Tuesday, June 7, 2011

ZAP! #60: Pressing the Flesh

ZAP! #60...June 7, 2011

Hey, kids. Want to put your conspiracy hats on and ponder some additional mayoral campaign sludge?

It seems that the incumbent mayor will go to any lengths to put his Billy-Bob-bought face before the public. And this even includes young, impressionable minds.

Imagine the surprise of the staff of the CCR when we informed that the incumbent mayor had descended into the hallowed halls of the Potter’s House to sit on the stage and participate in the 2011 Irving ISD high school graduations.

This was another campaign first for the incumbent mayor. His 1st first is conducting a campaign that will probably end up being the most expensive and sleaziest in Irving’s history. His 2nd first is having one campaign contributor donate obscene amounts ($400,000++??) that could purchase a manse in Highland Park. Finally, his 3rd first was pressing all the flesh of graduating seniors at the Irving ISD graduation ceremonies...an event he has not previously participated in since being elected mayor six years ago. Doesn’t this seem to trip your pandering-for-votes meter?

Here’s the problem with the incumbent mayor being on the stage for the 2011 Irving ISD graduations...it’s election season people! And not just any election season. The incumbent mayor is saying and doing anything in his attempt to be re-elected in order to keep his chief financial money pimp -- Billy Bob -- and the Las Colinas Group cohorts on the $250 million Entertainment Center gravy train. And he appears to have found a willing accomplice in the Irving ISD.

If the Irving ISD was interested in fostering a “spirit of cooperation” between the district and city as espoused by the board president at the graduation ceremonies, the political arena was not the place to start. And the appearance of the mayor at the ceremonies was nothing less than pure campaign politics.

How could all this even happen? The best the staff of the CCR could determine from all the e-mails and conversations is: 1) Someone (incumbent mayor?) contacted the IISD administration (superintendent?) stating that the incumbent mayor “was available” to attend all the graduation ceremonies; 2) the superintendent contacted the board president to inform her that the mayor was available; 3) the board president apparently agreed to have the mayor be a participant for the event. (The reason for the question marks is that getting information from these IISD folks is like pulling eye teeth. Note: This sequence of events is as related by the superintendent and the board president.)

Another major question. Did the superintendent or board president call, poll or seek the advice of any other members of the board of trustees? Were all board members advised that the mayor would be participating in the ceremonies?

Finally, the comments stated by the newly elected board president concerning the incumbent mayor’s appearance were shallow. The incumbent mayor’s appearance and participation was nothing more than pure political theatrics. And he really “played” the IISD for this “cameo” appearance.

For the superintendent or members of the board to spin the rationale for the incumbent mayor’s participation differently is just plain weak and disingenuous.

………….Mark Holbrook

The Dallas Morning News article related to this subject can be found at the following link: