Posts Tagged ‘John Wiley Price’

Breaking: John Wiley Price Walks

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Just after I hit post on today’s LinkSwarm, I see this:

In a stunning defeat for federal prosecutors, John Wiley Price, the veteran politician who wields vast power and influence over Dallas County, was on Friday found not guilty of bribery and fraud.

The jury that considered whether he was abusing his public office to rake in about $1 million in secret profits over a decade also couldn’t reach a verdict on charges of tax evasion. The judge declared a mistrial on the deadlocked charges.

The U.S. attorney’s office will decide whether or not to retry Price on the tax charges.

The prosecutors badly mishandled their case, being forced to turn over evidence withheld from the defense on multiple occasions. While I have ample reason to believe Price is guilty, I also believe the jury’s verdict was a logical one given how poorly the case had been presented.

John Wiley Price Trial Update

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

In case you missed it, the long-delayed bribery trial of long-serving black Democratic Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price got underway February 27.

For those who forgot about Price, the essentials are that Price is accused of taking some $950,000 in bribes over a decade from businesses seeking county contracts and other favors. The FBI seized more than $450,000 from Price in 2011 as part of their investigation. (You can read the FBI’s search warrant here.) So the trial has been a long, long time in coming. Indeed, it was three years after the raid before Price was even arrested. (The trial was evidently delayed due to an FBI agent’s stroke.) And being under bribery indictment didn’t prevent Price from being reelected. Twice.

Recently the Price trial turned to the inland port controversy, something I’d learned about back when covering former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert’s unsuccessful Senate bid. Here’s Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer on recent revelations:

One major question in the trial is whether Commissioner Price, lifelong hero and champion of African-American southern Dallas, stabbed his own constituency in the back seven years ago by helping torpedo a huge economic development project called the Inland Port, a planned 5,000-acre complex of rail yards, truck terminals and gigantic high-tech warehouses purported to be worth 65,000 well-paid new jobs for the city’s southern racial reservation.

If he did help stymie the Inland Port, the criminal allegation is that he did so to collect bribes from a lobbyist working for a competing shipping facility in Fort Worth owned by Dallas’ powerful Perot family. If he was not acting corruptly, then Price was only being a good steward of the interests of his district by insisting on proper land-use planning. The trial will tell.

Foster was the county’s top elected official in 2007 when the Inland Port question arrived at a crisis. The project’s lead developer had amassed 5,000 acres of land and spent millions of dollars over seven years getting all of the zoning and other permits he needed for the vast project. He was just about to ink deals with major international companies to build vast high-tech warehouses in what was supposed to become a continental shipping hub.

Top executives for Hillwood, a Perot company, have already testified in the trial that in 2007 they saw the Dallas Inland Port as a grave competitive threat to Hillwood’s Alliance Global Logistics Hub in Fort Worth. They wanted to slow it down long enough to regain the advantage.

The Perots had a connection to Price through lobbyist Kathy Nealy, who had helped the Perots get a bond election passed in 2000 to support a new basketball arena in Dallas. The government’s allegation in the ongoing trial is that Nealy paid Price to use his official powers to sabotage the Inland Port, even though the Inland Port project might have been the single greatest promise of economic opportunity in the history of southern Dallas.

All of a sudden in 2007 a lot of things started to happen, seemingly out of the blue. Price began insisting that a long difficult process of federal permits and local planning needed to be cranked up again from scratch. He was supported in his efforts by a major regional planning agency, by then Mayor Tom Leppert and by the editorial page of The Dallas Morning News.

Price’s pitch to the Dallas black community he claims to represent has long been “Our Man Downtown.” By prioritizing his own shakedown operation over jobs for his constituents, it appears that Price was his own man downtown…

More tidbits from the trial:

  • Foster also claimed that Price threatened to hit him after one vote.
  • Price’s defense team seems to be suggesting that they money Price received from various businesses were just repayments of loans. Because it’s perfectly normal for political figures to give loans to various business owners in his district…
  • Price’s own accountant evidently didn’t know where all his money came from:

    Price’s accountant and tax preparer, Russell Baity, repeatedly admitted Tuesday that he did not know about several sources of Price’s income, including rental payments, art and real estate sales and a civil court judgement. Price should have told him about the extra cash, Baity told the jury.

    “You need to report every dollar you receive on your tax returns,” he said.

    Baity also cast doubt on the defense’s assertion that payments between Price and his executive assistant and co-defendant Dapheny Fain were loans and repayments of loans. Price hadn’t told him about any loans, Baity said, despite the fact that the accountant would’ve needed the information to properly handle Price’s taxes.

  • Price bought land that he put in co-defendant Kathy Nealy’s name. Nothing suspicious there. Really, who among us hasn’t bought land in a political consultant’s name?
  • Price met with a an executive of Unisys while the company was “bidding on a Dallas County contract and in violation of the county’s strict no-contact rules during the procurement process.”
  • The Price trial is still ongoing, and soon Price’s defense will get their turn.

    More Post-Super Tuesday Election Updates

    Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

    More post-Super Tuesday results and election tidbits.

  • Cruz is the only one who can beat Trump and everyone else should unite behind him.”
  • Looking at delegates, Super Tuesday’s race between Cruz and Trump was closer than it appeared. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The GOP must stop Trump to stop Hillary. There is no other option. And, Cruz, objectively looking at the delegate counts, is the best vehicle to do that.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “It is time for Rubio to accept he will not be the nominee.”
  • Conservatives need to rally around Cruz. (Hat tip: Conservatves For Ted Cruz.)
  • Ted Cruz raised $12 million in February.
  • James Lileks is on the #NeverTrump bandwagon, even though he doesn’t think it will work. “His supporters are impervious to this argument.”
  • Heh: “His were the eyes of a man who has gazed into the abyss, and the abyss gazed back, and then he endorsed the abyss.” (Hat tip: Virginia Postrel on Instapundit.)
  • Tuesday was very kind to Texas incumbents. “No congressional incumbent who wanted another term was defeated…Three incumbents seeking re-election to the Texas Supreme Court held their ground against serious challengers. Two judges on the state’s highest criminal court emerged from their primaries unscathed. No state senator who sought another term was defeated.”
  • Voters to Ferdinand Frank Fischer III (AKA Trey Martinez Fischer): No you can’t have a state senate seat. Not yours.
  • In Dallas, indicted Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price wins nomination for his eighth term. “Price’s federal indictment actually helped him because it fed the perception that Price was angering the right people – Dallas’ white establishment.”
  • Voting oddity one: As a commenter on yesterday’s thread noted, here in Williamson County, GOP Presidential choices spanned two pages, with longshot Elizabeth Gray on the second page all by herself. Result: she won 3.57% of the county vote.
  • Voting oddity two: Long-gone longshot Gilmore was reported to have have won the most votes in Chelsea, Massachusetts. That was a computer counting glitch that has since been corrected. He actually got 2 votes.
  • LinkSwarm for October 30, 2015

    Friday, October 30th, 2015

    Right now Austin is enjoying our traditional “two weeks of flooding following three months of drought” fall. Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • “In Iraq, Obama took a war that we had won at a considerable expense in lives and treasure, and threw it away for the callowest of political reasons. In Syria and Libya, he involved us in wars of choice without Congressional authorization, and proceeded to hand victories to the Islamists. Obama’s policy here has been a debacle of the first order, and the press wants to talk about Bush as a way of protecting him.”
  • Paul Ryan elected Speaker of the House. If Ryan decides to govern as an actual Republican, he could be a very effective Speaker…
  • The IRS has Stingray cell phone surveillance gear. Get ready for a whole new round of Tea Party audits…
  • Speaking of the IRS, the House of Representatives is justified in impeaching IRS chief John Koskinen.
  • At the most recent Republican Presidential debate, Sen. Marco Rubio said the H1-B visa program is badly in need of reform. One tiny problem: Sen. Rubio’s own H1-B bill doesn’t implement any of the reforms demanded by Presidential Candidate Rubio. “It does not require recruitment of American workers. It does not require employers to ‘pay more than you would pay someone else’…Rubio’s bill would provide Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his comrades ‘a huge increase in the supply of lower-cost foreign guest workers so they can undercut and replace American workers.'” Indeed, Rubio’s bill “would triple the number of H1-B foreign workers admitted.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Get ready for steep ObamaCare price hikes for 2016.
  • Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition is starting to come apart thanks to the refugee crisis.
  • Venezuela is selling gold to cover bond payments. (Hat tip: Commonsense and Wonder.)
  • Al-Shabaab Islamic militant group in Somalia pledge loyalty to the Islamic State.
  • The Islamic State schools ban: “math, music, philosophy, history, French and geography as incompatible with Islam.”
  • Not news: Journalist in Sweden gets stoned. News: The wrong kind of stoned.
  • Teacher’s hate Common Core. The only people that seem to love it are Washington bureaucrats and Jeb Bush…
  • Speaking of Jeb, He has not succeeded this year, and there is no particular reason to believe he will…Jeb just isn’t very good at this.”
  • “Even beyond the fact that Bush has spent almost a year and ended up among the statistical noise despite all of his organizational and financial advantages, this all but proved that he’s simply not a good enough candidate to run in the general election.”
  • Jeb Bush’s campaign also hasn’t knocked on any doors in Iowa.
  • Ben Carson’s campaign is working with other Republican Presidential campaigns to extract their debates from the liberal clutches of the MSM.”
  • How to fix the Republican debates: “First, cancel the rest of the debates. Instead, announce that the RNC will host the debates and pick the panel of questioners. Allow any news organization that wishes to broadcast it.”
  • A look at the Russian BMD-2 infantry fighting vehicle.
  • John Wiley Price trail delayed again.
  • Reminder: Most acts at SXSW don’t get paid.
  • Feminism is “a War Against Human Nature aimed at using the coercive power of government to bring about an androgynous ‘equality’ that ignores the actual differences between men and women. Feminism is a totalitarian movement to destroy civilization as we know it — and feminists say so themselves.”
  • Salon’s pro-pedophile agenda:

  • How to stamp out Cultural Marxism in a single generation.
  • Flash is dying. Netcraft confirms it…
  • John Wiley Price Update

    Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

    Remember John Wiley Price, the longtime Dallas Democratic political fixture arrested on bribery charges?

    Well, he’s now on his second court appointed lawyer.

    At taxpayer expense.

    Price is accused of taking $950,000 in bribes over a decade from businesses seeking county contracts or other approvals. He earns $141,236 a year as a county commissioner and owns various cars and two Oak Cliff houses.

    Federal agents seized more than $450,000 from Price in 2011 as part of their investigation. Price had about $11,000 in cash on him when he was arrested in July, authorities said.

    Yeah, that sounds like some serious grinding poverty Price is facing. (Just for balance, the lefty Dallas Observer says that politicians getting public legal aid after indictment is not all that uncommon. And Price’s case is complicated by having so many “assets” tied up via civil forfeiture.)

    Maybe he and Hillary Clinton could compare notes on being broke…

    LinkSwarm For February 13, 2015

    Friday, February 13th, 2015

    Still recovering from this cold. Enjoy this Friday LinkSwarm compliments of the management:

  • ISIS on the run? Not so much. They just took over the Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, where U.S. troops are training Iraqi troops.
  • 45 “Asian” men arrested on UK child sex charges. And by “Asian,” they mean “Pakistani Muslim.” Et tu, Daily Mail? (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Yemen turns into yet another Obama Middle East foreign policy triumph.
  • “The United States has accepted two new immigrants for each additional job created since 2000, according to federal data.”
  • Will that stop the drive for Obama’s illegal alien amnesty? Of course not, since that amnesty will make it easier for illegal aliens to vote.
  • “Who wants to read the inside story of Obama’s ’08 campaign if you know the writer is committed to being kind to Hillary?
  • What’s behind the most recent uptick in job growth? Stingier unemployment benefits. Insisted on by Republicans.
  • If Putin really wants to subsidize the Greek welfare state, I say let’s kick them out of NATO and let him…
  • Indicted Democratic Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price asked for taxpayers to pay for his corruption trial defense…that is until the judge demanded a complete accounting of his net worth, and which point he dropped the request.
  • The Ghosts of Auschwitz in the Middle East.
  • The Daily Show always had limited appeal; it just happens that the appeal included the New York media elite.”
  • A look at Greg Abbott’s data-driven gubernatorial campaign.
  • So Obama’s State Department had another one of their dog-and-pony show #AskJen events, where users all over Twitter send questions in to State Department spokeslephrechaun Jen Psaki, which are then summarily ignored in favor of trivial questions from pro-Obama plants. But I was happy to do my part:

  • Breaking: John Wiley Price Arrested

    Saturday, July 26th, 2014

    Dallas County Commissioner and longtime influential Dallas black politician John Wiley Price has been arrested:

    Price was under arrest, charged with eleven counts of bribery, mail fraud, and tax fraud.

    His life, and his image, had permanently changed.

    “All told, Commissioner Price took in more than $1.1 million that he did not report to the proper authorities,” said Sarah Saldana, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

    “Mr. Price allegedly defrauded the citizens of Dallas County, the state of Texas, and the federal government,” said Diego Rodriguez, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Dallas.

    Kathy Nealy, a Dallas political consultant and long-time associate of Price, was prominent in the indictment. The charges allege she paid Price to sway votes before the Dallas County Commissioners.

    “At the same time, Ms. Nealy was paying bribes to Commissioner Price, she actively evaded nearly $600,000 in income tax, which she admittedly owes,” Saldana said.

    Between them, Price and Nealy face 16 counts of bribery, mail and tax fraud.

    The FBI has been investigating Price for more than three years.

    LinkSwarm for December 7, 2012

    Friday, December 7th, 2012

    Enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • Krauthammer: Republicans would be insane to take the “taxes now with a promise to consider cuts later” non-deal Obama is offering.
  • Especially since Obama’s tax hike “would have reduced the 2012 deficit from $1.10 trillion to $1.02 trillion.”
  • The national election was disappointing, but here in Texas Republicans continues to make gains. “Overall we have 796 more Republican elected officials in the State of Texas today than we did in 2008.”
  • They’re still wrangling over money the FBI seized from John Wiley Price.
  • Former Texas Democratic congressman Jack brooks has died.
  • And in case it got lost in the election night news, Steve Stockman, the Republican who retired Brooks in the 1994 election, is returning to congress representing the 36th district.
  • Displaying a willingness to perceive reality heretofore unguessed at, the Michigan senate passes right-to work legislation. Tomorrow: David Letterman’s Cold Day in Hell Special.
  • EU unemployment hits record high.
  • Yes, Susan Rice is still lying about Benghazi.
  • Steven Crowder interviews people on the Fiscal Cliff. Bonus: Toonces!

  • Will State Rep. David Simpson enter the Speaker’s race?
  • School goes into lockdown because a student brought…a thermometer.
  • Save the life of a fellow employee at AutoZone? That’s a firing. (Hat tip (last two): Alphecca.)
  • Once you find out that PSY once sang “Kill those f*cking Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f*cking Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully,” suddenly “Gangnam Style” doesn’t seem quite so amusing.
  • New Gaza perfume named after Hamas missile.
  • Elsewhere in the world, things could get quite explosive this weekend.
  • Texas Political Metro Tidbits: Pat Lykos and John Wiley Price

    Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

    Here’s a small virtual bucket for a few pieces that I didn’t catch earlier:

    I meant to post on the defeat of Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos in the Republican Primary. This was not an issue of ideology so much as incompetence and abuse of office. For the full details, check out Dwight’s pieces on Whipped Cream Difficulties and keep scrolling. (Or do the same at the Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center blog, which has been following the Lykos story for a long time.)

    Now a few more John Wiley Price tidbits:

  • It looks like the details of the John Wiley Price affidavit were delayed until after the primary. Hmmmm….
  • Speaking of Price, his lawyer expects a federal indictment soon.
  • Jim Schutze of the lefty Dallas Observer provides more background on Price and Kathy Nealy. A few excerpts:

    In 2002, when I asked Nealy what she did with all the money sluiced into her account by the Citizens Council candidate, she called me a racist.

    It’s strangely heartening to learn that black political functionaries are just as eager to play the race card on their fellow liberals as they are on conservatives.

    I want to point out that black southern Dallas has consistently voted against honesty, against progress, against inter-ethnic neighborhood cooperation and against any kind of civic responsibility in citywide elections.

    But we are told nevertheless — we are beaten about the ears, in fact — that it’s everybody else’s job to clean up and bring prosperity to the black precincts.

    After decades of watching this dismal scam operate, you may have to forgive me if I have become a bit jaded. I look at the editorial campaign of The Dallas Morning News, 10 holes in the bucket or something, about all the stuff it’s my job to clean up in South Dallas, and I can’t help wondering if this isn’t part of the same old sleazy political deal.

    You know what? I’m starting to wonder if maybe it isn’t time for southern Dallas to clean up its own crap and leave me the hell alone.

    Mr. Schutze and I might differ over our respective definitions of “progress,” but I suspect the rest is accurate.

    Maybe it’s time for the rest of Dallas to start consciously and deliberately voting against southern Dallas, as long as southern Dallas continues to support the Price/Nealy machine. How the hell can we be expected to fix all the holes in southern Dallas’ damn bucket if we don’t fix the holes in our own first?

  • Moving from the specifics of the Price case to the issue of urban black machine politics in general, a few politically incorrect questions:

    1. How pervasive is this type of black political machine corruption in other cities with significant black populations?
    2. To what extent has black America’s overwhelming allegiance to the Democratic Party created such corruption, since it prevents the sort of inter-party competition that could sweep the corrupt from office?
    3. To what extent has the Democratic Party’s need for black votes encouraged such corruption, by making them turn a blind eye to it as long as they votes keep rolling in?
    4. Fair or not, the impression I get from the Price case, from the decades-long mismanagement of Detroit, etc., is that a significant portion (and perhaps a majority) of the urban black community is just fine with pervasive political corruption, as long as it’s black politicians that are the ones with their fingers in the pie. Is this impression correct, or is it too cynical even for me?

    Just How Far Does The John Wiley Price Corruption Story Reach?

    Monday, June 4th, 2012

    Sometimes you know there’s a big, juicy story swimming just under the threshold of public consciousness, but don’t have the tools, sources or knowledge to bring it to the surface. Such is the case with the FBI’s ongoing investigation of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, a powerful, long-serving fixture in the Dallas black political power structure. Right now the story involves current Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and money that may have improperly made it’s way from Rawlings’ campaign chest to Price’s pocket via political consultant Kathy Nealy. The FBI raided Price’s office last year.

    The lefty Dallas Observer is more blunt in what the FBI is alleging: “The affidavit claims a pay-for-play scheme existed in which businesses would pay handsome consulting fees to Nealy’s company at about the time they were seeking to win a contract with Dallas County. A portion of that money would be funneled to Price, who would steer the favored contractor through the Commissioner’s Court.”

    Not living in Dallas, the first time I ran across John Wiley Price’s name was in connection to the previous mayor of Dallas, then-aspiring Senate candidate Tom Leppert. Leppert and Price seem to have cooperated in killing Richard Allen’s Inland Port project, Leppert allegedly because it competed with a similar project by backer Ross Perot, Price allegedly because Allen wouldn’t pay Price and his cronies $1 million in shakedown money. I should hasten to add that Price, who has been a fixture on the Dallas political scene long before Leppert even moved there, is to the best of my knowledge not one of Leppert’s cronies, or even particularly close to him. However, Willis Johnson, who was allegedly part of the shakedown effort, is one of Leppert’s cronies, and was (along with the late Lynn Flint Shaw) one of Leppert’s conduits into the Dallas black community.

    Price has an, ahem, interesting history. He was arrested for felony assault charges, of which he was acquitted just after the Rodney King riots. And his protege Aaron McCarthy is a member of the New Black Panther Party.

    But if Price committed the crimes alleged in the FBI affidavit, the question is: How deep does the corruption go? How many other Dallas political players were paying off Price, and in exchange for what? Price has been in office a long, long time. It’s quite possible he has enough skeletons in his closet to make it an ossuary.

    I don’t have the answers, and I don’t even have the knowledge or connections to properly dig for those answers. But I suspect we’re going to find out in the near future anyway…