Post-Election Sour Grapes?

Rowland Stiteler’s article “How To Steal An Election” [November] is an attempt to bolster the cries of post-election sour grapes. Had Mr. Stiteler’s research taken him to the courthouse to examine the record of the lawsuit he based most of his article on, he would have learned that the allegations leveled against Mrs. Frances Dirks in that lawsuit were dismissed – not by the Court, but by the contestants themselves.

Had the writer bothered to look at the record, he would have learned that the “technical and tactical mistakes” included typewritten fill-in-the-blank affidavits of 57 persons, all alleging identical facts, and all of which were notarized by Mr. J.R. Brown, not merely a party to the suit, but the only individual with a direct interest in the allegations on the form.

Stiteler apparently overlooked the written judgment of the Court which found “that the law and the facts are with the Contestees and Defendants,” [emphasis added], and that a recheck and recanvass of returns had been granted by Democratic Chairman Ron Kessler even though the request was not timely filed. The judge, incidentally, was a visiting District Judge from outside Dallas County and wholly unaffected by any ruling in that matter.

It is indeed sad and revealing that the writer has implied by his “South Dallas Democracy” chart that the voting pattern in South Dallas [black precincts] constitutes “bloc voting.” Just what does Stite-ler expect to find in your North Dallas and Highland Park Republican precincts? Perhaps the converse pattern in those precincts is “intelligent voting”?

Donald J. Maison Jr. /Dallas

(Mr. Stiteler responds: Mr. Maison fails to mention in his letter that he is an attorney who represented Mrs. Dirks and other defendants in the vote fraud suit that was filed after the May 6 primary. To respond to the points he raises: The plaintiffs in the suit dropped their charges in Mrs. Dirks ’precinct and several others only because they were denied evidence necessary to prove their cases. For example, they were denied recounts in all but one precinct because they failed to present a written request for the recounts before the deadline for such requests. The plaintiffs contend they failed to do so because Democratic Party officials had promised they could have recounts without a written request. This is the type of “technicality” to which the article referred. I examined the records of this case and several others quite closely and found that the “fill-in-the-blank” affidavits to which Mr. Maison refers were filed by both plaintiffs and defendants. The results from several key South Dallas precincts were presented with the article to show the overwhelming margins piled up in those precincts. True, Republican candidates sometimes carry Highland Park precincts by a four-to-one ratio. Somehow that seems more credible than the 35-to-one ratio which Democratic candidates have received in some South Dallas precincts.)

Unsportsmanlike Conduct?

In the “Off the Record” section of the November issue there appeared an item which does not reflect the fairness and accuracy normally found in the pages of D Magazine.

The item concerned the new Dallas Morning News sports columnist Skip Bayless and sports editor Sam Blair, who previously has written the News’s lead sports column. It was severely slanted to indicate that Sam was being “put out to pasture” here at the News. The writer used one sentence from a 10-minute conversation with me in an effort to lend some substance to an obviously preconceived conclusion.

I did indicate that Sam “will have more time for administrative and editing work.” But I also went into considerable detail with your writer regarding a wide variety of duties, including the fact that Sam will continue to do a great deal of writing and likely would continue to write one column a week, which he is now doing.

Walter Robertson/Executive Sports

Editor, Dallas Morning News

Foundation Trouble

Your article on DISD’s Eastern Gateway was tremendous [Publisher’s Page, November]. If the Foundation for Quality Education is independent of the DISD, then why does the DISD staff spend business hours, paid for by the taxpayers, working on this Foundation? Why does the DISD pay for printing, copying, postage, etc.? This reminds me of the teenager who cries “1 want to be independent and move to an apartment,” and then comes home when the bills get too high.

I don’t know about the rest of you, butI just paid my 1978 school taxes and resent them being used for this project instead of for education. Let’s do something! Rubye Dawson/Dallas

Dog’s Best Friend

We at Operation Kindness would like to thank you for your effort on behalf of the abandoned dog [Publisher’s Page, November]. Too often people who find themselves in your situation simply close their eyes, feeling perhaps a moment of pity or anger, but doing nothing. Occasionally someone will pick up the abandoned pet or call us to try and get the poor animal. But no one ever files charges against the person who throws out an animal. Again, we thank you for your forthright actions.

Richard J. Miller/Board of Directors, Operation Kindness/Garland

Oak Cliff Put-Down

This is to criticize Leonard Reed’s article, “The Oak Cliff Put-Down” [October], as well as the irrelevant statement in your table of contents, “The inner-city revival doesn’t seem to have crossed the river.”

The “inner-city revival” is so alive and well in Oak Cliff I wonder when it will cross the river to the north. There are many houses in East Dallas and Oak Lawn being restored, but in Oak Cliff, we are restoring neighborhoods as well as our homes.

Having dealt with several lenders on both sides of the river I can say with confidence that the Oak Cliff institutions are making a bona fide attempt to support restoration. Lending institutions are conservative by nature, and federal and state laws impose a great deal of conservatism on them; but on the whole considerable progress has been made by those in and out of banking who were willing to learn how the lending business works.

David Truly/Dallas

(Mr. Reed replies: I am sorry for having nudged the Oak Cliff chip on your shoulder, Mr. Truly. But federal and state regulations and bank conservatism do not explain away the institutional unrespon-siveness my wife and I encountered in securing a simple loan with which to purchase our Oak Cliff home, nor do they refute the well documented gap between our bank’s promises and its performance. It was a sham. And let me update you on one development in my tale of woe. Since my story appeared, I learned our mortgage was denied not because the appraisal was substantially lower than the price of the house (as suggested on the rejection form), but rather because of a single comment on the bottom of the appraiser’s report: It said the house, despite being worth the price, was in poor condition. How’s that for a ’ ’bona fide attempt’’ to support restoration ?)

Blessed Yankees

I resent the terms you used to describe Northerners in “Why the Dallas Housing Market Is Going Bonkers” (October]. Maybe many of your readers were amused. I was not. Many moves to Dallas are paid for by employers, so evidently Northerners are needed here. Thankfully, not all Dallasites feel the way your writers do. We were given a very warm welcome.

Dorothy Wedinger/Irving

(David Dillon, one of the writers of the story in question, was once a “wheezing, red-nosed, frostbitten Northerner” himself. As for the phrase “damn Yankee,” it’s really a term of endearment. Welcome to Dallas, Mrs. Wedinger; we’re glad you ’re here.)


Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.