Friday, April 26, 2013

More Leadership from Behind …


… or more accurately, a total lack of leadership from Laura Maczka.

It seems Laura Maczka is once again leading from behind with this quote in today’s DMN newspaper: “In an interview, Maczka expressed neither approval nor disapproval of the mailing’s content. She said it’s a matter between Omar and the Richardson Coalition.”

I have no idea what she is waiting for and why she is still riding the fence on the Richardson Coalition mailer sent out first to the seniors of Richardson, and then to whoever else it is that gets the Richardson Coalition’s propaganda.

By now, it is very clear that the Richardson Coalition, through hours of research, got it wrong and falsely accuses Amir Omar of 1) being behind on child support and 2) using bankruptcy to not pay back student loans.

Still, after more than a week, she is staying “neutral”. Is this the kind of leader a person would really want? A person witnessing a wrong being perpetrated by her friends again another and staying silence saying “… it’s a matter between Omar and the Richardson Coalition”.

That is not leadership. That is weakness and shows a lack of character in not standing up to correct a wrong and her failure to champion the truth.

For Laura Maczka to be a true leader she would need to unhitch her wagon from the Richardson Coalition, denounce the action of the only political action committee supporting her, denounce and condemn the actions the Richardson Coalition has taken to support her and set the record of truth straight. That is what a true leader would do.

Here is a link to the DMN article and the text of the article from today’s Dallas Morning News:


By ERIC AASEN

Staff Writer


Published: 25 April 2013 10:54 PM

Related - Amir Omar, Laura Maczka

A campaign mailing that questions candidate Amir Omar’s financial history has generated controversy in the Richardson mayor’s race.

The mailing, sent out by a local political action committee, claims that in 2009, Omar, a City Council member, was “over $10,000 in arrears on his child support payments,” and that his council pay was garnished for child support in 2010. The mailing also states that Omar declared bankruptcy in 2000 “rather than repay over $50,000 in student loans.”

Omar acknowledges filing for bankruptcy 13 years ago, but not to avoid paying student loans. He also denies the other points listed in the mailing, which was produced by the Richardson Coalition, a group that’s endorsed Omar’s opponent, Laura Maczka. Omar says the mailing “stretches the truth” by selectively highlighting certain pages in court documents.

“I’ve never once missed a child support payment,” Omar said in an interview. “I’ve never once tried to get out of student loans. … I have the attorney general’s printouts of every single check being paid on time, every time. I have an affidavit from my ex-wife stating that their allegations are 100 percent untrue.”

Omar added: “We’ve been proud of having a certain decency in our political discourse and for it to reach this level of a smear is absolutely just unconscionable.”

Omar’s campaign provided The Dallas Morning News with certified records of child support payments, showing that he is current, as well as a copy of his ex-wife’s signed affidavit, which states that accusations about Omar “being late on his child support are absolutely false.”

Annie Omar, reached via telephone, said: “I was disappointed to have my family dragged into this race. It has nothing to do with my family. I felt it was necessary to clear the controversy and end it.”

Maczka, a City Council member, said her campaign didn’t produce the Richardson Coalition’s mailing. She said she asked coalition members to post court documents on the group’s website that support their claims. (One of those documents listed the full name of Omar’s minor child, which Omar called “disgusting.”)

In a statement, the Richardson Coalition said that details in the voter’s guide came from public records.

“We stand behind each and every fact contained in our piece,” the group said.

The coalition cited this passage from a 2010 court order: “The court finds and confirms that [Omar] is in arrears on child support in the amount of $10,478.00 as of December 21, 2009,” which includes “unpaid child support, unpaid interest, and any balance owed on previously confirmed arrearages.”

Omar said his divorce agreement included a financial settlement that covered items other than child support. He said he made regular payments and paid off the settlement last year.

Michael D. Wysocki, a Dallas-based family law attorney with McCurley Orsinger who isn’t involved in the Omar divorce case, was asked by The News to review the court documents. Wysocki says that regardless of how the funds were used, the court still considers the money “child support arrearage.”

“There was a court order that things be paid that aren’t being paid,” Wysocki said. “It appears the situation is that there were no payments being made toward’’ the money owed.

Omar said the divorce agreement called for child support payments to be deducted from his paychecks. Calling it garnishment is a “misrepresentation” of what happened, Omar said.

“They’ve never drafted out of that account because I was behind on support,” he said.

Documents released by the city of Richardson show that the city has withheld portions of Omar’s council paychecks since 2009 for child support.

Omar said he continues to make student loan payments. Typically, student loans aren’t able to be discharged during bankruptcy.

In an interview, Maczka expressed neither approval nor disapproval of the mailing’s content. She said it’s a matter between Omar and the Richardson Coalition.

“When you run for office, you have to expect some tough questions,” Maczka said. “I understand that parts of my life that other people don’t have to have examined will be examined.”

Omar said his campaign became aware that the mailing was in the works and his lawyer sent letters last week to both Maczka and the coalition to inform them that the information was inaccurate.

“I’m hoping that some sense of decency will prevail here,” Omar said, “and that they will stop spreading things that aren’t accurate.”

Staff researcher Darlean Spangenberger contributed to this report.

 

10 comments:

  1. Annie Omar, reached via telephone, said: “I was disappointed to have my family dragged into this race. It has nothing to do with my family. I felt it was necessary to clear the controversy and end it.”

    Laura's family is at all of her forums. She has their support and they believe quite the opposite of this statement. Her involvement in politics and this race has everything to do with her family. I doubt she would have stepped into city service if her family was not supportive of that decision.

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  2. Anon @9:53

    Mr. Omar, as you quoted, was quite clearly talking about his family members being named in the tawdry misleading mailings by the Richardson Coalition, repeated via email by Ms. Maczka (and never refuted by her), not whether his family supported his candicy. Mr. Omar's children were pictured with him on one of his mailers showing that support.

    Using Mr. Omar's remark out of the context in which it was made, implies Mr. Omar's family doesn't have the support for his candidacy that Ms. Maczka's family has for Ms. Maczka's candidacy.

    That implication, while
    pssibly made in error, is incorrect.

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  3. 9:53 AM, what is your point???

    Amir's older son was at the LWV forum and the UTD forum (he was sitting two seats down from me). Do you expect Amir's ex-wife and little boy to be there?

    I think it is pathetic that Laura had to bring his husband to every forum. If she didn't bring her family and neighbors to the UTD forum, she would have had very few people applauding her. The audience there was not neutral as a blogger claimed.

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  4. Laura is going to win this election. It may be closer than a bond vote, because of AO's sheer determination and energy...but the deck is clearly stacked against AO. He cannot overcome this amount of negative on top of his other challenges. He has been forced to play defense. That said, he made a major political mistake by allowing others to shape the messaging around his troubled past. Say what you want to about the RC and the connection to LM.....but it doesn't really negatively impact LM. She is just far enough removed from them to be safe. A Muslim with a funny sounding name who has been divorced twice and filed Bankrupty doesn't stand a chance against a squeaky clean home town girl who is a Christian and has endorsements by so many local politicos and the marketing power of the DMN and RC's voter guide. I am not saying this is right, but I am saying this is the reality. I am friends with both candidates and saddened that we will lose one.....it is just abundantly clear to me that everything had to break the right way for AO to have a chance.....and clearly he has been forced to play defense. And that is the way politics really work.

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  5. Going out on the proverbial limb is your choice. What you believe will happen or may not.

    It's clear we'll know after the votes are counted

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  6. Agreed, she just might win the election. If she does win, she will have to live with her inaction through this election. Will make it kind of hard to hold her head up with pride.

    If that happens, Amir can be proud of his actions. I use to be against him. He has definately earned my respect now. I wouldn't count his out. He might pull through if enough people like me change their minds about him.

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  7. Laura is squeaky clean? I really hate the thought I live in a community of superficial people with no intellectual depth. Last I checked she is living the same human existence as the rest of us. Maybe what you mean is she takes a bath every day. Thank goodness!

    People are waking up and saying 'enough' to the crap that has gone on for a long time.

    If we do not get some balance on this Council you might as well call Richardson the next Oak Cliff. And they are finally bailing themselves out from under all the old labels.

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  8. I received the mailing sent by the coalition. Laura can't possibly think people will believe that she didn't endorse this mailout. I, for one, do not believe it. What I really find funny is this is the same organization that backed Admir when he ran against Stewart. When things don't go their way.....my my how they change direction.

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  9. Reservation ResidentApril 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Count me as another voter who started out liking Laura, but now will vote for AO, In my mind Laura should have denounced the rc mailer.

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  10. Laura has used the mailer by not commenting. Welcome to her kind of open politics.

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