Sunday, June 9, 2013

CCR 06-09-13: Time to Scalp the Lawn?

the   Controversial  Committee   Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

          Sometimes, the hardest part of producing one of these screeds isn’t the pounding of the keys to slam words on a page, but what to title the thing once finished.  And staff of the CCR was having that problem with this publication.  After reading, let us know if a better title would have been more appropriate.

     When we scan politico mailings, there are several things that can be absorbed on first glance.  Is the piece four-color process?  Does it have a political disclaimer as to whom might be responsible for this fairy tale of fiction?  Do any photos look like they have been staged...especially when the individual is wearing the same clothing at a backyard BBQ, answering a phone in an office environment, grinning like a cosmetic dental commercial while shaking hands with some other known political flake, or showing a constituent how to replace a vehicle oil filter.

     After reviewing these factors, the fun part starts.  Just how gullible does the candidate really believe the brochure recipient must be for them to swallow the tripe being passed off literature.  And don’t forget all the claims being made that the candidate plans to accomplish if elected. (Even Mother Teresa wasn’t this optimistic about her spiritual endeavors.)  With several recent pieces of Allan Meagher-verbiage posing as campaign brochures cluttering our mailbox, staff of the CCR decided to parse these presentations and assist voters as they wade through the hype and Kool-Aid doses that Meagher is serving for the Place 2 city council runoff position.

     Here’s a key point to consider.  Meagher’s recent brochures noted that they were the product of Focus Irving PAC.  While there is nothing wrong -- from the PACs standpoint -- with a PAC attempting to buy or ‘own’ a politico for future favoritism, it does seem odd that their web site offers little or no information as to why this PAC really wants to tout Meagher.  Didn’t one of their brochures or mailings even reflect that they were a “grass roots” organization?

     While the design of the Focus Irving PAC web site has a slick chamber of commerce-feel with file photos, the written materials actually could have been lifted directly from a chamber of commerce presentation manual for potential new members.  Interesting also was one of the PACs web pages, “About,” section.  The lone notation on this page -- that should relate what the PAC is really about -- contained: “Focus Irving is (period)”  Wow, that says a lot about who is involved and why they might choose Meagher to be their standard bearer.  Other than a later rah-rah “press release,” Focus Irving apparently is a dark political cloud that has only named Chris Allen as its treasurer.

     One could even wonder if Meagher was as unaware of the creation of this Focus Irving PAC and its web site as he claimed to have been with the web site created on his behalf by Charles Cotton for his campaign.  Was the same web site designer used for both?

     Another interesting tidbit is that Focus Irving claims to be a “grass roots” organization.  Huh?  The only thing noticeably grass-rootsy (excuse the fabricated word) about this PAC is that they are spending an awful lot of ‘green’ in an attempt to get Meagher elected.  Is, by chance, Irving Focus an unofficially designated political PAC-arm and money funnel for chamber of commerce folks?  If the PAC would disclose its list of all contributors (and amounts) before the election and Meagher fully disclose the actual and in-kind expenses the PAC has faded for him, then Irving voters might have a genuine opportunity to know the actual string pullers and agenda behind Focus Irving PAC.

     With all the money Focus Irving PAC is presently pumping into the Meagher campaign, staff of the CCR is having another of their frequent Yogi Berra moments…”deja vu all over again.”  This checkbook politics by Focus Irving PAC is starting to resemble a bad summer movie featuring ex-mayor Gears in a key supporting role.  And you do remember the money (over a million bucks) Gears spent in a failed re-election effort and the expectations his “grass roots” sponsors/contributors had?  Shouldn’t the same be anticipated with Meagher, since some of the known cast of characters observed on his sidelines closely resembles those who were also associated with the ex-mayor Gears re-election effort? (Charles Cotton, Anthony Bond, etc.)  The only difference in these two situations is that ex-mayor Gears had Billy Bob as his bagman while Meagher appears to be hiding his string pullers and significant contributors behind Focus Irving PAC.

     Another similar parallel when looking at the Meagher campaign and comparing it with ex-mayor Gears failed campaign is that Focus Irving is in an ‘attack mode’ against Meagher’s opponent.  While most of Meagher’s campaign materials are not quite as sleazy as those that ex-mayor Gears papered the city with, Focus Irving must find it difficult to remind voters what Meagher’s prior service on the council looked like and produced.  

     After all, it is probably a lot easier to attack your opponent than it is to jog the memory banks of voters with: the McDougal Heritage District folly and its aftermath on tax payers; the fallout and failed efforts with LCG on the Entertainment Center fiasco; the lack of oversight for the most highly paid city manager in Texas; the open check book for the Irving Chamber of Commerce operations and their Dallas Cowboys stadium suite; a host of ordinances and increased fees that chaffed tax payers with increased taxes and regulations; and his demeanor about town and while sitting at the council dais.  Yeah, that’s the ticket...attack your opponent and hope that voter minds are as dense as the “grass roots” trying to be sown by Focus Irving PAC.

     While staff of the CCR cannot ascertain the degree of effectiveness that Meagher’s opponent, Kensley Stewart, might have if elected to serve on the city council in the Place 2 position, we do know that he doesn’t have -- in his corner for this contentious political brawl -- the minions lurking and shelling out significant bucks into Focus Irving PAC coffers.

     Would someone do a favor for the staff of the CCR and contact Neil Sperry’s WBAP radio program?  We would like to see if Neil has an organic cure for the toxic infestation of crabgrass in Focus Irving’s “grass roots.”  The Irving landscape is turning nut-brown...not green. 

……………………….Mark Holbrook