Tonight I went to a strong mayor referendum debate at SMU. I’ll tell you what: the two anti-proposition 1 debaters did a horrible job. Councilman Bill Blaydes barely finished a sentence without assassinating its logic. At one point he said that proponents are voting for a “dictatorship.” Is insulting Dallas voters his new strategy?
Bill had some grizzled, sarcastic lawyer buddy with him who used carefully crafted, lawyer-esque fear tactics to sway the audience. At one point, the lawyer claimed that Dallas will spend “billions” defending the proposition against voter rights lawsuits. Billions? Whatever.
The audience was invited to ask questions. Most questioners instead gave commentary. Like the anti-proposition debaters, the anti-proposition audience questioners were unimpressive. One particularly stupid guy, some kind of left-wing redneck with a negative IQ, lectured Miller about—of all things—not returning repeated calls to her office. Seeing his behavior, I am not surprised this fool was ignored. The moderator called him down three times, and the audience laughed at him repeatedly. He whined about how the proposition takes away minority representation and claimed there were no Hispanics and virtually no blacks in the audience. Humorously, two Hispanics and one black, all who leaned in favor of the proposition, quickly followed this redneck fool.
I had to leave about 4 minutes into a boastful Oak Cliff bragger telling us about all his accomplishments. Never heard his question.
The anti-proposition crowd’s tactics didn’t work. The audience largely favored the strong mayor proposition. But maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise? This was a mostly educated, thinking audience who was not in the clutches of the South Dallas “good ole’ boy” system.
A good question was how many accomplishments had Dallas achieved due to the weak mayor system. Humorously, all Bill Blaydes could do is ramble about things that happened in spite of the current system.
If this debate is a representation of the anti-proposition crowd, the proposition is in for smooth sailing.