kirk and the council would last, Halstead replied, "Indefinitely. Ron has such a strong personality, and he really believes all that baloney about everyone working together for the good of the city.