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Lions, Tigers and a Mayor Tom Fund-Raiser -- Oh, My!

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During the Trinity River toll road debate, I signed up for e-mail notifications from the Vote No! campaign so I could find out what Mayor Tom was up to. This landed me on Leppert’s e-mail list, and now I get regular e-mails from “Friends of Tom Leppert” and “Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert” like this one reminding me for the bazillionth time about Leppert’s fund-raiser on Friday. You see, it’s Mayor Tom’s b-day this weekend (he turns 54 Sunday), and Monday will mark the one-year anniversary of when he defeated Ed Oakley in the mayoral runoff, so, naturally, it’s time to open your checkbook.

Speaking of Oakley, he celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday and is having his annual June fund-raiser on June 19. Although he hasn’t officially said what office he’s running for, multiple sources tell Unfair Park he will indeed attempt to grab his old district seat and Trinity River Committee chair from one of Leppert’s favorite sons, Dave Neumann. As for Leppert’s shindig, it’s at the Dallas Zoo, and the event even has its own Web site.

Sponsors include Louis Beecherl, Mary McDermott Cook, Harold and Annette Simmons, Mitch and Linda Hart, Erle and Alice Nye, Senator John Carona and Tom Dunning -- to name just a few. Leppert will be bringing his kiddos and wife to “Giraffes, Monkeys and Lepperts” (insert your own punch line here) from 6 to 9 p.m., and the "safari casual" evening promises birthday cake, live music, games, face painting, magicians, carousel rides, caricature artists and bounce houses. Very much like today's city council meeting, matter of fact.

The site lists Leppert’s accomplishments as adding 200 new police officers (which was already part of City Manager Mary Suhm’s budget plan), getting the “go-ahead vote” on the Trinity River Project (using a deceptive campaign designed confuse and mislead voters) and bringing Comerica’s headquarters to downtown (coincidentally, Comerica Bank PAC contributed $10,000 to this fundraiser).

Based on that stellar record, you’d be a fool not to stop by the zoo and give the mayor a hearty pat on the back for a job, well, done.

Or you could always head over to Angela Hunt’s first annual Independence Day fund-raiser June 26 at 5125 Swiss Avenue. Much like Oakley, there has been wild speculation about what Hunt will be running for -- as Schutze noted yesterday, mostly from Gromer Jeffers at The Dallas Morning News but also, recently, Jeff Siegel on the Advocate’s blog. Perhaps she’ll change her mind, but I’ve received no indication that she is thinking about anything other than keeping her District 14 council seat next year. Since Hunt represents a high-profile area and has clashed with the mayor, there’s reason to believe Leppert is looking for a Manchurian Candidate to push her out, and Hunt is merely preparing for the fight.

But in the meantime, Leppert can bask in the glory of, um, you know, all the awesome stuff he’s accomplished in the past year or somesuch. And, ahhhhh, three more years to go. --Sam Merten

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