| Schutze |

Jim's Been Violated! Hot Damn, It Must Be Close to Election Time.

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Just got back from a Tom Leppert press conference calling on Ed Oakley to clean up his act. No shit, Ed! The Ed Oakley for Mayor campaign has turned into the runaway Steam Engine of Sleaze in the last few days. His grimy team are stoking sleaze into the firebox just as fast as they can shovel, with conductor Oakley up there yanking on his toot-toot screaming, “More sleaze! More sleaze!” It’s the adult version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

I even found myself in some of it. An e-mail is being sent around to Hispanic activists alleging all sorts of dark anti-Latin deeds on the part of Leppert -- ya know, the other candidate in the June 16 runoff. The e-mail is being sent under what looks like the e-mail address of a prominent Latino attorney, but that attorney told me he knows nada about the e-mail and had nothing to do with generating it. It’s a counterfeit -- or “spoof” -- of his address, he said.

In the e-mail there's also a quote credited to me. Only problem is, I never, ever said one word of it.

This is how the quote reads:

“It is simply amazing how short people’s memory’s are,” said Jim Shutze (sic) of The Dallas Observer. “I know Carol Reed pretty well, but I wonder what possessed Tom Leppert to hire Brenda Reyes to head the Hispanic side of his mayoral campaign. Especially in light of Brenda’s rocky financial and political history, all that The Dallas Observer wrote about her and the nasty tactics she used against John Loza when she ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 1997.”

Remember, I didn't say any of that. Not one damned word of it.

I checked Lexis-Nexis, just to make sure. Yup. I have never written a single word about Brenda Reyes. Of course, I want to tell you that I feel violated -- so violated! -- and that I am overcome with wrathful indignation, but this would not be true. Instead I have this idiotic feeling of being flattered. Someone thought I was worth misquoting? Shucks and golly.

Leppert had two black pastors and a WASP at his side for today’s press conference at his studiously down-market Ross Avenue headquarters to show that Dallas is united against Oakley’s sleaze tactics. He called on Oakley to stick to the issues, and he promised to answer any tough question anybody wants to throw at him tonight, when he goes head-to-head with Oakley for a Dallas Morning News/WFAA debate. The debate will be streamed live on Dallasnews.com from 7 to 8 p.m. and aired on WFAA-Channel 8 Sunday morning from 7-8 -- because airing it at 3 in the morning seems such an obviously bad idea.

Course, it's it's a Belo shinding, nothing tough's gonna happen. The toughest question will be something like, “Can’t we all be friends?” Leppert’s approach today was sort of John Kerry: I’m too good a scout to stoop to his level. Lookin’ to me more and more like an Oakley landslide. --Jim Schutze

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