The current city council, with only one exception I can think of, is not bloggy. It’s not a question of their not being tuned into blogs. From what I have observed, it’s more likely to be a question of their not knowing what a blog is, really.
Apparently -- and I don’t have a copy yet -- someone is distributing around council offices a print-out of the Unfair Park item I posted Monday concerning Mayor Tom Leppert’s flailing attempts to replace his appointee to the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board, Lynn Flint Shaw, who resigned under duress last week. Specifically, the item of interest is the fifth comment, from someone who posted as "gimmebreak."
“Item.” “Posted.” “Comment.” “Unfair Park.” You certainly know what these terms mean, but I think it’s unlikely many of the councilonians do. So that’s why I feel a need to attempt a straightener-outter here. Do follow.
I posted (which is to say, published) an item (or "small article") on our blog (an online compendium of small articles) reporting that the mayor’s candidate for the DART board was off the table, and some council persons were saying a good replacement would be Joyce Foreman, the person Mayor Leppert helped kick off the DART board to make room for Shaw.
After that item appeared, “gimmeabreak” posted a comment (which is to say, a response, riposte or rebuttal) that said:
"How can they put somebody on the DART board that talks bad about 10-11 of the people on city council? Dallas will be a laughingstock. on herblog she talks bad about: Elba Garcia, Sheffie Kadane, David Newman, Tom Leppert, Dwaine Caraway, Tennell Adkins, Jerry Allen, Ron Natinsky, Linda Koop
Get somebody new, not old.”
That’s the part that someone is circulating around the council offices. The comment. And some councilonians are said to be in an uproar, because they think it means Joyce Foreman has been attacking them all in print.
I don’t know who gimmeabreak is. He/she posts to Unfair Park, writes well and is a welcome visitor. It is clear from gimme’s posts that gimme is a majorm major Tom Leppert supporter with some kind of dog in the hunt. Beginning last June, gimmeabreak has posted many pro-Leppert items, such as this one:
“You can malign his corporate background all you want, make fun of his choice of music and/or ridicule his facial tic -- it doesn't change the fundamental fact that Tom Leppert was chosen mayor in a free election by tens of thousands of citizens who knew all of the above and considered him the best candidate nonetheless.”
I went to Joyce Foreman’s blog, Dallas Connector, and searched through its archives for mentions of council members. I found many, because Foreman writes about politics at City Hall, where she is an insider with lots of knowledge.
Her posts about Leppert and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway have been critical. Her posts about Angela Hunt, Linda Koop and Vonciel Hill have been flattering. As for the rest of the council, it looks to me as though the worst she has done is try to warn them about being hoo-dooed by the mayor. Therefore I think gimmeabreak has misrepresented Foreman and her blog.
It’s the kind of loose talk that normally falls within acceptable culture in the blogosphere, but since almost nobody on the council knows what the blogosphere is, I thought I should try to explain it to them. And you, dear Friends of Unfair Park, as you're clearly fascinated.
Below you will find what Joyce Foreman has said on her blog about the council. I don’t think this is an exhaustive list, but I have spent some time on it, and I, for one, am exhausted. If you can find something better, let me know.
For now, I’m going to say that gimmeabreak didn’t give Foreman a break. --Jim Schutze
A sampling of Foreman's postings, the first from January 15, 2008:
I am thankful that Councilwomen Vonciel Jones Hill, Angela Hunt, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano and Elba Garcia had some backbone and stood up to DART.
From January 11, 2008:
The Dallas City Council should keep their eyes and ears open because their could be other tricks from DART.
From January 9, 2008:
Remember that the city of Dallas is in a box because Mayor Tom Leppert pressured DART board members to vote for her as the chairman and he along with Dwaine(Dwayne,Dewayne) Caraway and Tennell Adkins lead the charge for her on the Dallas City Council.
From December 31, 2007:
The fact that DART is 1 billion over budget on the Orange Line and nobody understands why DART is in this mess is amazing. Let's see if Mayor Leppert,Dwaine (Dwayne,Dewayne) Caraway, Tennell Adkins and Jerry Allen will make a public statement since there is the possibility of rail lines in Dallas being delayed to keep Irving quiet.
From December 20, 2007:
Consider that the chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee was Councilman Jerry Allen and there were numerous changes to the financial plan under his leadership and those adjustment affect the the 20 year financial plan.
Mayor Leppert, Dwaine(Dwayne,Dewayne)Caraway and Tennell Adkins seem to be calling the shots with the Dallas appointees on the DART board.
From December 12, 2007:
Some citizens took a good look at who was voted in as mayor and began to wish for Ed Oakley and his politcial allies on the council are basically Dwaine(Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway, Tennell Adkins, Jerry Allen and Dave Neumann. All of those council members are freshmen and could be tossed out of office in 2 years (we hope).
From December 6, 2007:
Mayor Leppert, Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne) Caraway, Tennell Adkins, Willis Johnson, Jerry Allen, Ron Natinsky, Sheffie Kadane, Elba Garcia and Dave Newman need to tell the citizens of Dallas how they plan to handle what is about to happen to Dallas citizens with the Light rail buildout, BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)and HOV lanes.
From December 4, 2007:
Councilman Mitchel Rasansky better be careful that he doses not get on the bad side of Mayor Tom Leppert by speaking out about the mayor's party that was thrown at Ross Perot Jr.'s condominium in W Dallas Victory Hotel & Residence. Who is he to question Tom Leppert?
Councilwoman Pauline Medrano is being cautious, as she should be about this new administration. She too had better be careful because these are bad people who go after you with meanness.
And, finally, from November 12, 2007:
Why is Rufus Shaw saying that the Black council members were really not sold on the Trinity Project. Tennell Adkins had several meetings in his District and only presented the views of Vote No. Dwaine (Dewayne/Dwayne) Caraway was a public spokesman for the effort and Carolyn Davis had several meetings in her district. All four Black council members sent out messages to their district to Vote No.