Last week we posted a copy of correspondence that seemed to be between Andy Siegel and someone going by the name Corkscrew. This week finds us with a second letter, again seemingly addressing Andy Siegel by written by a character calling himself GlenCliffich.
These letters seem appropriate as we draw closer to election day and the opportunity for those in Oak Cliff to vote on the local option as it relates to beer and wine sales in the neighborhood.
Again, we at Go Oak Cliff cannot speak to the identity of those that have crafted these letters… we simply provide them for you to read and draw your own conclusions.
I write regarding Justice Lang-Miers’ pouring out of your attempt to sail clean around the clearly-expressed will of the wise voters of Dallas that this city open its doors (and its collective mouth) once and for all to the fruits of the French vine, American wheat fields, Irish potato farms, and Mexican granjas de agave. I have thoroughly reviewed your attempt to convince the Fifth District Court of Appeals to join you in your crusade against all things spirited, the City Attorney’s response thereto, and Justice Lang-Miers’ succinct and well-reasoned opinion. While the notion that a member of our Bar would attempt to restrict the sale of the very nectar that is the lifeblood of our honorable profession was jarring, I was particularly horrified by your scandalous assertion that the City of Dallas’ long-ago hostile takeover of the venerable City of Oak Cliff (God rest her well-treed, hilly soul) forever bars its residents from standing grape-stained hand in grape-stained hand with their brothers and sisters across the mighty Trinity in support of the universal right to imbibe sans UniCard.
While you state early on in your Petition for Writ of Mandamus that the dastardly statute through which the aggressors north of the River bested Oak Cliff in her fight for independence “included a provision that prohibited a City of Dallas election from changing the dry local option status of Oak Cliff.” As you will undoubtedly recall, the Act by which Dallas consumed Oak Cliff’s land, but never her spirit and will, read:
The said territory of Oak Cliff hereby added to the city of Dallas, is hereby declared to be a residence district, and the city council of Dallas shall never have authority to permit any intoxicating liquors to be sold, bartered or exchanged within said limits. That the present statute of local option, as it now exists in said territory of Oak Cliff, shall not be repealed or changed by any act of the city council of Dallas, and should any election be held on said question, it shall be held solely in the entire justice precinct in which the city of Oak Cliff was, and is, situated prior to the adoption of this act, to-wit: Precinct No. 7, Dallas county, Texas, as it is now constituted. Section 10 of 1903 Annexation Act.
I note that your attempt to make hay of the Legislature’s now-ancient mistake is short-lived. Frankly, I was surprised that you led your ill-fated salvo against the finer things in life with an argument based on a 1903 “special law” (passed in Austin but applicable only to our fine berg), the likes of which were later rightly struck down by the wise folk in Austin as supplanting the very power of the local voter you and yours claim to champion.
One would expect, of course, that if the 1903 “special law” you reference was a silver bullet capable of crushing the electorate’s efforts to conduct the November 2 wet-dry election, it would have occupied a more prominent place in your plea that the Court of Appeals undo the clear will of the people. No doubt you are aware that the Court of Appeals would be bound by the plain text of a valid legislative enactment still in effect if that statute clearly prohibited Dallas’ drinking public from voting to tap Oak Cliff’s keg.
In spite of the clear power this “special law” would have if it had the effect you claim, it turns tail quickly in your Petition and disappears altogether. Indeed, the balance of your Petition is spent attempting to woo (without success, I might add) Justice Lang-Miers and her colleagues with stories of justice-of-the-peace precinct boundaries long since re-gerrymandered, scurrilous allegations of procedural wrongdoing against the lovely and talented City Secretary, and attempts to fit the square pegs of irrelevant cases into the round holes of your crusade against joy and merriment south of I-30.
Perhaps you were convinced by the wise words of the Texas Supreme Court (oddly quoted in your Petition) that the “special law” on which you rely merely “declares the law as it was at the time” and “it was useless, and is harmless.” Do you remember the full text of the decision on the meaning of Section 10 of the Act of Annexation? It reads:
The effect of section 10 is to declare the law as it was at the time the charter was amended, and in no manner affects the rights of the citizens of Oak Cliff, on that question, as they existed prior to the adding of that territory to the city of Dallas. It was useless, and is harmless. Supreme Court of Texas in City of Oak Cliff v. State, 79 S.W. 1 (Tex., 1904)
Or maybe you came to appreciate the Court’s distillation of the special law’s verbosity as a mere restatement of Texas’ local option law, long since rewritten, as it existed in 1903. Or, it seems possible, you, like so many south-of-I-30 diners trekking their wingman and hard-earned dollars across the river to enjoy the finer things in life in a bona fide bar, grew weary and simply gave up. In any event, it seems clear, brother lawyer, that you too now acknowledge that your “special law” packs no more of a punch than the beverages available for purchase in the fine groceries and supermercados of Oak Cliff.
A.S., it is my sincere hope that Justice Lang-Miers’ decision has appealed to your better angels, and that you will pursue your admittedly spirited campaign no further. Should this prove not to be the case, however, I remain confident that reason and the principles upon which our fair State was founded and is maintained will allow the results of the electorate’s expressed will to flow freely.
Your brother at Bar,