CEDAR CREEK LAKE: Gay Kemp officials leave office; Seven Points council may finally meet

Openly gay Seven Points Mayor John “Joe” Dobbs, left, and his former partner Michael Tayem, right, are shown with a supporter.

Openly gay Kemp Mayor Matt Ganssle, who won the office in the Cedar Creek Lake town two years ago, was defeated by a challenger in a 97 to 26 vote last week. Ganssle’s colleague on the council, openly gay Councilman Jerry Hazelip, did not run for re-election, so he was also replaced by a newcomer.

Gannsle and Hazelip reportedly were both fatigued by the resistance of oldtimers in the community toward any progressive ideas they put forth. Ganssle apparently did not put up any campaign signs or do much else in an attempt to get re-elected.

In Seven Points, openly gay Mayor Joe Dobbs, who was elected one year ago, may finally be able to preside over a functioning city council as newly elected council members take office. For the past year, several incumbent council members, including one who owns the Dairy Queens in both Seven Points and Kemp, refused to attend meetings or to resign after Dobbs’ election. That led to no quorums and no meetings.

Dobbs, who won office by a landslide despite his opponents’ gay-bashing tactics, has run city business mostly on his own for the past year, relying on the advice of the city attorney to keep the city afloat. The city had been nearly paralyzed already by an FBI investigation and felony indictments of a former municipal judge, the former mayor and a former councilman on corruption charges.

—  admin

Belo markets are more likely to have LGBT mayors than any other media company

Belo

Belo, owner of the Dallas Morning News, owns newspapers in three markets and 21 television stations in 15 markets. In most of those TV markets, the Belo station is the top-rated or second station in that city.

Those markets are more likely to have an LGBT mayor than cities with any other media company.

The three largest cities in the United States with LGBT mayors are Houston (Annise Parker), Portland, Ore. (Sam Adams) and Providence, RI (Providence, R.I.).

KHOU in Houston is the Belo-owned CBS affiliate. Portland’s KGW is the Belo-owned NBC affiliate. In Providence, Belo owns the Providence Journal, the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the United States.

In Dallas, where openly gay candidate Ed Oakley came in second out of 11 candidates in the last mayoral election, Belo owns the Dallas Morning News and WFAA (Channel 8, the ABC affiliate). While Oakley did not win, Matt Ganssle of Kemp, Tex., within Belo’s Dallas market, did win his race for mayor along with Jerry Hazelip, now a Kemp city council member.

The other major media companies in these top LGBT-electing cities do not come close to Belo’s record. The Houston Chronicle, that city’s newspaper, is owned by Hearst. While Hearst publishes papers in other liberal cities like San Francisco and Albany, N.Y., the closest those cities have come is gay-friendly Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, who spoke at this year’s Black Tie Dinner. The TV stations are owned by ABC, Fox and Post-Newsweek Stations.

In Providence, TV stations are owned by LIN broadcasting, Media General and Global Broadcasting. The biggest of these is Media General with stations located mostly in the Southeast.

Portland’s other TV stations are owned by Fisher Communications, New Vision Television and Meredith Corporation. The newspaper, The Oregonian, is owned by the Newhouse Group.

None of these other media companies operate in as many LGBT-mayoral-electing cities.

But is there any link? None whatsoever. At least not in helping them get elected. In Dallas, the Morning News endorsed Tom Leppert, who won, over Oakley. In Houston, while Hearst’s Chronicle got the polling right on target, Belo’s KHOU’s poll had Parker finishing third.

—  David Taffet