Monday, April 27, 2009

Dirty Politics

A lovely woman named Joanne came to address the council this evening regarding the recent Richardson Coalition mailer. She said "politics can be dirty which is sad, but can Keffler assure us that this is not from the city?" He did, as did Mayor Steve Mitchell, and then she went on to suggest the city post a disclaimer on their website to clarify the issue for other confused residents.

I personally think that is a grand idea.

Mayor Mitchell mentioned that he also had concerned citizens calling him "shocked and outraged"...guess we'll just have to wait and see if that translates into action.


  1. Destiny, you are sadly correct that politics is too often dirty. But I have to admit that I was puzzled this evening when the two woman stood up at the Visitor's Section of the Council Meeting and questioned why the City would send out such an awful thing. After all, the only words on the front page are "Richardson Coalition 2009 Voter's Guide". Almost the only text on the back page was the same, along with the phrase "Pol. Ad. paid for by Richardson Residents for Responsive Government-Political Action Committee". And in the center of the inner fold where the endorsements were, it repeated the same "Richardson Coalition 2009 Voter's Guide". No where did it say anything about being from the City.

    If indeed we are to reject this kind of advertising because a few people believe to be deceptive, would it also not be fair for Chris Davis to remove the "R" from the top of each of her webpages that is the official City of Richardson logo? How about Nathan Morgan about the URL for his website that is deceptively similar to the City of Richardson's official URL, along with his egregious title of "Richardson City News"?

    As they say, "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

    Now, as you know, I am not a member of the Coalition (in fact I recently wrote an open letter published in the Richardson Echo critiquing the Coalition's editorial on the City Council and Sexually Oriented Businesses). And while I am a staunch supporter of John Murphy, I personally believe that the Coalition went overboard in what it wrote. I would have been much happier if the Coalition would have simply said who they endorsed and let it go at that.

    What we don't need is for the Coalition to be mimicking in any way the tactics of a certain other person in Richardson who prints gross untruths and vicious personal slander on his website and dares to call it "news". Just as I am disappointed in how the Coalition handled this, I hope that you will have the courage to express your grave disappointment in that certain person, who happens to like your candidate as much as he dislikes mine.

    Sheesh, with friends like that, who needs enemies???


  2. Bill,

    I have actually never met Nathan personally. Just because we have many of the same suspicions that does not mean we converse. at all.

    By the way, I started to read your article for the echo the other day, send me your e-mail address, I have a question.


  3. "does not mean we converse. at all."

    That's the safest course of action ;-)

    email address: billmccalpin at


  4. My wife saw the Coalition mailer and said it sounded "womanish" and "catty."

    There are three significant aspects to the mailer:
    1. As the woman at Council said last night, the Coalition flyer was a deliberate and misleading attempt to appear to originate with the City of Richardson.
    2. The flier claimed to be an "objective scale" based on criteria such as "ethics." But there was no objective scale in the mailer. It was a vicious smear of its opponents... and that has been the Coalition's mode of operation. (Really, how can "ethics" be a criteria for an "organization" that endorses Slagel?)
    3. The mailer also lies when it describes itself. If you look at the funding for the Coalition, 90% of the funding comes from Gary Slagel and Chuck Eisemann. Basically, it's a political advertisment for Slagel and his cronies. Again, it's misleading.

    But, the flyer goes too far in its nastiness. Most intelligent, rationale people quickly see through the lies in this mailer. A friend of my wife's in Canyon Creek said it took her 5 seconds to realize its true intent... she pronounced it "propaganda" and threw it away.

  5. I have no problem discriminating the City of Richardson from the RC, or from the RC voting guide, or the CORnews site or URL. It is a bit depressing (though not surprising) that the general citizenry cannot tell them apart. There is a Nietzsche quote in there somewhere...

    I had not noticed the R on CDavis' site; I do find that slightly troubling; thank you for pointing that out.

    Mr. McCalpin, is it an any way contradictory to have a consistently anti-courseness/slander position and then to add: "That's the safest course of action" above? I saw the smiley, but an unsophisticated reader might assume you were advising this blog's readership that it is unsafe to meet with a particular citizen. I trust that was not your intent.

  6. bloggermouse, I have no problem believing that a Nietzsche is quote in there somewhere, maybe "that which kills you just makes you dead?" ;-)

    I am glad you saw the irony in the statement. There is a world of difference between political humor and vulgar slander. Example: Destiny in another post made a joke about how Chris Davis works with prostitutes in some program in Dallas County and how she hoped that this would lead to fewer 'Johns' (i.e. (John Murphy) in her neighborhood. To me, this is political humor, especially because there is no way that anyone would have read her story as actually accusing John of being, ah, er, a john.

    However, there are other comments being published which I am sure that you have read that go far beyond what decent people would accept as appropriate political discourse.

    As for my suggestion to Destiny, I wouldn't have made it if she hadn't been so emphatic about never having spoken to him ("at all") was a perfect setup line...I trust you'll forgive me and explain to any unsophisticated readers (probably pretty few on a blog) that they shouldn't be upset by gentle humor...


  7. The quote I was thinking of was something like "seeing as identical those things which are merely similar is a sign of poor eyesight". Of course, he wasn't really talking about eyesight and I am talking about the general citizenry rather than anyone here. See, I told my parents that a Philosophy minor would come in useful someday...

    I am ignorant enough of the political scene that I hadn't caught the gist of Destiny's joke at all. I guess I should pay closer attention. I read these blogs to shine some illumination on my civic ignorance and it seems to be paying off.

    There are many things written on many sides that confuse me. I do not know the COR scene well enough to understand what the the commentators are saying. There seem to be feuds within feuds, arcane levers of power, and overlapping groups of interests that I can't wrap my head around. It's Greek to me. I feel like I would benefit from a "COR City Government for Dummies" from some neutral party. Or maybe a big diagram.

    The worst of it is that I am not particularly interested in politics. But I feel like I need to keep my finger in the pie in order to understand what is happening in the city where I choose to live. I hope I don't get cynical or disheartened. I want to be involved but I don't want to get recruited into the needless drama. I was born here and I intend to live here until I slump over in the rocker on my front porch.

  8. Bloggermouse,

    My husband will no doubt be quoting back your last paragraph to me tonight. He said ever since this election has started it's felt like "highschool all over again."

    To some extend I can see what you both mean. There is a lot of back stabbing, and two faced lying, all to get a vote.

    The best advice I can give you is to pray about your choices. WE will never know the full story, all the details, but He does.

    I woke up this morning, ready to go vote and had a lot of anxiety over my Place 7 pick. I've been supporting Omar ever since the second forum. It finally got so bad that I stopped what I was doing and just prayed. Asked for peace and clarity and that's exactly what I got.

    The last minute change of heart surprised me, but when I went to vote this morning at 11, being as nosey and educated on the candidates as I was, I still didn't have all of the details to make an informed decision. This afternoon though I became privy to some stuff I NEVER would've been ok with. Had I not prayed about it this morning I would've been kicking myself for not voting for Stewart.