The city is broke. Broke, as in busted. As in no money. As in tapped out. So what are the various mayoral candidates arguing about? Whether the city should have a no kill animal shelter, which is an admirable goal but hardly part of the problem. How to fix the schools, which the mayor has absolutely no control over. And whether former Mayor Park Cities had the support of — quick, hide the children — unions.

And why are the candidates doing this? Because it’s easier to argue about that kind of foolishness than to face the real problem, which is that the 2011-2012 budget is going to be $100 million or so worse than than the current budget (and the current budget is so bare bones that people actually complained about it, which happens about as often in Dallas as mayoral candidates ask for my support).

This is the ultimate, the voters-are-stupid, consultant-driven campaign ploy. They’re assuming that if they show us enough shiny balls that we won’t pay attention to what’s going on. Because if we pay attention, we might actually do something about it, and force changes downtown that will make this a better city to live in.

Hence we actually have college-educated, apparently intelligent adult men saying we don’t want Dallas to be like Chicago. There’s a campaign issue for you. Is it any wonder no one in Dallas cares about local politics, given candidates like that?

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