The Billion-Dollar Question: If Mayor Tom Leppert's Really About to Ditch, Why?

Gromer Jeffers is saying this afternoon it's "all but certain" Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert won't run for reelection in May, although he doesn't quite say how he's so certain. I certainly have been picking up a lot of ground clutter in the last week, mainly about various hopefuls knee-walking with burnt offerings to the offices of the big political consultants, Carol Reed and Mari Woodlief, asking their blessing and consultancy.

It's the Carol/Mari prayer.

"Dear Mother Mari, or Mother Carol, whichever. Please look down on my candidacy with your love. Please grace me with your campaign help, especially fund-raising. If elected, I shall be forever after your grateful servant and doormat to your lobbying. If not elected, I promise to move to Santa Fe and die."

Here's what I wonder. Gromer is suggesting that Leppert wants out of City Hall, with or without the face-saving excuse of running for a higher office that everybody knows he can't get. Just out.

So is it out, just ahead of some shoe to fall?

Late last week the city received another batch of data on the condition of the Trinity River levee system. The ultimate report, which won't be done for months, is a huge deal, especially if it's bad news.

But I could be dead wrong about this whole thing. The report could come back like this: "Hey, Dallas, relax, the levees are in pretty good shape, minor fixes needed, not that expensive, no big deal, everything will get done before the disaster of a FEMA remapping putting huge amounts of the central city tax base in the a flood-risk district."

Or I could be right. The report could come back, "Dallas, you are so totally screwed, glued and tattooed, you can't even imagine." In which case, Tom Leppert is unelectable as dog catcher. So does he know something?

If the levee report is political poison for Leppert, it's the same poison for council member Ron Natinsky. Depending on who's out there to run as an independent, the levee report could be used as pretty good poison for any candidate fielded by the Dallas Citizens Council.

Just got my nose in the wind. And of course you know I hope everything will come out sweetly and for the best.

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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