Mitchell Rasansky Speaks Up About Mayor Tom and the Trinity a Little Too Late

Now he tells us: Regrets. Mitchell Rasansky has had a few—and not too few to mention. For example, the former city councilman now regrets supporting Mayor Tom Leppert when the mayor was elected in 2007.

"Not too many people pull the wool over my eyes, but he did," Rasansky tells Sam Merten in a lengthy interview posted on the Dallas Observer's blog Unfair Park. "I trusted the man, and I'm sorry I supported him. I surely would not support him in any future fields of battle unless he had a turnaround and realized the mistakes that he's made."

Oh, and that li'l ol' referendum on whether to put a toll road between the Trinity River levees? He has some second thoughts about his support for the road too.

"Angela was right," Rasansky says now, referring to his former council cohort Angela Hunt, who led the 2007 campaign against the toll road proposal, which has since gone tits up over worries about how safe the levees are.

Rasansky's opposition to Hunt's effort is considered a key reason we're stuck with the dubious plan to put a road in the flood zone.

Apparently, 2007 was not a good year for Rasansky, judgment-wise. His being dead wrong—as he sees it now, anyway—on two of the biggest political issues during his eight years on city council kind of makes one wonder what exactly he ever got right. Hindsight may be 20-20, but a little foresight now and then is priceless. In the ranks of political leaders who figured out what was what too late to do any good, Rasansky is no Robert McNamara or Colin Powell. But coming from a councilman known for his tough nitpicking on budget issues and for waspishly grilling city staff during council meetings, these post-game revelations seem a bit disingenuous, if not self-serving. Where you stand in politics, it's said, depends on where you sit. Buzz supposes Leppert looked a lot better to Rasansky when he was sitting beside him in the power seats up on the council dais, but which Rasansky are we supposed to believe now, the 2007 version, or 2009's contrite ex-council member?

We'll go with the new Rasansky, since he says things we just love to hear. For instance, he tells Merten: "I don't want to call the mayor of the city of Dallas a liar—I just don't want to do that. He needs to be more factual."

Um, Mitchell, saying someone is less than factual is calling them a liar, but that's OK. We're cool with that. Welcome to the dark side.

For the full interview with Rasansky, visit

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams