DallasBlog's favorite real-life TV gumshoe, Todd Bensman, along with Robert Briggs at CBS 11 News have nailed State Rep. Terri Hodge to the wall for soliciting and accepting campaign contributions from the families of violent Texas prison inmates, for whom she then used her influence to obtain favors and benefit from the prison and parole bureaucracies.
This ain't the first time CBS 11 News has caught Hodge with her hand in the cookie jar. Last fall, the FBI opened an investigation into Hodge after CBS 11 News reported that she had accepted free rent and utilities from a Dallas affordable housing developer at the center of a Dallas City Hall corruption probe.
There's definitely a trend emerging. From the most "lilly-white conservative" district to the most rural to the most ethnic, voters attending the town hall meetings are telling Dallas City Council members one thing - too much is not enough. $1.5 billion is more than welcome. Some even wonder why it can't be $2 billion. The overall message from voters at these meetings to council members - Dallas is falling apart, and it has to be fixed.
A score of voters in District 8 - one of the largest, geographically, and most rural in the city - turned out last night to talk to Councilman James Fantroy at Kleberg Riley Rec Center on Edd Road.
The biggest desire on their wishlist? Road improvements, a police substation and rec center expansions, all to accommodate the population growth the area is seeing.
"They're telling us they don't mind paying if it's an investment in the growth of Dallas and not for the personal use of council members for their own pet projects," Mr. Fantroy said.
As Scott Bennett has noted, this parallels what voters attending town hall meetings in the more affluent and chi chi districts have said - only instead of new streets, they want improvements and repairs to existing infrastructure.
District 8 resident and DISD school board member Nancy Bingham, who was in attendance, said people she has spoken to see this as an investment in Dallas that will ultimately help grow the tax base, actually alleviating property taxes in the long run.
One voter in the straw poll of those at the rec center Tuesday night raised a voice for no taxes at all, with the rest voicing opinions in favor of a $1.5 billion bond program.
Town hall meetings continue for the next few weeks, after which staff will combine the input with their own recommendations and present the whole thing to the council.
Only early risers will be viewing the WFAA-TV debate between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Bob Gammage and Chris Bell. The taped debate is scheduled to run at 5 a.m. Sunday. Thank God, I guess, for the Web. The debate is already up on the WFAA.com Web site and may also be available on the dallasnews.com site.
Town hall meetings on the proposed Dallas Bond Program are running tonight at various locations, (check dallascityhall.com for times and locations) and DallasBlog reporters will be there to learn what Dallas residents have to say on the matter.
Ed IshmaelDallas Attorney Ed Ishmael believes Texas Attorney General Greg Abott's anti-fraud campaign is a fraud. He asserts it is not about combating fraud because there isn't any. Ishmael believes it is all about voter supression.
The Dallas Morning News ran a major story in its metropolitan section today on concerns about Mayor Miller excluding other council members from ongoing negotiations to keep the Texas-OU football game at the Cotton Bowl.
Our Viewpoints columnist Rufus Shaw first raised this issue in his Monday column for DallasBlog.
Sandy McDonoughThousands, including President Bush and several former presidents, had gathered in a large church outside Atlanta Tuesday to ostensibly pay their respects for the life of Coretta Scott King.