Sunday, June 26, 2022

Back to the Future in the Dallas County District Attorney’s election?

NDG Staff – Our View

The election for the next District Attorney of Dallas County perhaps should be entitled Back to the Future Dallas Style. Like many elections across the country the GOP is focused on turning back the clock on progress and change with innuendos, not facts.

Rather than focus on the issues facing Dallas County citizens, headlines regarding the election for District Attorney in the final month are regarding unproven allegations from the Republican challenger. He is attributing of acts of vehicle vandalism to District Attorney Craig Watkins’ campaign. 

On Thursday, October 7 GOP candidate for Dallas County District Attorney Danny Clancy discovered his Ford Expedition on blocks in the driveway at his northwest Dallas home. All four tires were stolen overnight.

Clancy has indicated in published interviews that he could not accuse anyone of the vandalism because he had no proof. Yet in an interview with Channel 8 WFAA TV on Thursday October 7, he stated, “It’s either somebody with the Watkins campaign, or it’s his failed policies that have allowed us to be victims of crime on three separate occasions over the last two weeks.”

Which statement from Clancy are voters to believe? Does he in fact have proof of involvement by the Watkins campaign, or is it simply political theater?

Also, why would a former prosecutor be so quick to make rash and conflicting statements? Is this a reflection on the type of “leadership” Dallas county citizens can expect if Clancy is elected?

The Dallas County Republican party officials have jumped in the fray, although they do not directly accuse Watkins or his campaign. Instead in a recent email they referred to the incidents as “suspicious with an election in less than 30 days.” Also, they point out the tires of Clancy’s wife have been reported as slashed on September 23, 27 and 28. Julie Clancy is a Dallas municipal court judge.

District Attorney Watkins and his campaign officials have steadfastly denied any role in the vandalism.

The Dallas County Democratic party officials have come to the defense of District Attorney Watkins. In a press release, Dallas Democratic Party Chairwoman Darlene Ewing said, “This is nothing more than political theater to help a faltering campaign.

She added, “Clancy is unable to challenge District Attorney Watkins on his record, and therefore has directly implied that District Attorney Watkins is somehow involved in a crime. It needs to stop.”

The nature of the crime is interesting and seems to have an uncomfortable racial undertone. The suggestion of slashing or stealing tires and leaving a car on blocks has a rather stereotypical feel.   

Also the language Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Neerman used in recent emails is curious, referring to thugs and hooligans. Is this the GOP’s Willie Horton of 2010?

Willie Horton, a Massachusetts convicted murderer was released on a weekend furlough program in 1986. He did not return to prison as scheduled instead committing more acts of crime including assault, theft and rape in Maryland before being recaptured in 1987.

During the 1988 presidential election, Republican George H. W. Bush’s campaign created the infamous racial charged political ad. The advertisement linked Democratic candidate Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis to Willie Horton because of the governor’s support of the furlough program. Many felt the advertisement tapped into the fears of voters of black men as dangerous criminals.

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