In my inbox this morning, I received an e-mail from the Vote No! group, who are packaging Proposition 1 and 2 together. For those needing clarification, Proposition 1 will approve a charter amendment prohibiting the city from "owning, financing, constructing, or operating a hotel or other lodging facility," and Proposition 2 will allow the public to vote on economic incentives of more than $1 million that the city gives to private developers, but only if 500 citizens sign a petition requesting a referendum.
Simply put, Prop. 1 takes the hotel biz outta the government's hands and keeps it in those of the private sector, while Prop. 2 could make developers wary of building in Dallas, fearing they'll have to wait months for a public vote if their project requires more than a million bucks in assistance from the city. The charter amendments are quite different, but since Mayor Tom Leppert and the rest of the business community don't like either one, they're selling them as one big movement that aims to "handcuff" the city, as Leppert has said throughout the campaign.
The e-mail features comments from Leppert, Dallas Citizens Council chairman John Scovell, Enough is Enough chairman Ron Steinhart and even R.I.P. Dallas, along with using The Wall Street Journal to criticize Harlan Crow.
Leppert is yet again quoted as insisting the cost of the hotel will be paid for by hotel users, "not taxpayers," failing to mention that taxpayers will indeed be on the hook if the hotel doesn't book enough guests to pay off its mortgage.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"Dallas taxpayers will be ultimately responsible for the debt," Leppert said at a pro-hotel press conference.
Our favorite parts? Using Wikipedia in an attempt to call the anti-hotel group's slogan of "safer streets, not hotel suites" a non sequitur. And this proclamation:
"The name-calling, finger pointing, millions spent, angry blogs, groundswell of advocacy groups, and misinformation campaigns ... well, they surpass anything we've ever seen in the history of Dallas municipal elections."