Doing some Trinity River research this week, I came across an item posted on Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert's Web page talking about how the outcome of the 2007 toll road election was a real kick in city council member Angela Hunt's ass. Hunt, of course, sponsored the unsuccessful referendum.
"The vote was a victory for Mr. Leppert," the item states, "... and it was a blow to the political fortunes of Angela Hunt, the second-term Dallas City Council member who -- alone among the city's elected officials -- crusaded to remove the $1.3 billion highway from the river channel."
Not hugely gracious, what?
Aside from the whole schadenfreude thing, I was struck by two other aspects of the this epistle on the mayor's Web page. First, isn't it stunning how different things look, now that the toll road is turning into the biggest white elephant in Dallas's recorded history? But also this: Why is this particular item so much more professionally written than the rest of the copy on the mayor's web page?
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These things, of course, are easy to check these days.
In fact it turns out that the item is an uncredited and unattributed lifting of a Dallas Morning News Story that ran November 7, 2007, under the headline, "Trinity tollway is a go, 53 percent of voters reject proposition." And here we run into another quirk: The story was written by Dave Levinthal, Rudy Bush ... and Bruce Tomaso, whose "stories" during the campaign always sounded like propaganda for the road, which is why the item on the mayor's page also reads like campaign promotional material for Leppert. (The photo was also taken by a News photo, Courtney Perry.)
Ah, well, maybe Leppert has a deal with The News where he doesn't have to attribute their stuff to them when it sounds sort of like he wrote it himself anyway. Only better.
I just spoke with Chris Heinbaugh, who says, "Let me see if I can get you an answer."