Anatomy of a Political Boner
Farmers Branch Mayor Tim O’Hare recently found himself in hot water for something he’d done way back in June 2006, when he was a city councilman.
Farmers Branch Mayor Tim O’Hare recently found himself in hot water for something he’d done way back in June 2006, when he was a city councilman. To fellow council member Charlie Bird he sent an e-mail: “My family has been here since 1956, and almost everyone that I consider family lives here. I don’t want us to have to move. I don’t want to have to live somewhere else. But, I’m not going to live in Oak Cliff, which is what we are becoming and going to become if we don’t make some serious changes and spend some money.” Here’s how that note backfired one week in September 2008:
Bickel & Brewer Storefront files a request for a temporary restraining order to block Farmers Branch’s latest effort to stop housing rentals to illegal immigrants. Accompanying the filing are 114 pages of exhibits. B&B PR man Travis Carter sends a PDF of the exhibits to D Magazine, pointing out one in particular, the old e-mail from O’Hare.
Someone at D finally gets around to opening the huge PDF from Carter and posts the excerpt from O’Hare’s letter on the blog FrontBurner.
A reporter from the DMN sees the post and seeks comment from Bob Stimson, the president of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. Stimson calls O’Hare’s comments “asinine.”
The DMN story appears in print, and local talk radio shows throw fuel onto the fire.
DMN columnist Jacquielynn Floyd writes in the paper, “In all candor, I understand the mayor’s meaning,” while Keven Ann Willey’s editorial page says, “It’s tempting to demonize Tim O’Hare for that comment, but he actually reflects the views of many north-of-the-Trinity residents. … [S]ince Mr. O’Hare … so inelegantly put words to narrow thought, we’d like to invite him and his fellow travelers to tour one of Dallas’ most historic areas.”