Buzz: Guess which Dallas City Council member is looking all establishment now?

Puttin' on the Ritz: Buzz returned from Dallas City Council member Angela Hunt's post-inauguration luncheon held at the Stoneleigh Hotel last Monday, for which Buzz showed up late wearing a fishing shirt, and Buzz felt like crawling into a hole and dying.

Wow. Talk about fancy-schmancy. Buzz has missed a chapter or two somewhere along the line in the developing saga of the distinguished member from District 14. First of all, it was a sit-down tablecloth luncheon with a very high-tone menu—the kind where you don't get much food—served by professional grown-up waiters in black clothes. The whole fête was paid for, according to Hunt, out of her "officeholder" account, funded by political contributors.

Along with many familiar East Dallas political types, the room seemed to be chock-a-block with persons of the downtown deep-pockets variety. At Buzz's same table, influential developer and commercial real estate types Rob Richmond and Neal Sleeper were trading quips with newly elected council member Delia Jasso. Buzz spied several persons with pockets around the penthouse ballroom of the beautifully restored Stoneleigh.

So what Buzz decided to do, in a show of gratitude for having been invited and fed, was come right back here to the Observer offices, go online and look up that Hunt lady's campaign contributions.

Wow again! In the most recent reporting period, for an election in which Hunt ran unopposed, she raised $60,000 and spent $4,714. For perspective, North Dallas council member Linda Koop raised zero dollars in the same period; Ron Natinsky, also of the north, raised $100.

The Hunt donor list for the first six months of the year includes 30 persons who chipped at the maximum $1,000 limit. A few are out-of-town well-wishers, such as Oklahoma City trucking magnate Charles K. Bowen and Craig D. and Elizabeth Campbell of the very influential Stephens Group investment firm in Little Rock. Within the city, her maxed-out contributors include arts benefactors Ted and Shannon Skokos, developers Vance Detwiler and Jud Pankey and...

Oh my goodness. Now this is where Buzz found out just exactly how wrong and inappropriate Buzz had been to show up in a damn fishing shirt. Here on the list of $1,000 Hunt contributors are auto dealer Carl Sewell and his wife Peggy (at a grand each).

Carl Sewell? What can Buzz even say? It just doesn't get any more establishment than Carl Sewell.

So what is the lesson here? Well, don't write off Hunt as a gadfly from East Dallas who nobody takes seriously. And if you ever do get invited back, borrow a necktie.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze