Transparency, Free Speech and George Soros at the Dallas County Commissioners’ Court
by Debbie Georgatos on June 17, 2011 at 5:06 PM
The June 14th weekly Dallas County Commissioners’ Court public meeting yielded fewer fireworks than the previous week’s, but more troubling conduct by some of our Commissioners. Last week the Democrat-controlled DCCC, after three earlier public hearings and community/activist input that formed the basis of the only working map the public knew about, hoicked out of nowhere, and voted to pass, a “surprise” map that flipped the numbers of two districts, effectively eliminating the right of voters in the only clearly Republican-majority district to elect their Commissioner on the statutorily established four-year cycle. Many arrived at the June 14th hearing to protest the lack of transparency in the process of creating the surprise map, which even three Commissioners, Maurine Dickey, Dr. Elba Garcia and Mike Cantrell stated they were unaware of before last week’s vote.
Before speakers could come to the microphone yesterday, Democrat County Judge Clay Jenkins reiterated the Court’s new decorum rules, violation of which brings first the gavel, and then possible removal from the court. Rules include at least that speakers cannot address individual Commissioner members by name, and cannot speak in a derogatory manner about any individual or the DCCC. While these unclear rules were either created or revived after Democrat Commissioner John Wiley Price’s “You are all white---go to hell” repeated outbursts at a February DCCC meeting (so perhaps were needed), the decorum rules seem now designed and enforced to prevent any criticism of the Democrats on the Court, or the Court’s decisions, however politely uttered.
Dallas County GOP Chairman Wade Emmert was gaveled for characterizing the last minute swap-in of the surprise map as “underhanded,” yet it is hard to think of a more accurate, yet inoffensive, term to describe the Court’s conduct. While one speaker’s clearly inappropriate comments referring to a “stench” emanating from the Court were gaveled to the relief of many, another critic of the Court who referred to “widespread and rapid loss of honesty & integrity in our county government” was not only gaveled but removed.
In February, a Garland grandmother was gaveled for saying that the public has a right to be “treated in an honorable manner,” which the gavel-happy Jenkins found unacceptable because (said he) the speaker couldn’t accuse people of acting dishonorably. The February DCCC meetings focused in large part on public dissatisfaction and even outrage over the forcing out of longtime and highly regarded Dallas County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet, widely perceived as orchestrated by Commissioner John Wiley Price whose protégé Toni Pippins-Poole is now serving as at least Interim Administrator.
Jenkins’ gavel-ready approach appears selective: referring to Sherbet having been “fired in an unfair manner” brought the gavel, as did the comment (by the same Garland grandmother mentioned earlier) that bigotry is meant to perpetuate fear. Yet when LGBT representatives spoke in support of adding transgendered individuals to the list of categories of those against whom discrimination in hiring is not permitted, and later advocated directly that particular Commissioners could not adequately represent them, harsh comments directed at Republican Maurine Dickey went “un-gaveled.”
And about George Soros. The DCCC hired attorney J. Gerald Hebert to assist with the redistricting process and its compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Hebert, in turn, hired or contracted with Matt Angle’s firm, Angle & Associates, which was funded bountifully by Dallas Democrat Fred Baron. Angle’s group was a key player in the Democrat takeover of Colorado, and is firmly entrenched in America’s far left. Worse, through the interwoven network of Democrat activist groups, money from well-known, conservative-hating billionaire George Soros has indirectly made its way into the redistricting process at the DCCC.
When Soros money finds its way to Dallas County government, it is time for Texans to wake up, and get involved. Ultimately, the only way to eliminate the power and the elitist attitude of those who take the “you can’t criticize government—go to hell” attitude of some in Dallas County government, is through the ballot box.
The Commissioners’ Court meets every Tuesday at 9am, at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas. Citizens who have no criticisms are welcome.