This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.
This week, in news from Dallas-Fort Worth, we have election results; news about next years elections, including Kay Granger’s seat; Dallas city charter business; ransomware news; settlements for police misconduct in Dallas and Fort Worth; investigative reports on Dallas’ awful traffic; a Hollywood premiere in Dallas; and more.
This week’s post was brought to you by the music of Nils Frahm.
The big news is obviously the election results. Check out the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Telegram, the Dallas Observer, and D Magazine for some local results. In general in North Texas bond results did pretty well, though the big Prosper ISD stadium went down to defeat and in Lewisville, voters turned down athletic upgrades but approved staff pay, renovations, and technology. As the Texas Tribune notes, school bonds did pretty well statewide, which is interesting at a time when the Lege has been called back for a fourth special session focusing on removing money from public schools for vouchers.
Also, as expected, two Republicans are in the runoff for HD2, Bryan Slaton’s old seat. Bryan Money is the Paxton/Defend Texas Liberty candidate and Jill Dutton, who has the backing of Rick Perry and Jared Patterson, among others, is getting slammed as the Phelan candidate.
And in Granbury, near Fort Worth, one of the candidates for city council was arrested for felony charges of possession of child pornography on election eve. The local Republican Party withdrew its support for him. Unsurprisingly, he lost.
The other big topic this week is who’s in the hunt to succeed Kay Granger in CD12. In, definitely, is State Rep. Craig Goldman (HD97), a lieutenant and ally of Speaker Dade Phelan. (Star-Telegram; Fort Worth Report; DMN). Definitely out: Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and Tarrant County Commissioner Manny Ramirez; also State Rep Nate Schatzline (HD93), who’s running for re-election. As previously mentioned, Ken Paxton ally John O’Shea was already planning a run.
I also commend to your attention this op-ed by Bo French, the new head of the Tarrant County GOP, on what any candidate who wants to replace Granger will have to offer GOP voters:
What is important now is that Republican voters in the 12th Congressional District rally around an America First conservative to represent our values in the U.S. Capitol. …
Any candidate campaigning for my vote must be committed to Trump’s policy of peace through strength, defending Israel’s right to exist in peace, and considering American interests first in any foreign policy discussion. …
Lastly, the right candidate should have an established record of conservative convictions. That includes being 100% pro-life and 100% pro-gun rights, without exception. That includes standing with our voters in opposition to the impeachments of Trump and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. And it includes a record of supporting proven conservatives such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and County Judge Tim O’Hare.
French says he’ll be neutral in the primary in this piece and that these are his expectations as a voter. I find myself skeptical.
No word on Democratic candidates for CD12 yet. The filing period opens tomorrow and runs through December 11.
In other news:
- The Lege’s Republican civil war bloodbath continues: State Senator Drew Springer of Muenster is retiring after this session.
- Dallas’ city charter is up for its once-a-decade review. Among the items the commission is currently looking at are moving city elections from May to November and changing the lengths of terms and term limits for elected city officials.
- Tarrant County Republicans and the Lege may have wrecked the Republican party’s primary for 2024. Between a new law changing when counties can consolidate precincts on Election Day and the Tarrant GOP’s refusal to hold joint primaries with local Democrats, Tarrant County may not be able to find enough voting machines, pay the $8 million for them, or staff what looks like almost 700 voting locations on Election Day. A combined primary would only cost the county about $200K and halve the number of voting locations.
- Updates on the Dallas County ransomware attack: Hackers Claim They’ve Leaked Dallas County Data 5GB, with more to come (Observer); and Dallas County probes whether stolen info on dark web is damaging, personal data (DMN). Related: Dallas City Council OKs $2.7 million for IT security; county investigates own cyberattack (also DMN).
- We’re all political nerds here so I feel like it’s safe to go all inside baseball and point y’all at 538’s talk with Adam Kinzinger, who now lives in Houston and would like to run against Ted Cruz sometime (maybe 2030?) as a conservative Democrat. This interview is in the context of the book Kinzinger is hawking. I take his advice to Democrats with the amount of salt I take all advice to Democrats from Republicans.
- Here’s a list of every Texan charged for crimes during the January 6 Capitol breach as of November 7.
- The Supreme Court heard a North Texas case about firearms restrictions for family violence offenders, U.S. vs. Rahimi, this week. I recommend Chris Geidner’s legal analysis and this DMN editorial supporting the Rahimi conviction.
- While we’re on the subject of DMN editorials, here’s a good one: Why is Dallas City Hall humoring fluoride conspiracy theorists? The Observer has more on this stupid conversation and the dumbasses getting paid with my tax dollars to elevate crackpots who are worried about their precious bodily fluids getting contaminated.
- The city of Fort Worth may settle with one of Atatiana Jefferson’s heirs for $3.5 million (DMN; Star-Telegram). In related news, Jefferson’s killer, former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean, is appealing his conviction.
- In Dallas, the City Council approved a $900K settlement for Shakur Stewart, who was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison after a detective suppressed key evidence in Stewart’s case.
- Also here in Dallas, the killer of Muhlaysia Booker, a trans woman who was murdered in 2019, pled guilty and was sentenced to 48 years in prison. More about Booker’s life from KERA.
- Here’s another number one that Dallas doesn’t want: we’re first among the ten biggest US cities in traffic death rates. Our local NBC affiliate is doing an investigative series on our awful driving situation here. Another piece is about the lack of progress on the ‘Vision Zero’ safety plan.
- The Remote Area Medical Clinic held a free surgery in Fort Worth recently and locals waited up to 13 hours for medical care, including dental and vision care that’s not available to Medicare patients. This is one of those heartwarming stories that’s actually dystopian when you think about it.
- On the heat beat: 2023 was the second worst summer in Texas history (after 2011). The Washington Post says we’ve just lived through the hottest 12 months on earth. And Texas is starting to see some caution among insurers about covering properties in the state.
- In some good environmental news, the soil cleanup at the old Shingle Mountain site is complete. Some background on this long-running environmental problem from our Axios.
- Why was a transgender Texas boy removed from a lead role in the school musical ‘Oklahoma’?. You know why.
- The City of Dallas unveiled a historic marker to remember the 1884 lynching of William Allen Taylor.
- You may remember that the Texas Rangers won the World Series recently. Here’s a look at how much money Arlington made off that victory. Sadly, it was more of a base hit for Arlington than a home run.
- Some things to do in DFW for locals and visitors: Where to celebrate Native American Heritage Month and an exhibit of post-impressionist artist Pierre Bonnard’s work has just opened at the Kimbell.
- If you’ve seen Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, you may be interested in this story about Fort Worth connections to the film: both local actors like Barry Corbin who were in the film and the archive work that author David Grann did for the book the film is based on.
- This week we had a film premiere in Dallas: The Iron Claw, based on the Von Erich family of wrestlers. The film had a waiver from the SAG-AFTRA strike and opened at local arthouse venue the Texas Theater (which I highly recommend to movie-watchers). You can get coverage of the premiere at the local news organ of your choice, but my favorite piece is this pictorial of the actual Von Erichs from their heyday through, sadly, the funerals of the brothers and their father.
- Last, but not least, here’s a feel-good piece about Kermit the schnauzer and his human who are big winners in international agility trials. My parents were miniature schnauzer people when I was a kid; I’m not surprised to see that they can hold their own against other breeds in these competitions.