I knew this day would come. For years, I have been seeding the internet with images of myself that make me look like a drunk and a buffoon. You know, someone of no consequence. But it was all a smoke screen. See, I’m actually one of Dallas’ power brokers. I have a standing Friday afternoon tee time at the Dallas Country Club, where members scramble to host me for a round. Between swigs of Johnnie Walker Blue, they tell me how, exactly, they control the city, and I come up with the way to spin their message in the magazine. Till now, the arrangement has worked.
But now Jim Schutze has gone and blown the lid off the whole racket. In his column in the Observer this week, he reveals how the next mayor was chosen by the Dallas Citizens Council and then how that selection was announced in the pages of D Magazine. He’s talking about our January cover story, “20 for 2011,” in which I wrote that Mayor Tom Leppert would not run for reelection and that Councilman Ron Natinsky will win the job. Here’s how Schutze explains it:
How do relatively unknown colorless persons who have never taken notable positions on much of anything suddenly become the excitement, and how does D know about it in advance? But you really don’t need to ask that question, do you?
It’s what makes Dallas Dallas. It is the Dallas way — the way things always have been. Every few years when the current excitement gets worn out from being so exciting, a small coterie of business leaders scans the local horizon to choose someone who can be trusted to fill their new bill. And then D announces the name.
Actually, it’s a lot more democratic than Schutze makes it sound.
I met the seven bankers who control Dallas at the Crescent Club for lunch one day late last year. There was a lot of arguing. Good cases were made for several candidates. Frankly, I disagreed with the choice of Natinsky. But, as I say, it was a democratic process, and I had to go along with the majority. The colorless Natinsky was chosen. And then I had to come up with that wild-ass theory we published in the magazine to explain why the choice made logical sense.
Anyway, there you have it. Cat’s out of the bag. I think I’m playing with Richard Fisher tomorrow. Ted Strauss had a previous commitment.