Turkey Awards 2013

This year’s flock of pavos: pedaling into infamy.
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Posted November 20, 2013 by FORT WORTH WEEKLY STAFF in News
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You know what they say about bright lights and big cities. In this case, how are you going to keep the turkeys down on the farm when they’ve seen Austin and Washington, D.C.? Yes folks, the current Turkey Awards flock leans a tad toward state and national government, but in a year when the Cruz missile went so far off course as to threaten the entire Free World, can you really blame us? Not to worry, though — the ranks of local Turkeys were filled quite nicely by our sports teams, drillers, and gun toters, with legacy spots, as always, set aside for our crack lineup of Tarrant area bureaucrats and elected types.

We decided to put our cover turkeys on bikes this year, to memorialize the cyclemania that hit Cowtown soon after Betsy Price got elected mayor. In all honesty, the biking bonanza went a bit bonkers at times, what with the addition of $50,000 showers at city hall and the $70,000 re-striping of Forest Park Boulevard. But when all was said and done, we just couldn’t award a Turkey to such a generally green and healthy trend. We’re worried about the combinations of bikers and ever-more frequent earthquakes, though. We can see the headline in the daily paper (assuming there still is one) now: “Drillers say injection-well earthquakes turn boring bike paths into exciting motocross tracks!”

Stay tuned. And in the meantime, we hope you enjoy the following program of Turkey Awards, put together by Fort Worth Weekly staffers and freelancers. There’s plenty for everyone. — Gayle Reaves

 

The Big Bird: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

Regular Fort Worth Weekly readers probably already know the litany of dumb-ass comments and destructive shenanigans brought to us by U.S. Sen. (and Tea Party mob boss) Ted Cruz. We would like to remind folks that the recent shutdown of the federal government, co-engineered by Cruz, did more than just close national parks and give government workers an unplanned vacation. It caused real hardship for folks who depend on food pantries, childcare programs, clinical research trials, and other vital resources underwritten by Uncle Sam. Thanks again, Ted.

A Fort Worth Cats official tried to get the umpire to go easy on Jose Canseco. Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

A Fort Worth Cats official tried to get the umpire to go easy on Jose Canseco. Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

However, the Houston resident hasn’t confined his egomania to D.C. (where his famous “Green Eggs and Ham” fake filibuster involved assistants standing in for him while he took breaks). He’s made multiple public appearances in North Texas over the last six months, including in Arlington and Dallas, where he served up choice cuts of Tea Party red meat marinated in his own special blend of quasi-messianic, anti-Obama bile. It’s for these public appearances that we award him this year’s top Turkey Awards honors. Let’s just call it the Blah Blah Birdie.

The thing that brought Cruz to these parts –– his national “Defund Obamacare” speaking tour –– has as much chance of accomplishing its nominal goal as Rick Perry has of being asked to join Mensa. The tour’s not-so-secret real goal was to keep the faithful stoked for Cruz’s expected 2016 run for the Republican Party nomination for president.  At his North Texas stops, the senator didn’t disappoint the reportedly packed houses. So many old favorites were revived, either by him or audience members: The Affordable Care Act, far from fully implemented, is destroying jobs (a claim backed up by zero credible data); President Obama’s citizenship is questionable (especially funny coming from Cruz, who this year was forced to renounce his Canadian citizenship); President Obama is a closet Muslim (does this ugliness even need addressing?); and on and on.

We would love to dismiss Cruz as just another loudmouth politico, but with the government shutdown, he has demonstrated all too vividly that he has real power, and that power has real, unfortunate consequences. He’s one very strange –– and unfunny –– bird.

 

And that other senator too.

The verbal hits just keep coming from Texas’ other U.S. senator, John Cornyn, as well.

On the Keystone pipeline, Cornyn recently repeated the nonsense that just about everybody on the planet has rejected. In March, he noted that the country’s “energy strategy starts with signing off on Keystone and the tens of thousand of American jobs that come with it … .”

No, John. TransCanada, the pipeline builder, has already admitted that there might be 400 jobs total created,  most of them  Canadian, with some short-term jobs going to pipeline crews already working.

On Obamacare, you proudly declare that you’ve rallied your “colleagues at every turn to undo the President’s ‘signature’ law,” but you never once suggested how to improve it or said you were willing to work to that end.

Regarding immigration, you’ve been a hardliner all the way, continually asking for more immigrant detention beds — you know, beds in facilities run by the private prison industry that provides you with such handsome campaign contributions.

And then the environment: Over the years you voted to bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases, you voted against eliminating gas and oil exploration subsidies, and you deny climate change.

You work so hard at being wrong on so many important things, it must be exhausting. It’s certainly making us tired.

 


19 Comments


  1.  
    Avid Fan

    How right you are. The FWISD Three Ring Circus will continue as long as the powers that be in Cowtown allow Judy “Medusa” Needham to control the Board. Change is long overdue. Avila was just her latest toy/victim. Hopefully he learned his lesson. Hard to feel sorry for Sutherland who was content to sit back in silence and watch others suffer. Hopefully the Palazzolo trial will convince someone – anyone – Needham has done enough damage to the children, teachers and employees of FWISD. Needham, Sims and Dansby – the last of the Tocco relics – need to go – along with their cronies. Ashley and Cinto are much needed breaths of class and fresh air.




  2.  
    Justice

    WOULDN’T IT BE KIND OF SAVAGE FOR A TURKEY TO BE FED TURKEY? AVILA IS A WORTHLESS WANNA BE LOSER, WHO GOT ON THE BOARD, B/C NO ONE HAD THE CAJONES (OR THE PSYCHOSIS) TO RUN AGAINST HIM! YOU RAN UNOPPOSED AVILA; THE SEAT WAS GIVEN TO YOU, B/C YOU WERE THE ONLY BOOB IDIOTIC ENOUGH TO TAKE IT! WE ALL HAD HOPES, REGARDLESS OF HOW YOU GOT ON THE BOARD, YOU WOULD HOLD THE MINIONS ACCOUNTABLE. BUT NO; YOU DECIDED TO VOTE ON SOMETHING YOU KNEW SQUAT ABOUT, JUST TO IMPRESS THE ASSES OF NEEDHAM AND DANSBY. AND YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE A LAWYER? YOU WOULD THINK YOU WOULD KNOW ABOUT ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL COURTESY. WHY VOTE ON SOMETHING YOU HAD NO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT? HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE TERM “ABSTAIN”? WELL, AFTER YOUR STINT AND JASON SMITH (THE OTHER LEGAL BOTTOM FEEDER) SHOWED HIS TRUE COLORS BEING REPLACED AS PALAZZOLO’S LAWYER; I AM CONVINCED THAT MOST JD’S DEALING WITH THE ISD, IN ANY CAPACITY, ARE GREEDY AND UNSCRUPULOUS!

    I AM HOPEFUL STILL, AFTER 3+ YEARS, THAT PALAZZOLO’S TRIAL IS GOING TO MAKE HISTORY, IN TERMS OF IMPOSING THE BAD KARMA THAT IS DUE TO ALL OF YOU HALF-BAKED “TURKEYS” ON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, INCLUDING DANSBY AND MOST OF HIS CABINET! YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CANNOT HIDE. DON’T THINK FOR A MINUTE THAT YOU ALL HAVE BROKEN PALAZZOLO! BY THE TIME IT IS ALL SAID AND DONE, YOU PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE EATING MORE THAN RAW SLICES OF TURKEY; YOU WILL ALSO BE SERVED A NICE BIG HELPING OF CROW! BON APPETITE!!!




  3.  
    Matthew Avila

    I received a “Turkey” award from the Fort Worth Weekly for my “unsubstantiated” censure of a fellow board trustee. Welcome to politics…Anyone who know me at all knows I don’t do anything without full knowledge of the facts and without a thorough analysis. It’s a deeply rooted conviction, a part of my personality, and is supported by years of scientific and legal training. I’m being chastised for the same skills that are helping to turn this district around. I appreciate and respect your opinion Fort Worth Weekly, but you missed the mark on this one.

    Respectfully,
    Matthew Avila
    FWISD Board of Education, Trustee – District 8




  4.  
    Reader

    I believe the point was, as with the leaked audio on Palazzolo, you had no personal knowledge about what Needham and Dansby (who obviously stabbed his former supporter in the back) were claiming. The Board in general flounders around without any knowledge of FACTS – just listen to yourselves in the Palazzolo audio. No FACTS. It was unfortunate that you allowed yourself to be ‘played” by “Medusa” – but it is politics and you are “new”. Employees beg to differ with you that the Weekly “missed the mark on this one”. The Weekly hit the nail on the head. Cowboy up and move on.




    •  
      Insider

      It’s indeed unfortunate that partisan politics seems to cloud the greater issue of free speech. While the Weekly may indeed have a liberal “tilt”, it is far from being a “rag”. In Cowtown it is the ONLY choice for objective reporting on the School Board, Water Board, Drilling, Prisons, politics, society and so much more. The Star PravdaGram long ago lost the honor of being considered a “newspaper”. Not only do they censor the news and stifle objective thinking, they now suppress free speech. They are a failing enterprise and will continue to loose revenue as citizens starved for information search elsewhere.
      As for Mr. Avila’s comment about possessing; “…. skills that are helping to turn this district around.” I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt only if you confine your “description” to the three newcomers on what certainly is a corrupt Fort Worth ISD School Board. Scandal after scandal, blatant nepotism, raises, promoting of former mistresses and family members of the Superintendent and sitting Board Members – all continues unabated while student performance declines. No amount of $$$ will change that. No one has accounted for the alleged 90 million Dansby “saved” in the last Bond by simply not doing work promised to taxpayers. Who will watchdog the latest Bond? Will marginal land owned by the partner of Judy Needham REALLY be used for a new FWISD building? Did Dansby REALLY promise the Bond contract to one of Mr. Avila’s largest financial contributors? How did Linebarger get the FWISD contract Ms. Needham? Did you really share the competing bid? The truth is, FWISD will never be turned around until Needham, Sims, Moss and other corrupt dinosaurs are gone. Dansby, Sorum, Monge, Everest, Ray, Steinart (the list goes on and on) must be given their walking papers. You need to clean house and start over Mr. Avila. Only the light of day will cleanse FWISD and that is why only a trial will expose what has been business as usual at FWISD. As an attorney and “doctor” your first question should be to see all of the evidence FWISD’s attorneys are keeping from the Board. Start by reading the teacher statements about Izzy Perry and then ask Needham and Dansby about their role in covering for her all those years as she harassed and bullied teachers, students and parents alike. Read the old Star Telegram Watchdog who I believe reported on her theft of gate receipts at athletic events… Better still, just read Betty Brink’s cumulative works on FWISD since the Palazzolo witch hunt began. Then Mr. Avila, put you skills to work. Then again, this is only one opinion.




  5.  
    Fairness and Equality

    Mr. Avila- How sad and lacking is both your scientific and legal training if your thorough analysis of Ms. Sutherland led you to second the motion and vote to censure her. You, then, were part of that conspiracy to ambush Sutherland that night without the benefit of her receiving prior notice of the accusations made against her. How admirable of her to so articulately respond to each and every accusation; those accusations, if you had studied them more closely, describe the very essence of what board members are supposed to be doing; asking the probing/pertinent questions, not taking/trusting the word of administrators who do not follow their own policies/practice, and seeking accountability for the sake of the citizens/residents of the District.
    Mr. Avila, you were not voted or allowed to step in to a cheerleading slot. The FWISD is not supposed to be an extension of the Chamber of Commerce. It is the board that supervises the largest educational institution in Fort Worth and with that should come the ever vigilance of its board members that all FWISD students receive the necessary services to create an educated populace in our city. Your action against Ms. Sutherland is a dictatorial move to silence true accountability. Too bad that your scientific and legal training cannot see that the Weekly got it right and you were in the wrong.




  6.  
    Justice

    “Me thinks thou protests too much!” Come on Avila; you think that we are going to fall for that “Scientific and legal training” mumbo jumbo?! How are YOU helping to turn this district around? I am sure that Paz and Cinto would like to know the answer to question as well! You sound self-absorbed; a perfect characteristic for someone, who slid into a board member position and didn’t have to run on his own merits. You did wrong, not only to vote to censure Sutherland, but also to trash Palazzolo in the audio. Your smug tone was proof enough for me, as you laughed and carried on with Dansby and others in the board room. Have you read ALL the information on Palazzolo, enough to pass judgment on him so quickly? Were you debriefed the day of the censure vote, to give you the comfort to vote and motion with such ease? You know what THEY have told you, b/c if you checked the REAL facts about the censure and the Palazzolo case, you wouldn’t be so likely to support any of the old regime on the board. You are a cracker jack Avila and your reaction to these comments and Fort Worth Weekly, are so customary of someone, who is trying to tap dance his way out of the truth!!! Back off the Weekly, b/c they very seldom get things wrong, especially when they expose people for who they really are! I may not be extremely happy with them here of late, considering that the work Betty Brinks started appears to have fallen by the wayside. However, they have been the ONLY paper that has taken the bull by the horns and publishes what has transpired with YOUR board versus Palazzolo in the past 3 years! Surely you know you are surrounded by corrupt, selfish, unethical people, who could care less of who they sacrifice for personal gain. Yes, you have showed them indeed, where your loyalty is and will be, as long as these evil doers are still at the helm. You are one of “them” and will continue to be! So don’t try to pretend you are so righteous, b/c you are not! You are just one more lifeless puppet at the hands of the master puppeteer known as Judy Needham. Don’t think YOU alone are making a difference to change the climate of the board, if anything; you are just another spider on the tangled web that this district continues to weave. Let me know how that works out for you!




  7.  
    Typhoon2

    Lol! I so enjoy reading a liberal rag occasionally ! Just an fyi…we get it! You hate conservatives , you love liberals , and that’s that. Ted Cruz is a hero . Wendy Davis is the biggest joke of the year , by far! She wore tacky shoes and championed the “right” to kill the unborn !




    •  
      Mitt's Ghost

      I agree. Wendy Davis should have done what she was supposed to do, and that is: get the boob job and the hair bleached, marry a guy who sells insurance, join the junior league, pop out a few future All Saints Episcopal School kids, and then sit around the country club pool and complain about her insurance selling husband. Isn’t that what these women are supposed to do? Who cares about her championing the right to kill the unborn. My God, she wore tacky shoes while doing it. That in and of itself shows she just doesn’t know her station in life.




    •  

      Dear Typhoon2,

      Ted Cruz isn’t a joke he’s an tea pot Anarchist who will never be satisfied until he brings this country to it’s knees, in front of him. I think its rather ironic you calling Wendy Davis a joke considering who our current governor is mr. good hair.

      And far as foot wear goes your insult of wendy’s trademark is insulting to the thousands of lower and unemployed ethnically diverse woman who will now have to walk hundreds of miles in their less than new shoes to receive reproductive health care denied to them by stinking rich $100.00 shoe warning rick perry and minions.




  8.  
    j

    I’ve read your mag for the last time. I’m pro choice, do not attend church, ok with gay marriage, and a REPUBLICAN. Keystone jobs 400? Are u on crack? Ted Cruz is trying to save your snotty ass, and I’m sure u could use a job instead of spewing your radical leftish agenda. Gain some wisdom before u preach your crap.




    •  
      Ben T. Holland

      j….What do you eat? How old are you? Look….many normal Americans sleep in on Sunday, no normal person gives a flip if Gays choose to marry (why would they), and Gayle Reeves has probably the best job in Texas, and additionally sports an extremely shiney ass. Snotty? Are you blind as well as bigoted and hammer-headed. The Fort Worth Weekly is flying with the Angels & the Startle-Gram is gasping for breath (you might be aware that the Startle-Gram laughed, and slapped it’s leg, and as you have, denigrated the Weekly. Practically every American who can read, and that loves Jesus and freedom is pro-choice. Another thing, every Repug in Congress (excluding nit-wits) hate the Tea-Baggers. Cruz and the Baggers shut the United States of America down. You read the papers? My bird-dog Roxy is smarter than the lot of you losers combined. I’m praying for your dumb asses.




  9.  

    Ok, sorry I’ve been away for a while but here goes. Avila you’re were plain wrong for putting yourself in the Sutherland mess. You were to new and could not have been completely informed on what the real reason for her censure was. Same for Joe’s case. Nobody’s buying the “training” you claim to have that allowed you to weigh in on issues more complicated than you had time to truely grasp. Also we all know you weren’t elected. You hold you position through a series of backroom deals that gave you your seat by default. You’re making the same mistake Walter Dansby has made,, you’re taking your self too seriously. You claim to be working ro make the district better but until you step away from the Needham click and begin to think for yourself you won’t help to improve anything in the district. Stop and do the job that you should be doing, taking care of the students of the FWISD.
    Now Ted Cruz. He’s the most dangerous Senator since Tail-Gunner Joe McCarthy. Like McCarthy, Cruz is a self-promoter that uses misinformation and out and out lies to push a controversial agenda that’s bad for the country. He’s a hypocrite, like McCarthy, that pretends ro be be pious and self-rightious but isn’t. His ideas are wrong and wrong-headed but they get him the publicity that he craves and money from donors that are his real motivation for what he says and does.




  10.  
    weekly reader

    With a potential local and statewide “Turkey goldmine”, the FWW has elected to ignore some Turkeys of their own political leanings. How about the DA Craig Watkins/Barron Blue scenario? John Wiley Price? The Obama appointed Texas US Atty who “prosecuted” Mark Cuban, costing the taxpayers thousands, but forgot to produce any “evidence” acceptable to a rational jury? The Tarrant/Dallas County county Medicaid fraud dentists who bilked tax payers out of a cool $51 million (state and federal funds) and were not indicted or prosecuted (by the above mentioned DA)–and as an extra “taxpayer bonus”- the money has not been recovered? The on-going disaster that is JPS Hospital? Injury prone(can’t stay on the bike) Mayor Betsy’s decision to fund bicycling rather than stray animal welfare? The Obama administration IRS official who charges the taxpayers $400,000 annually for transportation between Washington DC and her cushy DFW home? I would say that some local or Texas “turkeys” are treated more like ” golden calfs” than the tough old bird ideologues, they actually are.




    •  
      jeff.prince

      Watkins and Price are Dallas officials. We don’t do Dallas. Obama is a national figure. We have enough turkeys right here in Tarrant County.




      •  
        JN

        Well, Jeff, I liked Weekly Reader’s comments and I predicted that you might use that “local only” excuse as a cop-out but Ted Cruz and Rick Perry are not just local figures, either…and they landed your coveted Big Gobbler designations. Think globally Jeff…




  11.  

    JN, unlike Price and Watkins, Cruz and Perry are supposed to represent the entire state so I believe they qualify.




  12.  
    Reader

    Frankly I missed seeing Walter Dansby and the entire FWISD School Board (except the newbies) on the gobbler list.




  13.  



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