DALLAS, Texas—It's been just over a month since Three Expo Events LLC had its case against the City of Dallas dismissed by U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater, though just a week since plaintiff's attorney Roger Albright announced that he would be appealing that decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals—but perhaps it's about time for Dallas taxpayers to ask themselves, "Is this fight really worth carrying on?"
After all, Three Expo's Exxxotica Lifestyle Convention was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in 2015 with no problem, and it was only when oil billionaire Roy Hunt and his equally religio-conservative wife got wind of the Expo's proposed 2016 dates that they convinced the city to fight it, and the city council to pass a resolution barring the Expo from the convention center. But we can't help but notice that the Hunts and their supporters have yet to kick in anything to fund the legal battle, now being headed by religio-conservative attorney Scott D. Bergthold, with more than their normal taxes.
Last time we looked, Dallas was already on the hook for over $400,000 in legal fees and expenses, and spending roughly $4,000 a day on the battle—and that was back in August of last year. But now, the Dallas Observer is reporting that yesterday, the Dallas City Council had voted to authorize spending another $157,000 on the lawsuit—and they haven't even filed their brief(s) with the Fifth Circuit yet.
"This new expense brings the city's total legal fees on the case to more than $750,000," the Observer reported, noting that, "Three Expo events director Jeff Handy said he intends to carry on for the long haul because you 'can't put a time or a dollar limit on the freedom of speech.'"
But it may be dawning on at least a couple of councilmembers that their constituents might not take kindly to the city wasting money on this useless fight come the next election: "Three council members who voted to ban Exxxotica, Erik Wilson, Carolyn Arnold and Tiffinni Young, all lost their re-election bids this spring," the Observer noted. "A fourth council member, Monica Alonzo, who's voted to fund the city's fight against Three Expo's lawsuit each time it's come to a vote, also lost her seat in a runoff last week."
Looks like Bergthold may need to find another city to soak.
(H/t to David & Susan Bradley for keeping us up to date on this ongoing issue.)