A story under the byline of Gromer Jeffers, Jr. that moved yesterday for the Dallas Morning News, reports internecine fighting between two prominent Dallas County Democrats over yet a third Democrat.
According to the story, there is a fight between Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and Dallas County Democrat Party Chair Kristy Noble. As reported, JWP wrote a letter calling Kristy Noble “vain” over a get-out-the-vote door-hanger campaign that featured her picture on the back. That is a strange thing for Dallas County’s longest-serving Commissioner to say to the top Party Democrat in Dallas County. JWP is famous for saying “all you white people can go to hell” in open Commissioners Court. He was obviously incensed that Ms. Noble did not include his photo on the door hanger to be distributed in a majority African American neighborhood. Says the Commissioner who drives around in an SUV wrapped in accolades about himself being “Your Man Downtown” with HIS picture all over the back quarter of the wrap.
But here, the plot thickens. Tellingly, the letter also took a direct swipe at Ms. Noble for not supporting the ouster of the Dallas County Elections Administrator, Michael Scarpello who is also a Democrat.
Well, JWP buried the lede!
JWP has not been happy about his loss of influence in the Dallas County Elections Department since the departure of the previous Dallas County Elections Administrator, lightning rod Ms. Toni Pippins-Poole. Mr. Scarpello, known as a “straight shooter” professional, has been rebuilding a deeply dysfunctional and dishonest elections department into something that can be respected again. Building an honest elections department means JWP is gunning for Mr. Scarpello’s job, just as he did in 2011 when he entirely bypassed the Elections Commission, called Bruce Sherbet into his office and unceremoniously fired him without benefit of any justification whatsoever. That's when Dallas County Elections went into the tank as far as fairness and honesty.
The problem is that JWP doesn’t have enough support to get Mr. Scarpello fired. The Dallas Elections Commission is a five-member committee whose sole task is the hiring and firing of Dallas County’s Elections Administrator. It takes three votes to hire and four to fire. Ms. Noble has one of the five seats on the commission. Even if Ms. Noble did not support Mr. Scarpello, he would remain in his position as our own Republican Party Chair Jennifer Stoddard Hajdu and County Judge Clay Jenkins also wholeheartedly support Mr. Scarpello along with Ms. Noble. That must frustrate JWP, no doubt, as he has constantly sought to undermine Mr. Scarpello. JWP has even gone so far as getting our Tax Assessor and County Clerk to find anyone to file complaints against Mr. Scarpello for actually requiring Dallas County Elections Department employees to put in an honest day’s work rather than the prior party atmosphere previously rampant in Ms. Pippins-Poole Administration.
However, this is the first time that Democrat-on-Democrat name-calling has been reduced to writing and reported in a prominent local media outlet.
Clearly, this is a shot across the bow of Ms. Noble as JWP tries to build "Fire Scarpello" support on the Dallas County Elections Commission. But, JWP, that is a strange way to build your case by throwing personal insults at members of your own party.
Also, the timing is curious, coming 56 days BEFORE the November 8th General Election.
Now Ms. Noble has recently ingratiated herself with the Dallas County Republican Party due to her desperate filing of a complaint in an unfounded attempt to keep our candidate for HD 114 off of the ballot of a previously unchallenged race. So, we are certainly not going to defend her against Mr. Price.
But, since we’re talking about Democrats, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” Having JWP as an enemy speaks volumes about both the character and competence of Michael Scarpello.
But watch your back, Mr. Scarpello. JWP is trying to build his case.