So You're Saying the Only Person The Dallas News Could Find to Support the DISD Board's Incumbents Was an Incumbent? Yeesh.

The Dallas Morning News op-ed page always bends over backward to give both sides their say. If somebody turns in an opinion piece saying babies should not be cut into chunks and eaten, they'll hunt around all week until they find someone else to write the opposing view.

But if they really have to do it that way -- if there is no truth, only argument -- then at least they could choose people who come to the argument with equally clean or dirty hands.

To wit, in today's paper former school board member, legislator and community activist Harryette Ehrhardt makes a powerfully stated case for tossing out the incumbents on the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees in Tuesday's lection. She presents a lengthy indictment of the people who are on the board now, reminding us of the board's stunning history of malfeasance, misfeasance and really-bad-feasance over the last year.

Then, for the opposing view, we have a long essay arguing that incumbency is a virtue and that the incumbents did everything right and should all be voted back to their seats on the board. And this side of the argument is handled by whom? Why, none other than Edwin Flores, one of the incumbents.

Incumbent Flores argues, "As an incumbent, I have the knowledge and experience to vote in the best interests of all DISD students, and on the basis of the best available data and practices, to do what is required."

But if that were true, then why did Flores lead the board in voting to illegally suspend board elections?

Does he believe in incumbency so strongly that he thinks we really don't need elections at all? If you really think you've done that well, Mr. Flores, then you ought to welcome a chance to have your work ratified at the polls.

But, really, The News couldn't find a single person who didn't have a dog in the hunt to write the pro-incumbent piece? Oh, wait ... that could be it. Maybe they called Flores up and said, "Look, we've been searching all over town for somebody to write the pro-Flores piece, and, uh, looks like you're it."

We guess we'd do it ourselves too, if the choice were a little box next to Harryette's piece saying, "The editorial page staff was unable to find anyone in Dallas who would defend the incumbents."

Self love is better than no love at all.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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