What prompted that blogging on that particular day was the fact that I was a bit surprised that the Fort Worth Business Press had printed a fair and unbiased article about Monty Bennett and his issues with the TRWD titled Monty Bennett: Businessman, water district activist.
I was surprised at this article because previously the Fort Worth Business Press had seemed to be onboard with the 7th Street Gang's Good Ol' Boys and Girls and their propaganda campaign to spew falsehoods about Monty Bennett.
Well, apparently the Fort Worth Business Press took some flack from the 7th Street Gang for not following the party line.
This led Fort Worth Business Press publisher, Richard Connor, to write an editorial titled Love him or hate him, Monty Bennett is a newsmaker in which Connor let's us know that the 7th Street Gang did not like that he had gone off the reservation and printed facts, rather than their patented propaganda.
You can read the entire editorial, but I will just share the paragraph which contains the bit about the Good Ol' Boy and Girls being upset that Connor and the FW Business Press were not following the Fort Worth Way script....
What has surprised us at the Fort Worth Business Press is the consternation expressed by local businessmen that we would profile the water district’s leading critic and nemesis, Monty Bennett, a Dallas hotelier. Bennett has been fighting the water board for several years, trying to prevent it from running a water pipeline through his 1,300 acre ranch in Henderson County. While he cloaks his disdain – dare we say hatred? – for the water board in criticism of its lack of transparency, alleged violations of open meetings laws and nepotism, his real source of anger is parochial.
By the end of that paragraph Mr. Connor seems to be back towing the 7th Street Gang party line.
One of my favorite Fort Worth seasoned citizens, Clyde Picht, commented on the FWBP editorial with a comment filled with the sort of facts that make Fort Worth's Good Ol' Boy and Girl Network so uncomfortable.
Below is Clyde Picht's comment in its entirety....
Monty Bennett obviously has an ax to grind over the threat of eminent domain being used to take part of his property for a pipeline that according to the TRWD's own study will bring water to Fort Worth only in an emergency and if Dallas doesn't need the water.
But if TRWD is so quick to use eminent domain to get land, why didn't they use it to get Carl Bell's 37.679 acres near La Grave field? A 50 acre parcel, rife with environmental pollution, was appraised at $12,000,000. It's probably worth less than that but in a moment of charity the TRWD paid Bell $16,000,000 for the 37+ acres.
Bell had shut down the CATS ball team and was reportedly near or in bankruptcy. One might wonder why TRWD is so generous with their money. The reason is that it's not their money (which is really taxpayers' money) that's being spent. The $4,000,000 largesse comes right out of the pockets of Fort Worth taxpayers.
In comments published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 12, 2005, Jim Oliver, the TRWD Director stated that "backers (of Trinity Uptown) might seek more local money" and planner James Toal stated "The taxpayers will not be left holding the bag." That was when Trinity River Vision was projected to cost $435M. (Also see a S-T editorial, "Tax money flows to the river" July 19, 2009)
And then there is the comment from the man who probably had enough votes to join Mary Kelleher on the TRWD Board, but, you know, stuff happens, like trouble counting votes. Below is the comment from John Basham in its entirety....
Richard, Simply put; You are experiencing "The Fort Worth Way", as the former Mayor would say. You must understand that the 7th Street Downtown Croney Crew are used to the 'News' printed by the Startled Gram. Or as I like to call it; "PRAVDA Fort Worth". How DARE the FWBP print an article containing NOTHING but truth. It doesn't matter that the story was both fair to both sides as well as truthful. You MUST Carry the Water (I couldn't resist either) for the 7SB Cronies or else they shoot the messenger. Chin up, there was a time when 'JOURNALISTS' gauged the accuracy and fairness of their stories by how much it inflamed each side. But alas Ft Worth does NOT have a daily Newspaper any longer, instead they have a public relations arm for 'The Fort Worth Way'.... Hold the line. Kudos to Marice Richter and yourself for a job well done.
I wish Monty Bennett really was trying to take over Fort Worth. Think of the damage he could do if he bought the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. I know Mr. Bennett is a successful businessman, so it is unlikely he'd want to buy a money losing sinking operation like the Star-Telegram.
Then again, maybe Monty Bennett would like the challenge of turning the Star-Telegram into a real newspaper. He could maybe become a Texas version of Citizen Kane....