Establishment is apt to retain its clout, that’s it. All bond elections for the county, city, and school district must first be approved by the Greater Dallas Planning Council, a citizen group with no official say-so, but with practical veto power. If the Council says yes, the bond election can go. If it says, no, no election. The Planning Council members are a CCA honor roll. “They’ll never let that power go,” grumbled a liberal observer. The death of the Dallas Establishment should lead to a diffusion of power in the city. One would anticipate something like Houston’s power structure, which is sort of a clump of circles of political and economic power the big law firms, the real estate developers, the banks, the blacks, etc. which form shifting alliances depending on the issue. The trouble is, over 30 years of CCA rule have left Dallas with something of a power vacuum now that the monolith has crumbled. Weber vaguely mentions “the new groups the environmentalists, the minorities, women.” Dan Weiser, a mathematician who has done extensive work on redistricting maps, believes that there is a younger generation of Dallas businessmen, more open-minded than their elders, who have been squeezed out of participation in city affairs because the older men wouldn’t let them do anything really important. Weiser hopes this generation of businessmen will now come to the fore. The blacks in Dallas have yet to get their act together. Weiser maintains that the blacks are the most politically sophisticated citizens in Dallas simply because they really need city services. For years the CCA had the black vote sewed up through the auspices of the black Ministerial Alliance. According to Weiser, the Alliance would deliver black votes in return for important concessions for the black community a black high school, a black suburb, etc. Right now, the leading black pol in Dallas is Dr. Conrad, the school board member and LEAD honcho. Although the CCA would like to adopt Conrad \(the CCA has a terrific record of co-opting anyone so much draw at black ballot boxes that he doesn’t really need the CCA. The chicanos in Dallas \(who are only eight percent of the population compared a chicano seat out of the city council redistricting. The general supposition is that the Dallas city council will go to an 8-3 plan, meaning that the mayor, the mayor pro tern, and the deputy mayor pro tern will all run city-wide, with the rest of the councilmen elected from residential districts. Once upon a time, Dallas had just such a system of city councilmen elected by districts. Alas, during the 1930’s, this led to corruption, wardheeling, and other formS of unpleasantness and so the CCA came into being as a reform group. It should stand as a warning to all reformers. Jonsson, for one, fears a return to the old corruption. “Look at the cities that have the alderman system,” he said. “Look at New York, look at Chicago. It’s just a matter of time.” Jonsson, of course, wielded in his day clout that Mayor Daley would have envied. Perhaps as a result of 30 years of rule by the CCA oligarchy, or perhaps simply because of its sociological composition \(Dallas comprises a remarkably _large percentage of middle class, white collar folks since its chief industries, banking and politically quiescent city. Organized labor has no clout in Dallas. Dan Weiser describes it as “an orderly town, a Dutch town people here value order.” Although many liberals look upon Dallas as the worst city in Texas, Weiser maintains that although it is conservative, it is civilized. “In Houston, the Ku Klux Klan bombs things. No one bombs things here.” Dallas liberals are still at the stage where they won’t even call themselves liberals. A liberal meeting is described as “a gathering of like-minded folk.” One aspect of the city that has remained constant as it has grown is the city’s religious fundamentalism. It features enormous churches, the largest of their denomination each of the Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist persuasions. The city’s social conservatism is even more marked than its political conservatism. Dallas can still work itself into a mighty snit over long hair and dirty movies. But both KERA-TV’s “Newsroom” program \(see Obs., Sept. 18, 1970, and the changing Times Herald are helping to alter the climate ,of Dallas. The energy and creativity so long suppressed by the CCA’s political stranglehold has found outlets in other fields. Despite its financially ailing symphony orchestra, Dallas still has a remarkably active and diverse cultural scene. There is an almost comic element of formality about the place many middle-class women still put on hats and gloves before going downtown. And the city’s “high society,” as chronicled in the incredible prose of the Morning News’ Jeanne Prejean, sounds like a Woody Allen parody of society rich folks. There is no radical chic in Dallas, unless you count maybe Stanley Marcus, of department store fame, who is the CCA’s house liberal. It will be interesting to see how the city develops, now that is has political freedom. M.I. It is necessary to correct a misuse of insurance jargon which resulted in the misapplication of certain data in the article “Blue Cross Blues” \(see Obs., “premium retention rate.” The 1971 Texas Senate Interim Committee on Welfare Reform complained of Blue Cross’ retention rate because it felt that the company’s charges for administration and risk factor payments were excessive. Its remarks on retention did not address the issue of excess premiums, and the term “retention,” properly used, does not refer to the rate at which excess premiums are moved into reserve funds, as the Observer implied. The error did not affect the Observer’s reporting on other criticisms of the level of Medicaid reserves by the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and by the 1973 Texas House Interim Committee on Welfare Reform. It was repeated in discussing Ernst & Ernst’s audit of the Medicaid program, but the figures quoted are correct and applicable. . The Observer also erred in neglecting to inform readers that funds supporting the research for the article were supplied by the Southern Investigative Research Project of the Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, Georgia.. The first error is, of course, solely the responsibility of the Observer and the article’s author, Jackee Cox. February 14, 1975 110W OPEN IIALF PRICE CORDS/mAGAziNE 151 4 LAACIA AUSTIN, irriXAg IN DALLAs 4585o ,stort., $114 1 LOVUVV ALSO 610 wASNINS+ON IN WACO `Trouble is 35 years of CCA rule have left Dallas with something of a power vacuum now that the monolith has crumbled’ srot.ikkortk# 4,411111164,K.I.,Ifewe. …4a…..-..011.rep. 3,41.11110.
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