The "old guard" versus the "outsider." That's the way Michael Mooney of D Magazine is presenting Richardson's mayoral election pitting Laura Maczka against Amir Omar.Amir Omar is a two-term city councilman, but to the city's old guard he remains an outsider.
Source: D Magazine.
Mooney telephoned me for information for his story. From his questions, it was clear that the "old guard" versus the "outsider" was how he was framing his story. It felt to me like he was calling for confirmation of his framing. After the jump, what I gave Mooney for his story.
What did I give Mooney? In short, not much. I told him I disagreed with his premise. The electoral divide in Richardson is not over the issues Mooney presents:
In my analysis, the majority of residents (including those who Mooney calls the "old guard") support everything on both sides of Mooney's divide: urban development, parks, the Alamo Drafthouse, new corporations and big office buildings. The minority (call them the "outsiders" if you must) want lower taxes and fewer services from local government. Most residents in Richardson are happy with the status quo and reject candidates who claim Richardson is on the road to fiscal ruin. It's not a given that the endorsements by the "old guard" (the Richardson Coalition PAC) swept the current council to office in the 2011 elections over the interests of the majority. The losers of the 2011 election, by wide margins, were some fatally flawed candidates. They are the "outsiders" in Richardson city government. Calling Amir Omar an outsider risks confusing the real divide in Richardson. Remember, Omar was endorsed by the "old guard" and won his election handily.the struggle between "new Richardson" (young families interested in urban development and things like parks and the new Alamo Drafthouse) and "old Richardson" (mostly white retirees more interested in bringing new corporations and big office buildings).
Source: D Magazine.
The 2013 mayor's race does not hinge on Mooney's divide at all. Both Laura Maczka and Amir Omar are incumbent council members who were endorsed by the Richardson Coalition PAC in the last election. Both have largely voted alike. Both are up-and-comers in Richardson. They are pitted against each other only because a 2012 charter change made the mayor's office an elected position. Some predicted that one consequence of that change could be that it would pit up-and-comers against each other, with only one winner allowed. The city would lose the services of the other(s). And so it has turned out.
Anyway, my conversation with Mooney was short. I recommended that he read the archives of my blog, especially items on the 2011 election, for the background he needed. If he had any questions afterwards, I'd be happy to talk more. I saw no evidence he ever did that homework. He never called back. And so he got the story he wanted: the old guard vs the outsider.