First a confession. When I reported on the District 112 candidate forum, I buried the lede. No, that's not it. I missed the story altogether. Yeah, I showed why I am not getting paid for this.
I never mentioned Stefani Carter's opening remarks where she informed the forum audience that she had recently suffered a "terrible accident" that triggered a "moment of truth when you feel like your life could end." Turning to retired Captain Sam Brown, who actually did suffer exactly that, Carter said "I know that our colleague here, Sam Brown, understands that." In 2008, in Afghanistan, an IED blew up near Brown, burning much of his body. To this day Brown bears disfiguring scars on his face and head (and elsewhere, less visibly). Then Carter moved on, sounding extremely conservative and ambitious, pretty much like she has always sounded, pre-life-altering event.
I may have missed the story, but professional journalists Tim Rogers of D Magazine and then Tom Benning of The Dallas Morning News didn't. After the jump, catching you all up on what I should have caught.
First, Tim Rogers originally broke the story.
Then, according to Tom Benning, The Dallas Morning News editorial board interviewed Carter and asked her about her accident. Carter failed to provide details, telling the News, "I really prefer not to go into the details of my accident, quite frankly."
In Tim Rogers' estimation, Carter's "answers are worse than terrible. I was careful in that post last week not to call her a liar. But it is clear now that she is lying -- or at least exaggerating so much that we'd all agree her tale is the decimal approximation of a lie."
This week, Tom Benning tracks down the details of that "life altering" accident. According to the police report, there were no injuries. Carter's car was drivable. The car Carter ran into was not. According to the accident investigator, Carter was responsible, failing to yield as she pulled out of a parking lot into traffic. Still, that hasn't stopped Carter from blaming the victim, Rolando Cerezo. According to the News, "Cerezo said Carter had filed a claim against his insurance, but his provider denied it because the accident report showed she was at fault. He's still waiting for payment from her insurer, and he's hired a lawyer to follow up."
Benning's conclusion: "But we were also bothered by what seemed like slipperiness on Carter’s part. Whether it was talking about votes she’d made on the House floor or this car accident, getting her to answer clearly was a little like pinning Jell-O to the wall. Often, her answers seemed to come up just short of complete and clear."
Tim Rogers gets the last word: "Rep. Stefani Carter has been vindicated. Prior to the accident, she was driving an SUV with a front bumper on it. Today, though, she is apparently driving an SUV with only 50 percent of its factory-installed bumpers. She did, indeed, have a life-altering accident."