Friday, October 24, 2008

Dunlap's ire will trump GOP's snarkiness

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 10:34 AM

I think I know one reason why Republicans on the County Commission are playing stupid games with Democrat George Dunlap's nomination to the board: Dunlap will out-pout, out-snark, out-interrupt, out-bluster, and plain old out-obnoxious the four GOPers, all by himself. Republican commissioner Dan Ramirez is a bit of a snooze, but the other GOPers — Bill James, Dan Bishop and Karen Bentley — are ultra-right attack dogs. Doesn't matter. They've met their match in liberal attack machine George Dunlap. During his tenure on the School Board, Dunlap has built a long history of insulting those who oppose him and pitching a fit when he can't get his way, not to mention firing off ill-tempered, semi-coherent e-mails to various and sundry imagined enemies.

In 2005, Dunlap made the news when he angered a former CMS parent by replying to her critical e-mail by reaching deep into the official Kids' Insult Answer Kit and digging out the classic "It takes one to know one." I'm not kidding, you can look it up. This wasn't the first time Dunlap has fired off a snarky e-mail, by any means. While I was editor, Dunlap let CL know on occasion that he was displeased with something we printed, and at least once, his message was rude enough (and borderline intelligible enough) that I felt obliged to call him on it.

Here's an example. In September 2004, Tara Servatius wrote a column in which she said some members of the school board wanted to bus white suburban kids to center city schools. The next day, Servatius received an e-mail from Dunlap which said, in its entirety, "I will pray for you even if you. Being a liar will not get you to heaven. If that were the case, you'd be gone by now."

The unfinished first sentence threw us for a minute, but worse syntax was yet to come. I thought his e-mail was unnecessarily harsh, so I e-mailed Dunlap:

"As editor of Creative Loafing, I resent both the tone and the content of your e-mail message to Tara Servatius. If you would like to respond to one of her columns in the form of a letter to the editor with factual counter-arguments, I will be sure it is given all necessary space in our letters section. However, gratuitous comments such as your message are personally insulting and are unproductive in terms of getting to the bottom of the issues involved. In the future, please refrain from this kind of personal sniping unless you are willing to have your comments printed in our publication."

Dunlap didn't waste much time responding. Here's the exact text of his return message to me: "If you were any kind of editor, you would check you facts before lies are printed. you email to speaks much about your own character. Put that in your paper."

I couldn't believe this guy. By then, I was as pissed as Dunlap, so I sent him one more e-mail: " 'You email to speaks'? Learn how to construct a sentence and spell and I'll consider printing something you write."

So, long story short, Dunlap matched my own hot-headedness, and I'm sure he'll be an entertaining, combative treat at County Commission meetings. As Dunlap once told the Observer, "Sometimes I like a good fight." Trouble is, George, sometimes others do, too.

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