Conspiracy theory update: Jim Schutze at the Observer reports that he is hearing rumblings that something untoward will happen when the 80,000 signatures go to pass muster. Perhaps. But that would be a tad obvious, even for the anti-referendum people. I'm still betting on a vicious, nasty campaign to discredit the pro-referendum side.
From Saturday: That sound you heard last night was the collective panic of the people who think they run this city. Because we reminded them that they work for us.
It almost doesn't matter -- almost being the key word, of course -- whether the Trinity toll road referendum passes in November. What matters is that we scared the hell out of the elite and the bosses and the bureaucrats who do things not because it's good public policy but because it fits some agenda that they have. The toll road, regardless of anything else, is bad public policy, and we reminded them of that.
In a sensible world, Mayor Park Cities and his buddies on the Citizens Council would cut their losses, announce the toll road is gone, and make the referendum irrelevant. But they aren't that politically sophisticated. This is the same group, after all, that brought us the poll blockers and that thinks people actually pay attention to Wick Allison and Plastic Surgery's Favorite Local Magazine. We poked a stick in their eyes, so they're going to run around like small children until they get even with us.
That means they'll use the considerable resources that they control to smear Angela Hunt, the councilwoman who masterminded this thing. They'll smear the Observer's Jim Schutze, whose reporting on the toll road made me proud that I was once a newspaperman. Dallas' Only Daily Newspaper, which was far from impartial during the petition drive, will forgo any semblance of impartiality during the referendum campaign.
And none of that will matter. This is how many signatures 80,000 is -- twice as many as those who voted in the 2001 city elections and 10,000 more than voted in the first round this year. We have them exactly where we want them, and it feels kind of good, doesn't it?