Sound and Fury in Plano; Personal Observations
Posted by Mike O on February 27, 2010
What is it all the sound and fury behind the elections in Collin County and Plano about? Using my decades of political experience, lots of discussions, analysis of finance reports and associations, and listening to and parsing the messages of the candidates and their handlers, I have come to one firm conviction:
This is about establishing Regional Tax Authorities including Collin County for the Benefit of Dallas County.
The taxing authorities desired are a one-two punch. The first is transit: that is because Dart can no longer sustain the grand plans of the downtown Dallas boys (and with DART, EVERYTHING is about downtown Dallas). No other city would be dumb enough to sign up now to act as a charity for them, so their one hope is to gain a regional taxing authority, in which Dallas’s larger voting base would control. And- with the $1 billion of toll money Collin county received for the bizarre 121 deal- the figure they’ll drain a bunch from us.
Public health care (as embodied by Parkland) is the other. The powers in Dallas are determined to drag the cash cow of Collin County under the Parkland umbrella to help them with their major shortfalls (brought on in large part by their huge illegal immigrant population). If they succeed in getting the state laws passed to pull a ‘local option’; Dallas will outvote Collin county and our county taxes would double overnight.
The political troops on the side of the Regional Taxers? John Muns as the leader: Duncan Webb, and- on transit only- Jerry Hoagland at the county level. Also, they need to elect Mabrie Jackson at the state level (who’s level of special interest contribution earns her the nickname of ‘PAC Lady‘), they need non-opposition to certain state law changes to pull this off.
Shocking conclusion, isn’t it? But it comes from a large number of independent facts, discussions and observations. It comes in code words: ‘Quality of Life’ (my observations on that seem to have limited it usage of late), ‘Cooperation’, and ‘Voter choice’ (‘Local Option’ quickly went out of vogue). It comes in the coordination of campaigns, from web site management to sign manufacture, to timing and coordination of negative and positive literature drops, to the HUGE payment by John Muns to Allyn Media of Dallas (over $88K), to major contributions by mass transit interests Ch2M, HDR, and others.
The frenzied negative attacks on Keith Self says it all: Keith is ‘uncooperative’. He is a primary impediment to these regional goals and- on top of that- he uses politically incorrect language to make clear his opposition. He also, I have been personally been told, has committed the cardinal sin of not occasionally having lunch with the ‘right people’ (John Mun’s Dad being one of them). The long-time political powers expect to be catered to.
And, because they are not treated special, and they have seen the rise of powers outside their traditional circles (including the Tea Parties) that have decided to get nasty. And that’s why we’re where we are.
As for the ‘cooperation’ and ‘addressing significant issues at a higher level’, we’ve heard this before, though most people have forgotten. It was on education, and ‘Robin Hood’ was the result. If we DON’T re-elect Keith Self, Kathy Ward, and either Wayne Richard (preferred; more determined) or Van Taylor, look forward to ‘Robin Hood, the Transit edition’ as well as ‘Robin Hood, the Parkland edition’.
And one other race: the GOP County Chair. Mandy Tschoepe is running as an adjunct to the others against Fred Moses. She plans to grow a large ‘philosophy-free’ Party organization and, should she win, she’ll get plenty of money from the Muns gang. Because such an organization is the best way to control candidate selection and support, so the ‘right people’ are the only choices and ‘troublemakers’ like Keith can be crushed before they get started. People who want REAL choice want the power to come from the candidates themselves, not from a machine run by someone who can’t find a way to use the word ‘conservative’ once in a written response to a Tea Parties questionnaire.
That’s my read on things for what it’s worth. Hopefully, you’ll find it useful and inform your friends about the issues. I had been warned- early on- not to talk about the slates and these backroom considerations. That these people stay angry for a VERY long time. But then, such warnings have meaning only if someone has personal political ambition, or vocational considerations that can be influenced by these powers. I have neither. And, being that in a few years I might very well in Uganda helping my daughter with her campaign for office (and they’ve been known to poison or jail opponents over there), do you think I would take seriously any threats from the ‘Plano Chamber Cabal’?
Bottom line: We need to defeat John Muns, Duncan Webb, Mabrie Jackson, and Mandy Tschoepe to keep Collin County tax money IN Collin County. (Jerry Hoagland, without the others, is harmless. But replacing him would be good, too; he’s been there just too long and grown too comfortable on the public dime.)