primary

(photo courtesy LupeValdez.com)

The primary runoff election returns between Democratic gubernatorial candidates Andrew White and Lupe Valdez were a bit like a ping-pong match for a good portion of the night — until Valdez eventually pulled ahead (about 53 percent to 47 percent) of White to become the first openly gay and the first Latina candidate to win a major party nomination for Texas governor.

After conceding the race to Valdez, White said he was ready to roll up his sleeves and help his former opponent face off against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbot, saying he was “ready to help in any way I can to give Greg Abbott an early retirement party.”

“I am constantly hearing this is going to be such an uphill battle,” Valdez told supporters after she clinched her win. “Please, tell me when I didn’t have an uphill battle.” (more…)

electionThe beginning of a busy political season began today as polling places opened up for early primary voting in elections across the state.

Whether you’re voting in the Democratic or Republican primaries, a bumper crop of prospective politicians are vying for local, regional and state seats. (more…)

John Wiley Price's trial is held in Chief U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn's courtroom inside the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

John Wiley Price’s trial is held in Chief U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn’s courtroom inside the Earle Cabell Federal Building.

By Ashley Stanley
Special Contributor

For the first installment in this series, click here.

The morning didn’t go as planned. I was hoping to be at the courthouse at 7:45 a.m., remember? It was more like 9:03 a.m. I ended up taking care of other business matters, but nonetheless, made it to the Earle Cabell Federal Building in time to be second in line. Meaning if someone comes out, I go in.

It is not standing-room only. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn does not want anyone standing except for the security officer monitoring the door. You either have a seat, or you wait outside on a wooden bench. I benched it for 20 minutes until I snagged my opportunity. I made it in. However, while I was waiting outside the courtroom, I overhead two attorneys negotiating (nothing to do with the trial). It went a bit like this:

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I knew there was a good (well, in this case, terrible) reason, because John is, as I said, one of best Tax Appraisers/Collectors we have ever had. Under his watch the office has become much more efficient, the clerks are friendly and polite, and well, maybe he ought to interview for the new management job available over at Dallas City Hall.

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I tried calling John at the Tax office yesterday five times, never could get through because everyone was (probably) calling about their property taxes. May 31 was the last day to protest appraisals. Some tax consultants tell me they were getting calls at 2 and 3 in the morning. People sometimes confuse the Central Appraisal District office with John’s office down on Elm. He does not oversee appraisals, he administers the Tax Collectors office.

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Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayor, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

Early voting began Monday for two sets of bond packages (Dallas ISD and Highland Park ISD), as well as a handful of proposed state constitutional amendments. (Photo by iStock)

Early voting began Monday for two sets of bond packages and a handful of proposed amendments to the state constitution. Both bond packages — one for Dallas ISD and one for Highland Park ISD — are important to the growth of the districts and even the health and safety of the students. And those amendments deal with everything from property taxes to the living arrangements of state officials.

But hardly anyone one will vote. Which is a crying shame, because (and excuse me while I get on my soapbox) there are people in some countries that would give both eyeteeth for the honor of having a say in anything — even something as mundane as whether small counties can be allowed to perform maintenance on private roads.

And sure, maybe voting is this arduous task that requires getting out of your car and walking into an air conditioned building to hand your driver’s license over to a nice lady or man who then finds you in a computer and walks you over to sign your name and then walks you to a booth to fill in some circles with a Sharpie. That’s hard. I know. I mean, it’s almost as hard as getting out of your car, walking into a Starbucks, standing in line, choosing a drink, telling a nice man or lady what you want to drink, and then paying for the drink before scooting over to wait for a barista to make your drink. I mean, almost. Right?

No.

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Susan Hawk, newly elected Dallas DA

Susan Hawk, Dallas DA

Everyone in town is talking about our District Attorney, Susan Hawk, and her return from a voluntary in-patient hospitalization at the famous Menninger Clinic in Houston the last several weeks.  D Magazine ran a comprehensive, well-written story by the talented Jamie Thompson on Sunday to scoop the local media and get the story buzzing before the week’s start. It’s a must-read. Here at CandysDirt.com, we are always on the look-out for the real estate angle to breaking Dallas stories. So naturally we went a-hunting for the places where the main characters live, and the action took place: (more…)

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We’ve been talking about this trend for some time, but thanks to the business-friendly environment Great State of Texas and our fantastic job market, more people are moving to our state from areas where there are fewer jobs and houses cost a whole lot more.

And of course, when more people relocate to Texas, that means more real estate clients. A total of 138,057 new clients according to the statistics from the Texas Association of Realtors’ “Texas Relocation Report.”

The report, which uses data from 2013 American Community Survey, the 2008-2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as the U-Haul 2013 National Migration Trend Reports shows that Texas is outpacing Florida, California, Georgia, and North Carolina in the number of people moving from out of state.

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John Wiley Price's Home at 406 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price’s Home at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff

John Wiley Price was arrested this morning at 8 a.m. on an FBI indictment alleging bribery, mail fraud, tax fraud, and other crimes associated with influence peddling. Co-defendants in the 107-page indictment, which was released this morning, include longtime assistant to Price Dapheny Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy. A fourth defendant, Christian Lloyd Campbell, was also named in the document.

Price’s attorney, Billy Ravkind, was stunned by this morning’s arrest, alleging that neither he nor his client knew that the indictment was coming out today. Jim Schutze thinks that this means that there is no cooperation coming from Price or his associates, or that a crucial player has recently opted to flip to federal authorities. We’re certain that things will become more clear after the U.S. Attorney addresses the media later today, and as the days and weeks progress.

One thing is certain: a lot of real assets will likely get caught up in this arrest and indictment, one that is swiftly becoming the biggest public corruption case Dallas has ever seen. Price currently resides at 510 E. 5th Street in North Oak Cliff, which was raided by the FBI almost three years ago to the day, but he was listed as owner for several other properties, too. Agents found more than $229,000 in cash inside Price’s home during the June 2011 raid, which also targeted Fain and Nealy’s homes and offices.

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