My latest column for Yahoo counts down the ten most powerful people in Dallas (you can read it right here). While I expected disagreement, I didn't expect it to blow up the way it did. It seems most folks are upset at my inclusion of John Wiley Price at #2 on the list. The reasoning by some readers, as best I can tell, goes something like this: JWP is a racist, I don't like him, so he shouldn't be on the list.
Should I make excuses for who I put on the list? Normally I wouldn't, but I think it is important to realize that not liking someone does not diminish the realities of county politics. Anyone who knows me and has read my past work knows I am not a personal fan of Price, but I cannot deny that the senior member of the county commissioner's court has a lot of sway in this community. My original column went into more detail on Price, specifically his shortcomings, and how that negatively affects us all. It was edited for length, but even so, I think my point was clear.
If folks want to have a problem with my choice of Price at #2, I say complain all you want. I also suggest you sit in on a few county commissioner meetings (held at the School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza). You will soon see why I have him on the list, and you'll probably agree with me. Either way, I think we can all agree that being one of the most powerful people in Dallas doesn't make you a good person. It is one of the reasons why Dallas has the problems it does. Our leaders define our community, good or bad.