Taking the Muzzle Off Mayor Tom Leppert's New Pro-Hotel Buddies

The Vote No'ers yesterday began airing their second TV ad, which features Mayor Tom Leppert and Dallas citizens Joanne and Bob Goodfellow, whose hot sports opinions regarding the convention center hotel are lacking to say the least -- as in, they're mute throughout the entire 30-second spot. So we gave the Goodfellows a buzz, and Joanne told us how she and her hubby ended up in the commercial.

"Well, I knew the advertising agency, and I believe in what they're doing," she tells Unfair Park.

She claims she doesn't know the name of the ad agency, only "some people in it," and doesn't like what Harlan Crow is doing, noting he's a resident Highland Park.

"We gave away the Dallas Cowboys, so let's not give away the hotel," she says, although we're still trying to connect the dots between Crow and the Cowboys. "That's the way I feel."

So she was so upset that she called the ad agency?

"They knew how I felt, so they contacted me," she says. "It wasn't just somebody out of a hat."

Goodfellow says she's for the hotel because people who travel know that an attached hotel makes life "simpler and easier," stressing that taxpayers won't pay for it -- the "stupendous" hotel occupancy taxes will.

But what if it fails, then taxpayers will be on the hook, right?

"We don't want to think of failure right now," she says. "We need a little lifting up. We need to think of things that will work for us. If it's going to work for us, let's move ahead instead of saying it's going to fail."

Mari Woodlief, president of AllynPartners, says Goodfellow goes to church with Erin Ragsdale, vice president of the company.

Woodlief says the Goodfellows weren't given speaking roles because the mayor is such "a great spokesman" for the hotel, but it was important to have Dallas residents in the spot.

"We wanted to have real people because their ads have been using paid actors," she says.

As for the ad's star, Leppert says, "The cost of the hotel is paid by hotel users, not taxpayers."

Of course, in a statement he made at a September 24 press conference, Leppert painted a much different picture. "Dallas taxpayers will be ultimately responsible for the debt," he said.

In other hotel news, I don't like the idea of a taxpayer-owned hotel, but I do like Trey Garrison. Why? It's all here.

And the anti-hotel group has responded today with this:

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten