BlogSpasm #32...June 14, 2011
It seems as if others are now seeing what we have been writing about for the past five months. The only “nasty” and disgraceful item this DMN editorial failed to mention was his months long “slumlord lawyer” smear-campaign against Joe Putnam, a dedicated public servant.
One point of order: The latest figure for Billy Bob Bucks donated to the Gears campaign was reported to be $513,000. Staff of the CCR cannot decide if that is a “nasty” number, or a “sinful” one. Regardless, his moral compass is still pointing due South.
Dallas Morning News: Editorial -- Published 14 June 2011 05:15 PM
The Herb Gears who served on the Irving City Council for six years, until 2004, is not the same Herb Gears running one of the nastiest campaigns in North Texas in 2011.
In fact, this newspaper doesn’t think Herb Gears would approve of the new version. We know we don’t. We supported Gears when he was challenged by Beth Van Duyne for his council seat in 2004, writing at the time that he was a champion of powerless people. Now, he seems desperate to hold on to power, whatever the cost — not that cost matters when you are bankrolled by $200,000 in donations from a developer doing business with the city.
The shorthand, as Saturday’s runoff election for Irving mayor nears, is that “the race has turned ugly.” More precisely, the Gears campaign has turned ugly, becoming defensive and personal instead of focusing more on what the mayor has accomplished in office.
This campaign is unlike any of the seven previous ones he has waged, and he admits as much. But he says Van Duyne, whom this newspaper has recommended for the mayor’s job, has forced him to go negative because of her attacks on his six years at the helm in Irving, especially her tea-party-friendly questions about city spending. Yes, candidates will trade barbs over expense reports and city projects they either oppose or support — or oppose and then support. But the Gears campaign has become more personal than that and has been drawn into territory that makes neutral observers cringe.
For example, Gears reacted badly to mild heckling by Van Duyne’s 9-year-old son during a forum and responded to critics by openly campaigning during a City Council meeting. Before that, he accused Van Duyne of “résumé fraud,” but it became clear he didn’t have all the facts. Perhaps most concerning, he made an issue of a $500 tax bill, an amount dwarfed by the tens of thousands of dollars that the federal government is fighting to collect from Gears and his wife for her company’s unpaid taxes.
At times, it seems like the Gears campaign lacks an ethical compass, and that’s one of the reasons this newspaper believes Van Duyne should win on Saturday. If Gears is re-elected, we wonder if he can find his way back to the principled leader we know he can be.
The DMN link for this editorial is located at: