The swirling force of Texas politics

'We Got Thunderbird' in South Dallas

Wet-dry vote sets off debate … no, really

By Bruce Felps
|  Thursday, Jun 24, 2010  |  Updated 6:51 PM CDT
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Dallas Booze Battle

Mayor Pro Tem and District 4 Councilman Dwaine Caraway holds up a bottle of "The Bird."

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Dallas Booze Battle

Dallas residents are on both sides when it comes to wet-dry issue in the city.
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Last night’s Dallas City Council meeting made it official.

After verifying the identities and voting status behind the signatures collected in an effort to force the referendum, council approved a citywide wet-dry vote for the Nov. 2 ballot. The approved measure didn’t happen without a fair amount of debate and discussion.

Mayor Pro Tem and District 4 Councilman Dwaine Caraway characterized the vote as a faceoff between North Dallas and South Dallas, the perceived affluent vs. the lower income residents of the city.

“Y’all got merlot in North Dallas. We got Thunderbird in South Dallas,” he said brandishing a bottle of the latter.

OK, both merlot and Thunderbird are wine, right? I’m just asking. I’m not much of a wine guy.

Clearly, though, Caraway opposes the election, saying , if passed, it would bring famine and pestilence to South Dallas, as best as I can decipher what he said during the meeting.

“My mother don't want a vote on wet and dry. She wants it dry period.” Caraway, as transcribed by Robert Wilonsky last night on Unfair Park, said during last night’s council meeting, and a son’s gotta back his mother.

But all the debate, all the discussion, all the rhetoric, and even the vote were pointless. Progress Dallas collected the signatures, the city secretary’s office verified them, and, at that point, state law kicked in and required a vote.

Caraway and all the others simply laid the groundwork for their campaigns leading up to Nov. 2.

But Dwaine, if South Dallas is dry, where’s the Thunderbird come from?

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. After arriving in Reno, Nev., a few years back, he asked a cab driver if it were a wet or dry area. “What,” the cabbie asked, “you mean does it rain a lot?”

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